Tuesday, 25 September 2012

September Deadbeats, November Soirees

After the Anniversary in August, Saturday November 24th - Edinburgh - Oxford Bar is the working venue for the next excuse for a party - time and venue will be confirmed nearer

Another look at a bygone age sees issues 2 and 3 get a rare outing. The photocopier at Wood Mac took a good pasting during 1982 as the 2nd and 3rd issues were cut and pasted together before the advent of a computer.

It is obvious that a shaky hand was in use and as ever with technology we see the evidence today that drunks can utilise the machinery very successfully, albeit too often when it comes to drunken texts and emails, but that could be for another day. As it is my shaky hand was on a camera taking this picture of Stuart Adamson during the gig at Night Moves, the spray on the left and right is that tired old habit of gobbing. Needless to say Stuart was nonplussed and the eejits ejected.

The evidence from 1983 is that we had colour pictures that became black and white blobs once the photocopier took its picture. Surpisingly there are no pictures of arse cheeks in these early deadbeats, back when sitting on the copier was the popular past time at the Christmas party, but maybe there is evidence in issue 6, I dont know as I dont have one.

Notice how 16 year old Paul McLaughlin is one minute smoking a fag, looking like he's borrowed a red jersey from Santa, while the next moment he's adorning the second edition of Deadbeat and morphed into

a  hand holding a fag in his wrong hand as his face crumples in the confusion of how will I lift that cup of coffe without buring my face with the fag, mid you, that's even clearer in the colour copy. 5 minutes later he realised he did have another hand but it wasnt required as the fag was finished and he could use his shooting hand to lift the coffee.

But what else was in these early issue - clearly the typing was all straight except for the almost straight headings. If I'd been allowed to do techie drawing I'd have been fine, but why have I got Siouxsie Sioux - she's clearly in October, even I can read that, but as I've pasted the front and back cover I'm far too lazy to delete them.

But back to issue two and issue 17 and 18 and 26 and 33

issue 17 and how did we end end up putting Colin Moxley on the front of our anniversary edition? Well, it was easy, 2 pints and I was writing a review, 4 pints an interview and an evening session at la Sorbonne saw you get the front cover. Its clear to see we were on a roll, 1000 editions with flexidisc were sold out in no time at all so we turned to the Screaming Nobodies and they responded with issue 18 along with Crucial Xylophone Slaughterhouse 5 and the Dum Dum Boys it wasnt a bad follow up, but it was a bad cover!

To be fair to the cover it looked excellent, until it was printed. Quintessential fanzine fodder, young kid, microphone & boxing gloves - superb, summed up everything about us. We had a voice and we were going to fight the latest load of Thatcher nonsense. If you think about where Spitting image were at the time, Hibs had been hit by the potato blight, the Young Ones, like our manufacturing industry were no more, and Pilton was fast discovering its own plight. The image of the boxing gloves, microphone and a young kid prepared to use it were superb.

It bombed, lucky if we sold 700, so what if society wasnt ready for a fanzine sticking to its grass roots principles we would persevere, we needed to we were getting £20 for a full page ad and I wasnt getting a student grant anymore, one has to put a little by for one's luxuries, clearly before drink and fags were reclassified as the necessities they were. Issue 19 would surely see us cover our costs...

By 1984 the world had definitely changed for me, if not all of us. Issue 26 lasted the whole summer of my final resit of resits. I kind of figured I wasnt getting a degree when after three years masquerading as a student and then another year allegedly working from home and failing the exams in the summer I had three exams still to pass. How many times do I need to be insulted by the examination body. I'd gone to St Andrews on a whim as the guys I was going into 6th year with were all on a different planet from me and so I left in 5th year to cash in on the glory trail that was getting a degree. I started with maths, migrated to Economics and after a crash course in 1st & 2nd year Psychology where the practical question asked me to diagnose someone who was clearly speeding - I thought Psychology's for me, but I needed to pass the other stuff and after starting Deadbeat in 82 it seemed most unlikely I'd pass another exam, a feat I excelled in. At subsequent sittings I failed 2nd year Economics 4 times and Geology and Computing 3 times, but what a good session we'd have every May. I'm sure they only failed me in Economics as I'd explained what Thatcher was doing with creating 3million unemployed as a way of battering the unions. Lets face it, if you're unemployed your not likely to be carrying your card. Unfortunately my tutor agreed in discussion and not when I trotted out the same old tosh in exams, but who gives a toss about that, its 30 years on Vinny, get over it,

Yes issue 26 was a good one - it deserved to be out for the summer. I never saw the June Brides but I was a big for of their music and as the back cover shows there were a few bands to see before the next stage of the revolution......oh and the shameless promotion of our very dodgy single. I remember asking each time I went into the shops how many Deadbeats, Tapes and singles they'd sold. The chuckle factor with the latter was huge when one day somebody in Perth bought one, probably Simon's old man trying to get us up the charts. The usual response was 78 Deadbeats, 6 tapes and what single...oh yeah, there's a box down here, do you want them back...?

 Who could forget the Dancing Bears, but issue 31 didnt go for them on the front cover we went for Crucial Xylophone, they were superb, just the name, CX, naw, its no goan tae work Boab....I remember being down in London for the Men they Couldnt Hang, it was about this time I was clearly struggling to keep doing any form of recreational habit, I've struggled for the last 25 years on alcohol alone, its been tough...........but this issue shows me at the printing helm, a mistake no doubt to think I could turn my hand to printing, I clearly couldnt write, I was too shaky to put the letters in a straight line, I scratched every free LP as I tried to lift the needle onto the vinyl but apart from that, it seemed reasonable to think I could become a printer................ah, I've always said, life is this good always, and I'll drink to that!

issue 33 has gone missing - a bit like Deadbeat - 1986 the beginning of an end - certainly not for hair gel, as the Alarm demonstrate, its not even the beginning of the end of hair gel, but it may be the end of the beginning...

I'll have found some copies by November 24th - you can be sure of that but I got a job and ran out of time to print. Keith and I stumbled along trying to put together a belated closing issue but it never happened. We finally found a good home at the Inch community centre for the massive print machine and I painted the back room of my folks house.....you'd never know it'd be a print room!