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Punk Publisher Tim Yohannan Dead At 52

Tim Yohannan, the controversial founder and editor
of the world-famous punk ‘zine Maximum Rock N’Roll, died
Friday after a long battle with cancer, according to MRR
columnist Jen Angel.

Yohannan, 52, was known for his staunch commitment to political
activism, the do-it-yourself ideal, and, most of all, the music he
loved. A New Jersey native, Yohannan began the underground radio
show Maximum Rock N’Roll in San Francisco in the late
’70s.

In 1983 he founded a newsprint monthly of the same name, which
during the next 15 years became the de-facto “bible of punk rock,”
known for bringing underground bands to international attention and
keeping the punk scene alive during lean years. MRR also
released several compilations which popularized now-famous groups
such as NOFX and Operation
Ivy
.

While some accused Yohannan of being musically conservative, he
was also championed for his high profile radio debates with concert
promoter Bill Graham — whom Yohannan accused of
co-opting the Bay Area punk scene — as well as his involvement in
the defunct Blacklist Mailorder service, the
Epicenter record store and the famed Berkeley,
Calif., venue 924 Gilman Street.

“Even though I had disagreements with him over the years, I
admired the man,” music writer Jack Rabid, founder
and editor of The Big Takeover ‘zine, told JAMTV on Monday. “He seemed
really combative in his columns, but he was really a dear, sweet
person with a great sense of humor. I don’t think many people knew
that about him.”

“Tim Yo is undeniably one of the most important figures in the
history of American punk rock,” said Tim Chandler
of Mutant Pop Records, an Oregon-based independent
label. “His magazine’s pages served as a unifying factor that
helped to bring about punk’s rebirth on a mass scale in the
1990s.”

Maximum Rock N’Roll plans to continue publishing under
the leadership of Angel and others.

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