NPR logo Punk-Rock Photos From Maximum Rocknroll

Music Articles

Punk-Rock Photos From Maximum Rocknroll

Photo of Cleveland punk band 9 Shocks Terror
Jason Penner

There was a time right after I graduated high school when I sat around listening to Bay Area punk. I had a friend who was obsessed with a relatively new band called Green Day, and who made me crushed-out mixtapes full of romantic bands like Blatz, Screaching Weasel and Operation Ivy. The music was faster, wordier and more flip than the muddier, minor-chord-driven angst of Pacific Northwest rock, but I like its flippancy and the fact that the bands had a sense of humor.


At the core of my Bay Area punk re-education were three iconic entities: Alternative Tentacles, Lookout! Records and Maximum Rocknroll. The two labels, particularly Lookout!, I would end up having a relationship with for years to come. MRR — a fierce and unapologetic fanzine that has been around since the early '80s — always felt like a hallowed and mysterious presence. The black-and-white images paired with an unadorned layout spoke to the strident nature of the publication. MRR was serious; it was both the source and the soothsayer. I would devour its dense and esoteric music coverage, newsprint smudging my fingertips, wondering if my young suburban self could ever live up to the ethos preached and lauded therein. I didn't even like all the music MRR wrote about, I just loved how much they loved it; how their singular mission was to elevate punk above all else. The fanzine took a stand and never stopped standing there. An immovable force.

photo of the The Mummies
Mark Murrmann
photo of punk band Gruel
Ricky Adam

This year, Maximum Rocknroll released a photo issue, something they haven't done for a long time. Unfortunately, the issue is already sold out, but has a bunch of the photos on their site for your perusal, some of which I've included in this post.

photo of punk band Human Eye
Chris Anderson



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.