When I think of all the underground and alternative press publications we’ve collected over the years, one word comes to mind: subversive.
Through each of these unique pieces, we get a glimpse into the groundswell of anti-authority/anti-institution sentiment that pervaded the 60s, 70s, and beyond. Racy, boundary-pushing, and audacious, the alternative press provided just that – an alternative to state-sanctioned or vanilla mainstream papers & publications.
The attitude in alternative press may be its most alluring feature. In some of the pieces in our collection – for example, the OZ Magazine series, IT, or the San Francisco Oracle – daring is on full display. Indeed, many of these publications flew in the face of censorship and shamelessly donned naked imagery on their covers, pictures of marijuana smoking, suggestive articles, and anti-political propaganda. Their aim was to be disruptive by giving a voice to the discontented in society. There’s further evidence in pieces like the Berkeley Barb and Tribe, which reflect the charged opinions of college students during that time. As is so often is the case, these pieces remind us that it’s usually the youth who are responsible for promoting change. In many instances, the issues tackled were significant and represented many of those most topical on the local, national, or even the world stage. It was a turbulent, transformative period and the independent underground press played an important role in challenging the status quo.
What Alternative Press is in Our Shop?
The alternative press at Bynx is also highlighted by rare pieces like Sniffin’ Glue, a fanzine dedicated to all things punk. Indeed, in much of the alternative press, we can see the symbiotic relationship between music and journalism. The prevailing attitude of the day – a contagious push for societal reform – was present in all forms of expression. Together they radically changed the mainstream culture and gave rise to a host of subcultures.
So, there’s a lot that can be said about alternative press. But don’t take our word for it, come by the shop or visit our website and check some of our titles out for yourself.