Are You Scared To Get Happy?
Mark Carnell and I created Are You Scared To Get Happy? in Bristol in the mid-eighties. We were inspired by Kevin Pearce’s Hungrybeat – its cover, reproduced in an NME review, had listed bands like Biff Bang Pow! and the Jasmine Minks (whose mysterious 7″s we’d just started buying in Revolver Records) alongside Hurrah! (who we knew and loved from Dave McCullough’s writing in Sounds but had never heard anybody else mention) – and egged on to create something of our own by Chris from Greenock fanzine Slow Dazzle, who put us in touch with Alison from Brislington (a proper Bristolian, not university-types like us), who provided more eggs but ended up leaving us to it and doing her own thing, probably quite sensibly. Copies were sold mostly by getting drunk and accosting people at gigs – it became easier once we started including flexidiscs – though also at Revolver and Record Collector in Sheffield (Mark’s hometown). This is probably also a good place to belatedly thank Elaine for providing (mostly uncredited) illustrations and not once objecting when I assumed she’d be happy sitting up all night helping me collate, fold and staple freshly printed pieces of A4 paper.
Are You Scared To Get Happy #1
A blatant Hungrybeat rip-off, though with a title nicked from Hurrah! rather than the Fire Engines to demonstrate our originality.
The Sun Shines Here
Written in a fit of embarrassment to show we could do something beyond rip off Hungrybeat, though still ripping off Hurrah! for the title. This was just me solo – Mark was busy with exams.
Are You Scared To Get Happy #2
Again written with Mark, and finally finding our own feet rather than tripping over everyone else’s, I think. Orange Juice + The Jam = popmusic.
Are You Scared To Get Happy #3
Mark’s last issue, and we’re finally getting the hang of it – though still a bit too in love with the sound of our own typewriters. The first Sha-la-la flexidiscs appear here.
Are You Scared To Get Happy #4
Written in an 2-week blitz having twigged that incoherent babble splashed in paint whilst emotionally all over the place beats typewritten blocks of considered reflection any day.
Are You Scared To Get Happy #5
I threw this away before it got to the printing stage on the grounds that it wasn’t as good as #4. Yay, punk rock!
Are You Scared To Get Happy #6
The main thing I’d learnt from #4 was that doing weird covers that have to be folded and stapled and trimmed with a Stanley knife is really stupid.