New England Music Scrapbook
As the weeks went by the subject of The Boston Groupie News did not subside. People wanted to know WHO wrote this stuff. Everyone speculated, but no one knew for sure. We waited and we waited it seemed a second issue would never appear.
Meanwhile, people were continually accusing me of writing the rag. Why, you ask? Because I knew it ALL. I was on the scene every night, I saw all the bands, I knew all the dirt, and yeah, I was a groupie. But I kept telling the truth, I didn’t do it ... and no one believed me.
Then one Saturday morning, Willie Loco Alexander was lying on my bed. ... The conversation was, of course, that Boston Groupie News. He said, "You should just do the next issue since everyone thinks you did it anyway.
A FEW DAYS LATER, in February of 1976, I sat at my typewriter and let the gossip fly. I styled it after the original, same kind of heading, same double spacing, but I had so much gossip I made it double sided! I was talking to all the guys in the bands, I was a friend to all the guys in the bands, I was sleeping with, well, MOST of the guys in the bands. So I figured I’d share everyone’s dirty laundry with the public that had been waiting with baited breath for the second issue.
I printed them up, snuck into The Rat and The Club (the only clubs open at the time) in the early afternoon and left piles of the new BGN on the cigarette machines. I ducked out, went home and waited for the clubs to open.
People were still outraged at the gossip, which I must add was ALL TRUE! I continued to deny responsibility for the next two issues ... but soon enough I could deny it no longer. It was obvious I was the author.
And so I was established ... living high above Harvard Square in The Groupie Towers, I had a PO Box across the street and each issue caused a stir, to say the least. Reactions ranged from curiosity and laughter to angry threats. The mail was coming in from other ‘zine writers, avid readers and angry parents. You could go into a club and the band would be playing but everyone would be reading the BGN!
I would go out to the clubs (which now included Cantone’s) with my infamous Instamatic and take lots of photos of the bands; The Boize, The Mezz, The Mindless Fucks, Thundertrain, Willie Loco, Reddy Teddy, Third Rail. The BGN was getting a little bigger with each issue. I wanted to expand to include more interesting stuff, not just gossip. Lots of people wanted to get involved but I liked to work solo. Then, just after Labor Day 1976, I got the all-important package from Paul Lovell. In it was the No Good Groupie News, a hilarious parody of the BGN. I immediately used his stuff in my next issue then asked if he would join the ranks of the BGN Editorial Staff.
In early 1977, in a Special Edition, we printed our first interview. It was with Matthew MacKenzie of Reddy Teddy. A Feature Interview became the main part of each issue. Through the years we’ve interviewed Willie Loco, Unnatural Axe, The Nervous Eaters, The Damned, The Count Viglione, The Neats, The Neighborhoods, Thrills, James Isaacs, The F.U.’s and others. We began to add even more features such as "The Kids Are Alright" which highlighted a person on the scene and in the clubs who came to see the bands play. There was "A Day In The Life" a pictorial of the day in the life of a local band member. And there were features & cartoons written and drawn by members of local bands. Most notably were regular columns by Willie Alexander called "Deep Thot" and Kenne Highland called "
Ah, but all good things must come to an end. As time went on the scene got much bigger, I was out of town living with Lance Corporal Kenneth Highland in hell holes like Laurel, MD and
So that’s my story of the BGN. It was loads of fun and it was a lot of work. It was a most awesome experience.
-- Miss Lyn, October 21, 2002
-- Alan Lewis, October 22, 2002
The original issue was a one page one sided flyer no one has ever claimed credit for! Willie Loco urged Miss Lyn to continue it since everyone seemed to be interested in it and no other issue seemed to be coming out.
I was sending tapes to Oedipus on WTBS now WMBR. This show was called the Nuit Blanch and it was on Saturday morning. Later it moved to Saturday evening and was called the Demi Monde.
I was doing parodies of the local groups and the scene in general. So my attention focused on the Groupie News. I did a parody called the NO-Good Groupie News and sent it to Miss Lyn.
I was shocked to find the next issue to contain my jokes from
Miss Lyn soon contacted me and we met. She wanted help to make the magazine bigger and she liked my input. So, we became a team. We eventually got up to about 34 pages. We always wanted a color cover but we never really had the money for it. We did color in Oedipus hair for one issue by hand.
One issue we had a game called Clubland, which was very playable. It had trendy cards that allowed you to snub someone and move ahead of them and a backstage pass that allowed you to take an extra turn.
We knew nothing about putting out a magazine. Miss Lyn learned to cut and paste. I learned photography. We got help from people when we could, but you learn soon enough ... you have to do it yourself.
We would have a collating and stapling day and try to get people to help but it usually ended up just us two.
During the Damned interview in the Rat 'dressing room' they poked Miss Lyn's breasts and said, "Are these things real or did you blow them up for tonight." They spat into the tape microphone for two minutes. Captain Sensible stood on a chair next to me unzipped his pants and said, "I'm going to piss on you." I left then.
The Nervous Eaters did the interview with a table covered in lines of coke. They were polite, they did offer some to us.
The BGN really did serve a purpose. It gave the local groups something to shoot for. If you got in the BGN you had made it to some degree. Many groups have said that it was one of their highpoints to have and interview in the BGN.
During the early days 1976-78 especially there was no attention from the established music community for punk. We had to do it ourselves. The one thing Punk has done is it has established a network of clubs, record labels, radio stations and magazines to support new groups. I like to think that the BGN was a big part of that.
Now in 2002 we finally have a web presence. We will be posting some content and interviews of the old issues, plus we always have some new ideas.
In 1976 things were really hard to do and people looked down on punks and thought the music was horrible. And we were always getting beaten up by jocks and disco lovers. That sort of hardship brought us together as a small community.
Now, in 2002 that is long gone. Although the scene is bigger and better it is not as tight knitted. That's alright. I for one will take the trade. Plenty of good music out there and lots of new ways to play it and play with it.
We have added the above quotes to show that, by the summer and fall of 1976, Boston Groupie News was already seen as an important player in the emergence of Boston's punk-rock community. Both of these sources--the Bruce Dickinson article and Jim Harold's Live at the Rat notes--are important, in our view, and the opinions they offer matter.
-- Alan Lewis
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