Friday, November 7, 2008

Horis Kanona #1

And now for something completely different - the first issue of the fanzine Χωρίς Κανόνα (Horis Kanona/Without A Rule - or, as its editors christened it, 'No Rule'). Χωρίς Κανόνα was a fanzine put out by a bunch of kids from Thessaloniki in the mid-'90s - fully in greek, let me add, so that you don't end up wasting bandwidth if you don't speak the laguage. Its editors existential fear expressly presented in this issue's editorial ('An issue to which we don't know whether a successor will ever be added') was allayed in subsequent years, as another three issues were added to this one making a total of four. (Allayed but not superficial: it took a year & a half for the second issue to appear...) The three subsequent issues will be posted here in the coming months, too, but not any time (too) soon as I want to present them with rips of the vinyl that accompanied them - which (vinyl) I neglected to carry with me, as I left my parents' place once again this July, & therefore I cannot rip before I'm back again. Hath patience.

So, this is the first issue of Χωρίς Κανόνα, put out by a bunch of music lovers from Thessaloniki. In recent years, the fanzine seems to have acquired something of a cult status among greek 'zine lovers, something that I neither knew nor had foreseen when I laid down my 200drc to get this copy from Rollin' Under (where else, really?). Somewhat uncharacteristically, I vividly recall turning the fanzine around & seeings a pic of The Sound adorning the back cover - that (& the price, which was lower than that of even a 7") must have been the deciding factors in me getting it: you see, I had been The Sound-brainwashed for a couple of my teenage years in my small, rural, & backwards native place, as the only bar we would visit at the time was playing the same DJ mix every single weekend (I still can't figure out why they hadn't paid the DJ a lump sum to make a tape of his mix & clear off). The mix would invariably include The Sound's 'I Can't Escape Myself,' among 'Stairway To Heaven' &, for a few precious months, Make Believe's 'Leave Me Alone' - all these would be presented in a manner as linear as the series of kamikaze's my friends & I were using to experiment with alcohol, to be replaced by failed attempts to play Motörhead on the jukebox of another cafe where we would crawl to deliver the final kick (our group selects the numbers to be played; drinks are ordered; Motörhead come on for a few seconds, only to be replaced by the next track; person from our group with an alcohol-generated bravado speaks to the owner; the owner ends up returning 100drc instead of yielding to Motörhead; mixed feelings of triumph & of a need to leave this place once & for all). I never liked 'I Can't Escape Myself' all that much, but my pedantry led me to buy 'Jeopardy' (from Kaleidoscope - anyone remembers that record store? Yes, the one with a xerox copy of The Last Drive's 'Midnite Hop' on the wall, & I don't mean the Blind Bastard reissue). & was I surprised - the angst in that record!... Anyhow, I'm rambling on, I know. So, yes, I bought the fanzine with the The Sound xeroxed picture on the back & read it cover-to-cover. It's hardly worth the trouble relating to anyone what it meant to be able to read somewhere about what had happened in Liverpool in 1979 or, finally, about what the Mods were - hardly worth the trouble today, that is, where internet in general & Wikipedia in particular can satisfy anyone's curiosity in seconds. But it did mean a hell of a lot to me back then, namely that here was finally something on print, instead of wild (& wildly inaccurate) stories from self-professed know-it-alls.

I've nothing more to add; more anecdotes - of marginal or no interest at all, surely - will be added in subsequent Χωρίς Κανόνα posts, when I finally get around to writing them. For the time being, enjoy this - I certainly did, since, for a bunch of furious years, I thought I had lost all four issues. (I only found them this summer, under my childhood's bed, among piles of compositions from the first grade - 'Χθες ήταν κυριακή. Πήγαμε στο χωριό και παίξαμε με τα ξαδέρφια μας. Γυρίσαμε κουρασμένοι αλλά και ευχαριστημένοι.' Which is why aimof's post hit me all the harder...) I also plan to send the link to the awesome Punks Is Hippies blog, which features a variety of zines &, incidentally, some of my favorite people in the blog-world. This post goes out, with a vibrant shout & a loud cry. to Yorgos of Σκύλα 'zine (who hooked me up with some great contemporary 'zines & rare vinyl & back into the art of paper correspondence) & to Slobo, Billy, & His Holliness The Pope Himself from Punks Is Hippies.

Issue #1