comics, Dr Vibes, Fran Raya, HB, pssst, punk, Reducers, Trickswitch, Vibes

The ’70s indie music scene and Dr Vibes

It still amazes me just how much of an incredible resource the internet is. Way back in the 70s when the world was a very different place, I was still a fresh (albeit pimpled) faced youth and heavily into the indie-comic scene. Also at this time, punk music was breaking through and Manchester was becoming the focal point of the music scene (just ask Tony Wilson). In this environment stood ‘Vibes Records’, a cult record shop which was enjoying being at the centre of this scene, and was busy expanding to become a record label, as well as a cult magazine publisher.

Now to help the magazine establish its image, I was asked to provide original underground comic strips. The main strip: ‘The Abominable Dr Vibes’ proved very popular and kept me busy till the magazine folded, and so when the shop decided to start producing records… I was there to create the covers. This included the artists/bands: The Reducers, Trickswitch, and Fran Barrie.

So what has this all to do with the internet? Well this was over 30 years ago, and long before the internet and computers. Heck… it was in the days of the banda machine and typewriter! When I created this artwork I never expected it to survive all this time. Imagine my surprise then when I idly googled my ‘name’ Sadistic Scribbler, and found references to it associated with Fran Raya’s (then Fran Barrie) record on various websites. Moreso surprised as at the time I was uncredited (as the artwork was not in keeping with ‘Sadistic Scribbler’ then image).

So not only had someone decided to document this little piece of history, they had also researched who had done the cover and had added it to the internet as a resource.

Wow! Who’d’ve thunk it!

So if anyone is curious about what this ancient piece of art memorabilia looked like, look no further than the image here (or check out the re-release). Now if only someone would archive the Vibes Magazine strips and the comics ‘HB’ and ‘pssst’…


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