My Next Read: “Zip It Up! The Best of Trouser Press Magazine 1974-1984”

Trouser Press magazine began as a mimeographed fanzine in March 1974 and grew to a 60,000-circulation glossy rock music monthly. Started by two high school Who-freak friends and a Jeff Beck fanatic they’d recently met, Trouser Press published 96 issues over the following decade, covering everything from British Invasion bands, ’70s arena rock and prog to punk, new wave, synth-pop, post-punk and reggae.

Zip It Up! The Best of Trouser Press Magazine 1974-1984 is an annotated anthology of the music writing that appeared in the magazine.

Annotated with recollections and reflections on the changing times, the ridiculous business of independent magazine publishing and the colorful, complicated artists — illustrated with cartoons, covers, documents and ads from the Trouser Press archive — Zip It Up! is vintage rock journalism of a form that is no longer widely practiced: features heavy on historical detail and lengthy, probing interviews, all written with wit, intelligence and a willful expression of opinions and values. It is also an extensive document of rock’s evolution from the 1970s to the mid-’80s, often capturing now-iconic bands in the early stages of their existence. By turns reverent, snarky, adulatory and cynical, Zip It Up! is a rich grazing ground for fans and students of music and music journalism.

The book is divided into sections covering the Sixties, Classic Rock, Glam Rock, Art and Prog Rock, the Roots of Punk, US / UK Punk and New Wave, Reggae, Post-Punk and more.

Features on and interviews with Jimmy Page, the Clash, the Go-Go’s, Pete Townshend, Robert Fripp, Eddy Grant, the Sex Pistols, Frank Zappa, Cheap Trick, Kate Bush, Peter Tosh, the Ramones, Blondie, Todd Rundgren, Kiss, the New York Dolls, Laurie Anderson, the Kinks, Ritchie Blackmore, Lou Reed, Bryan Ferry, Brian Eno, T. Rex, U2, Television, Graham Parker, the Small Faces, Syd Barrett, R.E.M., Devo, Black Flag and much more.