In 1979, Bruce Pavitt moved to Olympia and began programming a show on local community radio station KAOS-FM called Subterranean Pop. Inspired by Olympia’s guide to independent music, Op magazine, he founded a fanzine version of Subterranean Pop, focusing on music with a punk, new wave and experimental bent. Calvin Johnson joined the fanzine’s staff in 1980, beginning with the second issue.
Subterranean Pop‘s particular field of interest was artists from the Midwest and Northwest. Most “punk” and “new wave” fans at the time were puzzled by this; a surprised “who even knew there were enough bands in those regions to devote a column, let alone an entire fanzine?” may have crossed their minds. Even more puzzling was the exclusion of artists like the Clash, Gang of Four, Blondie or PIL soley because of their major label associations.
What follows are excerpts from various issues of Sup/Pop (as it became known from issue #2 on) about Beakers, the Blackouts and Mr. Brown records, an Olympia independent label in the early ‘80s.


“Subterranean Pop is a fanzine dedicated to independent recordings from the Northwest and the Midwest. All record reviews are highly prejudiced and reflect the personal tastes of the editor.” - Subterranean Pop, issue #1, masthead

click on each cover to see selected pages from that zine or click HERE to see them all
Issue #1
Issue #2
Issue #3
Issue #4
Issue #5
Issue #6
Issue #8