Paranoia #4

I don’t collect or gather too many hardcore punk fanzines, just the ones I bought “back then” like Ripper and/or stuff too ridiculously fun to ignore, like the We Got Power #4 we talked about here. Often these 1982-83 mags were written by teens, for teens, with all the mangled syntax, bungled graphics and party-or-go-home enthusiasms you’d expect of such efforts. This is most certainly the case with 1982’s Paranoia #4, from one of the USA’s exploding hardcore punk small-cities at the time, Reno NV! That’s right, the Skeeno HC scene totally lives and breathes right here.

Paranoia – you can read other issues here – appears to have been put out by Bessie Oakley and Jone Stebbins from the all-female band The Wrecks. Stebbins later went on to be in the band Imperial Teen and seems to be running a series of hair salons now. The Wrecks – well, you may know and love them from “Punk Is An Attitude” from Not So Quiet on the Western Front

Their magazine is a hoot, kind of like We Got Power was, full of party photos, inside jokes, show reviews, gossip, skateboarding action shots and some serious consternation about the state of the scene. This issue’s cover, I’d imagine, is quite tongue in cheek, but in case you were confused, please note that Bessie or Jone has scrawled “Ha Ha!” underneath the headline. Whew! What’s great is that while I was recently calling San Jose something of a cowtown back at this time, Reno truly was, and so the fact that a whole cadre of breakneck slammin’ bands came up out of this place at the same time was somewhat remarkable. I mean Urban Assault were from South Lake Tahoe, as unlikely a place as anywhere to have anything like a HC scene, and Paranoia really pulls off the all-for-one, one-for-all ethos by spotlighting every single hardcore band from Nevada and even Rebel Truth from nearby Sacramento, CA. This issue’s also got a strong Canadian tinge, with a Subhumans interview and lots of D.O.A. chatter.

San Francisco was and remains the nearest truly big city, and certainly the only one at the time with a network of clubs to play in, Alas, according to Paranoia #4, “The Mabuhay Gardens of San Francisco is no longer booking hardcore bands, just gay new wave ones”. Well, darn it all to hell! Paranoia was, I’d imagine, the house organ of the Skeeno scene, and no, I don’t know why they called it Skeeno and maybe they didn’t either. A goofy time capsule for sure.

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