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Covering Relix: The First Issue with Les Kippel (November_December 1974)

February 25, 2014

Our special 40th anniversary issue of Relix includes Relix founder Les Kippel's look back at some of the magazine's covers. Here's what he has to say about the premiere issue.

THE FIRST COVER of Dead Relix, Vol. 1, No. 1, was created in October 1974 and was dated Nov./Dec. 1974. It has always been on my top-20 list of covers not only because it was the first, but also because—if you look at the cover—we pushed the envelope of what society would find acceptable. (Not a chance this would end up on a newsstand!) The key elements in this cover include the front and back cover: We had our “Tape Monster” on the back because we all knew, once you started to tape, you never stopped! And, of course, our tongue-in-cheek legal disclaimer: “The Publisher and the Editor of this magazine in no way advocate the duplication of live recordings for purposes other than free exchange. We do not condone unauthorized duplication for sale. We will not accept subscriptions or take advertising from known bootleggers.”

Naturally, the cover had to have a skull on it: Instead of roses, we had pot leaves. Nitrous was big at concerts at the time, with everyone under the sun figuring out how to sneak in 5-foot tanks, so we had to have the “Nitrous Monster” on the cover. The first issue also was dedicated to the world’s “sneakiest” taper of all time, our very own Tricky Dicky [Richard Nixon], who wired his desk in the Oval Office to record everything! What a great inspiration.