Monday, August 5, 2013

TIMR 20: before the web

There are a lot of things in my room from before the web. But this book reminds me of what fandom was about. 
From the Joy Division web site. Seems this came out in many editions - growing as it went. And worth about $80!

The web beyond its initial origins was partly built by fans. I remember the early days when it was FTP, text based, HyperCard stacks. Twin Peaks was almost the quintessential web show - the mystery, clues, plots were expounded on the web. The other big thing was JFK conspiracy sites. For music (or film or books) there were news groups of traded information, images& sometimes even sound. 

This 'book' came out in 1984ish (I got a real surprise when I read that - I didn't realise it was that long ago). It is a complete guide to Joy Division and New Order full of essential information:

  • A discography for JD then NO (including bootlegs), a concert list (essential for making sure you have all possible boots)
  • photos of the front and back of boots - 18 pages, 3 per page (how many would there be now!)
  • Lyrics - including singles, live albums (Still), peel sessions up to Power Corruption and Lies. 
  • Some FAC numbering info and details. 
  • The main 2/3rds though is clippings - music press, fanzines, reviews (albums and gigs) not all in English, collected over 4 years to give a history. 
I remember pouring over this, checking the lyrics, working out if my combination of bootlegs gave me all the JD recordings, cross referencing. 

I supplemented it with the more glossy history An ideal for living which had more concrete data on demos etc. 

The physical nature of it made it seem more special - something you had to buy and keep - not a website you could quickly find it all on - and I don't think you would read that informal history that the cuttings give on a website.

I must admit I got into Joy Division late - the Love will tear us apart single and the news of Ian Curtis' death - perhaps being in Australia meant that the buzz around them was muted. But I soon got into JD/NO, got a bootleg tape of the Warsaw releases, a bootleg disk which had some of the then unreleased sessions (but now have them all nice digitally thanks to the box set), and have followed New Order pretty closely, though fading a bit after techno - lots of the 12" singles, the Substance double cassette was terrific and have the Retro box set.

Notice, JD/NO didn't make it into the guilty pleasures list - 

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