Sniffin’ Glue: One Year Publishing, 39 Years of Iconic Status

Are we really celebrating the 40th anniversary of a magazine that lasted just one single year?

Yes, yes we are, because it was still influential. Sniffin’ Glue and Other Rock ‘n’ Roll Habits…, to give it its full name, made its debut in the world on this week 40 years ago. Initially the punk music fanzine only sold about 50 copies each month, but as more got to know about it, the numbers would grow to about 15,000.

As a fanzine, Sniffin’ Glue was much different to your average published content: sticking to true punk form, there was no PC-style of articles. Far from clear cut – a scruffy look, basic and certainly not one for the kids, it gained its following perfectly.

“Sniffin’ Glue was not so much badly written as barely written; grammar was non-existent, layout was haphazard, headlines were usually written in felt tip, swearwords were often used in lieu of a reasoned argument… all of which gave Sniffin’ Glue its urgency and relevance.”

The fanzine quickly became one of the best ways to follow what was going on in the punk world, as mainstream media failed to pay attention to the scene. Yet, it would be these reasons exactly that Sniffin’ Glue’s existence would be short-lived.

Fearing that absorption in to the mainstream media was happening with the fanzine, editor and creator Mark Perry ceased publication in 1977, just one year after starting. He encouraged his readers to follow him with their own fanzines, in order to keep the nature of punk as they’d intended – away from the mainstream media.

It would be another 23 years before another sighting of the magazine would happen again. In 2000, Perry decided to release Sniffin’ Glue: The Essential Punk Accessory. This was a compilation of all the 12 original issues, along with new material written by Perry himself.

The fanzine may not have lasted long, but the legacy has continued to this day. Some of the covers can even be found as designs on our t-shirts in store: you can find them here.

Ashley Redman
If you actually like is rag you must be one of the idiots we write it for.

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