Murder Can Be Fun

I enjoyed reading this zine so thoroughly that I put it aside for some extra attention. This volume, from writer John Marr (no relation to our favourite Smiths guitarist, but it’s a nice coincidence for a music issue), and is dedicated entirely to the unsung psychos and unfortunate deaths within the business we call show. You may have heard of some of these, but they aren’t the Cobaines and Hendrixes. The zine’s highlight is its author’s style-it’s refreshing, articulate and well-versed. One of the more interesting pieces in the volume is the story surrounding the late country fiddle legend Spade Cooley. The details of his rabid perfectionism and eventual psychosis are a difficult read, due to the intense nature of the subject matter and eventual grizzly concluson. I won’t spoil it for those who enjoy the occasoinal gory tale, but a word of warning to the weak at heart: Proceed With Caution. I’ve done my best to double check the details in the publication and many that the author includes appear to be well founded. Thankfully, he relies on original newspaper reports and eye witness accounts, so kudos for the checks and double checks. It’s so nice to see good writing as well as good research skills. The rest of the volume makes for an impressive collection of everything you ever wanted to know about your favourite stars, and perhaps some about whom you had previously never heard anything. Marr steers away from most pop culture icons-there’s no Joplin in here either. It’s a lovely thing to see somebody tackle the already popular topic of untimely deaths in music, but do so with material that will never, and I say this with most certainty, be aired on MTV or VH1. Marr already has an impressive back catalogue of Murder Can Be Fun, and I look forward to any publications he has forthcoming. He includes a warning that issue #20 might not be in print for some time, but I’m certain it’s worth the wait if he can continue to publish a zine of this calibre. (carolyn tripp)

Zine, issue 19, $2, John Marr, PO Box 64011, San Francisco, CA, 94164, USA, [email protected]

Leave a Reply