Second Life: Light Bulb, 1977-81

Edited by Chip Chapman
$35 Sold Out
Published by East of Borneo in cooperation with
the Los Angeles Free Music Society (LAFMS)
62 pages + 4 stickers, looseleaf / 8.75 x 11.25 x 1 in.

Light Bulb was the house organ of the Los Angeles Free Music Society, made by and for the experimental collective of musicians that formed in 1972 Pasadena and soon “became a lightning rod for art-damaged, weird-music lovers everywhere.” Nowhere is the DIY, visual complexity of their experimentation so clear as in this “occasional magazine” initiated by Chapman and comprised of art, writings, graphics, and poetry acquired by open call.

In the foreword to this anthology, Chapman explains:

“Your artwork and $2 per page got you a finished copy of the magazine. Artists utilized drawing, typewritten text, rubdown lettering, collage and photography, sometimes all on the same page. There were ads for other LAFMS records and cassette tapes. Smirking visual comedy to dark sexual ramblings, text based designs and poetry, realistic drawings and abstract collages; these all found a spot in Light Bulb.”

Keeping with the format of the original publication, which utilized dime store materials ranging from Pee-Chee folders to shipping boxes, this special reissue contains a selection of 60 looseleaf pages in a cardboard mailer. Each “cover” is unique, with custom stencil and stamp stickers applied by hand and sealed with duct tape.

Second Life: Light Bulb 1977-81 includes reproductions of works originally contributed by Chip Chapman, Dennis Duck, Ace Farren Ford, Pat Fish, Juan Gomez, Ju Suk Reet Meate, Fredrik Nilsen, Joe Potts, Rick Potts, Tom Potts, Tom Recchion, and others.

Listen: Selected LAFMS MP3s at The Wire

“The unearthing of the LAFMS recordings is experimental rock history at its most historical and hysterical—a completely bizarro and further-out counterpart to the LA punk scene.”
—Thurston Moore, Sonic Youth

“LAFMS represented a knowledgeable, impassioned, crazed, suicidal, amateurish, visionary leap of faith. And like all truly beautiful things, it came and went without gentrifying or really even facing its own death head on.”
—Dennis Cooper

“Japanese noise musicians will never forget to appreciate the pure will of LAFMS as a pioneer in noise music and a friend of Japanese underground music.”
—Takuya Sakaguchi

“The LAFMS was a lightning rod for pre-punk & non-punk musical whatsis from all over the globe.”
—Byron Coley