Welcome to the Relaunch of Gearhead Magazine!
From it's inception in 1993, Gearhead® Magazine has been unique in the world of automotive journalism. Focusing on the lifestyle, stories and culture surrounding car enthusiasts, especially those in love with muscle cars and hot rods, the magazine became the world’s go-to source on the combined influences of pop culture, music and clothing on car culture and vise versa. It is a celebration of the DIY spirit in all things hot rods and rock and roll. Now in it's 22nd year, Gearhead® Magazine is once again being published after a 5 year hiatus. Welcome to the relaunch of Gearhead!
A Short History of Gearhead
Pioneering a movement unheard of until the magazine bearing the name GEARHEAD was first published in May 1993, former editor Michael LaVella masterminded and gave birth to a rebel child that would soon become the basis for a movement known as kustom kulture. Raising the banner of muscle cars and guitar crushing garage rock GEARHEAD MAGAZINE became infamous among those “in the know” as THEE tastemaker for all things hot rods and rock and roll. Kooks and weidos dug it, but so did the general public! Mention you read GEARHEAD, and you were instantly part of the cool kids' club!
In 2000, the brand expanded to include the record label when Rev. Michelle became co-owner. Having met when both were writers for the critically acclaimed punk magazine Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll, the two worked together to release over eighty records as well as create a line of clothing and accessories. The team continued publication of the magazine, publishing one issue a year, with a goal to make it quarterly.
Internationally recognized, the distinct logo and products associated with the brand were sold to over 50 countries. But all that hard work took it's toll. The team split up in 2006 with Michelle taking over the record label, and Mike taking back the magazine.
The magazine went dormant in 2009 when LaVella stepped away from publishing to pursue other interests, but demand never died. A whole new generation of rock and roll and hot rod enthusiasts grew up reading about the legendary magazine, but could only find back issues to whet their appetite.
In 2014 the magazine was once again returned to parent company Gearhead Productions, Inc., where owner Rev. Michelle Haunold now seeks to revive the much loved cooler than cool rag with the enthusiastic release of the long awaited issue Number Nineteen!
WHY SHOULD I GIVE YOU MY HARD EARNED CASH?!
When you pledge to support this project, you are funding the long-anticipated relaunch of Gearhead Magazine with issue #19. You are also helping to KEEP PRINT ALLIVE! Like the rest of the media world, physical products are going by the way side as it becomes cheaper to produce digitally. But nothing can replace the feel of a magazine in your hands, or the smell of a magazine as you flip through the pages.
That love of the actual product fueled the resurgence of vinyl in the music industry, and I’m hoping to tap into a similar passion for people who love printed media. I do also plan to make Gearhead available digitally for the first time for those who favor this form of content with print on demand and digital download options! But honestly, holding an actual magazine in your hands feels great, so why not go old school?
Long Term Goals!
Once this project funds, (because I know it will!) and this first re-launch issue is published, my goal is to eventually get the magazine up to being printed 4 times a year. This has been a goal of mine since I first started working on the magazine back in 2000! I’d also like to expand coverage to a wider variety of topics, and stories, because there's so many great stories out there! Maybe it could even evolve into a podcast or TV show, you know? There's so much cool stuff out there to discover and share! I’d also love to be able to start paying writers, who right now submit projects voluntarily simply because they want to be part of GEARHEAD.
Where is Your Money Being Spent?
The money being raised during this campaign will be used to print the physical magazine. It will cost about $3500 to cover the printing costs. Any extra money will be used to pay a professional design artist who will handle the lay out of the magazine and setting up the files for print. If there’s extra money after all that, it will go into the redesign of the GEARHEAD website where customers can shop online, subscribe, stay current on what’s going on with Gearhead and follow all our social media sites.
Sneak Peak! What's in the New Issue?!
I don't want to reveal too much since I don't want to spoil the surprise! But the new issue will be packed with cool stories not seen anywhere else and exclusive photos! Running about 80 pages, the magazine will feature a full-color cover with black and white book stock insides. It gives the magazine that vintage feel, much like the old school Hot Rod and Car Craft Magazines that were the original inspiration. It will be a limited edition run of 2500 printed copies, as well as available for digital download and print on demand. Among the articles you'll get a "from the pits" look at the annual Yolo County Demolition Derby,
a behind the scenes look at the life of producer extraordinaire Kim Fowley, a short history of the custom car phenomenon from the '60s known as Zingers,
and a chat with the creator of the wildly popular Lady Luck Tattoo Convention. Gearhead also sits down with Jake "The Preacher" Cavaliere, frontman for the long-running gear-grinding rock and roll band out of Los Angeles The Lords of Altamont.
And finally, the last known interview with Famous Monsters of Filmland creator, Forrest J. Ackerman.
There will also be lots of cool underground record reviews, movie and book reviews and lots more cool stuff for hep cats and kittens.
Does any of this sound interesting or fun? Got yer mouth watering for these and other cool pics and stories ? Then please help me get the scratch together to bring this baby to print!
Risks and challenges
There are many challenges with completing a project of this size. The main one is being able to pay a professional lay out artist to set up the magazine for printing. This is a very specific skill set and it doesn't come cheap!
Another challenge is getting all the content together. It takes a tremendous amount of time and creative energy to write the stories, take the photos and put the whole thing together in a cohesive whole. While I've written and published many articles for other magazines, I've never put a whole magazine together myself. The previous editor had years to figure this out and I was part of the team, but I have never been responsible for a magazine from start to finish, so I'm learning as I go.
The final challenge; allowing enough time to actually create the content and production. I always think I'll be able to finish a project much faster than I actually do. As you can see from the above video, I originally expected to have this out by early summer. Here it is, late fall, and I'm finally done pulling all the articles and pictures together. I'm working with a lay out artist now to design the magazine, and by the time this campaign ends, I will finally be ready to go to print!
Everything in this magazine has been done from scratch; there is no pre-made template where you just plug images in and voila, you have a magazine. I'm building it all from the ground up. Even finding a printer has been a challenge since so few places exist now that print in the style I want to print in!
Every step of this magazine has been tackled one piece at a time. If further delays come up, it will be handled in the exact same way; with transparency, honest communication and lots of elbow grease!
Thank you in advance for your pledge and support! Rock on!
xo Rev. MichelleLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (20 days)