Original Zines

NYC Underground Icon: ‘Hiya Kids, Blondie Fans Are the Best’ (1978-82)

In a pre-digital era, fan clubs were a means of community building and disseminating information, from new record releases, bios, and tour schedules to exclusive band merchandise. Beyond the promotional aspect of building artist identity, fan club ephemera were a means of establishing a personal connection with fans and followers.

Wild Dog Archives includes a number of press kits and promotional items from now defunct fan clubs as well as handwritten letters. Henry Wild Dog was a superfan of female-fronted bands such as the Helen Wheels Band and Blondie.

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“My life is like a late night rerun.” – Debbie Harry

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 (Official Blondie Fan Club ephemera and PUNK zine No. 10 courtesy of Wild Dog Archives.)

Austin’s The Dicks on New Wavoid Rejection, Radical Messages (1981)

“I think The Dicks were one of the earliest poster bands…When I returned from San Francisco, several friends said, ‘It’s too bad all of us want to be singers and none of us can play anything.’ I said, ‘Why don’t we just lie? Let’s make up a band, and call it The Dicks.'” – Gary Floyd (Vocals)

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(Original galley courtesy of Wild Dog Archives.)

Where Were You the Day Punk Died in Houston? (New Year’s 1980)

As the curators of Wild Dog Archives reflect on the project’s first year of existence nearing the eve of a new year (35 years after the so-called death of punk in Houston), an expression of gratitude is in order for our virtual spectators who have commented on or shared an artifact from Henry Wild Dog’s collection and kept the story alive. Here’s to 2015 and the hope that the remnants of punk may yet “feed many generations to come.”

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TRANSCRIPT:

“At this time a cruel accusation can be heard from many mouths. As much as we might try to persuade ourselves, inspired by the spiral of the punk scene in ’79 — the accusation is true. Punk really did die. It died in Houston on January 1, 1980, at exactly 3:47 a.m. Just like Beethoven, idealism, Hendrix, and Disco…Punk would never be heard again.” (from PUNX’s “History of Houston Punk” series published in 1986)

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(Scans courtesy of Wild Dog Archives.)

Wild Dog Records: Teenage Punks Vast Majority Talk Anarchist Sounds (1979)

Houston’s youngest band at the start of the scene, Vast Majority recorded its lone studio effort I Wanna Be a Number in  March 1980 on Wild Dog Records. Henry Wild Dog, who helped produce the 7″ single, had a brief stint with the band as part of its second lineup. His contribution to gigs at Paradise Island earned him the DIY-inspired handle Henry “Bad Guitar.” Original member Scott Telles (vocals and trumpet) recounts the band’s history with WDA’s namesake on the Hyped 2 Death Archive Series #201.

As verified in an interview with the original members in WILD DOG, the politically motivated teenage punk band performed for the first time alongside AK-47 at Houston’s inaugural Rock Against Racism show held on April Fool’s Day 1979 at the Island.
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(Original galley courtesy of Wild Dog Archives.)

Wild Dog Zine: NOLA’s Red Rockers and Police Intrusion at the Island (1981)

“I saw the Sex Pistols when they came to the Kingfish in Baton Rouge [in 1978]. That was the beginning. Then The Normals were the only punk band in town, and I really liked them alot [sic]. They were something different. Their music was a big influence.” – Darren “Derwood” Hill, bassist and backup vocalist, Red Rockers (From a 1981 interview in WILD DOG)

Originally formed in 1979 as The Rat Finks, the Red Rockers were the most successful band to come out of New Orleans’ early punk scene.

In 1980, Red Rockers recorded two of its original songs, “Dead Heroes” and “Red Star,” on the No Questions, No Answers compilation released by FINAL SOLUTION zine editor Larry “the Punk” Holmes’ Vinyl Solution Records. That same year, the band recorded its first EP, Guns of Revolution, on Larry the Punk’s New Orleans label before relocating to San Francisco in 1981. Red Rockers’ first LP, Condition Red, was recorded in 1981 on San Francisco label 415 Records and featured guest vocals from Jello Biafra on a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.”

Red Rockers gigged at the Island in Houston in 1981 while on tour. Henry “Wild Dog” Weissborn and contributing interviewer Marjorie were “fortunate” to party with the band during their stay, according to an interview in WILD DOG zine, in which Darren “Derwood” Hill discusses The Clash’s influence, opening for The Dead Boys at Houston’s Whiskey River in 1979, the changing New Orleans scene, and dedicating a song to the Houston Police at the Island performance.

Deeply rooted in progressive and underground movements, Weissborn steered many of his interview questions toward punk politics and the band’s social message. “Anarchy is fine, but you can’t be an anarchist for anarchy’s sake,” Derwood said in response to whether the band held anarchist or Marxist beliefs. “You’ve got to have something behind it. You can’t destroy everything because then you destroy yourself.”

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(Original galley courtesy of Wild Dog Archives.)

Wild Dog Zine: Island Owner Phil ‘Hix’ on Stolen Mics and Broken Glass (1979)

“There will be some regulations, rules, standards, or something of the sort – I hate to use the words ‘rules and regulations’ – about who helps clean up. We used to have popcorn in here. Instead of eating it, they threw it.” – Phil Hicks (From a 1979 interview in WILD DOG zine)

Paradise Island (Parasite Island), Rock Island, and later just the Island was Houston’s first designated punk rock venue, an exile’s dive on Main Street converted from a former Mexican restaurant. The club was run from 1978 to 1983, debuting many local first wave acts such as Christian Oppression (later the Hates, Houston’s longest running punk band) and AK-47 while also hosting nationally famous bands, including X, Black Flag, and Dead Kennedys.

In a 1979 interview by John Peters for WILD DOG #3, Island owner Phil Hicks spoke candidly about whether his club would survive overhead and damage costs from unruly punk crowds or sell out to disco investors, Austin versus Houston, Legionaire’s Disease’s notorious performances, and whether to leave broken glass on the floor in the spirit of its destructive shows.

“If rock’n’roll doesn’t pay the bills then I will be satisfied that I have experimented at all levels,” he said. “I don’t think it’s fair for me to support a building and not to at least be able to experiment and try different things. I have never put popular rock’n’roll bands in here, not because of the budget, but because I started out with a game plan of having a place so that unexposed talent or bands could come in here, so they would have a place to play in front of people and could get a start. Momentumwise [sic], emotionally – so they could get out of their practice room.”

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(Original galley; first page out of six courtesy of Wild Dog Archives.)

CLE Magazine: Issue 2, North Coast Punk and the Electric Eels (1978)

“The [Electric] Eels were an extremely loud, controversial assault on their audience. They were also very entertaining. The Eels are gone for now but there are some excellent tapes floating around. It would be great to have some of them released.”Michael Weldon, contributing editor, CLE

Issue 2 of Cleveland, Ohio’s underground punk periodical CLE was released in the fall of 1978, a year after its debut in winter 1977. Covering the local first wave scene, CLE was founded by then 18-year-old Jim Ellis, who served as editor and publisher for the full five-issue run until the publication folded with Issue 3B in spring 1981.

Henry “Wild Dog” Weissborn reached out to emerging scenes from coast to coast. This scarce publication from his archives remains an imprint of early North Coast punk.

“Watch CLE for more on the Eels, Mirrors, Tin Huey, Rocket from the Tombs, Milk, Devo, Styrene/Money Band, Pere Ubu, the Wolves, Friction, Cinderella Backstreet, Bizzaros, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks…” – Footnote to “Electric Eels: Attendance Required,” Issue 2

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(Original zine courtesy of Wild Dog Archives.)