I knew that eventually some wonderful human being would scan every issue of the old Rock Scene magazine and post them on the Internet and now the very lovely Ryan Richardson—the man who generously shared his collection of Star magazines with the world—has done just that.
Rock Scene was a mid-70s to early 80s black and white picture magazine edited by prominent rock writer Lisa Robinson (later of Vanity Fair) and her husband Richard Robinson (who produced Lou Reed’s first solo record and the Flamin’ Groovies’ Teenage Head). They were a well-known power couple in New York rock circles and had easy access to any and every rocker they wanted to meet. Rock Scene was where you could read about superstar acts like Rod Stewart, Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Queen and Elton John, as well as cult acts like Mumps, Lou Reed, the Ramones, Cherry Vanilla, The New York Dolls, Patti Smith, Richard Hell, Blondie, The Dictators, Suicide, Talking Heads, Iggy, Kim Fowley, the Dead Boys, Willy DeVille, John Cale, etc.
Rock Scene was all about the backstage and party scene and it was very “insider,” even featuring articles about rock journalists (Nick Kent, Lester Bangs, Charles Shaar Murray) and well-known groupies like Sable Starr, Bebe Buell and Cyndria Foxe. The contributing photographers included the legendary Bob Gruen, Leee Black Childers, Danny Fields, Roberta Bayley, Stephanie Chernikowski and Richard Creamer. Wayne County even had an advice column called “Ask Wayne”!
I first started reading Rock Scene with the March 1976 issue (above) when I was a ten-year-old and I bought every issue for years. I think from that very first issue I read, Rock Scene helped me define the identity I wanted to have and the life I wanted to lead. Growing up reading Rock Scene instilled in me a desire to want to move to New York and to meet these people. I never aspired to having a real job, I just wanted to hang out at Max’s Kansas City and do drugs with all the cool weirdos I read about in Rock Scene. (Of course Max’s was long gone before I got there…)
Ryan has scanned in every page of 54 issues of Rock Scene published from 1973 through 1982. He’s done rock snobs the world over a tremendous favor.
Visit Rock Scenester.com
Thank you William Meehan!