80’s Zine Archives: Pad Rot #1

80’s Zine Archives - Pad Rot #1

Every time I see this cover I read Parrot instead of Pad Rot. Apparently Pad Rot was a spinoff from the zine Endless Grind over “editorial differences.” Who knew that zines could sink to such levels of professionalism? Pad Rot was based out of Barrington Illinois. I can’t make out the writing to read the initials or possible name of the writer, but they must have known Skate and Annoy becasue they were also Illinois based, and Pad Rot lifted our Hate Page concept, complete with the Nash logo. I assume it was a tribute.

Pad Rot #1

This issue of Pad Rot is pretty typical of a lot of #1’s. It’s all hand written and the photos are all but illegible. The pages are sparsely laid out and they resorted to the early skate zine publisher’s standby of filling space with unpaid adverts. That being said, it’s still a great microcosm of skate zines in the Midwest and Illinois. I only wish I could read all the text an see the few pictures better. Copying machines now are essentially glorified scanners and printers in one, so it’s a lot easier to get photos reproduced. Back in the days of Pad Rot #1, you would lay out your first zine with most likely color photos developed at a the drug store that probably sent them out somewhere. You’d get your money together or try and scam the copy shop only to be dismayed by the crappy reproduction of your first issue. “Oh that’s what it’s going to look like?” Then you’d spend next couple of issues working on little tricks to get better reproduction. What kind of tricks? Well, you could scope out the individual copiers that were better at photos, some even had a special photo mode. Or you could try a plastic screen with dots printed on that were supposed to help copiers mimic the halftone print of a newspaper. You’d buy it by the sheet and cut it out and overlay it on each photo on the page. If you were serious you’d have to go to black and white photography which was expensive because nobody actually developed those on site, even the one hour places had to send out the black and white film, which meant more delays and expense unless you had access to a darkroom. Hell, it’s actually the original reason I got into photography, I wanted to get black and white photos for the zine. The other option was to use a special (and more expensive) black and white film that could be processed by the same one hour chemicals, but the drugstores machines typically got confused by that film and your prints would return washed out or extremely low contrast. But I digress…

Featuring: B. Webbe, Geis D, Rob Campell, Tony B, Tory Boettcher

Highlights: A review of Indy stage IV (or Thundies) and a center spread advert for old stage II’s. the verdict? Don’t switch unless you need to. There’s a page on what I’m assuming are the famous Elgin Pipes. I have to assume because it just says “The Pipe” and mentions it being full of dirt because of two people were killed there, without going into further details. Those are jkust the type of rumors I remember hearing about the Elgin pipes, which were adjacent to an insane asylum or so I heard since I never actually got a chance to ride there. Ask me about the Bloomington full pipes instead. The backside air trick tip is notable because it ends with “The only reason why you shouldn’t be able to do this trick with some practice is if your [sic] lame or if you got no BALLS.”

There is a page profile on “the best skater in Illinois” Tory Boettcher. It says he learned frontside inverts, egg plants and gay twists in one day. Another quote says he is better than Mark Lake. I’m not sure if that was supposed ot be a joke or not, since Tory was on the Walker team at the time. Seriously though, Tory was legendary in Illinois for being… the best skater in Illinois actually. Whenever you met someone new who was a serious skater in Illinois, eventually someone would say something to the effect of “Have you seen Tory Boettcher? That guy rips!” We all thought he was going to be the guy from Illinois that “made it,” especially when word got out that he was moving out to California. I don’t know what happened to his skating career. I never really saw any photo coverage in the mags that we thought was so imminent. But in a sense, Tory actually did “make it” because he’s now a VP of something or other over at Blitz Distribution.

Let’s see, what else is worth mentioning? How about an advert for the Chicago punk stalwarts Life Sentence. I’m also going to mention the Frontline Street Gear advert just for the search engines, in case anyone is trolling the web for info on this scene. I don’t recall ever seeing any Frontline Street Gear. Lastly, there’s a photo spread titled “Advanced Crashing,” which sounds like a good name for a zine actually.

80’s Zine Archives: Pad Rot #1

UPDATE: Comments are closed now, but you can comment directly in this gallery now.


  1. Nice! cool to see this old zine.. i remember tory and i def remember the elgin pipes.. i lived in hoffman estates and i got to ride there numerous times, and they were def sketchy.. they were behind and old power plant(that was behind villa olivia) and near a freight train line up. they had been filled and emptied a couple of times.. in the summer they would be so freaking hot it was crazy.. i mostly rode the halfpipes there, they were so quick as the flat was only like 3 or 4 feet long.

    anyway, great blast from the past, thanks for posting this, i randomly came across this site looking for pics of the elgin pipes.. i have a couple kicking around

  2. Hey Randy, do remember that we actually ran into Dave Geis at the Boulder vert ramp one day in like ’92?? He was from Barrington- was this his ‘zine?

  3. I don’t remember that, maybe that was after I left. But who knows, I can barely remember names and faces anyway.

    I do love that all these zines that I post are eventually found by someone who remembers them.

    ELGIN FULL PIPE PICS – I’d love to post them. Send ’em in Mike!

  4. yeah, ill send some in in, where do i send them to?

  5. editor at this website dot com

  6. billy wheat on February 27, 2011 -

    Word! trying to find my padrot zines. thanks Mike Rot!

  7. Erick on July 25, 2012 -

    I know a lot about the pipes and Dave Gies ramp in barrington

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