Publisher: Hat & Beard Press
The legendary punk and new wave alternative weekly magazine Slash was founded in Los Angeles in 1977 by Steve Samiof, and published a total of 29 print issues before its demise in 1980 (though it had a second life as the punk label Slash Records, which was eventually bought by Warner Bros. Records in 1999). In its brief run, Slash defined the punk subculture in Los Angeles and beyond with the comic strip Jimbo by Gary Panter and photographs by Melanie Nissen, the co-founding publisher and longtime photo editor. Writing by Jeffrey Lee Pierce, Chris D., Pleasant Gehman and Claude “Kickboy Face” Bessy explored reggae, blues and rockabilly in addition to punk and new wave.
Slash diagnosed the nascent punk scene’s challenge to the music industry and established its own oppositional voice in the editorial of its very first issue, staking a position against disco, Elvis and concept albums, and declaring: “Enough is enough, partner! About time we squeezed the pus out and sent the filthy rich old farts of rock ’n’ roll to retirement homes in Florida where they belong.”
Slash: A Punk Magazine From Los Angeles, 1977–80 pays homage to the magazine’s legacy with facsimile reproductions of every cover from the publication’s run and reprints of some of the magazine’s best articles and interviews. These are interspersed with new essays, reportage and oral histories from Exene Cervenka, KK Barrett, Gary Panter, Vivien Goldman, Richard Meltzer, Cali Thornhill DeWitt, Chris D., Bryan Ray Turcotte, Chris Morris, Ann Summa and Allan MacDowell, among others, telling the story of this critical chapter in the history of American media.