Bob Nalbandian, founder and publisher of the esteemed early ’80s heavy metal music fanzine THE HEADBANGER, has just released issue #2 of the groundbreaking Xeroxed fanzine in ebook form through the Tokyo-based company Japanime Publishing. This is the second issue (out of 11 total issues) to be released as an ebook, the first issue, which was also originally released as a Xeroxed fanzine in 1982, was made available as an ebook earlier this year. Never before has the fanzine — which featured early interviews of local and international heavy metal bands, including the very first profiles of then-unsigned LA bands Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth — been available for mass distribution until now.
Bob Nalbandian founded THE HEADBANGER in early 1982 when he was just 17 years old, and released the inaugural issue in May of that year. The seminal fanzine featured articles and interviews that vividly captured the emerging heavy metal scene.
Nalbandian says, “(Japanime founder) Glenn Kardy and I decided to present the readers an ebook version of the fanzine in its all its original, raw glory — without any touchups or changes to it. I’ve scanned all the pages of the first issue as is, or as was! What you’re getting is a digitized version of the original mockup, complete with cutout pictures and logos, rub-off letters, and typewriter print! THE HEADBANGER was published long before the widespread use of home computers and desktop printing, so this is as old-school as it gets!”
This second installment of the ebook will include an all-new introduction from Nalbandian, along with the entire contents of THE HEADBANGER Issue #2 (original fanzine release in late October of 1982). The issue features cover story/live review of British metal legends Motorhead on their first US headlining tour playing the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles; a 1-page European metal report (featuring then, fresh new metal bands Accept, Trust, Mercyful Fate, Electric Sun, Silver Mountain, Bodine and many others); a live review of Scorpions, Sept. 1, 1982 show at the Long Beach Arena; a heavy metal news section called “Hot Tips”; and no-holds-barred commentary on “new” albums by Saxon, Raven, Rainbow, Riot and “heavy metal masters” Judas Priest.
Nalbandian states, “I originally sold THE HEADBANGER for a dollar per issue (and the first one, I gave away for free). By transforming them into ebooks, I feel I can still offer it at an ultra-low price and give readers the same experience as if they were reading the original fanzine with its wrinkled pages, typos, faded print, and atrocious spelling and grammatical errors! I can’t think of a better way to expose readers to a time in history when heavy metal music truly was an underground phenomenon, and tape-trading and metal fanzines were a way of life.”
Both Issues #1 and #2 of The Headbanger are currently available worldwide in the Apple iBookstore and the Amazon Kindle store. Here are direct links to the latest issue (#2) for customers in the United States.
About Bob Nalbandian
Bob Nalbandian has been a working journalist for over 35 years and is arguably one of the leading hard rock/metal scholars of his time. He grew up in Los Angeles and Orange County, California, reading mainstream rock magazines like Creem, Circus and Hit Parader in the late ’70s, but by 1981 had become an avid devotee of the British metal magazine Kerrang! At the age of 17, Bob started the metal fanzine The Headbanger. Bob continues to be the ultimate enthusiast for all things heavy metal, recording a monthly podcast with Hardradio.com; you can also hear him on his Shockwaves Skull Sessions podcast, hosted by Roadrunner Records.
About Japanime Co. Ltd.
Japanime Co. Ltd. is a Tokyo-based publishing company and creative agency known for its “Manga University” educational materials, including the Japanese government award-winning “Kanji de Manga” series of books and the American Library Association Top 10 Popular Paperback selection “The Manga Cookbook.” Japanime founder and CEO Glenn Kardy spent a decade as a news reporter and editor in the San Francisco Bay Area before taking a job in the mid-1990s with the English-language division of The Yomiuri Shimbun, the world’s most widely read daily newspaper. During a three-year stint at Yomiuri headquarters in Tokyo, Glenn regularly wrote and edited stories about pop-culture trends originating in Japan, including the anime-and-manga boom and the Japanese hard rock and heavy metal scene. Glenn left the Yomiuri in 1998 to establish Japanime and its Manga University publishing imprint. For more information, please visit mangauniversity.com.