MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL #420, $4.99, 8½” x 11½”, newsprint, 103 pgs.

Jul 25, 2018

Another good’n from Berkeley, issue 420 features a Tim Yohannan remembrance and a dispatch from the Bay Area Girls Rock Camp. It feels a bit odd for MRR founder Yohannan to get a remembrance now (died in 1998), but maybe this is the publication’s way to acknowledge they’ve hit their 35th anniversary, a milestone otherwise unmentioned. Thanks to my friend Paul for pointing that out to me. Anyway, who was Tim? He loved playing Risk, he pursued band mailing addresses tirelessly. Maybe he was a Stalinist. He wasn’t everyone’s favorite. He “saved the lives of weirdos.” Bay Area Girls Rock Camp is at year ten, and one interview with a BAGRC group, Lil Debbie, made a cool point that I sure wasn’t thinking of when I was a tween or teen: “punk is dominated by straight white men,” says Liv of Little Debbie And The Crusaders. “And if you don’t fit one or more of those descriptions, it can be extremely hard—and unsafe even—to express yourself, or even enjoy music in a public space.” Maybe this makes some men sad, but I figure Liv is right. If I learned how to treat women from The Descendents or Screeching Weasel, bands I adored as a teen, I would be a creep. So yeah, it’s cool that girls write songs and that BAGRC normalizes girls writing songs. Other cool stuff? An article about weed. You know, dope smoke. Pot! Reefer! Sticky icky shit, you know what I’m saying? Comes in teeny bags from guys named Matisse. C’mon kids, I ain’t messin’ around—I’m talking about drugs! Issue 420 had all that and more. Happy 35th birthday, MRR! –Jim Joyce (Maximum Rocknroll, PO Box 460760, SF, CA 94146-0760, maximumrocknroll.com)

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