Signature Event is an Old School Zine Fest and Punk Concert with Jawbreaker November 11 at Catch One
Los Angeles, CA – October 31, 2018 – Darby Romeo and Kerin Morataya, the powerhouse punk women behind one of the ‘90s most beloved zines, Ben is Dead, are excited to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of their indie publishing juggernaut with a reunion weekend November 9-11 culminating in an old school zine fest and concert headlined by punk/emo legends Jawbreaker on November 11 from 3pm-12 midnight at the Catch One, 4067 W Pico Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90019. Tickets for this all ages event are $39 and available here. Proceeds from ticket sales will go towards expenses for the forthcoming publication of the Best of Ben Compendium book set for release in 2019.
The zine fest and concert brings together a variety of the West Coast’s punk rock luminaries including Jawbreaker, Skatenigs, Savage Republic, Midget Handjob, Popdefect, W.A.C.O, Hepa-Titus, JFA, 11:11 (ex-Fluorescein), Poppy Jean Crawford, Pu$$y-Cow, Superbean, Glen Meadmore and the Kuntry Band, John Trubee, Leyna M. Papach (ex-Geraldine Fibbers), and a rather notable surprise guest (to be announced here on November 5). Live music begins at 2:30pm.
Zines exhibiting from 2pm-6pm on include 8 Track Mind, Barracuda, Ben Is Dead, Caligula, Endless Party, Flipside, Genetic Disorder, Murder Can Be Fun as well as Koma Books and the Punk Museum. Old school zines that are interested in exhibiting should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
At 2:30 the man behind AMOK Books and noted film maker Stuart Sweezy (Desolation Center, Better Living Through Circuitry) will screen his upcoming Sean DeLear doc to celebrate this seminal underground star who graced the cover of Ben is Dead’s Glamour Issue and departed this earth last year.
Throughout the Sunday event, prolific documentarian of the ’90s LA scene and Ben is Dead’s signature photographer Wild Don Lewis will exhibit his photos on the Echoplex’ patio.
Weekend festivities kick off on Friday November 9 at 8:30pm at Café NELA, 1906 Cypress Ave., Cypress Park, Los Angeles, 90065 to celebrate Ben is Dead publisher/editor in chief Darby Romeo’s birthday. Bands set to perform include Kid Galahad and The Eternals doing a tribute to The Saints; Pu$$y-Cow pulling out all the stops for their extended residency during the Ben Reunion Weekend; SHAVE straight outta Signal Hill busting out retro rhythms and ripping it up; and one of Ben is Dead’s fave Lookout! Records bands Surrogate Brains coming to LA and playing just for Darby’s birthday. Tickets for this 21+ event are only $5 and are available at the door of this local spot that seems to channel Al’s Bar. Party favors and cake for all!
On Saturday November 10, the UCLA Punk Collective and Library Special Collections present: The Zine Explosion… Archived! A Ben is Dead 30th Anniversary Pre-party from 4 to 7pm at the UCLA Music Library, Schoenberg Music Building, 445 Charles E Young Drive East, #1102 Los Angeles, CA 90095. Before blogs, and barely at the onset of the Internet, the ’90s saw the “Zine Revolution,” with writers, artists and publishers recognized globally as the true purveyors of punk/alternative scenes and DIY culture. Keynote speaker Darby Romeo of Ben Is Dead, one of the largest and most popular zines of that era will bring attendees back in time to when the best computers had 40mb, the fax machine and telephone hotlines were social media, and the photocopy machine was the great liberator of a truly free press. She’s joined by other old-school zinesters including Johnny Marr from Murder Can Be Fun, Noel Tolentino from Bunnyhop, Larry Harmon of Genetic Disorder, Jeff Fox of Barracuda, writers from Flipside, Kevin Chanel of Gearhead, Chin Music, Punk Rock Confidential (and singer for the aforementioned Kid Galahad), and others telling hilarious “Zine War Stories” about what those times were really like. UCLA has one of the most comprehensive Zine Archives with many of the best on exhibit at the event. Tickets for this all ages event are FREE and includes free food and refreshments. Please RSVP here.
Ben Is Dead had upwards of a thousand people in the scene contributing over a decade of publishing – many of whom went on to become famous in their fields. Those nostalgic for the time, and appreciative of what zines did to pave the way for the future of blogs, alternative press, and a fresh influx of female writers and publishers, must come and check out these events; a flashback to the diverse no-hold-barred culture that made Ben Is Dead one of the most cherished zines of the ’90s. “We’re excited to regroup for this weekend festival of sorts… and you’re all invited!”