First issue of Mondo 2000 at

Originally published at:


Funny… I’m currently reading through back issues of Max R-n-R over at the internet archive, looking for evidence that punks are linking up corporations and the Cold War… good times!


I still have my issues of M2000 sitting on a bookshelf (right next to bOING bOING, not coincidentally). Come to think of it, I still have a M2000 subscription, since I renewed it shortly before they stopped sending out new issues…


This publication is one very auspicious. I am having many issues!


All I remember about Mondo 2000 was that it was as ugly as Wired, but in a different way; Wired would run pages of pink text on purple backgrounds, while Mondo was just a typographical mess.

God, I was an insufferable teenager. I grew out of that, thankfully. Now I’m an insufferable adult.


Those were the days. When I used to trek over to Tower Records, not to buy records, but all the weird and bizarre magazines that you couldn’t find in your normal newstand. Mondo 2000 is gone. Tower Records is gone. I’m all that’s left.


Isn’t that the guy from Italian Spiderman?


This is awesome! I love how they basically predicted the TiVo, YouTube, Vine and Netflix… (see p. 26)
iPhones - p.34, Wii - p.35

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But you aren’t the only one who remembers going to Tower for a dose of weird print.

Maybe try the music itself? American punks weren’t all that geopolitical but there were a few things like Bonzo Goes To Bittburg.

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I remember buying this and wondering how the hell the got the money to print such a hot mess.

Agreed - music is a great resource. Of course, not all punks were political either or viewed being “political” in the same way (meaning they weren’t all lefties - but I suspect you know this already!).

I’ve found a few things already. Maximum RocknRoll has a pretty obvious leftist bias, and in the early issues, they post a fair amount of letters talking about local and global politics (I found one letter in #2 on the Falklands and a few articles on wars… Oh, plus MDC’s and the Yippies Rock against Reagan tour accouncement in 1983).

Also, the scene reports are pretty interesting to read and by issue 3 or 4, they are coming in from far flung places. Unfortunately, only has spotty coverage. But they have a decent collection of other zines as well, but again, nothing comprehensive and from

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Johnny Ramone for example

Rock against Reagan tour

I was there for the Dallas part that coincided with the RNC convention. Good times!

He’s not even the only one! For a while there was a website for conservative punks (during the Bush years). There was a website, but I think it’s gone now. A variety of political positions were expressed by self-defined punks over the years.

Awesome! I bet it was a great show!

I always said if I had a time machine, I would use it for traveling back to see shows I wasn’t around for or was too young to see. Priorities, you know!

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I used his name because thats an easily verifiable thing. There were lots of young men and women in the Texas punk scene who were quite conservative but its not like you would have heard of any of em.

OTOH, political conservationism or out and out rabid patriotism in the scene would also have sides not associated with those qualities. See for example the famous Bad Brains vs Big Boys incident.

Tell you the truth, all I remember is it was fun. But the same thing can be said of most of what I did 30 years ago.

I’d love to have seen The Clash for example, maybe at one of the Bond’s shows. But me now isnt me back then.

Sure! Punk was more often than not experienced best locally, right? That’s one of the neat things about reading through old zines, the scene reports are full of bands I’ve probably never heard and that you’d be hard pressed to find recordings of today. That makes it a very fertile field for historical study, as there are plenty of stories that are lost and ignored by the Rock and Roll Hall of fame punk narrative, which tends towards the punk is progressive way of thinking.

True for all of us, I’m afraid.


Yeah I can see that. Events were always local, few bands ever toured more than to the surrounding cities, very few could get national tours together. When a “big name” band came to your state, people drove from all around. When Motorhead played some shit kicker bar somewhere between Dallas & Fort Worth, people came from all over Texas and Oklahoma. In my case I drove all my friends from Austin and back the same night. Most of em in the back of my pickup truck.

Skate ramps or other points of gathering were totally local. Same for the garages bands practiced in or house parties but even more so. Odd fact of history is that by accident I ended up renting the lower half of the house and garage which had previously been the practice space for Poison 13. Place was right behind a funeral home. Same garage ended up being the “recording studio” for a bunch of industrial music my friend and I released. Those tapes were mostly sold in Austin & Dallas so a good example of recordings you would never find today.

Oh I hate the word “progressive”. Its such a weasel word. Could you restate in other words?

See! You’re full of history about your particular scene!

Sure… I mean, like leftist politics in general. Think Dead Kennedys or Minor Threat. Or strongly anti-capitalist, like Crass. Which of course, ignores that many bands were either non-political or even had some more conservative political stances. Didn’t make them any less punk.

But I’d argue (in fact, I DO argue) punks isn’t made in politics of that kind or any kind, but rather in the notion that the local scene and allegiance to it was more important indicator of whether or not someone was authentically punk. Just listening to the well known national bands wasn’t enough. One needed to be in a band, support local bands by going to clubs, write for a local zine, or support the scene in some other tangible way. Not being a sell out mattered much more than whether or not you liked Reagan.


What bugs me about this depiction is that its like saying Bob Marley represents the entirety of reggae and all its descendant genres. Its the example that people without any other real experience latch onto as characterizing an entire genre.

The above isnt a personal comment at you at all but a general statement.

I was lucky, the time and place for me people didnt care about anyone’s “authenticity”. I mean I’d heard of people caring about that but when/where I was, whoever showed up was part of the fun.

I’m not sure where you get this one. Lots of people were around, some made stuff, some didnt, didnt matter. Some folks were in the armed forces and only showed up every few months, didnt matter.

Again alien to my time and place. When guys I hung with got signed to a national label we threw a party for em. When someone got a better job or got a raise that was cool too. “No sell out” was for idealists living out of Mommy’s Magic Purse or frauds.

What was the label, just out of curiosity? I guess by national I meant not the larger punk labels (Alternative Tenticles, SST, etc) but mainstream record labels.

[ETA] Just to be clear, here, I’m not attempting to say that this view is the ONLY way to understand punk, but that these things were more important than a particular political point of view. Obviously, YMMV, but that’s just what I think is the strongest connective tissue that kept the whole thing going. There are plenty of debates about these things at the time (from the sources I’m reading anyhow) and I think that the debate matters in helping to figure out what’s actually happening with punk.

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