Dubliner Jude Carr was 19 when he started Heat fanzine with Peter Price in 1977. Heat was fun, fresh, good-looking, stylish and ambitious with plenty of attitude crammed between its striking covers. Hand-written pages featured punk, reggae and original cartoons alongside reviews of obscure comics and movies. Heat championed young local bands and energised the exciting new wave music scene that exploded in Ireland in the late 1970s. When Heat finished in the summer of 1979, Jude moved to London where he has lived since. Brian McMahon of Brand New Retro hooked up with him to revisit his Heat days from over 40 years ago.
When you started, did you have a strategic plan for Heat?
We had no plans for the fanzine, we were amazed how well it was received. We ended with 11 issues, four colour covers, a print run of over a thousand and national distribution through Easons.
How did you decide on content and who designed the front covers?
Most editorial and design meetings were taken, and decided in pubs. The Bailey was our office. I wasn’t design talented, I saw myself as an agent provocateur, or a catalyst. Both Pete and I worked for Arrow Advertising and we knew a lot of design people including Steve Rapid (Averill) and Billy Morley. Covers were mainly designed by Pete.
Did you write using pseudonyms for anonymity or was it just the fun punk thing to do?
It was fun and also made it look like we had a large team. I started off as Ray Gunne with Peter as Pete Nasty. I also became Nick Cheap (Cheap’n’Nasty), Ian Famous and Toni Marconi. However, I wrote about Irish Fascists in the first issue and used my name to stand behind it.
What are your favourite covers and features?
My fave covers are Boy Scouts and Hulk. (For the Hulk, we coloured in his eyes with marker pen). I loved the cartoons. Young Lust was amazing. The Ramones being joined by Superheroes was cool, Debbie and the Silver Surfer and best of all, The Incredible Elvis. I am also very pleased with the headline ‘McGuinness is good for U2’!
How come you used a different logo/masthead for every issue after #2?
People were confused when Issue 2 came out as it looked the same as issue 1. We changed the masthead and Pete created a genius cover for #3, a Time magazine tribute. From then on it was fun coming up with new logos. I love the digital one for #5 (Hulk) and the Interview magazine style one, done in lipstick, for the final issue (Boy Scouts).
What other magazines/fanzines were you reading then?
I loved fanzines and comics… Punk, Next Big Thing, Sniffin’ Glue, In the City (of the Dead) …oh everything. I visited London for weekends, on the Holyhead ferry, filled an empty suitcase with records, fanzines and comics.
What was the best thing about doing Heat?
Heat opened doors, introduced us to people. I remember visiting Paul Rambali at the NME with some of the Fabulous Fabrics and introduced by Danny Baker as Jake from Stiff Little Fingers! It was always fun. Always!
Why did Heat end?
We started to get a bit bored with the fanzine and the “scene”. Myself and Pete were drifting apart in our interests. We had planned to start a record label – not a Chiswick or Stiff but more a Beserkley or Ralph. Then, we got sued …had to stop selling the mag. [Paul McGuinness sued Heat for libel over the “McGuinness is good for you” article which alleged he acted in a dishonest manner when securing some early gigs for U2.] There was a great benefit concert with the Defenders and wonderful support to help finance our case. This stuff helped me leave…
What do you miss most about Dublin?
I miss my Dublin, a place that no longer exists. I miss most those we have lost…Philip Chevron, Mark Megaray, Paul Verner and Billy Morley. I stay in touch with a weekly listen to the greatest radio show in the world; Shakin Street with Uncle Karl on Dublin City Radio.
Words: Brian McMahon Brand New Retro
1 The last issue, May 1979, with Dublin band Boy Scouts.
2 Issue 5 from December 1977
3 Issue 3, September 1977
Two issues of Heat are on display at the Last Album of the Decade exhibition now showing at the Lab Gallery, Dublin 1.