“The Resurrection of The Crazed” by Paul Wainwright is a nostalgic and captivating journey back to the vibrant and rebellious days of the Psychobilly/neo-rockabilly scene in the 1980s. Wainwright, the author, invites readers to relive the glory days through the lens of his fanzine ‘The Crazed,’ which documented and celebrated the rise of iconic bands such as The Meteors, GuanaBatz, Demented Are Go, King Kurt, Long Tall Texans, Restless, and many more. The narrative unfolds through a series of articles, interviews, and personal reflections, offering readers a firsthand account of the fervor that surrounded the Psychobilly scene. Wainwright’s journey is deeply personal, as he shares his fascination with the genre, confessing his inability to play an instrument but a burning desire to be recognized within the scene. This desire led him to the creation of “The Crazed,” a fanzine that became a vital part of the subculture.
The book provides a unique perspective on the DIY ethos of the 1980s, as Wainwright recounts his experiences producing and editing “The Crazed.” Readers are treated to insights into the challenges and joys of running a fanzine, especially one dedicated to a subculture often overlooked by mainstream media. The author’s passion for the scene is palpable, and his inquisitive mind shines through as he seeks to connect with the bands that fueled his enthusiasm. A highlight of the book is the recounting of interviews with major Psychobilly acts, starting with arguably the biggest English Psychobilly band, The Meteors. Wainwright’s interviews take readers behind the scenes, offering a glimpse into the bands’ perspectives, brimming with enthusiasm, excitement, and optimism about their musical journey and the future of the scene.
The narrative also explores the significance of The Klub Foot, a legendary Psychobilly venue in Hammersmith, which served as a mecca for the subculture. The energy of the venue comes alive in the pages of the book, evoking memories of noisy nights and sweaty gigs, where Wainwright conducted many of his interviews. Wainwright’s storytelling is both engaging and evocative, capturing the essence of the era and the passion that fueled his involvement in the scene. The book not only resurrects the memories of ‘The Crazed’ fanzine but also reflects on the transient nature of subcultures and the inevitable fading of enthusiasm that often accompanies changing times.
The author’s rediscovery of “The Crazed” years later, its appearance in other publications, and the subsequent interviews about its legacy contribute to the book’s narrative arc. Wainwright’s reflections on new friendships made and old ones resurrected add depth to the story, making it not just a documentation of the past but a reflection on the enduring impact of a subculture on the individuals involved. “The Resurrection of The Crazed” is a compelling blend of music history, personal nostalgia, and the resilience of subcultural passion. Paul Wainwright’s journey through the Psychobilly/neo-rockabilly scene exemplifies the enduring spirit of DIY culture and the profound impact of music on individual lives. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the underground music scenes of the 1980s and the untold stories that shaped them. Head to the Earth Island Books for more information about ordering the book.