Mark Perry, also known as Mark P, is a British writer and musician, and former fanzine publisher. Perry was a bank clerk when, inspired by The Ramones, he founded the punk fanzine Sniffin’ Glue (And Other Rock ‘n’ Roll Habits) in 1976. Sniffin’ Glue and Other Rock ‘N’ Roll Habits…, widely known as simply Sniffin’ Glue, was a monthly punk zine started by Mark Perry in July 1976 and released for about a year. The name is derived from a Ramones song ‘Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue.’ Others that wrote for the magazine that later became well known journalists include Danny Baker. Although initial issues only sold 50 copies, circulation soon increased to 15,000. The innovative appeal of Sniffin’ Glue was its immediacy. In 2000, Mark Perry published Sniffin’ Glue: The Essential Punk Accessory, which is a compilation of all the issues of the fanzine with some new material written by him. Sniffin’ Glue is referenced in the song ‘Three Sevens Clash’ by The Alarm, a tribute to 1977, and a follow on from their previous punk tribute ‘45 RPM’.
Tracing the beginnings of the punk fanzine by Marc Perry
“You start off by kicking down the doors, then you end up at Butlins!’ quips writer and musician Mark Perry. He’s recalling his experience of the punk scene, where he situated himself front and centre after founding fanzine Sniffin’ Glue in 1976. “I just felt there was a need to have a magazine that was devoted to punk rock so I had the idea to start my own fanzine,” he explains over the phone. “That’s why it was important at the time, because it was the first UK fanzine to write about punk rock.” Inspired by The Ramones, Sniffin’ Glue quickly became an authentic outlet for punk in the 70s. Writers included future NME scribe Danny Baker, and were supported by photographs from Dennis Morris – otherwise known as ‘Mad Dennis’.
What was the significance of the punk fanzine during the 70s?
Mark Perry: At the time there were four established music magazines in Britain: you had the NME, Sounds, Melody Maker and Record Mirror, and basically, they wrote about the more established rock music. But when the punk scene started in 1976 in the UK, I just felt there was a need to have a magazine that was devoted to punk rock, so I had the idea to start my own fanzine. That’s why it was important at the time, because it was the first UK fanzine to write about punk rock. That’s why it was so significant.
Were there any other fanzines around after the introduction to yours? Did you have any favourites?
Mark Perry: Yeah, there was other fanzines after Sniffin’ Glue started being successful and selling a few hundred copies. I did try to encourage people because a lot of other people came to me and said, ‘Oh, we wanna write for Sniffin’ Glue, can we write something?’ and my response was always ‘no’. I told them, ‘You can’t write for Sniffin’ Glue. What you should do is go out and start your own fanzine,’ and a lot of those people did. So you had great fanzines like Ripped and Torn, Fear and Loathing, Rapid Eye… There were literally hundreds. Ripped and Torn was always my favourite because they came after (Sniffin’ Glue). That was the second punk fanzine after mine and I felt they really encapsulated the punk feeling even more than we did. Tony Drayton did Ripped and Torn and he was actually from Glasgow. So he wasn’t at the centre of things in London, like me, but he very much captured the punk spirit. He was a regular kid that just felt he needed to say something about the music he loved, which is what it was about.
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Peacock, T. (2019). ‘Sniffin’ Glue’: First Whiff Of Punk’s Ultimate Fanzine.udiscovermusic. July 13, 2019.
Silverton, P. (2016). Sniffin’ Glue: A fanzine that epitomized punk. Independent. 10 May 2016.