I have excellent news for the world. Ryan Richardson, one of the United States’ foremost collectors, archivists, and dealers of punk rock records and ephemera has given us a most welcomed gift.
Richardson has uploaded the entire print run of the classic L.A. punk magazine, Slash, to his website Circulationzero.com.
A true Internet saint, Richardson has previously blessed us with free online archives of Star magazine, Rock Scene magazine, and Fanzinefaves.com, a repository of various early punk zines. Richardson also hosts the exhaustive punk info blog Break My Face.
Unlike crucial, pioneering magazines such as Touch and Go and We Got Power!, which have recently gotten deluxe anthology treatments, Slash magazine has remained hidden from public view since its demise in 1980, save for the surviving copies in the hands of primordial punks and collectors with the scratch to afford valuable originals on eBay.
Richardson has collected the entire print run of 29 issues from 1977 to 1980.
The importance of Slash to the L.A. punk scene, and really to the worldwide punk scene in general, cannot be overstated. The writing of Claude “Kickboy Face” Bessy, Jeffrey Lee Pierce, and Chris D. helped to define the attitude and outlook of the nascent subculture, while the imagery of illustrators Gary Panter and Mark Vallen established punk as an art movement working outside of—but in conjunction with—the music scene. Photographers like Ed Colver and Jenny Lens provided essential documentation of the era, making names for themselves producing some of the most important rock photography ever captured.
The layout design, graphics, and writing put Slash spiky-head-and-shoulders above most any other punk fanzine before or since. And in terms of being a historical record of a cultural time and place, this print run is priceless. We hope you have several hours to kill. You can download the entire archive right here or from Circulationzero.com.
The zip-file download of the complete run is free, but Richardson asks that those taking advantage make a charitable donation to Electronic Frontier Foundation, Doctors Without Borders or Austin Pets Alive. He has provided donation links on Circulationzero.com.
While you’re waiting on this large file to download, here’s a gallery of covers and pages included in the archive:
More after the jump…