Sunday 25 November 2012

The New Psychedelics Pt. 4 - Freakbeat Fanzine

Today, fanzines are something of a 'dying breed'. In pre-internet days however, every hip scene had one (at least one). Some time ago, I found in second-hand music shop a few issues of the fanzine called Freakbeat. It was a fanzine of London 60's Garage/Psych revival scene from late 80's/early 90's. The issues I got - number 4,5, 6,7 and 8 are from years 1988-1993. As it often happens with fanzines, Freakbeat was not published in any regular intervals of time. The editor-in-chief was a man called Lophophora Williamsii (not a real name, I assume). Most of the articles were written under pseudonyms.  In the layout there was a generous use of Op-Art and psychedelic patterns, which is great, but it can also be annoying , as it makes reading quite difficult.
Although Freakbeat was writing primarly about original 1960's Freakbeat (Mod meets LSD, for those who don't know) bands, the fanzine was devoting a lot of space to contemporary 60's Garage/Psych revival bands such as The Bevis Frond, The Chemistry Set, The Magic Mushroom Band, Plasticland and Oziric Tentacles.


 Cover of Issue 4

 Above and below: Feature about The Dukes of Stratosphear (click on the photo to enlarge)

Not many people know, that The Dukes of Stratosphear was actually a semi-secret side project of post-punk/new wave hitmakers XTC. Their 1985 EP, 25 O' Clock was 60's garage revival's finest hour. It is hard to believe that the brilliant title song was not recorded in 1960's, it sounds so authentic!


Feature about The Smoke - British pop-psych band famous for their 1967 hit 'My Friend Jack' (click on the photo to enlarge)

 Review of the parts 9 and 10 of Pepples Compilations (click on the photo to enlarge).

Cover of Issue 6

Article about John 'Twink' Adler - one-time member of Tomorrow, The Pretty Things and Pink Fairies.

 Article about The Chemistry Set (click on the photo to enlarge).

 Ad for Pepples Compilations

 Cover of Issue 7

 Issue 7, page 1 (click on the photo to enlarge).
 The new dawn of ???

 Back cover of issue 7.

 Ad for poster-printing company.

 Interview with Krautrock legends Amon Duul II (click on the photo to enlarge).

 Feature about Greek Psych revivalists Purple Overdose (click on the photo to enlarge).

Article about early incarnation of The Flaming Lips - who will become an indie senseation of late 90's/early 2000's (click on the photo to enlarge).


Wilthomer said...

"Freakbeat" was a great mag (esp. with your 3-D glasses on!)! One of the guys behind it, Ivor Trueman, also did a Syd Barrett zine called "Opel". I didn't save many zines from the 80's but my copies of "Freakbeat" have bounced from domicile to domicle for the past 25+ years!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. Lophophora Williamsii . Keep drinking the tea.

Hugh Dellar said...

Hi there -
My name's Hugh Dellar and, along with Ivor Trueman, I was the co-founder of FREAKBEAT magazine. I was even responsible for the crappy mushroom picture on the cover of the very first issue.

Ivor was a few years older than me and was living in a bedsit in Hounslow at the time. This was maybe 1986 or '87, and I was only about 17 years old. I knew Ivor through his Syd-zine OPEL, as I was a teenage Syd obsessive. I was living with my old man on the south coast and playing in a garage band, THEE WYLDE THINGS, which become THE BEATPACK later on. We used to come up to London to lay the regular psych / garage haunts like Alice in Wonderland's and The Deptford Crypt and the like.

Freakbeat really just began as a labour of love, wanting to write about stuff we loved, that was all starting to get reissued, and try to spread the word to a wider audience. I left after maybe 3 or 4 issues, and Ivor carried on with added Richard Allen, who went on to set up The Freak Emporium online sales site.

The cover of issue 7 was done by Rushden genius Dan Abbott, who now works for the late great Storm Thorgensen's company.

We're all still around, all still into our music and really delighted to see folk digging this stuff up.

Big love,

Peter said...

Hi Hugh! Thanks for all the information.

Freakbeat was a great magazine, I am really glad that i found those few issues, they sure make a fascinating reading.

Unknown said...

Freakbeat was the inspiration for me starting Optical Sounds fanzine...Freakbeat looked amazing and was worth it just for the eye popping artwork. Something im gonna try and do for future issues!

Richard Allen said...

Wow weird seeing this again....Thanks for posting. I had a spare set of these which I gave to the British Library so they are now 'preserved for the Nation'..ha ha! Hi Hugh...yes we are all still alive and kicking watching the new stuff bubble up from below


Richard Allen (one of the people responsible)

Richard Allen said...

Unknown . I have just seen Optical Sound...looks great! Honoured to have been an influence.... Ivor Trueman was the brains behind the layout of Freakbeat.. Richard

Anonymous said...

The yellow page above featured a review of the Purple People Eaters (PPE) by Ivor. He used to come to some our shows at the Garage. We also played at Alices and The Crypt of which there are two short clips from 1985 and also 1988.

PPE cover version of Arthur Browns "Nightmare" contanis footage of Alices and the crypt and dates of gigs playing with a number of garage and psyche bands such as The Cardiacs, Spaceman 3, Gay Bikers On Acid, Freaks of Science, Omnia Opera, Ozrik Tentacles, Magic Mushroom Band, Haze, Voodoo Child, Junior Manson Slags, Birdhouse, The Weeds, The Wild Things, The Morticians, The Surround, Moloko plus etc.-

Our cover of The Trip recorded at The Crypt 1985:

I still produce music with live performances with huge projector backdrops kind of meditative ambient electronica combined with synths, drones and psychedelic sax. Johnty