Crank #1



The first issue of Crank was written in a mostly drunken haze when I was living in Philadelphia with my longtime pal Tom Bielavitz. I'd moved there in early 1993 because I knew I needed to live in a city, but couldn't afford New York. Philadelphia was fine. The perfect first-city for aspiring lowlifers such as ourselves.

We had a palatial 2-bedroom apartment at 48th & Cedar, out on the fringe of the West Philadelphia Badlands. We both had decent jobs--nothing to write home about, but still sufficient for bill-paying and drinking. Oh, yeah, that. We both drank a lot. I mean, a lot. You talk about your crazy weekends lost to a alcoholic haze? We had those just about every night. Every night. We drank. And drank.

A year after moving to that city, I knew that I needed something more to do with myself. I'd been dating Amy for a couple years (Amy would ultimately become my wife in April, 1998, and then ultimately my ex-wife-to-be in December, 1999). Tom had a girlfriend for just about the whole time we lived together. Point being: We were never concerned with going out and fucking women. We had our girls, and that satisfied us. So, unlike most carefree 23-year olds, we didn't concentrate our energies on finding girls. We just drank.

But as I said, I needed more. Tom, I think, went to night school in pursuit of a masters degree, which I don't think he ever fulfilled (came damn close, I think). I took a part-time nightjob, partly for the money and partly for the mental occupation. Somewhere along the way, I decided to start a zine.

The original name for Crank was The Icarus Crank. Can you believe that? Just what the fuck was I thinking? How fucking pretentious. I think I was still scribbling bad drunken poetry at the time, too. Thank god I turned off both those paths.

I finished Crank #1 sometime in early 1994, I think. Xeroxed 50 copies and sent them out to Factsheet 5, Tower Books and such. Tower ordered 220 copies; Factsheet 5 gave the issue a very favorable review. That set the stage for Crank #2.

I still get e-mail about "Fuck the Suburbs," "Drive Drunk with Us" and "Mr. AIDS Takes a Little off the Top". They remain watershed pieces for Crank, even if they are a touch outdated.



(Spring, 94)