He was just blinded by the light
Cut loose like a deuce another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
Mama always told me not to look into the sights of the sun
Oh but mama that’s where the fun is
Springsteen, Blinded by the Light
From 1975 to 1992, Australia had its own national weekly music mag. Juke Magazine was based in Melbourne and was an institution among music lovers and musicians alike. The gig guide alone made it a must-read, but the articles were penned by some of Australia’s best rock journalists and kept serious followers of the band scene informed about news regarding both local and overseas acts.
In 1990 I had the good fortune to become a cartoonist for the magazine producing a series called The Lean Years.
Heavily influenced by the Hernandez Brothers’ comic Love and Rockets (with a touch of Judge Dredd artist Mike McMahon* thrown in for good measure), the title referred to those years in a young band’s early life, also known as the pay to play years, when they must pay their dues in dive pubs and clubs trying to build an audience and reputation. It was subject matter very close to my heart as I was living that very life at the time.
It was a gruelling schedule producing a weekly strip (something I’d had absolutely no experience of up until then), but I was young and hungry and so somehow managed to keep it going until band obligations forced me to stop. Sadly, the climate in the local publishing scene began to change over the following years and in ’92 Juke ceased publication.
I came upon my files whilst looking for something completely unrelated today and thought I’d share this strange little chapter of my life before Jersey girl. I will be digitising the original artwork over the next few weeks and may post them here just for the hell of it.
*Obviously nowhere near as good as either.
All images used are my own.