Friday, 19 February 2010

The End Fanzine - Terrace retro

A Tribute to The End (Terrace Retro- )

There have been many publications over the years that came from and were re-directed back at youth culture. In the 60's "Merseybeat" magazine was aimed at the local Mockers. In the 70's, the advent of punk saw fanzines like "Sniffin Glue" and "Ripped And Torn". For the footy crowd there was "Foul".

In 1981 a fanzine was born that was to herald in the coming of the now universal footy fanzine. Unlike 99.9% of today's fanzines, The End was aimed at the more everyday life issues that many fans took seriously. There was footy, but the mag took just as much interest in things like what gear you were wearing or what sounds you listened to. It was underground and it was happening. Peter Hooton is probably best known to Joe public for being the greatest dancer this side of the Yukon, and possibly for being the frontman of The Farm. Hooton was actually known a little while before, in credible terrace circles, as co-editor of The End. Phil Jones was the other man up-front. For quite some time many had believed Jones to be musically inclined himself, luckily for him he definitely wasn't the Phil Jones of Afraid Of Mice (popular Mersey-sound band) and Up And Running fame. The rest of the staff, which grew and shrunk in various issues, included Mick Potter, Paul Need, Tony McClelland and Kevin Sampson. The unforgettable cartoons were provided by John Potter. Names like Joey Loury and Tony Gillon occasionally graced the credits. There were to be the regular features of Joe Wagg and Dossa, In's and Out's column, poetry and the un-missable letters page. The letters page provided many an entertaining read, often sent in by various crews regarding what they were upto and wearing.

Some of the articles are now cult status, Billy Bull, Dont let ons, Jekyll and Hyde mates and Squaddies were just a few of the many. The End T-shirts were the thing to have. John Peel was wearing his on Top Of The Pops. Peel, or Peelie to his new found End mates, was one of the main culprits for giving the fanzine a national plug. NME and Sounds were included in this too.

The fanzine ran from 81 to 88, just a short period before Pete Hooton would have been too busy to do it anyway. Even now, its legendrary status has prompted many to enquire as to the availability of back issues. A re-issuing of the fanzine, all 20 issues, was planned in the early 90's, but , was sadly never produced. A recent TV production, "The World Of The End" by Domestic Films, was aired on Granada TV a little while ago and gave an insight into the mag and the current whereabouts of its producers. The End has left its mark on youth culture and the memory of the wag period on Merseyside. So now enjoy some of the cover pictures, articles, in and outs, poems and letters from one of the best fanzines to ever hit the street. Sadly, there are no early Ends featured. That all too familiar "Lend's your End" still echoes in the mind. Being a mingebag was one thing, but not bothering to hand it back, well.

As featured on Terrace Retro


THE TERRACE THING (Kevin Sampson from Terrace Retro

Remember the 1970s? The sad glam rock era, Raliegh "Chopper" bikes, skateboards or the boys pen? For the youth of Liverpool it saw their respective clubs entering Europe and a desire to throw off the fashions set by petite bourgeois image makers, such as Mr. McLaren and Ms. Westwood, very much part of the St Martins art set. LFC's 1977 European Cup victory saw a change in look for its younger army of fans. The punk thing had burnt out and the bands had fully established themselves. Bowie was still much part of the scene and the atmosphere of such albums as "Low" and "Heroes" distanced him from mainstream pop. Liverpool youth were sporting mohair and jelly bean sandals, very much a "neo-beatnick" look. Bands such as The Clash had outlived the media death sentence of punk. Attitude was important and the look of the later terrace trends was evolving. Merseyside's stint in Europe, EFC were in the UEFA Cup at the time, gave new ideas for the development of this new look. As the seventies came to a close, the door of sartorial elitism was opening for the youth of Liverpool.

Contrary to popular belief, "wedge" haircuts were not attributed to Spandau Ballet. Indeed, wedges were very much part of Scouse hairstyle vocab long before the Spands graced the cover of Smash Hits or made their debut on TOTP. It would be David Bowie who holds that particular honour. As to whether Bowie 'obtained' the look from US Olympic figure skating champion Dorothy Hamill? The jury is still out.

The name "Scally" was a popular term in Liverpool for the no-good, going no-where, individual that you kept your daughter away from. It came from the word "Scallywag", a term that was first used in the US after the civil war. Very few people will probably admit to being a "scally" and often refer to the period as "having wore the gear". No Scouser would describe having spent their former youth as a casual or a perry, so you can see why scally is often the preferable term. Other than grafitti at Lime street station and in the toilet cubicles at Liverpool magistrates courts, the first time that I actually heard it used to describe the collective term for the style hungry youth on the terraces was by a mod revivalist, who had also referred to the look as "Square". The latter term being used in 1950s America for people who were not "with it".

How wrong could he have been? Very!

From 79 until 81 Liverpool youth had created and ended a dynamic youth subculture that has shaped the look for the nations youth ever since. Even on their demise as trend setters, the memorable "Scruff-look" came into being and was set as the way to look if you mattered in Liverpool. Don't be fooled by the title, it was a unique look that still smacked of sharp elegance. London and Manchester were not lacking in producing the goods and the more friendly titles of "Casuals" and "Perries" were their respective versions of terrace movement. "Perries", incidently, was the term used by some further south to describe the northern youth movement, "Soul boys" was another. A friend of mine working in Birmingham, at the time, was quite pissed off after being called a "Perry". The term was said to come from wearing Fred Perry, which did make an appearance at the time especially down south?

Many individuals from the era are still respected for the role that they played then, and for the role that they have played since, in popular culture. Kevin Sampson is now an accomplished author and played a part in the team behind The Farm. Back then, he was a contributor to "The End" and had pieces published in the likes of "The Face" informing the nations sociologists and media big shots that there was more to youth than Culture Club or Duran Duran. This was done before the tabloids even began to think of centre page exclusives on so-called "terrace chic".

"The End" was a Scouse idea that was coedited by Peter Hooton, in his pre-Farm days and after, and Phil Jones. The fanzines regular characters of Joe Wag and Dossa was something to be identified with by many of its local readership. There were articles on terrace fashion and music, not forgetting opinions held on the social and political moods at the time. It was the terrace bible that led to the birth of the footy fanzine, many of which now concentrate solely on the game and resemble a football version of train spotting publications. The End did not reach the masses until 1981, and was ironic to say the least, this being at the time that Liverpool was to take a back seat in the what to wear stakes. Even so, the look that had kicked it all off was to influence street cred Scousers to date. The End brought the Merseyside scene to the nation after a feature in the music press in April 1982, plus the many plugs provided by John Peel on his Radio 1 slot, the fanzine was soon to outgrow its domestic readership. It was to become popular within the new Scouse "wag" era, and to terrace heads up and down the country, not forgetting individuals in foreign institutions. Rumour had it that a publishing house was at one time planning to re-issue all The End volumes in one book, but, sadly it did not materialize. Mr Hooton went on to front a new band "Hunkpapa", with reference to native American history, and I caught them a few years back and was very impressed. In 2004 the Farm reformed and it found the old classic 'All Together Now' re-released as part of the official England squad efforts for Euro 2004. Elsewhere, Terry Farley was often sending The End his thoughts on the Cockney standing in the measure of things, before engaging on "Boys Own" and "Heavenly" Records. Who can forget the "first at it" debate? Liverpool muso journalist Pete Naylor was the man with his finger on the bands and tunes that mattered. Pete Naylor is behind the current production team "Domestic Films" that recently brought us "Tales from the riverbank", shown in the Granada tv region. Domestic films is a venture he has formed with former Farm bass player Carl Hunter. "What's the score" is the only fanzine to come close to The End. It was from liverpool and edited by Peter Furmedge, like his father, a lifelong LFC fanatic. It was well timed, arriving on the wave of opportunity brought in by The Farm, and gave the terraces that certain feel that had long been missing since The End's demise. "Boys Own" was probably one of the few better spinoffs from The End, these also including "The Viz" and the countless so-called "New Lad" magazines. There was to be the likes of "When Saturday comes", being very funny, but sadly, concentrating solely on the game.

Even though the main "Scally" era was the late 70s to early 80s the look was still very much evident throughout the eighties and nineties, in particular 1990 when the indie/dance crossover thing exploded. This period introduced the so-called "old school" concept, "the vintage trainie meets the not so tight around the ankle as they used to be jean thing". With jeans that didn't threaten your fertility, as much, its impact was unforgettable.

If you want to read something to set the scene for the terrace trends in Merseyside in 1979, then read Kevin Sampson's excellent "AWAYDAYS". This story centres on a 19 year old Tranmere fan, "Carty". There's loads of references to the gear worn, running and being ran, the bands listened to, and the places to be at the time. You can buy it online from Amazon, I have seen it here for £4.79.

Also, A Film Production of AWAYDAYS is currently underway and feedback is very exciting. Watch this space

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