Yes, indeed. I hadn’t realised it but it was actually about 40 years ago this very year that the first wee buds of Zeitgeist took root. I was still at the school and was sick to the back teeth of Scotland being a rock’n’roll wasteland. So, as you did at the time, I took the matter into my own hands and started a fanzine.
It was called the Scotsrocker and as befitted the times the small team behind it were the ScotsRock Militia. Well, I was in the habit of wearing a Belgian Air Force flight jacket at the time. With the help of a second hand duplicator out the Exchange & Mart (ask your grandparents) it took the world of Scots rock by storm. Actually, it didn’t. I fell out with everyone and took my duplicator with me. That begat a follow up zine called Ergo Bibamus. Same duplicator but with added pub reviews to go with the musical content. That lasted a few issues before I fell out with myself and took my duplicator with me. And followed it up with Zeitgeist – Reflections of the Underground.
This was back in the glory days of tape trading and I was deluged with dodgy Irish black metal, dodgy English electronica and folk rock from around the world. Heady days. Eventually the duplicator died and I moved on to an actual copyshop. It was always free and a large part of my miniscule wages went on posting it around the world to anyone who wanted it. By this time I was working in IT and was an early adopter of something called the internet. I recently, accidentally, stumbled across the very first Zeitgeist Tripod site which is still lurking out there in cyberspace. Some of the reviewed artists 21 years ago included Jennifer Hope, Peekabuddha, Mu-Kau, Sloterdijk, Krankheit Der Jugend and Le’rue Delashay.
Then there was a distro as I had access to online payments before the founders of Ebay had learned how to shite without nappies. If, indeed, they have. There was briefly a record label and eventually the printed zine moved entirely online as I wandered into the world of highly paid jobs and freelance music journalism on the side for some proper, printed on glossy, music magazines. I was even an award nominated radio broadcaster and ended up running my own online radio station.
But it’s over. Some of you may know that my wife died a couple of years ago and I’ve been really struggling to hold things together. Apart from her, music was the one thing that kept me going. And it just doesn’t have that impact anymore. So Zeitgeist as we know it is over. I do intend to try and get through the backlog of CDs that are waiting to be reviewed because it would be rude not to. But the news side is over and the reviews will be as and when until the box empties out. I won’t be checking my Gmail account very often so don’t expect a response from it.
Thanks to everyone I’ve encountered over the years. Apart from you. You’re a knut. But to the performers, bands, PR and record label folk. It’s generally been a treat. I’m away to sit on my hill and drink until she comes to take me away.
A man may drink and not be drunk
A man may fight and not be slain
A man may court a pretty girl
And perhaps be welcomed back again
But since it has so ought to be
By a time to rise and a time to fall
Come fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all