INTRODUCTION: IT’S NOT OVER YET.
What do you want to know?
Ripped & Torn was one of the first punk fanzines, and continued long after others like Sniffing Glue had stopped. R&T carried on into the next wave of punk, becoming the one true voice of a generation.
This site firstly holds the archive of every page of every Ripped & Torn produced. They can be found in the menus up top, along with some background information concerning the differing periods they were issued. This background history will be added to as information, memorabilia and time can be found.
Ripped & Torn was a punk fanzine that began in Glasgow in November 1976; it is often listed as the second most important punk fanzine after Sniffin’ Glue – we’ll come to that later. There has been considerable interest in this work in 2010, for instance Teal Triggs book, Toby Mott’s exhibition, and most recently Barry Miles’ London Calling: A Countercultural History Of London Since 1945’ – I’ve even been invited to give talks about it: ICA/Toby Mott. More about that here: http://killyourpetpuppy.co.uk/news/?p=4672
People keep asking if I’m going to write a book about this stuff, which is preposterous; so this is the beginnings of that work.
After Ripped & Torn I went on to publish a fanzine called Kill Your Pet Puppy, and information around that time can be found on the website killyourpetpuppy.co.uk. That’s for all your Anarcho Punk needs, and now this site will hopefully do the same for punk as I saw it from 1976-1979.
Psychogeographer, sociologist and historian Tom Vague once said you call tell instantly if someone was really in the know, “when it comes to fanzines, if they mention Sniffin’ Glue you know they’re talking from the outside, if they cite Ripped & Torn you know they were really there.”
In the background to Issues 5-9 you will see how Sniffin’ Glue folded and allowed R&T to use it’s offices, typewriters and even drive us to their printers. This was at the time the media were beginning their ‘punk is dead campaign’; and as SG went under we continued and became the vanguard for the next wave of punks, fanzines and groups as 1977 truly became the Summer of Punk.
The new punk explosion was best tasted live, and during 1977 and 1978 it was possible to go to several gigs in one evening, either free or cheap. I remember going to twenty seven in one week. With all this going on it was difficult to settle down to writing, let alone producing Ripped & Torns. Still, it’s all here, every page of every issue is now available to be read (if you forgive the worn out typewriter ribbons).
At the same time I was having a cultural explosion in my head, being exposed to a vast array of underground literature both in the Frestonia squat, where R&T was produced from 1977-1979, and from shops like Compendium. And Time Out at the time was still radical; every week there were eye-opening articles in there that stuck chords.
So the fanzine chronicled my own changing/developing mind and experience.
In R&T6 there is a piece I wrote called, ‘Sex And Mental Oppression’. It’s hard to read it now without wincing but it was valid at the time. And similarly I kept adding more and more stuff not about the music, such as ‘Secret Files On You In The UK’, ‘The Sensuous Revolution’, ‘Perhaps You Think This Is A Bit Strong?’ and ‘Wake Up World’.
Simon Reynolds’ book ‘Rip It Up And Start Again’ is an excellent work covering the and cultural influences and musical landscape from ‘post-punk’ 1978-1984, and there’s stuff in there that I wonder, “why didn’t we pick up on that?” like Scritti Politti and The Raincoats. Reynolds also gets it spectacularly wrong in dismissing Adam Ant, but his introduction about do-it-yourself, the music press ‘punk is dead’ campaign and the wealth of exciting new sounds and experiences hits many nails on the head and helps me remember why it was possible, and why I felt the need, to produce Ripped & Torn all that time.
So the things happening in the background are
One me doing it in Scotland away from all
Two the influence it had
Three moving into London the influence from there.
The Ants and what all that became;
The final issues, Crass and the re-focusing and for me personally, developing the punk-feeling further.
And with every word written underneath is another word and that word is anger, still burning.
I’d also like to add that it’s been difficult, the first attempt to do this got fatally delayed by December snow and now it’s the first day of Spring, 21st March 2011 and another attempt to get this thing started. Remember historians, it’s not just good design and cracking sounds – all is struggle and pain. For your pleasure.
This site is not only showcasing the original copies of R&T and associated history; it will continue the pain and be adding current stuff in the reviews sections – and writing stuff that doesn’t fit into the tight remit of KYPP.
I started Ripped & Torn because I wanted to be involved; we’ve moved on a long way from the felt-pens, dodgy typewriters and glue but maybe it’s not over yet…
Nuclear shit in Japan, Amerika destabilizing the Middle East to start the New World Order and bring on a Fundamentalist Christian/Muslim Armageddon; keep out of their shit path and anarchy can yet prevail.
So, by punks for punks – still ripping after all these years.
Hope this helps.