I always had a weird fascination with the ’60s hippie underground newspapers. The Berkeley Barb. The San Francisco Oracle. The East Village Other. etc.
So when the ’80s rolled around, and the the punk rock thing started happening, I decided to publish my own underground newspaper. For the first issue — Twisted Image #1 — I did this sort of parody front cover. “Punk Rockers For Christ.” With some mohawk kid reading the Bible with a t-shirt that said: “Sid Vicious Died For Your Sins.”
It was just sort of high school-level satire. It wasn’t anything deep. It was just a joke. I just thought it was incronguous that someone would be into Punk Rock AND Jesus Christ. So it was a joke. Ha ha.
But then later, I remember delivering stacks of that issue — Twisted Image #1 — my very own underground newspaper — to the On Broadway Theater in San Francisco — the happening punk rock club at the time. Hot off the press. … And later in the evening, this young punk guy with a mohawk and a black leather jacket and studs and the whole thing came up to me and said:
“I LOVE your zine. Twisted Image. And I LOVE the cover!! I can personally really relate to it. Because I’m into punk rock and I’m also into Jesus Christ, too! I’m a born again Christian. I’m a punk rocker for Christ!!”
And it was one of the moments. Where I realized that what I, as an artist, put out to the public. And what the public at the other end, recieved. Could be two very different things.