GAD! #4: stamps or donation, 8½” x 11”, copied, 18 pgs.

Sep 22, 2015

I put out the first issue of my fanzine in February 1982 (if you do the math you’ll find that that predates the first issue of MRR by a good eight months), so, understandably, I have a soft spot in my heart for ambitious teenage types (whether they’re actually in their teen years or not is irrelevant) who dutifully truck on down to the copy shop every other month to have their manifestos, rants, pleas, and miscellaneous verbal detritus printed up for public consumption. That said, I often wonder, if I were born, say, thirty years later, into this madcap world where the public rantin’ is free and easy courtesy of the world wide web, would I have bothered to publish a zine at all? I tend to think probably not; I’d probably be fine with just going online and bitching about shit like a goon. Why, then, does GAD!—despite a name that sounds like a Billy Childish project and/or trans-Atlantic MADparody, it’s actually devoted to the breezy comings and goings of the Gadsden, AL scene—even exist these days? Couldn’t they just start a Gadsden Punk group on Facebook and be done with it? What compels these valiant Sons and Daughters of Gutenberg to troop down to the copy shop every few weeks and blow their video game money on printing?Nostalgia for the format, I figured. Same as these people who keep making these stupid cassettes, or collecting 8-tracks. I was quickly set straight: The bottom of page two—right after the mailing information and the call for contributions—was emblazoned with the declaration “THIS IS NOT NOSTALGIA.” I beg pardon. The zine contains the usual knocks, boosts, reviews, screeds, and pep talks (“We shouldn’t measure ourselves against places like Huntsville or Birmingham”), plus interviews with Random Conflict, Carridale, and independent filmmaker Daniel Emery Taylor. My favorite part was the Mangaka Spotlight. I suppose the whole point of the continued existence of the local zine as a species is to periodically freeze a snapshot of one’s local scene, fossil-like, that others may stumble upon it in ways unknown. Huzzah, mighty Gadsden! Forever will the state of your union at this exact juncture be burned into my memory! Also please make T-shirts. –Rev. Nørb (PO Box 394, Gadsden AL 35902, [email protected])