Who'd have guessed 8 photo stated pages of a 19 year old kids views, thoughts
and expression, would become a blue print for literally thousands of other punk
zines and like minded literature for decades to come. Original copies of Sniffin'
Glue punk fanzine now reside in the British library and is now (40 years later) a
culture icon that is part of British history.
Mark Perry was a bored bank clerk who was a rock fan. He'd originally been inspired by
Nick Kent's review of the Ramones debut album which appeared in the NME on the
15th May 1976. He brought the record on import and the effect was instant. It was the
fastest, loudest, most exciting music he had ever heard. Less than 2 months later he
went to see the band play at the Roundhouse supporting the Flamin Groovies on
July 4th 1976 which sealed his fascination even more. He wanted to read more about
the Ramones, but having drawn a blank flicking through all the American fanzines in
his favourite record store, Rock On in Soho market. He asked "why isn't there an
English punk fanzine?" Phil from Rock On jokingly suggested "Do one yourself", which
he did with urgency when he got home. So the first primitive UK punk fanzine was born.
Sniffin' Glue was the name for this rag (inspired by the Ramones track 'Now I wanna
Sniff Some Glue') and a Lenny Bruce sketch involving a glue addict confronting a model
shop owner. First issue hit the streets on July 13th 1976, put together in his Deptford,
South East London flat using only a felt pen, airfix glue, A4 paper and typed up on a
kids typewriter, complete with spelling mistakes and of course the nom de plume Mark P.
It featured his unique thoughts on this punk phenomenon.
"I'd never written any stuff before but I thought the Ramones were one of the basic
rock bands ever!" Right! - I decided that they should be written about on that level,
a basic street level, not intellectual...all I did was take each track as it came and
said how great it was...it knocked me head off!"
His girlfriend Louise photocopied about 20 issues on her works photocopier and Mark
took them back to Rock On. They liked it and to his dismay offered to sell the initial
copies, and wanted more, so financed a further 50 copies for 25p a copy.
"through the fanzine, I started getting these people who were interested in me. I
was invited on to a gig with Eddie and the Hot Rods to review it for the fanzine.
So I went into the van with them. Very exciting for me, being with a band then.
Quite scary in a way - I was very nervous. I still had long hair then. Also in the
van was Caroline Coon and Jonh Ingham from Sounds. They said 'We've seen
your fanzine.' And she was writing for Melody Maker and he was writing for
Sounds. All of the sudden, I'm a writer!
It was really weird. You had people from Melody Maker and Sounds and Mark
Perry from Sniffin' Glue! So I got the press pass and I was backstage. I was in
seventh heaven. "Sniffin' Glue was the first fanzine for that scene. So Eddie
must have thought 'Oh, we'll get in there, that looks good.' Rock On probably
said that a lot of people were buying it and that there was a lot of interest.
'Why don't you invite Mark along?' So you pick up these kind of connections.
If I hadn't visited Rock On on a regular basis, I would have never done Sniffin'
Glue. Then Caroline Coon was the one who told me about the Sex Pistols.
She asked if I'd seen them and told me to come to a show. So about a week later,
I saw them at the 100 Club in late July, early August. It was fucking hell, I'd
never seen anything like that. There wasn't even that many people in there. I
turned up to this gig with long hair, down to my shoulders, with a brown satin
jacket. Caroline said 'You got to meet some people.' So I met Malcolm, Vivienne
and Sid Vicious, who had a shaven head and tissues hanging off him like 'who's
this fucking hippie?' Caroline said 'I want to introduce you to Mark - he's done
this fanzine about punk.' I remember that Sid picked it up and said 'Fuck it' and
he threw in on the floor. Some hard dude that is! Later on, I realized he was a
powder puff, it was just a big show. Then when the band come on, it was just
phenomenal. I had my suit ripped off 'cause of the pogo and all that. It was almost
symbolic. 'Right, let's get rid of that.' Within a week, the hair had come off, just
cut it all off myself. It was a life-changing experience. Within a month, I completely
changed my life. I put out the second issue and it mentioned the Pistols, the
Damned. I was attracting interest myself. 'Oh, here's the guy that does that
magazine.' The scene was so small then. It was so easy to get into. You had to
have a great idea to get into it but once you were in there, you knew everybody."
Mark P. put out issues every month and by issue 3 he'd jacked in his day job and
committed himself to the zine. Circulation soon increased by issue #4 it was a 1000
towards the end of 1976 when the Sex Pistols introduced punk rock to a nation on prime time TV sales exploded. Mark P. was by now elevated to becoming a spokesman for the punk
generation. He was even wined and dined by Harpers And Queens the British "high society" magazine for their July 77 punk expose issue, but he was already becoming very disillusioned with
the fanzine and punk scene in general.
"Right, well I was disillusioned with the way the old bands were going, the bands that were coming up were a lot of crap basically. I just thought 'Let's have a go myself.' I tried as
early as '76, got together with Tyrone who joined me in ATV and we did the New Beatles. We just jammed a bit and I shouted. It was rubbish. Then I decided to do me own band,
thought I'd have a go at it. There's probably a few people saying 'Oh, you'd be a good singer.' Then I met Alex Fergusson, a good guitarist, and we wrote songs together. We rehearsed
at Genesis P-Orridge's studio, did a lot of work with him and he helped us. Once we saw we could do this, we did our first gig in May '77. We did a couple of Roxy dates. By that time,
I thought 'Oh, that's what I want to do.' It was just coming up to the 12th issue. The funny thing is, I'm talking about these big labels and Miles Copeland (later with the Police) is
managing ATV and I was doing the label with him (Step Forward), he was backing it. I was doing it 'cause I thought I could do better than the other labels. I would get out there,
find the bands and encourage them, like an A&R guys does. It was a very busy time and I just thought it was time to stop the Glue."
Sniffin' Glue was by now selling up to 20,000 by issue 12 the final issue which came out in the summer of '77. Mark gave up writing about punk music to concentrate on performing with his
band Alternative TV. ATV which are still going strong in 2016.
Peter Don't Care (July 2016)
|THIS SITE IS DEDICATED TO...
Last update: July 3rd 2016
|This Months Website
Is Alternatives TV's, and is everything Mark
Perry, band, fanzine and other product. Its a bit
sparse information wise and is run by someone
else. When I asked for an interview was told it
would be forwarded to Mr P. but im still waiting
This Months Punk In Print
PUNKS DEAD JUNE 2012
SEARCH AND DESTROY 1-6
COMMANDO JOHNNY RAMONE 2012
VIOLENCE GIRL ALICE BAG 2011
TOUCH AND GO FANZINE BIBIOGRAPHY
BLIGHT AT THE END OF THE FUNNEL
FROM THE VELVETS TO THE VOIDOIDS
THE DAY THE COUNTRY DIED 2006
THE ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF PUNK 2008
VIVE LE ROCK 2016
RIOT 77 #18 2016
BALD CACTUS 31 2015
FEAR AND LOATHING #72 August 2015
UNCUT Sex Pistols July 2015
|THIS MONTHS PLAYLIST
ANTIBODIES - 'Happy New Year Zero' Advance copy (2015)
BLACK DONNELLYS 13 - 'Orchestrate A Disaster' (2016)
ATV - 'How Much Longer' 45 (1977)
ATV - 'Image Has Cracked' LP (1978)
ATV - 'Action Time Vision' 45 (1978)
ATV - 'Life' 45 (1978)
EDITORIAL - Sniffin' Glue issue #1 40th Anniversary...3/7/16
GOOD NOOSE - NEWS - UK GIGS...18/6/16
EDITORIAL - THIS ENGLAND...7/6/16
PUNK - (PUNK SCENES) Hardcore Holocaust/ New Breed...1/6/16
REVIEWS - RECORDS (ANTIBODIES)...24/4/16
|THIS MONTHS YOUTUBE
Found this neat interview footage with Mark P. on
Sniffin' Glues creation process