This was done entirely by Rob Gretton and me - I don't recall that Rabid was involved too much (although they may have helped out on the printing and maybe chipped in by buying an ad for the single?)
Rob and I had been mates since school and still spent a lot of time together. He was running Slaughter's fan club at the time and generally helping out on the PR side, as well as promoting shows at The Oaks in Chorlton. I used to do all his art. It was Rob that got me to do the original Slaughter logo (the alsatian) and that was used on badges and stickers.
He wanted to do a fanzine so he came to me with the copy and the photos and I put it all together. I was working in the studio at Great Universal Stores at the time ( I went freelance in July of 1977 so that was the last proper job I ever had) and I used the office typewriter, nicked a bit of Letraset and then handwrote all the rest. The art on the Stan The Man page was nicked from a Conan The Barbarian comic that was lying around the studio. I could pretend that I was an innovative genius who was foreshadowing the goth movement but the honest truth is that I needed some sort of graphic to fill a hole on the page and the Conan comic was the first thing I put my hand on. No clue as to why we thought it was a good idea for me to draw the doghouse but it must have seemed like a clever notion at the time ... ah, the follies of youth.
It was Rob’s idea to call it “Manchester Rains” which was a fact and a play on words … rains/reigns … geddit? He went on to call his first record label Rainy City Records.
Looking at the credits, other than the fact that I misspelled Cummins on the photo credit, it looks like we thanked:
Leslie: Rob’s partner
Ray: That would be Slaughter manager Ray Rossi (Mick Rossi’s brother)
Slim: Not sure who that is
Vini: That was Vini Faal, flyposterer and manager of The Nosebleeds
Uncle Tosh: That’s Tosh Ryan, owner of the flyposting business and the guy who launched Rabid Records
Adge ’n’ Birko: That was my brother Adge and Steve Birkhead, who both worked at GUS and must have helped with camera prints and paste-up, etc. (No computers in those days!)
When the Fanzine came out it was reviewed by a couple of music papers. Julie Burchill reviewed in in the NME and slagged it off, saying it was “too professional” and “slick” - which was funny because it was just my scribbled handwriting and a bit of text done on an old typewriter. Proper DIY punk!
Thanks for the info Steve... Re the credits. I assume the Slim mentioned here is Slim who has been a pretty consistent presence on the Mcr music and gig scene. Today he works at the Academys in Mcr Uni, overseeing crew. He can be seen in The Perfect Kiss video.
Fantastic article, brilliant memories... I had a copy of this and Slaughter and The Dogs were something special to a callow 15 year old youth watching in awe at Leeds Poly back in 77... Rob Gretton, top geezer too
Fantastic. I remember Rob showing me the fanzine in Rafters when the Dogs gig got moved there from The Oaks in June 1977. I had spoken to him a few times when he was DJ at The Oaks about the Cranked Up single before it came out. I also bought the single off Rob at The Oaks when it came out. My fanzine Ghast Up issue 2 came out around the same time with a review of Cranked Up so we ended up swapping copies as was protocol amongst fanzines writers.
COMMENT ADDED 13th July 2016
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