Culture Shock (R.O.T. #3)

R.O.T. was a fanzine from Eastborne/Brighton edited by ‘Herbs’ Ruben Vine (a.k.a. Glenda) & ‘Smiff’ Steve Smith. They did 3 issues but the the 4th was just ‘Herbs’. Each issue was given another name: Rock On Thatcher (#1) – Reasons Of Turmoil’ (#2) – Radio-Active Organic Tomato (#3) – Raiding Oppenheimers Tomb (#4).

I don’t have it in my collection (anymore) but I’m sure I laid my hands on the last issue at one time. Number 1, 3 & 4 are available on the www. #1 (1986) has interviews with ‘Oi Polloi’, ‘B.G.K.’, ‘Vulcan Death Grip’ plus articles/info/opinions (South-Africa), record-reviews and more. #2: ??? #3 (1987-88) features ‘Culture Shock’, ‘Concrete Sox’, ‘Deviated Instinct’ & ‘Nox Mortis’; there’s also opinions/info (squatting, repression of Australian Aboriginals, Raising Hell zine) and ‘Anarchy Island’ (story) by Dave Poole. #4 (1988-89): ‘City Indians’, ‘Electro Hippies’, ‘Ripcord’; and travel-report to Stonehenge, columns on sexual liberation, ‘Anarchy Island’ continued, etc.

Ruben Vine promoted punk-rock gigs in Brighton in the mid and late 80s and later on organised gigs (plus UK tours and 1 US tour) for bands such as ‘Citizen Fish’, ‘R.D.F.’, ‘Salad From Atlantis’ & ‘City Indians’. In the late 80s he became active in the travellers’/ free-festival scene. Now he’s screen-printer and he creates/plays/records alternative rock. He distributes lighboxes/T-shirts and his music through his label Articles Of Faith.


Must have been about 1984/5 I started doing this, I got a friend involved to help with content. Was a young punk greatly into the scene and lived just outside of Brighton, which had a very vibrant scene. Sold copies at gigs I attended or via post, the days of no mobile phones or internet, struck up friendships via post with Mick from original ‘Napalm Death’ plus other bands. Was good friend with Pete The Roadie and the wider ‘Culture Shock’ crew, and put on gigs for them in Brighton and Derby when I moved there briefly. I organised, promoted and road-managed first two ‘Citizen Fish’ UK tours, still have posters from these and a wealth of other gigs I promoted in Brighton or went to.

I’ve known Steve Smith since I was 16. He was the drummer for ‘Vulcan Death Grip‘ (‘V.D.G.’). He had noise band projects in the last few years. We both moved in different directions in life. He currently resides in Brighton with his lifelong partner/girlfriend. I put the zine together, designed and collated it, 70% me and the rest Steve. We used his address as he had a fixed one and I didn’t. Each cover was drawn by guest artist… The story comicstrip Anarchy Island was contributed, drawn and written by Dave Poole, Someone from our local Punk scene in Eastbourne just outside of Brighton.

Herbs is a childhood nickname. But my alias since my punk years , just after the zine and more so since my days on the road, has been Glenda and that’s what everyone knows me as. I was part of the UK travelling scene in the mid 80s and 90s for a decade, I lived in a Mercedes removals lorry and then a 1961 Bristol bus. Ruben Vine is a made up name and character which I released four albums under, the last one with the actor Michael Jayston which was a record-store day release (comes with a 28 page comic and was described as a punk-opera by reviewers, although I’ve always thought of it as alternative rock of sorts).

Ruben Vine

‘Culture Shock’ were an anarcho-punk / reggae-dub-ska band with Dick Lucas (vocals; formerly ‘Subhumans’ and later ‘Citizen Fish’; Bluurg recs), Paul (bass), Nige(l) Johnston (guitar; ex ‘A-Heads’) and Bill (drums,; ex ‘Organized Chaos’). Very danceable tunes but socio-political lyrics aswell. Our Smurfpunx-collective set up a gig for them (88-05-13). Later ‘Citizen Fish’ ended up playing at the Vort’n Vis a few times (93-02-21, 93-10-24 & 94-09-17).

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