Maximum Rock 'N' Roll

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Maximum'R'Roll Issue #30
Maximum'R'Roll Issue #30

Maximum Rock'N'Roll is one of the most widely distributed zines in the world. It's a monthly fanzine dedicated to supporting and reporting on the underground punk rock scene.

Maximum Rock'N'Roll began as a radio show in 1977 on San Francisco's public radio station KPFA. It was a punk rock show hosted by DJs Tim Yohannan and Jeff Bale. Besides playing music, Yohannan and Bale invited punk musicians and fans into the studio, regular on the show included Ruth Schwartz (owner of Mordam distribution) and Jello Biafra (of the Dead Kennedys).

Maximum Rock'N'Roll zine first appeared in 1982 as the newsprint booklet in the "Not So Quiet on the Western Front" compilation LP, released on Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles. The format of MRR was modeled to some extent after Tim Tonooka's Ripper zine, which all of the radio show regulars had already been featured in. The zine included band interviews, columns, scene reports from around the U.S. and reviews. With Yohannan at the helm as editor and zine coordinator, MRR blossomed into a thick monthly newsprint zine with wide distribution (due in no small part because of it's distribution through Mordam). Throughout the 1980's until the Internet took off, MRR was an essential networking device for punk musicians, fans, zine publishers, bookers, promoters, and independent labels. As publisher, Yohannan espoused DIY ethics and anarchist politics and used the zine to promote not only underground music, but his personal philosophy.

When Yohannan died of cancer in 1998, Jeff Bale and a few other writers left to start Hit List and Jen Angel (Clamor and Fucktooth) took over as coordinator. Through the years that followed, a number of different people served as zine coordinator, including Arwen Curry, Mark Murrmann (Sty Zine), Mike Thorn, Andrew Scott, Paul Curran and Golnar Nikpour.

Today MRR has published over 285 issues. While not "the punk bible" it once (the punk community now has countless zines and Web resources), MRR still features a wealth of punk band interviews, news, music and zine reviews, columns, and scene reports each month. Current columnists include Mykel Board, Slug & Lettuce editor Chris Boarts, and hardcore singer Felix Von Havoc.

Notable zinesters who have written for Maximum Rock 'N' Roll

Jen Angel), Anonymous Boy (Homopunk World), Jeff Bale, Mike BS (Bullshit Monthly), Mike Taylor (Scenery), Al Quint (Suburban Voice), Matt Wobensmith (Outpunk), and Ben Weasel (Panic Button).

Notable writers for Maximum Rock 'N' Roll

Reverend Norb, George Tabb, Jennifer Blowdryer, Ted Rall, Bruce Roehrs, Larry Livermore, Mel Cheplowitz, Lily Burana, Mike LaVella and Bill Florio.

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