Trouser Press Magazine Archive
Trouser Press magazine published a total of 95 issues between 1974 and 1984. They’ve all been scanned and posted here. The contents are searchable within each issue. Click here for an index of every review, article, column, flexi-disc and news item that ever appeared in the magazine.
TP 41, August 1979
The toy cars were a cute touch, but otherwise this is not one of the covers we’re most proud of. Apologies to Ebet Roberts, who took the picture, and Ric Ocasek who didn’t exactly pose for it. (We made it up to him in TP 82.)
TP 42, September 1979
Hometown heroes Blondie make their first appearance (of a total of three) on our cover. To our sexist shame, we had managed to go 41 issues without deigning to feature a female on the cover before this. Photograph by Roberta Bayley.
TP 43, October 1979
It was our view that complex editorial concepts — like Bowie then and now — were better addressed with illustrations than photos. This one is by Brad Hamann. Note the simple, bold cover lines. No obscure puns or complex sales pitches here — artist names were enough to tell people what was inside, or so we believed.
TP 44, November 1979
Ebet Roberts’ cover photo of David Byrne went with an extraordinary Q&A feature with the members of Talking Heads conducted and assembled by Galen Brandt. Other strong pieces in the issue illuminated the history of the New York Dolls, the Modern Lovers, Thin Lizzy and Dave Davies, accompanied by a Kinks family tree by the godlike Pete Frame.
TP 45, December 1979
You wanna know just how editorially independent we were? On the back cover, a full-page ad for the major-label debut of a band called the Now (“The Time for Great Rock’n’Roll is now … The Now is GREAT rock’n’roll”). On page 36, in a roundup of new albums by the likes of Shoes, 20/20 and the Beat, Jon Young called the Now’s album “so astonishingly bad that it seems an act of cruelty to describe the contents.” Needless to say, after a furious phone call, we never got another ad from Midsong International Records.
TP 46, January 1980
For the turn of the decade (in addition to raising the cover price to $1.50), we swiped an idea from Mad magazine (a post-election issue from the ’60s in which the front and back covers congratulated, respectively, Kennedy and Nixon for being elected president) for a half-issue salute to the ’70s. (Dig the combined photo/cartoon work by Mitch Kearney and John Ebersberger.) Flip the magazine over for another front cover and half-issue predicting what might happen in the ’80s. (And, yes, we were 100 percent right about everything.) In acknowledgment of our debt, we sent a copy to Mad publisher William Gaines, who responded with the blessing “Good luck with it!” as if it were our first issue. At least his heart was in the right place. Click the front cover image to see the back cover.
TP 47, February 1980
For an issue produced during our move from Times Square to 13th floor digs on lower Fifth Avenue, Frank Zappa was photographed by Mitch Kearney; the article inside was by Michael Bloom. Some copies were printed on an odd paper stock that wasn’t our usual. Be sure to collect the whole set!
TP 48, March 1980
It’s amazing how few rock magazines put people rocking on their covers. Whenever we could, we always took the opportunity to show musicians making music onstage, as a sweaty Joe Strummer is doing here in this pic by James Lee Soffer. (For those keeping score, TP thrice featured the Clash on a cover.)
TP 49, April 1980
For all the flaming youth making great music in 1980, this issue seems to favor rock’s seniors, with articles on Neil Young (by TP mainstay Jon Young), Fleetwood Mac, (Chris Salewicz, reprinted from the NME) Cliff Richard, Genesis, Ian McLagan and the Searchers. Cover photo by Chip Rock.
TP 50, May 1980
Mitch Kearney took the four portraits of the Ramones, as well as a wall to slap them on. Inside, publisher Ira Robbins noted “an incredible rise in popularity for the music we’ve been covering. Not only have English bands been coming over to tour amid unprecedented airplay and sales, but quality American groups are finding the heartland easier to reach than ever before. The Clash’s immense breakthrough in this country gratifies and reaffirms our faith in the rock public’s open-mindedness.” This issue introduced our new America Underground columnist, a teenaged Tim Sommer, taking over from Jim Green, who continued to cover 45s in his Green Circles column.