Flipside, issue 6, 1978
|Based in||Whittier, California|
Flipside, originally known as Los Angeles Flip Side, was a punk zine published in Whittier and Pasadena, California, from 1977 to 2000. In addition to publication of the magazine, the magazine was associated with its own record label, Flipside Records, releasing vinyl records and compact discs beginning in 1978.
As one of the first and longest running U.S. punk rock fanzines, Flipside chronicled the independent and underground music scene. Known for its highly opinionated cast of writers, Flipside evolved from a photocopied fanzine to a magazine produced by web offset printing and featuring glossy covers.
Los Angeles Flipside Fanzine was launched in 1977 in Whittier, California by five Whittier High School friends, Pooch, Larry Lash, Tory, X-8 and editor and publisher Al Kowalewski. The initial issues of the publication were produced by means of a photocopy machine, with Kowalewski's first modest goal set at selling 1,000 copies per issue. Beginning with a tiny local distribution in a few Los Angeles area record stores, within two years the publication had grown sufficiently to support sheet-fed offset printing on heavy white stock for production, with sales tallied in 12 American states and four countries. Later issues were produced on newsprint via a high speed web press and included a glossy magazine cover.
By the magazine's sixth anniversary in the summer of 1983, the press run had grown to 6,500 for America, with an additional printing in Germany for European distribution.
Flipside fanzine put on a Burning Man-style festival in California's Mojave Desert at a location known as Jawbone Canyon for several years during the mid-1990s. It was much smaller and more localized than the actual Burning Man festivals and often featured bands that Flipside released on their own label. Special guests included Fugazi, The Offspring and Hawkwind's Nik Turner.
Flipside published a special 10-year anniversary issue titled "Los Angeles Flipside Fanzine Issue 5," documenting the first ten years of punk rock from 1977 to 1987 with 224 pages of band interviews. 
For several years, the publishers also produced punk rock records under the label name Flipside Records. Inspired by the ability of small local labels such as Dangerhouse Records and Slash Records, Kowalewski and Peter Landswick launched the Flipside label in 1978.
In 1979, Kowalewski recalled his own experiences in an effort to inspire additional DIY labels:
"...So anyway me and Pete were eating a pizza one day and Pete said, 'Ya know, Al, we oughta start a record company. We though about it a while and we decided that if Dangerhouse could put out records and if Chris Ashford could put out records and if Slash could put out records, then we could put out records, too.... In the next four months we (mostly Pete, he's the president of Flipside Records) found out all about putting out a private single. We found out about mastering and labels and pressing and acetates and waiting and sleeves and waiting and now we know all there is to know.... The moral of this story is 'If we can do it, you can do it.' So everybody release your own singles!"
Flipside Records released Vinyl - 12" compilations, Vol. 1, 2, and 3. Included on the vinyl compilations are a variety of punk bands from GBH to Cheetah Chrome and the Motherfuckers. Each vinyl compilation included a bands and lyrics insert. Similar to an issue of Flipside Fanzine yet designed as a newspaper. All inserts were designed by Hudley.
Rodney on the ROQ Volume 1 - 3
Los Angeles Flipside Fanzine worked on the Rodney on the ROQ compilation album projects with Posh Boy Records and Rodney Bingenheimer. The album’s inserts were issues of Los Angeles Flipside Fanzine. Each insert includes the bands of each volume (music tracks and lyrics) including pictures and interviews gathered by Flipside. Rodney on the ROQ included Flipside Fanzine insert Issue 21 (December 1980). Rodney on the ROQ Volume 2 included Flipside Fanzine Issue 28 (November 1981). Rodney on the ROQ Vol III included Flipside Fanzine Issue 35 (December 82). This was a strategic time for a radio personality, a record label and a fanzine to work together to support and promote a growing musical underground and exclusive punk scene.
Los Angeles Flipside Video is a project created by Al, Gus and Hudley. Gus took some classes at a local Jr. College, Rio Hondo, and thus began our journey of live recordings. Cameras, editing equipment and mail order was all done in house at the Flipside office. Video 1 through 10 included many of the bands interviewed in Flipside Fanzine for example; Social Distortion, Big Boys, 100 Flowers, Toy Dolls, Pillsbury Hardcore , The Adolescents, Entropy, Final Conflict, The Dicks, Corrosion of Conformity. A special video was dedicated to GBH (band) called Brit Boys Attacked by Brats . All videos were taped live at many of the clubs and venues that were popular at the time.
The editors and staff writers contributing to Los Angeles Flipside Fanzine were jokingly referred to as the "Staph," particularly during the fanzine's earlier years. It has been written that KROQ success was due to its renegade roots, and willingness to experiment, which came along at the same time of the birth of the punk and new wave. This is reflected in the songs it made famous. In the same vein, Flipside, and its writers helped promote the punk rock scene globally, and became part of the scene themselves.
Key contributors included the following:
- Hudley Flipside (September 18, 2018). Los Angeles Flipside Fanzine # 54 Ten Year Anniversary Issue. ISBN 9781691716999.
- Carlos "Cake" Nunez (September 18, 2018). "10 OF THE BEST FLIPSIDE FANZINE INTERVIEWS". LA Weekly.
- Al Kowalewski (August 1979). "Editorial". Flipside (16). p. 2.
- "Bio/CV". Hudley Flipside. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014.
- "FS 39: Six Years!". Flipside (39). Summer 1983. p. 2.
- Hudley Flipside (February 10, 2018). "Los Angeles Flipside Fanzine Issue 54 10 Year Anniversary issue". UCLA Center for Musical Humanities Curating Resistance.
- Al Kowalewski (Spring 1979). "Flipside Records??". Flipside (14). p. 8.
- Bingenheimer was also responsible for three Rodney on the ROQ compilation albums as well as the compact disc and later digital download compendium, "The Best of Rodney on the ROQ" on Posh Boy Records.
- "Flipside Catalog".
- "Flipside Fanzine Staph: Those who worked on Los Angeles Flipside Fanzine 1979 to 1989". Hudley Flipside. May 11, 2013.
- Sullivan, Kate (November 2001). "KROQ An Oral History". Los Angeles Magazine: 91.
- "Los Angeles Magazine". Los Angeles. Emmis Communications: 90–. November 2001. ISSN 1522-9149.
- Dunn, Kevin (May 15, 2016). Global Punk: Resistance and Rebellion in Everyday Life. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 9781628926071.
- O'Neill, Jeff (February 24, 1978). "Punk rock: the sick shall inherit the earth". El Paisano. Whittier. 14 (11).
- "Interview with Hudley Flipside". Trust Fanzine (in German). 2012. p. .
- "Todd Taylor Interview". Space Case Records. November 11, 2012.
- Nunez, Carlos (September 7, 2018). "10 OF THE BEST FLIPSIDE FANZINE INTERVIEWS". LA Weekly.
- "Flipside 30 Year Memorial".
Web index of links relevant to the fanzine
- "Flipside" – via archive.org.