Back in the 1970’s if you had any interest at all in rock ‘n roll, going to concerts, or just about anything in the popular culture rock-related, then you, at least on a few occasions, picked up a copy of SCENE Magazine, the long published tabloid that covered northeast Ohio rock ‘n roll and popular culture. You could pick up a free copy every week at any record store, mall, head shop, clothing shops, just about anywhere and read interviews with local, regional and national bands and performers, read current album and concert reviews, local, regional & national music news, photos and lots of cool advertisements hyping upcoming concerts, albums, clubs, record shops, clothing stores, head shops, movie theatres, just about anything.
It was ‘the’ newspaper for its time and covered and recorded Cleveland and northeast Ohio rock ‘n roll and its culture during its glory days.
SCENE was founded by Richard Kabat and was first published, under the moniker Cleveland Scene, on July 1, 1970. They dropped the ‘Cleveland’ from the title a couple months later. One of the first editors was John Richmond and among subsequent editors who had a real impact were Mark Holan and Keith Rathburn. During the 70’s they averaged a 70,000 free circulation.
Among some of the notable writers were Anastasia Pantsios, Dave Thomas (Pere Ubu), Joyce Halasa, Scott Eyman and many more.
A rival publication, Free Times, closed shop in 2008 and merged with SCENE and is now owned by Times-Shamrock Communications.
After marriage and kids and working I drifted away from picking it up after over a dozen years. From time to time I have picked it up and these days it’s unrecognizable to me. Not that that’s a bad thing, it’s just not the same Scene to me (that nostalgia thing again). But back in the day, SCENE was every rock ‘n roll fan’s bible of sorts, keeping up on rock music locally and nationally, news on upcoming album releases, upcoming concerts, it had it all!
Wish I kept them all!