Classic terrace fanzine ‘the End’ released as a book
A collection of every issue of the Liverpool fanzine from the 80’s
(Printed by Sabotage Times order from here)
The End was one of the best and most influential fanzines that existed in the post punk period. Based in Liverpool in the eighties it scurrilously and hilariously took the piss out of pop culture whilst celebrating ”Ëmusic, beer and football’ with a sharp and witty eye for detail. Whilst most fanzines were reviewing eachother or picking over the minutiae of post punk The End was going somewhere quite different.
Edited by Farm front man Peter Hooton with Mick Potter, The End was started because there was no-one writing about their football, music and pubs world. Hooton is the best pop culture writer that you should have heard of but who remains just out of grasp of the mainstream somehow seeming content with lesser talents doing his job and his writing stands the test of time.
The fanzine was a riot of very clever, very funny terrace culture commentary. This was the stuff of trainers, ”Ëscally’ clothes, terrace micky taking and all with a great Clash/Jam/Specials soundtrack.
Without ”Ëthe End’ it would be impossible to see the rise of Loaded magazine (Loaded editor James Brown now runs the great Sabotage Times website and published this collection). There would be no lad culture, no arguments over who invented flared trousers. There would be no football fanzines which it definitely set the template for
and a quite different landscape for Madchester and Oasis to run around in.
The End took a totally ignored culture and gave it a documentary. It managed to make the mundane magical and it took the funny as fuck banter that resounded round match day work on national scale. Just because they were based in Liverpool didn’t mean that it was localised and just because you didn’t have wedge haircut or gave a toss about which adidas (who cooly and in a great piece of pop culture going full circle co-sponsored this collection) trainers to wear didn’t stop this from being one of the great magazines of that decade.
Whereas The Face magazine was generally for people poncing around expensive nightclubs and the music press was getting lost in the cocktail party of post new romantic buffoonery, The End, in a sense, reflected the real voice of British youth- the much maligned and misrepresented street culture. A lost kingdom of casual wear that had its own strict codes of wear, codes that continued the British love of the dandy- only these were Beau Brummells in trainers and casual wear fucking about in the pub- northern neo-mods where very detail was vital. There some great articles about flared trousers, deer stalker hats and the vagrancies of fashion on the street.
If that didn’t interest you then the super smart and intelligent writing was captivating and laced with deadly humour. John Peel loved the End and so did we. You could pick it up in Liverpool and I still have several back issues. It was a great fanzine, in some ways the perfect fanzine with vicious typedmissives, great cartoons and a very sharp eye for detail. It also had these great In/Out lists which in one cruel and swift stroke defined their stance.
This collection is about as close you will get to understanding the real eighties culture- the culture of the streets where there was a sophistication of styles and humour that is ignored and never understood by the mainstream but was the true cultural movement of that maligned decade.
The End reflected this and stands the test of time because it was central to a full on youth culture that no-one else could get their heads round. 25 years later it’s still laugh out loud funny and a perfect representation of the serious business of British street culture.