At last...here it is, then. Two-plus years in the making, 95 pages, our first theme issue, chronicling the rise and fall of Safari Sam's, the long-gone, yet warmly remembered, epicenter of punk rock, deep in the heart of Republican Central (Orange County, CA)! But that's not the full story.
While Safari Sam's established itself as a hotbed of great rock 'n' roll, it's also a story of a strongly conservative social culture, constant harassment from city bureaucrats and cops, and, ultimately, a force that proved too strong to overcome...gentrification. It's a story that was relevant then, and still plays out today, all around the nation. Now, you can read it for yourself, and draw your own conclusions.
Copies are available, through this website, for $10 postpaid. Just visit the Contact page to set up the transaction, we'll give you the relevant link to pay, and out it goes, simple as that! No muss, no fuss, no nonsense.
Can't wait for a paper copy in the mail? You can also get issue #2 electronically, as a PDF. Just specify print or e-edition when you order, we'll take it from there, and thanks again for your support! (Sample pages are available with this entry, so you can see what it looks like.)
"Ralph Heibutzki, a.k.a. Chairman Ralph, pays homage to the classic DIY fanzine format of olden tymes here with a haphazard scissors-and-glue-stick collaged layout, complete with paste-up lines, blurry photocopied photos and newspaper clippings, hand-drawn illustrations, and the pages all held together with a single staple in the top left corner.
"The throwback format is appropriate as the issue tells the story of Safari Sam's, a Huntington Beach venue that was one of the hot spots for the underground music scene in California's Orange County in the 1980s. The 'zine charts the rise and fall in a scrappy oral history format..." (Mike Stax, UGLY THINGS 55, Winter 2020)
"Roll the credits in your mind for this story, which has played out since the dawn of DIY (in general), and punk rock (in particular): Anykid in Anytown USA doesn't like what's happening there. Maybe they don't hear their type of music, hope to carve out room for something else...or simply want something else besides the standard issue profit-mongering water hole.
"Whatever the reason, Anykid gets Anyclub up and running. Anyclub survives the initial growing pains (hit or miss bookings, spotty audiences, official and unofficial sabotage). For awhile, everyone has a more interesting place to go. Then, sadly but surely, the obstacles start piling up -- too many to overcome in short order.
"The doors slam shut, and the lights go out, leaving Anyclub to live on, in people's memories, and a big black hole in the local scene once more. Roll the credits: wash, rinse, repeat."
For two years (1984-86), Gil Fuhrer and his partner, Sam Lanni, lived and breathed that story as co-owners of Safari Sam's (Huntington Beach, CA), deep in the dark Republican heart of Orange County, no less, yet remains fondly remembered for hosting the respective local and US debuts of Jane's Addiction, and Jesus & Mary Chain, as well as becoming a reliable stop for the likes of fireHOSE, the Minutemen, Social Distortion, and Sonic Youth...plus a slew of local acts that sprang up in their wake, like El Grupo Sexo and Exobiota, The Final Tourguides and The Fad, The Satellites and Satan's Cheerleaders. Along the way, the club branched out into offering non-musical fare, including an experimental opera, plays, and a weekly spoken mic that rapidly became one of its most distinctive -- and eagerly anticipated -- offerings.
Now, you can read the club's story for the first time, in "Anyhow, Anyclub, Anywhere: The Rise & Fall Of Safari Sam's," an oral history -- featuring extended interviews with Gil, and three of the key players in the scene that sprang up around Sam's (Jeff Beals, Holly Day, Dee Madden).