the underground press and my search for iggy pop

Linette and I are debating whether or not we should go to the upcoming Midwest Zine Fest. Im pretty sure that if we do go, well be the oldest people there. In the world of zines, 35 might as well be 110. Its a young persons game, and Im convinced that Id look as out of place as Bob Hope on life support at Nickelodeons Kids Choice Awards. According to the program schedule, there is a class on do it yourself gynecology though. Im figuring that alone should be worth the $10. Plus, it ends with a bunch of bands playing at a roller rink I told Linette that Im worried about being too old and un-cool. She suggested that I ask Jeff Kay to drive up from Pennsylvania to go with us. I guess shes thinking that in comparison to Jeff, Id look like Andy Hardy, or whoever it is that young girls are swooning over these days.

Jeff and I went together to the Santa Barbara Zine Fest a few years ago and, even back then, the kids looked at us like we were from the local Chamber of Commerce. Now, Im pretty sure theyd just think that we were looking for our kids. That makes me sad

On the subject of zines, I decided for the first time to visit Alt.Zines this evening. Thats how I found out about the Midwest Zine Fest thatll be taking place in Detroit Being somewhat anti-social, Id never gone there before. I didnt like the idea of there being an on-line community for people in the underground press. It seemed too fraternal, too touchy-feely. Today, however, I was in a spot where I needed some help. You see, I hadnt been having much luck finding anyone at Virgin Records to put me in touch with Iggy Pop (who I want to interview for the next issue of Crimewave).

I decided to say something on Alt.Zines, to post a question asking whether or not anyone might know what happened to Matt Budd, the guy I used to deal with at Virgin. Id tried all of his e-mail addresses and theyd all bounced back. Id tried all his phone numbers and they were all disconnected. I tried every number I had for Virgin Records in Los Angeles and none of them worked. I tried searching around the net, but there was absolutely no mention of that office. Id begun to worry that the LA office had never existed, that Id been sucked into some giant con game, or, worse yet, that the office and all its employees had been wiped out by rogue CIA agents, like in the film Three Day of the Condor.

So, I posted my question to Alt.Zines. Shortly thereafter, answers started rolling in. One guy, a person from Wisconsin, wrote in to say that I should try posting my query to another site called, an on-line community for people involved in, or just interested in, the music industry. I took his advice, registered and posted. Within a couple hours, I had the number of the Virgin Records office in New York. I took a chance, called, and asked for Matt. Sure enough, he was there. Not only was he there, but someone had already called him and told him that I was trying to track him down in order to get a lead on an interview with Iggy Pop! We spoke for a few minutes and he gave me the contact information for the woman handling the PR for Iggy on his tour. As an extra bonus, he also said that hed like to advertise in the upcoming issue of Crimewave. Pretty cool.

But the story doesnt end there. Good stuff keeps happening. I just received emails from two different people, both giving me the name and contact information for Iggy Pops manager. How cool is that?

The fucking internet is great, and, as much as I hate to say it, so are people. I guess on-line communities might not be such a bad thing after all.

Oh, one last thing while were on the subject of zines. I also found out this evening that FactSheet Five, the magazine that first got me involved in self-publishing almost fifteen years ago now, might be making a comeback. If youve never heard of FactSheet Five, you should do some research. It helped spawn a generation of lonely people making their own magazines late at night at Kinkos a force so strong that not even Al Gore’s internet could stop it.

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