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The Lockeroom #1

the debut issue of my high school zine

read The Lockeroom #1 as a PDF (right click to save)

I'd seen zines at punk shows around Rochester, NY when I was a teen in the late 90s. I thought they were pretty cool but I didn't really "get" them. Still, I dug the DIY tongue-in-cheek thing they had going on.

Also, to put things in perspective, the late 90s were the heyday of the niche magazine. Both independent and chain bookstores were overflowing with rack and racks of weird publications. My favorites were the skateboard mags with funny ads and cool photos, the alternative music mags with punchy reviews, and Ben Is Dead, a lo-fi magazine* that was a mix of retro nostalgia and modern indie culture.

At some point, my friends and I decided we wanted to make a zine. I don't know when or why or how or what. That's all lost to me now. In fact, pretty much everything about The Lockeroom seems like a phantom memory... something that may or may not have actually happened to me.

But apparently it really did happen because I found all four issues of The Lockeroom tucked away in my storage space. Published between 1997-2000**, it was edited by my friend Josiah Simmons. And the only reason I know that for sure is because his name's never listed with the contributors. Instead, he credits himself as "Me."

Other collaborators I remember working with on it include Matt Rosini, who did comics and other cool art*** for the zine, and Conrad Knapp, who did, uhhhhhhh, pretty much the same thing I did... which was cut up goofy stuff from magazines and tape them down to pages where we scribbled weird shit.

I had other friends working on it too according to the credits in the back of each issue. But I don't remember too much about working with them. Sorry, other friends!!!

However, I vaguely remember photocopying it, putting it together, and handing it out to our friends in high school. In fact, I loved the process of this fast and easy self-publishing so much that years later I'd create my own solo zine in college called NoPants.****

Anyway, there's a ton more to tell you about The Lockeroom but I'm not gonna do it all here. It'll all go down over next few days as I post the other three issues. See ya then!

*I guess Ben Is Dead was considered a zine and not a proper magazine?? I dunno for sure. It started as a DIY photocopied thing, but I didn't know about it until I saw it in a bookstore on the racks sitting next to Spin.

**Those dates are a guess on my part. The whole thing coulda gone down in 1999 for all I remember now.

***Like the cover***** to this issue, for example.

****I'll share my old issues of NoPants with you in the near future.

*****You might be looking at the cover to this issue and thinking "How could this be from the 90s... it says Hot Fuzz on the cover!!" Before Hot Fuzz was an Edgar Wright film, it was my high school garage band from 1997-1998. I'd link you to some of our music, but it was taken down when got sold in the early 00s. However, I'll be doing a retrospective of my high school music at some point soon and I'll share my Hot Fuzz music with you.