The story behind the ultimate punk fanzine
The world of ephemera has so many hidden corners, containing gems that someone, somewhere had the foresight to preserve. This is especially true when you come across something as rare as a complete Sniffin’ Glue fanzine set.
Sniffin’ Glue and Other Rock ‘N’ Roll Habits…
Known widely as Sniffin’ Glue, this zine dedicated to all things punk was created by Mark Perry in July 1976 a few days after seeing The Ramones for the first time at the Roundhouse in London. He took the title from a Ramones song “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue” and the zine became an alternative voice to the mainstream music papers, covering the punk music scene at a time when little else was available. NME acclaimed “Sniffin’ Glue” as “the nastiest, healthiest and funniest piece of press in the history of rock’n’roll habits” and it truly became the chronicle of the early days of British punk rock as well as pioneering the DIY punk ethic. It was referred to by some as the Bible of the punk movement.
It’s Better to Burn Out Than to Fade Away
The zine initially issued a mere 50 copies, but that soon increased to thousands as it gained in popularity. Describing their process at one point, Perry said, “There would be thousands of copies of each page arranged in piles on a table. We’d come back from a night out at the Roxy, do a line of speed and walk round the table all night, taking a page from each pile. You’d get to the end, put a staple through them, then start again. In the morning, you’d have 10,000 Sniffin’ Glues.”
Flabbergasted by its success, and not wanting the zine to lose its original intent and eventually become a mainstream publication, Perry halted production in 1977. One last thing he did request of his readers, however, was that they follow him with their own fanzines and keep the underground tradition alive.
The legend of the fanzine lived on in the minds of its avid readers, and some even held on to them as the years went by.
For the Hardcore Fans
A while back, we were fortunate to come across a complete run of the legendary fanzine, including the very rare two supplements, or special issues, totaling 14 issues. This includes the original flexi-disc single Love Lies Limp, by Alternative TV on SG Records as added to #12, the final issue. All issues are generally in very good condition, all housed in a purpose-made chemise and black cloth slipcase with leather label to the spine, ruled and lettered in gilt. Overall, a wonderful and arguably, the most difficult Punk Fanzine to compile.
Drop by the shop to learn more and browse our website. You can find the Sniffin’ Glue fanzine collection here.