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Episode 123 : Joe Carducci on SST Records + Henry Rollins + Paul Nelson

21 March 2022

In this episode we invite SST legend Joe Carducci to join us — all the way from Las Vegas — and talk about his life and career in music from the mid-'70s to the present day. 

We hear about Joe's childhood in Illinois, his move to L.A. in 1976 and his first pieces for Eurock and anarchist rag The Match! From there we learn about his forming record distributor Systematic in Portland; his working with Rough Trade US in Berkeley; and his helming of Black Flag's SST label from 1981 to 1986. Following his reminiscences of SST producer Spot and photographer Naomi Peterson, we hear clips frm a 1994 audio interview with Henry Rollins — including the former Black Flag frontman's thoughts on his old band and its influence on the recently-deceased Kurt Cobain. Joe also discusses his controversial 1990 book Rock & the Pop Narcotic, as well as the legendary Sing Out!/Circus/Rolling Stone writer Paul Nelson and the vital importance of his Little Sandy Review fanzine (1959–1967).

After paying our respects to Timmy ('Why Can't We Live Together') Thomas and NME/Daily Mirror journalist Gavin Martin, we hear from Mark about new library pieces on Country Joe & the Fish, Bette Midler and the Sex Pistols' famous Screen On The Green gig; from Jasper about Chicago's Tortoise and French pop; and from Barney about Little Feat's Lowell George, Texan "artlaw" Boyd Elder and Canadian rock'n'roller Jack Scott.

Finally we hear a third clip from the Rollins audio, in which Henry harks back to his teenage infatuation with Ted Nugent.

Watch a video clip from this recording

Many thanks to special guest Joe Carducci; find his blog at and his books, including Rock & the Pop Narcotic, in all good bookshops.