RE/Search Publications, the San Francisco fringe culture publisher, began life in 1977 asSearch and Destroy, a tabloid inspired by the beats (and Andy Warhol's Interview) but focused on the beginnings of San Francisco punk rock. V. Vale, founder and "non-careerist" publisher of RE/Search, told PW he was working at the time at City Lights Bookstore. "Everything being written about punk at the time was disparaging—obsessed with violence and safety pins. But I knew it marked a revolution." By 1980 Search and Destroy had morphed into RE/Search Publications, a book publisher. RE/Search titles cover a range of cultural peculiarities and anticorporate activism, from sadomasochism to sword swallowing to 'zine culture. The house has published conversations with novelist William Burroughs, rocker/poet/publisher Henry Rollins and pain-performance artist Bob Flanagan, among others. Now Vale is publishing a series of pocket-size interview anthologies, "for today's fragmented attention spans," said Vale. Coming in June is Real Conversations 1, including interviews with Rollins, rocker/activist Jello Biafra, S.F. poet laureate (and Vale role model) Lawrence Ferlinghetti and cult rocker, painter and publisher Billy Childish. The interviews are personal, funny, intelligent and often critical of today's underground publishing. "They're all inspiring people," said Vale. "I thought I could present them with integrity."
Volume 248 Issue 22 05/28/2001