Very rarely does someone make an impact into diversly different areas like music and journalism, but Mark Perry the former Bank clerk did just that as a young Deptford boy. He was empowered to start the first Punk Fanzine “Sniffin’ Glue and Other Rock ‘N’ Roll Habits” (better known as “Sniffin’ Glue”) in July 1976, after seeing the Ramones gatecrash the UK with their all inspiring sound. Both himself and Danny Baker took the Punk ethos of DIY into journalism creating a platform for the music they were listening to, interviewing bands from the time and informing the reader of what was happening. Creating essential reading from little more than Pens, scissors, and a copier, to challenge the music papers that were around at the time and toppling the pedestal they put themselves.
Today this would not raise an eyebrow but in the 70s this was a landmark occasion for the person in the street, having a vehicle to vent your spleen or inform you of what was happening in the movement was a breakthrough. This meant mainstream media was not the only source covering Punk music, and for a short time Punk really was doing it for itself. Unfortunately “Sniffin Glue” only ran for a year although copies had a circulation at one point of 15,000, Mark Perry wanted to get on the stage and sing the words he was writing through music and formed “Alternative TV” (ATV) in 1977 with Alex Fergusson to do just that.
ATV recorded their first single “Love Lies Limp” as a free give away with “Sniffin’ Glue” in 1977, before then releasing “How Much Longer”, “Life After Life” and “Action Time Vision in 1978”. Although reuniting on a few occasions the band split in 1979, with Mark going on to play in a number of other bands over the years. ATV will not be the first band on your lips when you think of the first generation Punk, but the impact of “Sniffin Glue” was a very important part of the Punk movement that made changes to society and broke barriers in music journalism that’s still visible to today.