Birmingham City Council

Hidden Gems - Underground Magazines

Oz

Oz Magazine, while originally an Australian publication, became a highly influential and popular magazine when it was produced in the UK from 1967. Edited by Richard Neville, Jim Anderson and Felix Dennis it was notorious for both its content and its radical (and highly regarded) design. Oz magazine reflected the hippy politics of the day - left wing and anti-war, it had a liberal view on sex, drugs and alternative lifestyles. Associated specifically with the psychedelic scene, it was one of the principal publications of the counter-culture underground press.

Criticism that the magazine was losing touch with young people, led to an invitation for school children to edit an issue. Oz #28 (May 1970) became known as the "Schoolkids Oz." It was this issue that became the subject of a famous obscenity trial in 1971 (at which they were defended by John Mortimer QC.) Initially Oz's editors were found guilty and sentenced to jail, but were later acquitted on appeal. The magazine continued with falling sales till 1973.

There were 48 issues of Oz published in the UK. The Social Sciences Library holds a complete set, with the exceptionof issues # 1,# 3,# 5,# 15 and # 18. Please ask at the enquiry counter if you wish to see any.

International Times

The International Times or I.T. started in October 1966. The founder editors were John Hopkins, Barry Miles and Jim Haynes. A launch concert at the famous Roundhouse in London featured Pink Floyd and Soft Machine.
Police raids to try and close the magazine down were common and a benefit to raise funds was organised. This became the well known "14 Hour Technicolour Dream" in the Alexander Palace April 29th 1967. The magazine was also taken to court for placing advertisements for homosexuals. Once again the content was about drugs, society and sex, as well as the music scene. Notable contibutors were DJ John Peel, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Germaine Greer.
I.T. remains the only magazine to outlive its rivals and was published through the 1970s and into the 1980s.

Social Sciences holds an incomplete set of International Times covering the period 1967-1972.

Other publications

Bitman
Aimed at providing consumer information "...on the growth of alternative structures in this country." It has very much a home-made feel about it.
Holdings: issues 3-18 (1971-72)

Frendz

Friends started in 1969 as Friends of Rolling Stone (the US music magazine) and later became firstly just Friends and then Frendz from May 1971. It had many contributors from the underground scene and covered the usual politics and drugs issues as well as reflecting the underground music scene of the time. Frendz ceased in August 1972. According to one source this was due to "lack of capital and secondly lack of energy and efficiency in the people running the paper".
Holdings: as "Friends," issues 1-3, 5, 13, 17 & 19 (1969-70.) As "Frendz," issues 1-31 & 33-34 (1971-72)

Ink
A more seriously left-wing politically-oriented magazine aimed at young people.
Holdings:issues 1-29 (1971-72)

Nasty Tales
An adult-only subversive comic after the style of "The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers."
Holdings: issues 3-5 only. (1971-72)



Title

Location

Bitman

Floor 4 BF052

Frendz

Floor 4 BF 052

Ink

Floor 4 BF 052

International Times (I.T.)

Floor 4 BF 052

Nasty Tales

Floor 4 BQ052

Oz

Floor 4 BF 052


Websites

Name and Description

Address

Richard Neville - Oz editor

www.richardneville.com/

John Hopkins - International Times editor

http://hoppyx.com/principal.htm


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