While cataloging zines at the Independent Publishing Resource Center recently, I came along a pristine copy of Book Your Own Fuckin’ Life #1, printed in 1992. While punk culture and the DIY movement was solidly established by this time, the founding edition of BYOFL can be seen as an achievement that sealed their prominence. It illustrated that the ethics of a counterculture movement had been fully formed and realized. It was no longer just responding and resisting, but creating an alternative.
The collaboration between Maximum Rock and Roll and Profane Existence would provide a resource guide for touring bands and traveling folks for a generation to come, including myself. The zine was the first thing recommended to me when I first began to roam across the country – it was a great guide for places to crash long before I ever discovered couchsufing.com or was aware of WWOOF.
The first page (or two) should go straight into the DIY history books.
A few quotes:
Over the last decade and a half the world has witnessed the blossoming of one of the largest underground countercultural movements in history. Born out of youth anger (and probably just bordem), which created the original 1977 punk explosion, this self motivated and self created movement has spread throughout the furthest reaches of industrial society. People grown tired of pre-packaged consumer entertainment and everywhere punk has spread its “Do-It-Yourself” attitude. Punk is a new folk music, where anyone can take part who has the desire for expression and freedom. Communication and interaction on a personal level is the foremost goal, with production, packaging, and marketing coming secondary. The DIY movement is vibrant and as more people, ideas, thoughts, and actions interconnect all the various aspects making it an ever-changing and growing movement. Over these past years the DIY movement has grown at an unprecedented rate, in some cases fueled by profit-making trends, but for the most part on a real grass-roots level. The national and international communication within the DIY movement is what has kept it strong over the years. Through the efforts of certain individual and fanzines, people have been able to make concrete connections between people of similar interests and have created an entire underground economy based on the spreading of our own living culture and ideal. Bands have been able to promote themselves, book tours, put out records without bowing down to the corporate music industry. That is the essence of DIY. People helping other people without an eye for profit, only for creating a better world and having some fun…
…We feel that by breaking free from the established capitalist system we are creating freedom in our own lives. We need the kind of global interconnections that this magazine presents the possibilities of creating. When we take control of our immediate interests this will set an example for creating a better world. We hope that the people who use this magazine will realize that DIY goes further than just a music “scene” and directly translates into the liberation of everyday life… Continue reading