We are thrilled to include our very own Joe England to talk about his role is the D.I.Y. fanzine scene as part of our day and night of free entertainment on June 10th. Joe will be reading and talking about his life in fanzines as part of our new literature section at The Bear on Park Street between 12:30 and 1pm.
Here’s what Joe has to say:
I was brought up in Chelmsford, Essex, but have lived in Camberley for most of my life. In March 2013, I launched a literary fanzine called PUSH. It ran for 23 issues until October 2016. It featured previously unpublished working class writers and poets.
PUSH was firmly rooted in the street selling culture of football fanzines. And I sold it at football as I knew the scene well; West Ham had a glorious wealth of fanzines in the late 80s. Not all good, but even the bad ones had their moments. And so I sold my literary fanzine at football, even though not a football mag. And got lucky. I previously wrote for a few West Ham fanzines and once had a column in one for over three seasons, so I must have had something about me. And the fanzine’s immediate rise was definitely helped with some early promo support from Julian Dicks.
And then I added interviews as each issue evolved. I ended up interviewing many artists who I admired; Jah Wobble (Public Image Limited), John King (The Football Factory), Linton Kwesi Johnson (Forces of Victory), Youth (Killing Joke), Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting), Matt Johnson (The The), Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) etc.The whole ethos of the mag was a punk DIY.
I then went on to put out my own West Ham fanzine during the last season at Upton Park, called 5MANAGERS. That mag and two anthologies of PUSH have now been published in book form by East London Press.
Anything is possible if you go out there and give it a go. The trick is not over thinking about what you are doing. I have appeared many times in features in various press, on the BBC Arts Show (twice) and all from a fanzine created in a back room on an old school computer. My latest fanzine, C-O-N, has just hit the streets. Another journey begins.