GAJOOB was first published as a printed zine beginning with a 1986 edition with Tammy Faye Baker and Edwin Meese on the cover.
The third issue was published in May 1989. The focus had begun narrowing to cover what was known as Cassette Culture. At that time, that meant people who self-published albums on cassette networking with other artists doing the same thing. We found each other through magazines like Option and Sound Choice who each featured small sections reviewing cassette albums. I felt like more than a nod was deserving of this art network, however, and I began mailing copies of the zine to artists whose music was listed in these publications.
Issue three had a much larger review section. It also had an unfortunate degree of Zapf Chancery for some reason. I had gotten a discarded Mac from AlphaGraphics where I worked and started learning to design. Paste up and glue sticks were a thing.
Of course you’ll still find bits of random things pasted throughout the zine. I always liked the idea of disjointed content. This included a section from Weekly World News and stupid ads.
This issue was also run on an offset press. I had learned to use black ink instead of the Harrison Wine ink from issue 2. I ordered 500 copies and still have some if you’re interested.
GAJOOB #4 was a milestone effort as I was spending a lot of time after a full day at work staring at my 500K Mac’s tiny black and white screen and loving every minute of it. The interview with Dino DiMuro was the highlight of the issue for me, being a big fan of his music and realizing an hours-long conversation turned something bordering on coherent felt good to see in these pages. It made me very happy to hear Dino rave about the interview.
Cover artist this issue was same as last — Wayne Branch was a favorite of mine. Every few months I would get an envelope stuffed with his woodcut prints. I really cherished these one of a kind gems he printed on paper that reminded me of the text weight construction paper I used to paint on in grade school.
This issue I began getting real paid ads too. I think they just wanted to support the effort which was very cool. This issue was still a cut-and-paste affair, but I was getting a little better at the layout and design. I switched back to digital copies for production this time. This issue was the first to be distributed by Tower, Desert Moon and others and was the last to run 7×8/12 inches. I should have kept the zine that size. I like how it feels.
GAJOOB was growing and I knew the mail personnel at the post office, making daily trips to the post office to empty my box. I rented a small one for years which meant going to the window and asking for my mail since it was too big to fit in the box.
This issue had my interview with Robin James. Robin crossed into Salt Lake a couple times in the 80’s/90’s. Once he called from a bus station looking to kill some time before the next bus left and I drove him around town for a while. I showed him Gigal Park which, at the time, was not a public park, but just an area behind a house where this guy had created an impressive outsider art sculpture garden filled with Mormon themed scripture and people. There was a community action several years back that purchased space next to the house as well as the garden and proceeded to open it up to the public.
Dino DiMuro interviewed Joe Newman and the underground comics of Matt Towler began appearing. Matt would be a regular in GAJOOB moving forward. In fact, comics always had a pretty big presence inside GAJOOB.
GAJOOB #7 was published in the summer of 1991with a press run of 700 copies and distributed by Tower, Redwing Blackbird, DOVe International, See Hear, Individual Pop and Desert Moon. The zine was purely DiY. I ran the copies, collated, saddle stitched and mailed everything myself. The cover art was provided by Velveeta Heartbreak
A collection of eight compilation tapes was released concurrent to the print edition.