BIKE FOR YOUR RIGHT… TO FRACTURE
It was going to be a massive event: The Beastie Boys and Rage Against The Machine (with special opening act At The Drive-In) were going to tour stadiums and arenas in late summer of 2000. And those bands were going to be on the cover of AP 147. After the cover shoot ended, Mike D rode his bicycle back home and had an accident, breaking his clavicle. Suffice to say, the tour was cancelled, and Papa Roach, then blowing up the charts, ended up on the cover that month.
Hey, nobody’s perfect, and we’re no exception. Former editorial director Aaron Burgess recalls his low point as a copy editor was letting “ANNIVESARY” get onto the cover of our 14th-anniversary issue. Although illiteracy was in vogue that year and we already had “KILLECTAZ” on the cover (our public attempt at Juggalo-speak), so maybe no one noticed. Then there was the time we botched Aaron Gillespie’s name on our Noise On The Side issue. (Ever the awesome dude, he autographed a copy of the issue for our then-copy editor, spelling her name incorrectly on purpose.) And please, don’t remind us about Say Anthing…
IMITATION IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF FLATULENCE
When pop-punk titans Green Day and Blink-182 united for their massive Pop Disastour campaign across America, we had the idea of covering them in pizza and ice cream similar to the cover of the debut album from mighty British punks the Damned. There was some pushback on the idea from Blink’s handlers, but when Billie Joe Armstrong was positively amped to do it, a classic AP cover (AP 167) was born. SPIN did the exact same thing with Sum 41 several months later, thereby generating begrudging props for us from longtime AP haters.
WE ALMOST PACKED IT IN. SORRY, HATERS.
At the turn of the century, morale was bad. The cultural climate had changed, close associates we worked with frequently became divas, competition got heated and then the events of Sept. 11, 2001, weighed heavily on Shea. He had been in New York City a week before the attacks and did some serious soul-searching. Chris Carrabba, aka Dashboard Confessional, was making waves in the underground by playing emotionally charged songs—powered by nothing more than a commanding voice and an acoustic guitar—in front of hardcore audiences. On paper it sounded insane, but also incredibly resonant in a climate that wanted sincerity in a world slathered in nü-metal artifice. Dashboard Confessional graced what was to be the last issue of AP (AP 168). The response to it was enormous, turning the tide for the next chapter in our evolution. Coupled with the sense of community fostered by Kevin Lyman’s Warped Tour, AP no longer had to deal with doing things like assuaging Fred Durst’s then-ego or fighting with SPIN over who would get the first Interpol cover. Pettigrew told Carrabba that at the 2016 APMAs, but we’ll say it again right here: Thanks, Chris.
SCREENS? WE’VE BEEN ON THEM.
[Skip to 1:45, and you'll see AP make an appearance.]
In the film adaptation of Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, John Cusack, Jack Black and Todd Louiso are behind the counter at the Championship Vinyl record store, where three issues of AP are prominently displayed. Promotional sniping posters of various issues have appeared on the sets of Men In Black, Spider Man 3 and 2012. And who could forget the storyline in that One Tree Hill episode where Ellie Harp (actor Sheryl Lee) fakes being a writer for AP in order to get close to club owner Peyton Sawyer (played by Hilarie Burton)? Not us, that’s for sure! You can see a brief glimpse of the AP offices in My Chemical Romance’s Life On The Murder Scene documentary, as well.
HIDDEN ROCK AGENDAS AND WAGERING
Music editor Jonah Bayer and editorial director Aaron Burgess had a side bet going to see which of them could get their favorite bands into the magazine the most times in one year. Thanks to them, the Dillinger Escape Plan and Thursday didn't need to hire publicists from 2003 to 2004.
FORGET AN ASSIGNMENT? HAVE A BAND STARTED.
Back when Aaron Burgess edited the AP Recommends section, there was one month where he forgot to book a band for one of the slots. In a panic, he called his friend Steve Moore, who'd been making weird noise recordings in his college dorm room, and managed to pass him off as an established new artist, even though he'd never released a demo. He eventually signed to Relapse Records and formed the band Zombi, so it worked out in the end.
KATY PERRY’S NO PUNK, YOU PUNK
On our 2008 Warped Tour cover (AP 241), we prominently featured Tom DeLonge (Blink-182, Angels And Airwaves), Travie McCoy (Gym Class Heroes), Max Bemis (Say Anything), Stephen Christian (Anberlin), Corey Brandan (Norma Jean), Fred Mascherino (the Color Fred), Matt Thiessen (Relient K) and Patricia Day, the rockabilly chanteuse from Horrorpops. We mention Day last for emphasis. Why? Because Katy Perry was on the tour that year and many people were lobbying for her to be on the cover, back when she only had one “hit” (“Ur So Gay”). Apparently one editor-type repeatedly stamped his cloven-hoofed foot down on the idea of Perry on the cover instead of Day because La Perry “wasn’t punk.” Well, he showed her what was right, didn’t he? [makes L-shape with thumb and index finger]
WE’VE BEEN TOO FAR AHEAD OF OURSELVES, SOMETIMES FOR OUR OWN GOOD.
In AP 142, we did a multi-page spread on Kelis, three years before “Milkshake” was the biggest song in the world. OutKast graced the cover (AP 153) in 2000, four years before every car stereo in America seemingly had “Hey Ya!” on an eternal loop. We did a singer/songwriter special (AP 166) that was anchored by Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba, and featured a bunch of unknowns: Whatever happened to John Mayer and Avril Lavigne, anyway? A brief perusal of issues from the first decade of the 21st century will reveal profiles of actors as Kristen Stewart, Zach Galifianakis, Dax Shepard, Kristen Schaal and a whole bunch more. And when adored vocalist Sonny Moore left From First To Last to start his own thing, we enlisted him to play on the 2008 AP Tour. Then he dumped the band, handcuffed himself to a laptop and you know the rest of the story. (He rejoined the band. —ironic sin of omission ed.)
DOGS WORK HERE
[We have Cali sitting in on an important meeting, Ogre in the upper right and Paulo with Frank Iero in the bottom right.]
In the early days, we used to have a mascot, an orange and white cat called Ogre (named after the awesome frontman of pioneering electronic band Skinny Puppy. You know him as one of the Ghost Riders in Teen Wolf). When he passed away, we decided not to replace him. So we’ve had employees bring their dogs to work ever since. Shea’s familiar Paulo has charged (here he is with Frank Iero) and knocked over his fair share of visiting band members and Cali has sat in on more high-pressure meetings than most humans. And this is how things get done here.