“In 1992, publisher Marvin Scott Jarrett was driving down Hollywood’s La Cienega Blvd. It was a time of flux for him. He had spent the previous two years working as the publisher and editor of the beloved rock magazine Creem, but after it was sold to a new owner, he knew it was time to focus on an independent initiative. As fate would have it, David Bowie’s ‘Moonage Daydream’ came on the stereo. Jarrett was particularly drawn to the lyric, ‘Put your ray gun to my head,’ which informed his ethos moving forward. ‘It started with three people, in the dining room of my one-bedroom apartment in Beverly Hills,’ says Jarrett.” — Cassidy George
First published in 1992, Ray Gun is today recognised as one of the most radical magazines music culture has ever seen. A visual chronicler of the evolution of alternative music in the post-punk era, Ray Gun and the magazine’s original art director David Carson championed an experimental approach to layout and typography, developing an entirely new visual language in the process. “As radical as the lifestyle it reported on,” Ray Gun ran features on a number of era-defining artists, such as Radiohead, Bjork, Beck, Eminem and PJ Harvey—all of whom appeared on its pages well before achieving wider recognition. Ray Gun also worked with a number of now-prominent photographers early in their careers, including Wolfgang Tillmans, Corinne Day, and Michael Lavine.
Ray Gun’s commitment to authenticity combined with its unparalleled editorial vision help explain why copies of the magazine are now nearly impossible to acquire, and a collector’s dream.