International Times  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

International Times (it or IT) is an underground newspaper founded in London in 1966 and relaunched as a web journal in 2011. Editors included Hoppy, David Mairowitz, Peter Stansill, Barry Miles, Jim Haynes and playwright Tom McGrath. Jack Moore, avant-garde writer William Levy and Mick Farren, singer of The Deviants, also edited at various periods. The current editorial team include Mike Lesser, Robert Tascher, Heathcote Williams, Iphgenia Baal, Elena Caldera, Claire Palmer, Nick Victor, Dave Cooper, Niall McDevitt and others.

Within a short time of the first issue, the name International Times was changed to IT after litigation threats from The Times of London. The paper's logo was a black-and-white image of Theda Bara, vampish star of silent films. The founders' intention had been to use an image of actress Clara Bow, 1920s It girl, but a picture of Theda Bara was used by accident and, once deployed, not changed. Paul McCartney donated to the paper as did Allen Ginsberg through his Committee on Poetry foundation.



International Times was launched on 14 October 1966 at The Roundhouse at a gig featuring Pink Floyd. The event promised a 'Pop/Op/Costume/Masque/Fantasy-Loon/Blowout/Drag Ball and featured Soft Machine, steel bands, strips, trips, happenings, movies. The launch was described as "one of the two most revolutionary events in the history of English alternative music and thinking. The IT event was important because it marked the first recognition of a rapidly spreading socio-cultural revolution that had its parallel in the States" by Daevid Allen of Soft Machine.

From April 1967, and for some while later, the police raided the offices of International Times to try, it was alleged, to force the paper out of business. A benefit event labelled The 14 Hour Technicolor Dream took place at Alexandra Palace on 29 April 1967. Bands included Pink Floyd, The Pretty Things, Savoy Brown, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Soft Machine, The Move, and Sam Gopal Dream.

In response to another raid on the paper's offices, London's alternative press on one occasion succeeded, somewhat astonishingly, in pulling off what was billed as a "reprisal attack" on the police—prompting the Evening Standard headline Raid on the Yard. The paper Black Dwarf published a detailed floor-by-floor guide to Scotland Yard, complete with diagrams, descriptions of locks on particular doors and snippets of overheard conversation in the offices of Special Branch. The anonymous author, or "blue dwarf," as he styled himself, described how he perused police files, and even claimed to have sampled named brands of whisky in the Commissioner's office. A day or two later The Daily Telegraph announced that the "raid" had forced the police to withdraw and re-issue all security passes.

In 1970 a group of people from IT, led by photographer Graham Keen, launched Cyclops, "The First English Adult Comic Paper."

IT first ceased publication in 1972, after being convicted for running contact ads for gay men, and for a longer period in 1974, but merged with Maya, another underground publication, and was revived in 1975, continuing until 1982. It resurfaced in 1986... into the 1990s. There have been a total of 209 issues. It was a contemporary of other radical underground London magazines, Oz, Friends and Ink. In late 2011 it was relaunched for the web at


Many people who became prominent UK figures wrote for IT, including feminist critic Germaine Greer, poet and social commentator Jeff Nuttall, occultist Kenneth Grant, and DJ John Peel. There were many original contributions from underground writers such as Alexander Trocchi; William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg.

Leading editorial contributors to the late 1970s IT were Heathcote Williams, Max Handley, Mike Lesser, Eddie Woods (Amsterdam editor), and Chris Sanders.

In 1986 IT was relaunched by Tony Allen and Chris Brook. After two issues (Volume 86; issues 1,2) Allen left, and Brook continued with a reinvigorated editorial group for two more issues (Volume 86; issues 3,4). After various one-off issues into 1991, 2000 saw Brook and others create a web-based presence—initially through the alternative server 'Phreak', c. 1996.

There are currently two archive sources online: 1) a comprehensive archive scanned by previous contributors and editors, and a less extensive archive with some commentary.

International Times archive

International Times (NIIT) Archive is a free online archive of every issue of the International Times. It runs from a precursor to IT, The Longhair Times, released on April Fools Day 1966 to an erroneously labelled 'last issue'—a Xeroxed single sheet issue in 1994. The continuum of this journal, in fact, includes issues and web presence from the last editorial group (IT#4 Vol 1986) until the present day.

The IT Archive was launched on 16 July 2009 at the Idea Generation Gallery.

The IT Archive was founded by Mike Lesser supported by fellow contributors and editors of IT including Mick Farren, John "Hoppy" Hopkins, Dave Mairowitz, Peter Stansill and Heathcote Williams amongst others.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "International Times" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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