SECTION ONE: GLASGOW YEARS, ISSUES 1 – 4 (ISOLATION)
“Ripped & Torn, started in Scotland by myself and the Skid Kid,” reflects Tony D., “we wanted to get involved in the punk scene we were reading about in the music papers. There was nothing up in Scotland at the time.
I went to London to see what it was all about, on the first evening I saw The Damned at the Hope & Anchor.
I met Mark P. and Shane MacGowan; earlier I’d seen my first ever copies of Sniffin’ Glue on the Kings Road. Mark said something like you should start your one fanzine.
Back in Scotland I did. Using a chat I’d had with the Damned as basis of an interview/article about that gig.
I was working at an advertising company at the time and used their photocopier to print out ten copies of the ten pages of what was to be the first issue of R&T.
I sent copies to the music papers, Mark P, and also to the shops Compendium and Rough Trade.
Both shops wrote back each ordering 200 copies. That was going to be a lot of clandestine photocopying! In the end I went into a printers with my originals and got 500 of each page printed. I thought the printer would through me out on my ear or laugh in my face. But he was very sympathetic. This was a whole new experience; I didn’t know that it was possible to do such things. Then of course I had to get the sheets stapled together. This took a few days with a normal stapler (borrowed from work). Piles of paper in the bedroom, and then how to get the copies down to London? It was a steep learning curve but mind-blowing at the same time. There was no guide to help in this, all completely venturing into the unknown.
With the hundred copies left I took them to local record shops in Glasgow; where I learnt about the concept of sale or return. At first the shops took 10 copies each. After a week I went back and they all wanted more, having sold those ten very quickly. And I had the rush of seeing a copy in the window, man that felt good.
Then there was a piece about R&T and me in the local paper.
The ball was rolling.
At this time a young Edwyn Collins wrote for R&T, and in his book he remembers how disappointed he was to meet me and find out I looked like ‘Noel Edmonds’
This was to change.