Back Issues

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Established 1979
Free! Fortnightly! Fun!
(cover illustration)

These are the back issues of Red Rag. They'll be posted here every (usually) two weeks on or around the anniversary of their original publication. We're currently reissuing 1985; the latest issue is dated July 21st (scan / txt); the next one is due out on August 4th.

Red Rag, or Reading's only newspaper, had a noble tradition of misspelling, mixed metaphors, wrong facts, confused political judgements and a readership of 4000. It printed practically everything it got sent ("except poetry and party political broadcasts, provided it isn't racist, sexist, militarist or otherwise supportive of oppression"). It aimed to provide a decent alternative coverage of local news and issues from a radical non-aligned position; to promote subversive and creative initiatives; to provide a forum for unorthodox views; to allow some sort of co-existence between a huge variety of interests. An indispensible source of local information? a forum for the self-indulgent and self-important? a continuous experiment in collective, de-centralised organisation? Who knew? But in over five and a half years it had never sold a single copy.

In this issue (scan / txt): post punk progressive rock might not be everyone's cup of chlorpromazine but residents at Borocourt Hospital react to local bands with seemingly limitless energy; it's Cultural Week at the Apollo Youth Club; "Wednesday is Women's Day" at RCU has proved so popular that it's continuing over the summer; there are blue clouds over Henley; a Gay / Lesbian self defence class is starting up (is self defence the same as resistance? the Rag tries not to draw a line); and Ian's leaving Acorn.

One of the older residents, named Lenny, was asked what he thought of the band, and replied "Eh?!" I repeated the question loudly and he replied - very loudly - "They're Too Noisy!"