Just in time for the holidays comes another addition to the growing stack of great reviews coming in for Desperate Times #2 ("Anyhow, Anyclub, Anywhere: The Rise & Fall Of Safari Sam's"). This time, it's from the long-running UK punk 'zine, Positive Creed, the brainchild of Rob Stone, who does a great job with his DIY publication, as well.
Thanks to Rob for such a full-on thumbs up, and hopefully, we'll get a few more of them down the line, before we're done and dusted! While we're at it, the holidays are just around the corner...Desperate Times is available for $10, postage paid, right here -- just contact me, via this website, and we'll set up the transaction, once I give you the relevant link!
Then, once you have it in your hands, ponder where all of this relentless Disneyfication of our neighborhoods and communities -- along with the double-barreled, double-digit rent increases that accompany the whole unsavory phenomenon -- is taking us.
<UGLY THINGS #55 REVIEW>
"Ralph Heibutzki, a.k.a. Chairman Ralph, pays homage to the classic DIY fanzine format of olden tymes here with a haphazard scissors-and-glue-stick collaged layout, complete with paste-up lines, blurry photocopied photos and newspaper clippings, hand-drawn illustrations, and the pages all held together with a single staple in the top left corner.
"The throwback format is appropriate as the issue tells the story of Safari Sam's, a Huntington Beach venue that was one of the hot spots for the underground music scene in California's Orange County in the 1980s. The 'zine charts the rise and fall in a scrappy oral history format..." (Mike Stax, Winter 2020)
<POSITIVE CREED #44 REVIEW>
"A big chunky 'zine all the way from the States that investigates the rise and fall of Safari Sam's, a music venue in Orange County. From what I can gather, it sounded like a pretty happening place in its day, hosting the Minutemen, Fire Hose, Social Distortion, the Jesus and Mary Chain, and a whole bunch of others who were all involved in the eighties punk movement.
"There's interviews from individuals who were about at the time giving a good insight into how things were and it sounds like a tough time for some with police harassment cropping up regularly along with business and licensing issues. I have to say that I found this a really fascinating read into a world of pissed off teenagers getting creative by forming bands and writing poetry and creating their own reality whilst trying to make a difference. It's this sort of thing that hits the home of impact that punk rock made on people and continues to do so.
<DESPERATE TIMES #2: SNAP DESCRIPTION>
While Safari Sam's established itself as a hotbed of great rock 'n' roll, it's also a story of a strongly conservative social culture, constant harassment from city bureaucrats and cops, and, ultimately, a force that proved too strong to overcome...gentrification. It's a story that was relevant then, and still plays out today, all around the nation. Now, you can read it for yourself, and draw your own conclusions.
"Roll the credits in your mind for this story, which has played out since the dawn of DIY (in general), and punk rock (in particular): Anykid in Anytown USA doesn't like what's happening there. Maybe they don't hear their type of music, hope to carve out room for something else...or simply want something else besides the standard issue profit-mongering water hole.
"Whatever the reason, Anykid gets Anyclub up and running. Anyclub survives the initial growing pains (hit or miss bookings, spotty audiences, official and unofficial sabotage). For awhile, everyone has a more interesting place to go. Then, sadly but surely, the obstacles start piling up -- too many to overcome in short order.
"The doors slam shut, and the lights go out, leaving Anyclub to live on, in people's memories, and a big black hole in the local scene once more. Roll the credits: wash, rinse, repeat."