My first college roommate had a bookshelf filled with those big-format subculture guidebooks: The Trouser Press Record Guide, The Psychotronic Video Guide to Film, High Weirdness by Mail, the RE/SEARCH publications. I had been a normal kid in junior high, and began going weird in high school when my family moved to a small town. I had had to connect to all my weirdness through a couple of old issues of Thrasher, a couple of issues of MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL, and a single copy of Flipside that I bought from the local record store. (I think they had ordered it in by mistake. It looked out of place next to Hit Parader and Kerrang!) Needful to say, probably, when I was a teenager, we plugged our home computer into the wall and into a printer, but couldn’t even conceive of plugging it into a phone jack.
So I pored over those books, filling in the vast holes in my knowledge of the weird history of the weird things I loved. When I saw DESTROY ALL MOVIES!!!: the Complete Guide to Punks on Film (Fantagraphics 2010) on the bookshelf in the film section of the bookstore where I work, I was smacked all-over nostalgic. One might argue that books like this—big-format subculture guidebooks—are unnecessary now that we mostly all have internet access. Maybe. I still think everyone who coveted Factsheet 5 zine guides when they were young should feel obligated to get a copy of DESTROY ALL MOVIES!!! for their lonely, floppy-haired nephew in Chilton, Wisconsin.
(CONTEST: Be the first to identify a) the image above, b) its relevance to the subject discussed in this post, and c) it’s irrelevance to the subject discussed in this post and I will buy you a copy of DESTROY ALL MOVIES!!! and ship it to you or your floppy-haired weirdo nephew today, as long as my bookshop currently has a copy on the shelf.)