Cosmic New Wave Journalism — SLAM a.k.a. Salt Lake Area Music

The Salt Lake Area Music magazine, or SLAM, was an independent black and white publication that featured writing by Cosmic Aeroplane staff members about local, national, and international music — Primarily New Wave, Punk, and Reggae, but Dance Music and Rock made their way into SLAM’s pages from the very beginning.

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(L to R) Covers of SLAM #1; SLAM #2; and SLAM #3

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SLAM Number One (Early Summer 1984)

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Interior advertisement: The Cosmic Aeroplane stayed in business throughout the decade.

On the cover: Local Punk musicians from Cuddy Hinton’ s Revenge, Potato Heads, Avon Calling, Bad Yodelers, and Massacre Guys.

SLAM Magazine Number One PDF

Inside: Cuddy Hinton’ s Revenge, Potato Heads, Avon Calling, Bad Yodelers, and Massacre Guys at the Indian Center; Internationally famous Punk Rock icons Black Flag in concert with Meat Puppets, Nig-Heist, and Massacre Guys; The great American songwriter John Prine at Kingsbury Hall; “Old Waves,” with a concert review of Billy Joel; San Francisco’s Wire Train (which featured well-coiffed handsome singers playing Fender guitars through LOUD Marshall amps); Subhumans from the UK, in concert with Avon Calling, and Maimed for Life; Remnants of Double Oh Four and other local bands playing together as Tribal Etiquette; The late Cosmic staffer and superb drummer Julie Leuders of My Sister Jane when she was with Liz Draper’s LZ Five; Reviews of the historically-significant movie This Is Spinal Tap, plus David Bowie’s now-classic Serious Moonlight video. A media review by KRCL’s Dave Satavasi, and a review of TSOL’s album Change Today by Cosmic staffer Jon Bray; “Local Bits” about musicians like the Deseret String Band, Lou Rovner’s Small Pig Band, Cindy Farr, Michael Hedges & Michael Manring.

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SLAM Number Two (July 15, 1984)

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Interior advertisement: Raunch Records was founded by former Cosmic staffer Brad Collins. It has changed locations over the years, but continues to sell music on vinyl, and even turntables, in the Sugarhouse area during 2016.

On the cover: Hard driving local bandleader Connie Brannock.

SLAM Magazine Number Two PDF

Inside: Interview with Brannock; “Old Waves” — Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart in their last live concert together; Reggae greats Steel Pulse (touring with synth-master Tyrone Downie of Bob Marley’s Wailers according to Cosmic staffer Barb Guy) and an interview with percussionist Alphonso Martin by KRCL’s Dave Santavasi; Terri Nunn and Berlin from the USA, in concert with Talk Talk from the UK — It’s My Life was a major radio hit for Talk Talk and also for Gwen Stefani/No Doubt a generation afterward. The Violent Femmes on one of their first national tours — still making records and performing over 30 years later; Yet-to-be-famous REM on tour with Dream Syndicate at a tiny venue inside the Utah State Fairgrounds; Hitmakers Modern English from the UK; San Francisco’s Sluglords; Scrapbook City with local bands Avon Calling, Fang, Massacre Guys, Bad Yodelers, Tales of Terror, Freeze, Buddy Hinton’s Revenge, and Blind Parade; Classy New Wave band the Nerve from Salt Lake; A whole page devoted to Bluegrass and Folk Music; Reviews of records, videos, and media; Articles about the advent of two influential Alternative businesses — Grunts & Postures and still-active Raunch Records.

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SLAM Number Three (Fall 1984)

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Interior advertisement: New Wave enjoyed its greatest US success in the early Eighties. Cosmic staffer Barb Guy played Reggae on KCGL.

On the cover: Rock Against Reagan, plus Minnesota-based group The Suburbs.

SLAM Magazine Number Three PDF

Inside: Double-page spread about Rock Against Reagan — outdoors at Symphony Hall, across the corner from Temple Square. (The Master of Ceremonies was Progressive DJ Michael G. Kavanagh); The Suburbs, enjoying some initial success on TV and on tour; Romeo Void from L.A. — Champagne of American New Wave; An interview with KCGL DJ Biff Raffe; Jazz great Pat Metheny; “Scrapbook City,” local bands and a hand-drawn appreciation by Cosmic staffer Jon Bray; The Fleshtones from New York; England was well-represented by six acts — Future Hall of Fame band Eurythmics; New Wave giants Echo and the Bunnymen, along with highly-respected Billy Bragg; Passionate synth-master and singer Howard Jones; The Psychedelic Furs, famous for Pretty In Pink among other hits; Plus the Thompson Twins, who shared the stage with Californians Terri Nunn and Berlin; Alternative venue The Painted Word, with KRCL’s Perry Shepard; Reviews of records, media, and videos.

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(L to R) Covers of SLAM #4; SLAM #5; and SLAM #6.

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SLAM Number Four (Holiday Edition 1984-1985)

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Interior advertisement: Former Cosmic staffer Smokey Koelsch started his own successful shop at 15th East and 15th South in 1981.

On the cover: Local Punk stalwarts Massacre Guys, and David Wakeling of General Public/English Beat.

SLAM Magazine Number Four PDF

Inside: Massacre Guys; Richard Wakeling and Roger Charlery (Ranking Roger) of the English Beat/General Public; Doug Edwards of Double Oh Four returns to Salt Lake with Temple of Rhythm; Hard-slogging road band the Cure before they “made it big”; Australia’s successful Hoodoo Gurus. L.A. Punk band T.S.O.L. (True Sounds of Liberty and/or The Statute of Limitations); Scott “Cowpunk” Goddard of the Surf Punks/Whirlybirds; A review of Bruce Springsteen, live in Denver by KRCL’s Dave Santavasi; Local Punk bands Dr. Know, Maimed for Life, Bad Yodelers, and Avon Calling performing in Raunch Records’ basement, plus another Raunch production featuring Channel 3 and Avon Calling; LA’s Agent Orange, San Francisco’s Angst, and Salt Lake’s Shot In The Dark; KRCL DJ Myron Fairbanks of Smile Jamaica; Columns about records, videos, and media.

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SLAM Number Five (Spring 1985)

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Interior advertisement: Many Cosmic Staffers were volunteers or did music shows at community radio KRCL 90.9 FM, which still broadcasts throughout the Wasatch Front in 2016.

On the cover: Nationally-known jam band personality Jerry Joseph and his 80’s Reggae/Fusion outfit Little Women.

SLAM Magazine Number Five PDF

Inside: Little Women; Doc Floor of KRCL and Zion Tribe (a homegrown Reggae band); The Tubes from San Francisco; The Violent Femmes (still touring and recording in 2016); Salt Lake rockers Spanky and the Wankers; The Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense movie review; An Ideal for Living by Mark Johnson, a book review about Manchester’s important Post-Punk group Joy Division, which evolved into the popular New Order. More reviews of records, videos, a restaurant, and a media column by KRCL’s Dave Santavasi.

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SLAM Number Six (Summer 1985)

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Interior advertisement: Cabin Fever continues to sell unconventional merchandise in Trolley Square like they did on 4th South in 1985. Classy stationary shop Tabula Rasa, located nearby in the mall, is run by the same partnership. Cabin Fever bought an ad in every issue of SLAM.

On the cover: Salt Lake’s musical madcaps the Bad Yodelers.

SLAM Magazine Number Six PDF

Inside: Bad Yodelers; LA’s legendary Blasters and an article about Los Angeles itself; National touring band the Bongos (on the road with Steve Scales of the Talking Heads); Salt Lake’s Disgusting Brothers (with broadcast journalist Dick Allgire); KRCL’s Ron Ward; Reggae legend Don Carlos; summer fashion; record and video reviews.
Quite a few articles and photos by Cosmic staffer Jon Bray.

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Publisher Barb Guy writes in 2016:
“There are so many memories in all of this! Please include credit for my SLAM partner Linda DVille. I was Cushy Davenport and she was Paige Turner. The two of us were journalism partners in ninth grade!
During the time we were doing SLAM, I was a DJ at KCGL and she was a graphic artist at a publishing company, so we had access to great performers and all the gear necessary make a zine. A certain young Trib photographer supplied us with great photos, too. He’s still a Trib photographer all these years later.
We printed SLAM at the Tooele Transcript, driving out there to drop off whatever we called electronic files back when they were on paper (!) and then we would go back to Tooele and pick up the stacks of issues days later.
From the very first SLAM we were amazed to find ourselves in the black. We probably would have done SLAM forever except Linda/Paige moved out of state. I couldn’t imagine doing it on my own, or even getting a new partner. It’s funny – the distance wouldn’t necessarily even be a hindrance now.”

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Additional Notes: There was also a contemporary music ‘zine called ZioNoiZ circulating in the Salt Lake City region. Read more about it:

ZioNoiZ ‘Zine — From the Cosmic Underground of the 1980’s

In December 1988 — three years after SLAM finished its run, another independent local publisher started a free monthly journal called Salt Lake Under Ground a.k.a. SLUG Magazine, which continues to chronicle music and Alternative Culture in 2016, plus maintains an online archive of back issues, accessible from SLUG’s home page, reaching all the way back to its genesis in the late Cosmic Aeroplane Era.

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All six issues of SLAM are online courtesy of Publisher/Editor Barb Guy, and were originally scanned and uploaded onto the SLC Punks Facebook page (now a closed group).

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We actively request your contributions of pictures, memorabilia, and oral histories about the Cosmic Aeroplane and related enterprises — please contact our blogmeister:
Email: mike_evans_exile@yahoo.com

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About Michael Evans

Michael has lived in Montana, Washington State (East and West), Holland, and England, but he was born in Salt Lake City, and graduated from the University of Utah.
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