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TWENTY THREE....
        Well it is a special number, ask Genesis P... 
               It was twenty three years ago this very day, the first hand made hand spray-painted Organs with messy hand screen-printed covers came out. One hundred copies of the first issue of Organ were printed, we had no idea what we were doing, just had the idea we wanted to put out a fsnzine. Seemed like everyone was doing it back then – Urban Guerrilla, Revelatory, Phoenix Militia, Forearm Smash, there were loads -  you couldn’t go to a small gig without someone selling you their DIY cassette album or a fanzine or trading something for something or.... 
        So the first cut ‘n paste issue of Organ went on sale at a Hawkwind gig on 4th December 1986 (out of the back of an 50’s ex-army ambulance being driven by a man with a flying helmet and a smoke machine – you out there Luke?). 36 A5 pages, interviews with Cardiacs, Magic Mushroom Band, Twelfth Night and... well I can’t remember who else was in there now, (any one got one? There was 300 printed in the end). Bits of Ring, Metallica (Cliff Burton), Hellbastard, Wiggle The Womprat, Rip Cruncer (oh yes he is for real) and...   We took 50 copies of Organ number one to that Hawkwind gig in Guilford, sold them all in about 30 minutes and regretted not taking more...  We took the other 50 to the next Hawkwind gig at the Reading Hexagon and sold all those instantly as well. Did an interview with Dave Brock, (encountered some red wine gums in the sky) and off we were, Organ was up and running...  Another two hundred copies of issue one were photocopied, two hundred more covers screen printed by hand (on big sheets of glossy white paper from a skip out the back of a printers, if you really want to do it you can, doesn’t need money). Another two hundred were spray painted and hauled off to long lost places like The Finsbury Park Robey, the Hammersmith Clarendon, the Wardour Street Marquee (our spiritual home in those early days), the Islington Powerhaus, the Wood Green Trade Union Centre (the early home of Club Dog and some of the best gigs ever – Webcore, Cardiacs, Ozrics, Dave Howard Singers, Ring, Oroonies...). 
           Then someone started talking about a second issue (it came out two months later – more Cardiacs, Ring, Civilised Society, Webcore, Ozrics, Napalm Death, Fish, that Hawkwind interview, The Babysitters and loads of bands everyone’s forgotten now ...), them someone said hey why don’t we put out a compilation tape, and then another zine, then an issue was screen printed on a t-shirt, another one as a giant fly poster we pasted up outside London venues - demo tapes started to flood in, mailart, underwear – everything by hand, no internet, no PR companies on the case back then, there was no crossover with the music industry . Everyone doing it themselves, bands, zines, squats, Stonehenge, free festivals, trades, networks, FIN Cells...  People started sending in cash from all over the world for copies of Organ, bloody hell, people are taking this seriously – fanzines were fun, a real genuine set of DIY networks and good friends made everywhere. No one saw any of it as a career or a drowned in whatever marketing plan back them, real underground alternatives...  And so it carried on, shall we do another issue? Hey, we’re on number ten. We should put a gig on? How about putting out some vinyl, can’t be that hard? Atom Seed 12” was the first thing, somewhere at the start of the 90’s hand block printed covers of course, more spray paint, second release was as an Angel Interceptor 7” in a fold out cover that we Jackson Pollocked, third that Huge Baby 10” with block printed gold hearts on the front... things came along, movements, people, scenes, gone through so many of them now, UKHC, free festivals, Riot Grrl, that IQ/Pallas/Twelfth Night prog scene, that brilliant weekend at Hammersmith Community Centre when riotGrrl met handmade punk zines and Crass, the Eight Day Itch with the TLF, us and Sonic Pollution, eight gigs in eight days, riots, wrecked venues, more Cardiacs. Psychic TV and the snake at number 53...   Enough of this, we got things to get on with....
         Twenty three years, tens of thousands of demo tapes, tens of thousands of hand painted covers, (we finally stopped doing that somewhere around issue 20). Who knows how many records reviewed, bands interviewed (we should put out a best of one day really), hundreds of Organ gigs, thousands of great bands you’ve all probably forgotten about, some you may still remember - Metallica got 48 quid for playing a support at the Marquee, standard musicians union rates at the time, Suede pulled five paying people, that Osmium gig, Conflict battles, Anti-Seen, secret Napalm Death pub gigs, Poisoned Electric Head pulled a van load of pissed off police looking for them, couldn’t find them, they were on stage at the time in their masks – the book we could right, the tales we have to tell. So Organ zine grew and ORG records evolved, Organ went big and glossy and in to high street shops and being that big wasn’t so much fun really, small is so much better. There was something like two hundred vinyl or CD releases on ORG (there was a cassette label before that, two cassette decks! Until we started getting them done ‘properly’ in batches of one hundred).. and on it went, radio programmes, TV shows, tours, websites, Resonance FM, Cardiacs things, art shows, album covers, animation pieces.... And it all started 23 years ago this very day as a one off handmade zine on sale for 50p out of the back of an ex army ambulance at a Hawkwind gig.. Wouldn’t have missed any of it for the world...  Thanks to everyone who ever got involved... thanks thanks thanks!
              Right, time to get on with reviewing this Shield Your Eyes album and get off to the Cold In Berlin gig via an interview with the MuTate people and... Happy Birthday to us! 

S & M. 
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