CRUELTY IS ON THE INCREASE
Un-like so many disillusioned veteran punks, I didn't wanna lapse into a surburban
coma when punk faded and wasn't fashionable any more (late 90's). My band
(Torcha Shed) was on an extended sabbatical, on the look out for yet another
drummer. So I turned my song writing hand to writing a band newsletter in late '96.
I christened this tatty blood splattered ransom note The Suffragette. Not because
I was a feminist (if only lol), but coz my band needed some kind of fan letter to give
out at gigs to tell everyone what we were about. The name came about from the
whole torture/suffering kinda angle in line with our band name, so thats where the
Suffragette name originally come from.
I did however nick the title text style from the
original feminist rag which I kinda liked. It
stood out amongst all the blackmail text which
I loved since the Jamie Reid days. It however
turned into much more than a newsletter
coz I was constantly fed up with the then
current zine scene being predictable, safe
and ultra PC. Although some did inspire
me in layout and ideas.
The zine run for the next 4 years and i'd
do one every 3 months in those days as
well as the band. Dunno how I had the
energy being on the dole helped. But it
was great fun and I even enjoyed those
endless hours cut 'n' pasting it all together.
It was very creative and quite theraputic.
I remember trying to cram as much info
on each page as possible, as I thought
other zines seemed to waste so much
space. It was printed up, or should I say photocopied as I couldn't afford a real
printer. My print run for each issue was approximately 200 x 40 page A5 an issue. I
used A4 for the tenth anniversary issue and the Spunk newsletter. That's all I could
afford in those days. It was great to get a finished zine back from the photocopy
shop which was situated handily across the road from my local boozer
(O'Donnells) which is now a bookies grrrr. Id have a couple of pints while they
printed it up. Then head home and the folding and stapling began. Once you had
a new issue in your hand you were already making plans for the next issue. It
become quite popular in some punk circles but in others it was slated as retro
which has been the story of my life. it always sold out, but I left one bag of about
20 zines outside the Forum in London as I couldn't bring em in to sell by the
bouncers. Hope someone found the bag and had a good read coz I was pissed
and forgot em when i got out! It sold for 77p coz of the 77 punk explosion corny i
know but unique. I think it was a good price for a 40 page read, but you'd still get
people at gigs trying to knock you down or even blanking you, but on the odd
occasion they'd give you a quid. It just about covered my costs, but I didn't care it
was great fun. You could also do trades with other zinesters or for records.
However it too became extinct like my stage career in 1999. The zine reached
issue #11 and was on a role. I got a second hand PC off my brother so I could now
look on the net at home instead of the library. And what i seen punk wise really put
ideas in my head regarding fanzines and reaching a bigger audience. I think it was
sites like World Wide Punk or something similar which lit the fuse. I'd even started
up a short lived newsletter called Spunk! which was mainly done on my desktop pc
in newspaper columns. It was gonna run in tandem with the Suffragette mainly
for the extra reviews as I was getting a load in which couldn't fit in the regular zine.
But then the photo copying manager told me he was closing, this was January
I couldn't afford printing the zine, so had already realised there was a gap online
for the Suffragette, the band had folded by then. Writing became the main focus
of my punk rock activity, besides gigs. I'd always loved colour and dreamed of
having a colour publication and the net was my next best chance. I remember only
Control being online out the British fanzines. It was a great zine and the site
looked even better. Stuart gimme some good tips on how to start site building, but I
knew there wasn't a Suffragette looking webzine anywhere. Most were mainly
American as I recall. Some were garish, some plain and some were breathtaking,
but none of them seemed to be coming from my angle. So I knew with enough suss
it could be done. Apprehensively I jumped head first into it. Little did I know my
printed zine chapter was over and my website odyssey was just about to start!
Peter Don't Care
|All the back issue of the fanzine will be loaded as soon as I get chance and time.
THE SUFFRAGETTE #1 - THE SUFFRAGETTE #2 - THE SUFFRAGETTE #3
THE SUFFRAGETTE #4 - THE SUFFRAGETTE #5 - THE SUFFRAGETTE #6
THE SUFFRAGETTE #7 - THE SUFFRAGETTE #8 - THE SUFFRAGETTE #9
THE SUFFRAGETTE #10 - THE SUFFRAGETTE #11
SPUNK NEWSLETTER #1
THE SUFFRAGETTE #7 Original cover
complete with plasters.