Ripped, torn and cut

Pop, politics and punk fanzines from 1976

Edited by Subcultures Network

Ripped, torn and cut


  • eBook
  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-2059-5
  • Pages: 344
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £90.00
  • Published Date: July 2018
  • BIC Category: Sociology, Society & social sciences / General, Humanities / Social & cultural history, Rock & Pop Music, Society & social sciences / Popular culture, Popular culture, MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Punk, MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Rock, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture, SOCIAL SCIENCE / General


Ripped, torn and cut offers a collection of original essays exploring the motivations behind - and the politics within - the multitude of fanzines that emerged in the wake of British punk from 1976. Sniffin' Glue (1976-77), Mark Perry's iconic punk fanzine, was but the first of many, paving the way for hundreds of home-made magazines to be cut and pasted in bedrooms across the UK. From these, glimpses into provincial cultures, teenage style wars and formative political ideas may be gleaned. An alternative history, away from the often-condescending glare of London's media and music industry, can be formulated, drawn from such titles as Ripped & Torn, Brass Lip, City Fun, Vague, Kill Your Pet Puppy, Toxic Grafity, Hungry Beat and Hard as Nails. The first book of its kind, this collection reveals the contested nature of punk's cultural politics by turning the pages of a vibrant underground press.


'In Ripped, Torn and Cut, The Subcultures Network provides ample evidence that fanzines can and should be taken seriously. The book will be of significance to any historian working on British youth culture, but there is plenty to interest historians working on cultural theory, ageing, personal testimony, publishing and networks. It forms an important and welcome intervention into the history of British youth culture.'
Sarah Kenny, University of Birmingham, Sheffield, Contemporary British History, January 2019

'Distinctive and interesting.'
Matt Grimes, Birmingham City University, Riffs

'The definitive survey of a living underground, still transformative, and forever restless.'
Thurston Moore, Sonic Youth

'The Subcultures Network team have curated a lively, thoughtful and thorough collection which explores punk fanzines and their legacy from lots of different angles - full of genuine wonder and enthusiasm for these provocative, often preposterous artefacts.'
Lucy Whitman aka Lucy Toothpaste

'Punk rock was a cut and paste culture - a cultural bricolage of pop culture styles reshaped for the then modern age - nowhere was this better underlined than with the explosion of fanzine culture. This book captures that sprit perfectly when a generation empowered by the words are our weapons rallying call of DIY punk rock created their own media.'
John Robb


Introduction - Subcultures Network
Part I: Going underground: Process and place
1. Doing it ourselves: Countercultural and alternative radical publishing in the decade before punk - Jess Baines, Tony Credland & Mark Pawson
2. Zines and history: Zines as history - Lucy Robinson
3. Whose culture? Fanzines, politics and agency - Matthew Worley
4. Invisible women: The role of women in punk fanzine creation - Cazz Blase
Part II: Communiqués and celloptape: Constructing cultures
5. 'Pam Ponders Paul Morley's Cat': City Fun and the politics of post-punk - David Wilkinson
6. Goth 'zines: Writing from the dark underground, 1976-92 - Claire Nally
7. The evolution of an anarcho-punk narrative, 1978-84 - Russ Bestley & Rebecca Binns
8. 'Don't do as you're told, do as you think': The transgressive zine culture of industrial music in the 1970s and 1980s - Benjamin Bland
9. Are you scared to get punky? Indie pop, fanzines and punk rock - Pete Dale
Part III: Memos from the frontline: Locating the source
10. Vague post-punk memoirs, 1979-89 - Tom Vague
11. 'Mental liberation issue': Toxic Grafity's punk epiphany as subjectivity, (re)storying 'the truth of revolution' across the lifespan - Mike Diboll
12. From year zero to 1984: I was a pre-teen fanzine writer - Nicholas Bullen
13. Kick: Positive punk - Richard Cabut
14. 'This is aimed as much at us as at you': My life in fanzines - Clare Wadd
Part IV: Global communications: Continuities and distinctions
15. Punking the bibliography: RE/Search publications, the bookshelf question and ideational flow - S. Alexander Reed
16. Punks against censorship: Negotiating acceptable politics in the Dutch fanzine Raket - Kirsty Lohman
17. Contradictory self-definition and organisation: The punk scene in Munich, 1979-82 - Karl Siebengartner
18. 'Angry grrrl 'zines': Riot grrrl and body politics from the early 1990s- Laura Cofield


Professor Keith Gildart, University of Wolverhampton; Professor Anna Gough-Yates, University of Roehampton; Dr. Sian Lincoln, Liverpool John Moores University; Professor Bill Osgerby, London Metropolitan University; Professor Lucy Robinson, University of Sussex; Professor John Street, University of East Anglia; Dr. Pete Webb, University of the West of England; Professor Matthew Worley, University of Reading

Newsletter Sign Up

Manchester University Press

Your cart is empty.

Select your shipping destination to estimate postage costs

(Based on standard shipping costs)

Final cost calculated on checkout
Promotional codes can be added on Checkout