edited by Russ Forester
1990? – 2001, 2012-2013?
|There isn’t much I can add to what’s already been said about this late great zine…outside of the digital
audiophiles still decrying its existence and the format this sucker represented. Bonus points for writer/editor
Russ Forster for taking something so innocent like an audio format and turning it into a rub on those whiners
who deserve it. Actually, to him, it’s more of a cause, an ‘analog revolution’ he later put it. One didn’t have to
go beyond the back cover where ‘The 8 Noble Truths Of The 8-Track Mind’ was printed to get the idea:
‘Progress is too often promise, promises to get you to buy, buy’ and ‘”Naïve” is not a dirty word’ are such
examples that Forester and his usual gang of the ‘eternal loop’ lived by.
Being both a semi-music junkie and a recovering pack rat, I used to pour through the pages and witnessed
such detailed passion the participants had for this piece of plastic and the search through the forgotten ruins
of human civilization to find the history of this oddball relic that has been tied to the decade were it once
dominated, the 70’s. Yup, far beyond the limitations of nostalgia, there are stories to be told and history to be
discovered and this zine covered it well.
|The dedication behind this format was so large that Russ took a camera and a friend, one Dan Sutherland,
and tracked down many of these collectors, enthusiast and philosophers (yes, I said ’philosophers’) for his
1996 movie ‘So Wrong They’re Right’: a travelogue documentary through the 8-track nation. Seeing such
defying humanity and individuality in the face of the digital, and pretty much anything else in the land of
conformity, was encouraging and heartwarming. Whenever I get depressed, I popped this in the VCR (now
DVD, damn it) and I managed to be less moody.
I found out late that Russ had pulled the zine plug with #100 in 2001, but, luckily, I was just in time to order
the deluxe package that included a special video tape that contained follow-ups and outtakes from the
Wrong movie, updated 8 track scene and a small tribute to a prominate ‘tracker’. Russ later told me that I
might have ordered the last copy. However, the trail this title had left could never be ignored as, within the
last 4 years, he was dragged back in the eternal loop with issues 101 and 102, thanks largely to the vinyl
resurgence…with tapes not falling behind.