The International Times | What was the world's best underground paper

I've been collecting underground newspapers forever and the Interantional Times is by far one of the best.  Soft Machine, PInk Floyd, Arthur Brown and more supported it. Paul McCartney donated money it. Burroughs, Ginsberg, Trocchi, John Peel and others wrote for it. Now, just about the entire archives are available on-line.  Holy shit. Go there now .

     

  

     

     

  

  

     

  

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

International Times (it or IT) was an underground paper founded in London in 1966.  The paper's logo was a black-and-white image of Theda Bara, vampish star of silent films. The founders' original intention had been to incorporate an image of the actress Clara Bow because she'd been known as The IT girl, but an image of Theda Bara was used by accident and, once deployed, was never changed. Paul McCartney donated to the paper.

International Times was launched on 14 October 1966 at The Roundhouse at a gig featuring Pink Floyd. The event promised a 'Pop/Op/Costume/Masque/Fantasy-Loon/Blowout/Drag Ball and featured Soft Machine, steel bands, strips, trips, happenings, movies. The launch was described as "one of the two most revolutionary events in the history of English alternative music and thinking. The IT event was important because it marked the first recognition of a rapidly spreading socio-cultural revolution that had its parallel in the States" by David Allen of Soft Machine.

From April 1967, and for some while later, the police raided the offices of International Times to try, it was alleged, to force the paper out of business. A benefit event labelled The 14 Hour Technicolor Dream took place at Alexandra Palace on 29 April 1967. Bands included Pink Floyd, The Pretty Things, Savoy Brown, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Soft Machine, The Move, and Sam Gopal Dream.

IT first ceased publication in 1972, after being convicted for running contact ads for gay men, and for a longer period in 1974, but merged with Maya, another underground publication, and was revived in 1975, continuing until 1982. It resurfaced in 1986... into the 1990s. There have been a total of 209 issues. It was a contemporary of other radical underground London magazines, Oz, Friends and Ink.

Many people who became prominent UK figures wrote for IT, including feminist critic Germaine Greer, poet and social commentator Jeff Nuttall, and DJ John Peel. There were many original contributions from underground writers such as Alexander Trocchi; William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg.

In 1986 IT was relaunched by Tony Allen and Chris Brook. After two issues (Volume 86; issues 1,2) Allen left, and Brook continued with a reinvigorated editorial group for two more issues (Volume 86; issues 3,4). After various one-off issues into 1991, 2000 saw Brook and others create a web-based presence - initially through the alternative server 'Phreak', circa 1996.

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