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Spiral Scratch Magazine

Posted on June 11, 2008
Filed Under Web Site | 14 Comments

Spiral Scratch Magazine march 1989

In the late 1980s the magazine of choice for collectors of punk, indie, alternative and industrial music wasn't Record Collector, it was Spiral Scratch magazine.

Run by Lee Woods who was the man behind Raw Records it started as a newspaper distributed at record fairs but after three issues became a magazine and was available in high street outlets.

I can't recall why it closed but I remember that he expanded and had a more mainstream magazine called Music Collector so maybe it was too much too soon.

Spiral Scratch remains an excellent reference source for collectors but curiously has little commercial value. Click here for a list of issues.


14 Responses to “Spiral Scratch Magazine”

  1. Darren Smith on June 29th, 2008 8:56 pm

    I won one of the two BLONDIE autographed editions that came out and became a telephone regular with Lee getting a ton of questions answered about Blondie, that article was the most exhaustive, nobdy has touched it to date, although a slew more releases have since surfaced…

  2. Steve Smith on January 16th, 2009 1:21 pm

    In August 1991 there was a ‘difference of opinion’ between the main editorial team (Myself, Alex Ogg, and Shaun Barrett) and teh publisher (Lee Woods) which resulted in us going our separate ways. Mr Woods managed to get a few more issues of both Music Collector and Spiral Scratch out but they folded soon after.

    Spiral Scratch, in particular, was a fanzine with bells on, in that most of our articles were provided by people with a real passion for the bands they were writing about.

    They were great days for me whilst they lasted

  3. jay on April 28th, 2010 12:20 am

    i have spial scratch issue june 1991 no.11, GO BETWEENS, STIV BATORS, DICKIES, RICH KIDS ETC if you are interested in buying it for 5 pound email me…

  4. Adam Sykes on June 24th, 2011 7:54 pm

    I wondered if anyone knew which issue of spiral Scratch had the 2 page spread on British Industrial Music in it. I used have most copies of this superb tome, but in several house moves have lost them. I’ve subsequently bought 3 back – fomr this excellent website – but really woud like the issue mentioned earlier.

    I look forward to your replies.
    Best wishes

  5. Lee Wood on February 6th, 2013 12:20 am


    I am glad some people liked what we did. I like to think we did a good job. I remember Darren who phoned me often and chatted about Blondie. Steve Smith was a nice guy but the other two were not people you could trust. I sold Music Collector magazine to the publishers of Record Collector who “buried the title” so they could increase the advertising rates of RC without any competitors. they paid me a nice five figure amount!
    I never ran the magazine for the money but because I loved the music. And still do.
    Nowadays I am pretty much retired and live a good life. I can afford most things but I cannot buy the time of those days. I just have the memories of all the great bands and people.
    Enjoy life and have fun
    Lee Wood

  6. Benjamin on March 28th, 2013 9:24 pm

    Hello Mr. Woods and everyone else. I just picked up the Oct. 1988 Issue One of Spiral Scrath (in news print), w\ the Sisters of Mercy 7″ single enclosed. This awesome find was made in a small town in Virginia. Thank you for creatimg this post so I could share my awesome find!!!

  7. Bart on October 1st, 2013 2:10 pm

    I had most of the issues but seem to have lost the newspaper ones over the years. Still have the free 7″ records though. It was a great magazine with loads of great information about the bands I came to love. It was Spiral Scratch that started my love affair with US hardcore punk. Would love to locate the issue that had the US hardcore article.

  8. Darren Smith on January 27th, 2014 1:06 am

    Mr Wood!!!! I spent a while trying to find where you’d gone! I always enjoyed talking “Blondie!” with you who’d have thought that they WOULD reform and go on to such success again!! I did finally get my PRIVTAE STOCK Promo poster framed and still have the autographed SS Magazine – a treasured possession.. Thank you for the written word… If you ever wanna catch up E mail me!! DARREN

  9. Look at the State of us – Cork Rock, 1992 | The Blackpool Sentinel on March 30th, 2015 8:58 am

    […] call ; when you’ve got parents who help to put your posters up and who take out subscriptions to Spiral Scratch and who know Verve’s mid-week chart position. It all adds […]

  10. Vanda Krutnik on March 18th, 2017 9:16 am

    Weirdly, I came across this site by accident. I worked at Spiral Scratch in my youth, typing the listings(!!) amongst other things. Wow – how things have changed. Dominic Mohan was a fresh faced student at the time and, I believe, went on to work as Music Editor at The Sun. Also remember heavy metal Alan, the lovely Helen, Mark and the very cool white-haired man on the computers (how ancient those machine would seem now!) I desktop published Hot Buttered Soul in no. 15 by Chris Savory – wow that guy knew his stuff! Glad you did well Lee – enjoy your retirement! Hi to any if my ex-colleagues else who might stumble upon this. Vanda

  11. Ian Crisp on May 13th, 2017 11:42 am

    This is a message to Lee Woods .I sold you Artwoods Jazz in Jeans EP at a Cambridge record fair possibility late 1980s .If you still.have it .Could I get a photo please

  12. Lee Wood on October 15th, 2017 8:06 pm

    Doing some research I ‘re-discovered’ this website and the posts.
    I’ll try to cover everyone.
    Hello, amazing Vanda. Yes, they were good times (for the main part) and if only we had the technology of today back then. I was sad to read recently that that lovely, lovely man Chris Savory had passed away. As you say his knowledge was stunning. I sold Hot Buttered Soul when I had the record shop in King Street (1973 to 1979). And I met him at various record fairs. I have an incredible story about Chris but I’ll leave that for another time and place. I hope you are keeping well. My best regards to you Vanda.
    Darren, my Blondie friend. Why would you address me as Mr Wood? We knew each other well. I hope you managed to replace all the items stolen from your loft?
    And I haven’t ‘gone’ anywhere. I’m still alive and well and enjoying each day.
    I’ve recently taken up writing novels and short stories and I’m writing a book about my record label Raw Records to be published next year (2018). It will be a totally honest account that will shock people.
    If anyone wants to contact me directly, my email is lee@soundpublishing.co.uk
    Steve. You were a nice guy. It’s a shame you don’t know the whole truth about what happened with Alex.
    And Steve – it’s a shame information I told you in complete confidence you and Alex later decided to reveal in print.
    But you both did me a favour in that RC paid me a very nice sum. Just a shame they didn’t continue to publish it.
    It’s all water under the bridge now.
    I’ll close at this point rather than bore you all silly.
    Take care and God bless.

  13. Fiona on February 24th, 2018 2:17 pm

    Just stumbled across this website! I worked for you, Lee, in the early 90’s…I wrote the only issue of Madonna Monthly, which I still have many copies of! I actually went on to work as a freelance writer in Toronto, Canada, I have many happy memories of those days in Cambridge!

  14. Jon Camp on January 16th, 2019 5:17 pm

    Hello Lee
    Hope you are well. I did the 4ad article.. remember that one. Ivo supplied the pixies track on 3″ cd

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