Monday, August 29, 2011

Interview With Punk Globe Magazine Founder Ginger Coyote

Critical Mass: Thanks for taking the time to talk with Critical Mass, Ginger. You started the famous Punk Globe Magazine back in 1977 at the peak of the punk revolution. Back then did you ever think you would still be doing it some 30+ years later? Or that punk rock, as a genre, would still be as vibrant and influential as it is today?

Ginger Coyote: If I could turn back time! I would date a foetus...Since I was a child when I first started doing Punk Globe I had no idea what I would be doing the next day let alone years down the line. Punk Globe was created to put a smile on people's faces and make them forget about the hassles of life. That may account for the longevity. I knew when the term "Punk Rock" was first used during the disco era that it was going to become history. But probably no to the degree it is now. I am proud to have been a trailblazer for all the people who now can have crazy colored hair and wear wild clothes without a second glance. When we were doing it we were getting stuff thrown at us. Could not go into certain restaurants and bars and were constantly being harassed by the police. Back in the days of cut and paste I had taken the layout for a new issue of Punk Globe to a Copymat in San Francisco. I had Rubber Cement and a pair of medium sized scissors in my bag. There was a Police Sweep and I was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon. I got bailed out of jail almost immediately from the crew at The Mabuhay Gardens. I had bright purple hair I knew that was the reason I had been popped. Well Herb Caen who wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle had it as the lead item in this column the day I went to court. When I arrived people were pointing at me and I could NOT find my name on the docket. I was informed my case had been dropped. I asked how they all knew about it and then replied you were the lead story in Herb Caen.  Herb Caen during that era in San Francisco called the shots in San Francisco. He was extremely beloved and  a well respected writer. He also got alot of perks from writing his daily column. Herb had mentioned I was carrying sewing scissors and was on my way to a sewing bee. I was pretty nervous about the charges so I thanked Maude that Herb had the power he had and most importantly that he liked me.

                                                                   Ginger w/Bebe Buell
CM: Punk Globe has survived for so long when other mags like Punk and Sniffin Glue bit the dust. What do you think makes people keep coming back to Punk Globe?

GC: I truly believe that with tenacity also comes respect. through out the years I have received alot of encouragement from people with whom I really respect and also got alot of support from the bands and people that I knew more casually with whom I had supported in Punk Globe. When I started Punk Globe there was only one other punk zine and that was Search and Destroy, it was way to serious and they only supported a handful of bands in the Bay Area leaving the other bands with no outlet for press. I have never felt punk was about being in a clicque so that was the main reason for doing the magazine when I did. For a year it was xeroxed but did get out every month sometimes only 50 issues but it was an outlet...I have a copy of the first copy of the xeroxed issue with Lenore Real Cool Chick and Crime on the cover. I do not have any of the first years  issues. I'm sure that quite possibly one of the folks that have been featured on the TV Show "Horders" may have a few of the first years issues. Then in August 1979 I went newsprint. Chris Coyle, the manager of SVT, suggested looking for a printer in China Town because they were cheaper. I found a cool printing company called Grant Printing right in the heart of China Town. The owner of the print shop was Florence Fang she was heavily involved with City and relations with the people in China Town. Her sons became involved with  politics in San Francisco and one of them took over publishing The San Francisco Examiner after the Hearst family sold it. Here is a funny story, a couple years ago I went back to San Francisco to play a show. I have lived in Hollywood for over 10 years. I was in China Town shopping and my friend bought something glass that needed wrapping, the clerk pulled out some old newspaper to wrap it in and it was old pages from Punk Globe from 25 years ago. The Punk Globe then went on to heavier stock white paper and was printed at SF Litho. Then it went to the internet only.

                                                                                           W/Dee Dee Ramone
CM: Do you remember the very first interview you worked on for Punk Globe?

GC: I interviewed Lenore Real Cool Chick who was 79 years young and the band Crime together.

CM: Over the years you have worked with and hung out with some legendary people including Jayne County, Joey and Dee Dee Ramone, Andy Warhol, Joe Jackson, Mick Jones and Sylvain Sylvain. Was there ever a time when you got star struck when meeting someone famous?

GC: When I was younger of course I could not believe some of the folks I became friendly with. I was definitely star struck. However with age comes confidence and I am not as star struck as I used to be. But when I saw Kathy Griffin on my flight on Southwest I got excited. I also have met many of the Reality Shows like Big Brother, Daisey Of Love, Survivor, and Amazing Race and I get excited meeting them. My pal Pauley Perrette who is Abbie on NCIS also loves the Reality Shows Big Brother and Survivor.

                                                                      W/Sylvain Sylvain
CM: Former Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra used to write record reviews for you under the name The Taste Police. What was it like working with someone as outspoken as Jello?

GC: I can handle Biafra. When he did the reviews it was when the Dead Kennedys were touring alot so he could not do a monthly column. But he did come through, he was a pleasure to deal with.  We were very close during the from 78-85 so we never had any problems. He also had a great sense of humor. Once we were driving home from the Farm in San Francisco...This was after he ran for Mayor and Herb Caen was mentioning me alot in his column...We are driving feeling no pain and we get pulled over by the cops. When they saw who was in the car they asked us for our autographs and never thought about a drunk driving test. We were so fucking lucky!!

                                                                                                        W/Liv Tyler
CM: When Punk Globe became an online magazine in 2005 did it open itself up as a whole to a wider audience that may not have been able to get their hands on the actual paper copy when it was being pressed?

GC: I hate to say this but it seems that printed media is a thing of the past. Circulation for magazines like Vogue and Newsweek are dwindling. Anymore almost everyone in the world has access to the Internet and that reaches more more people than the best distribution company can do.On the stats page with host Gator it has a list of Countries that have clicked on the Punk Globe site. I have read names I had not heard for years. It is amazing...Japan, England, Spain, Brazil, Argentina,England, Ireland,Italy, Germany are all a given. But Countries like Laos, Croatia,Turkey, Jordan,  Vietnam, China, Ghana Uruguay  to name just a few amaze me.

                                                                                                W/Joey Ramone
CM: Besides working with Punk Globe, you're also the singer for White Trash Debutantes. You and the band have toured the world with acts like the Ramones, Rancid and Green Day. What is the band up to at this time?

GC: Not quite the world yet! We did tour with the Ramones but we only played shows with Rancid and Green Day.  I feel blessed with all the tours and places I have gotten to pay and see. Being on the Jerry Springer show because we had a 84 year old band member named Punk Rock Patty helped spread the notoriety of the band. We were also in the Nation Enquirer a couple of times which helped expose the band to many people. But when I invited fallen Olympic Skating Star Tonya Harding to join the band we were seen all over the world. We were interviewed for radio shows, magazines and newspapers all over the world.. We had a publicist that was setting appointments for the interviews.. I remember  someone in The Congo doing a radio show with us. These days we just play when it strikes our fancy. If we were offered a recording deal we would love to record and tour. But for right now we are content with playing a few times a year!

                                                                                  White Trash Debutantes live
CM: Are there any plans for a WTD record or tour in the near future?

GC: Our next show is October 28th at The Blue Star in downtown Los Angeles...I know Duchess Desade is on the bill. I am hoping Death On The Radio with Mary Powers from American Idol #9. Mary is an amazing singer and so very sweet. Brad Davidson from The Wipers has a good band called Phantom Ratio. We love having Josie cotton join us doing "Johnny Are You Queer". Bebe Buell, Vitamin C, Jonathan Gries, Judy Tenuta, Tim Armstrong,  Joey Ramone and Debbie Harry have all joined us on stage.  Billy Gould  from Faith No More and Margaret Cho have been members of the band at one time.

                                                                 w/Joe Dallesandro, Iris Berry and Cloe Trujillo

CM: When you look back on all that you have achieved so far, both as a musical artists and a writer, is there anything you would have done differently? And is the best still yet to come for Ginger Coyote?

GC: Of course there are things that happened that I wish would happen again. Or that you could change what happened. When you are young you are thinking. You say things to people that comes back to bite you you. You also get  taken advantage of alot.
But that is life and you have to accept it. "You Take The Good.. You Take The Bad.. You Take Em Both And There You Have The Facts Of Life!! When The World It  Doesn't Seem To Be Living Up To Your Dreams..Suddenly Your Finding Out The Facts Of Life Are All About You!" No truer words spoken. I wanna start writing a book of my personal life and also do a Punk Globe Coffee Table Book. 

CM: This is the time in the interview where I have over the control to you. Would you like to plug your various websites or any bands you like?

GC:  The Punk Globe Website is
 I do hope that  every one reading this interview will check it out... We also have a few Facebook profiles for Punk Globe.  I would like to thank all the people who work so hard to make Punk Globe happen. Especially Sharla Cartner the web mistress and Marc Floyd who does the great covers. All the writers, the sponsors click on their banners on the home page please and especially all the readers.

With White Trash Debutantes please check out our MySpaceYahoo Groups page and the Facebook pages to find out about what the band is up to. I would like to thank all the members for their dedication. Pauli Gray, Eric B, Chelsea Rose, Mike, Karla, Keith, Amy Talaska and  Aaron you all rule!
  I also would like to thank our supporters and fans. They have been so kind and loyal.

Of course I would like to plug my dear friend Kathy Peck and her non profit H.E.A. R.  Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers... When you feel you problems with your hearing, please contact Kathy first
.. She can clean your ears and run some tests that may help you not have to go through with expensive surgeries. She also does counseling. Another group I would like to plug is  Campaign For Care run by the fabulous Stacy Tuttle and her family.. They make sure that the homeless population in  the greater Los Angeles area get blankets, socks, rain gear and other necessities for being on the street. A special shout out to Pauley Perrette for her fight for equality for all and to overturn Prop Hate! She, Kathy Griffin and Cyndi Lauper have been very vocal about ending bigotry. Bebe Buell and Liv Tyler in their support for Cancer. Watch The Big C, Laura Linney is doing a great job to bring out cancer awareness. Pauli Gray and all the other folks who work with AIDS awareness. There are so many great people out there that are making a difference. Another friend, James Tracey, made me aware how important RENT CONTROL is and also Renters Rights awareness. Also watch Weeds because it is a kick ass show and Shane Botwin has your back.

Support music and comedy. Especially musicians and comedians who stand up for their beliefs. Jayne County, The Dixie Chicks, Cheetah Chrome, Henry Rollins, Siobhan "Shamama" Lowe,  Kathy Griffin, Lisa Lampanelli, Rosie O Donnell, Cyndi Lauper, Bill Maher, Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg the list is endless. I think the world owes Saturday Night Live and Tina Fey a Nobel Peace Prize for helping prove what an idiot Sarah Palin really is. Lets hope they will have someone to do Michelle Bachman. A shout out to my favorite politician Bernie Sanders.

                                                                   w/Pauley Perrette
CM: Ginger, I honestly can't thank you enough for all you've given to the punk rock community AND society. It was an honor to interview you, and I wanna wish you the very best of luck in the future. Thanks so much for talking the time to talk with Critical Mass.

GC: Thank you for allowing me to go on and on . I want to wish you all the success with Critical Mass. We all need to support what we believe in and get our message out there. Because PEOPLE GOT THE POWER!


  1. Thanks so much Chris It is a delight to on your blog but you made a small error with the photo you have with Jim Carroll. It is with Andy Warhol Superstar Joe Dallesandro, Poet Iris Berry and Artist/ Musician Chloe Trujillo.

    Ginger Coyote

  2. It is so great that Ginger is still the heart of Punk Rock! It's an honor to have been mentioned by her! She inspires me to keep it REAL!! Big Ups and a great interview!Shamama Loves Punk Globe!!

  3. It's so cool to rock like hell with Ginger. We're still on it!
    ...from WTD Guitarist Pauli

  4. Ginger, the error on my end has been fixed. I'm sorry about that. Shamama and Pauli, thank you both so much for the kind words. I'm glad you both liked the interview!


  5. Ginger is AWESOME! A great friend, publisher, entertainer, historian and communicator for the Punk generation. Ginger Rocks!

  6. I couldn't agree more, Kathy! Ginger is pretty rad!


  7. Ginger is a 'True Individual' and in ways lives up to many Art Forms :) Thanks for putting this out to the universe!

  8. Thank you for the kind words, Brian. Like i said before, Ginger is pretty rad! A TRUE legend and an inspiration for me to keep doing my blog. It's wonderful people like Ginger and you all that keep posting your kind words that make this worth while.

  9. Ginger is one in a million. She is truly loved by so many. It's really an honor to know her and being being able to call her my friend.

  10. outstanding saga of a legendary figure in the pages of Punk history; Congratulations,Ginger,on a decades long job well done!

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