Monday, January 25, 2010

Bomp! 2 Born In The Garage

Bomp! was a fanzine that was originally titled Who Put The Bomp after a 1961 doo-wop hit. The circulation was very small and just 21 issues were published from 1970 until its demise in 1979 (a 22nd was shelved for financial reasons in 1981), but its influence was remarkable.
Bomp! became a bible for fans of garage rock, punk, power pop, British invasion, girl groups, new wave, rockabilly, surf, rock 'n' roll and psychedelia, and the mag featured early work from such notable music writers as Richard Meltzer, Greil Marcus, Dave Marsh and Lester Bangs.
The zine begat Bomp Records, which launched in 1974 and following a hiatus is still going today after releasing music from the likes of the Flamin' Groovies, The Modern Lovers, Iggy Pop, The Plimsouls, Josie Cotton, Dead Boys, Devo, The Romantics, Spacemen 3, The Germs, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Warlocks and Black Lips.
All of this was the brainchild of music fan and collector Greg Shaw, who died in 2004 at age 55. But his business partner and ex-wife Suzy has kept the Bomp label going and edited Bomp! 2 Born In The Garage with music writer Mike Stax, the editor and publisher of Ugly Things magazine.
The 311-page follow-up to Bomp! Saving The World One Record At A Time features retrospective essays from the two editors, cover illustrator William Stout, Jon Savage, Ken Barnes and Alec Palao. But it's the  page reproductions from the original magazine, which was originally produced on a mimeograph machine, that are the heart of the book.
Even after it became a glossy magazine, Bomp! still looked somewhat amateurish. But it served its niche readership well by covering big and small-name bands from the '50s and '60s and more current acts that shared their rock 'n' roll spirit.
Flip through the pages and you'll find a Kinks discography and a Troggs article from 1971, a Gene Vincent tribute from 1972, examinations of '60s British rock and American rock 'n' roll television shows from 1973, retrospectives on The Standells and The Seeds from 1974, a history of Michigan rock, a look at Beatles novelties, a discography of California surf instrumentals and a Roky Erickson interview from 1975, a look at Dave Edmunds, the Shangri-Las, Mexican punk rock and '60s Swedish sounds from 1976, and a treatise on the aesthetic of psychedelic music from 1978.
The type is pretty small, so you'll need good eyes or a pair of glasses to read much of the reproduced material. But if you're into any of the aforementioned music genres or artists, you should consider picking this up whether you remember Bomp! or if reading this overview is the first you've heard of it.
The internet has totally changed the way people disseminate information and find out about music, but Bomp! 2 Born In The Garage acts as an interesting time capsule of the way things used to be.

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