OPEN CITY (PRESS)
Weekly Review of the Los Angeles Renaissance.
Underground weekly, noted for its coverage of radical politics, rock music, psychedelic culture and the "Notes of a Dirty Old Man" column by Charles Bukowski, first published here. Editor and founder: John Bryan (whose signature is on 17 copies) with art director Joan Barr, and contributing editors Alex Apostolides, Bob Garcia, Robert Igriega, Bill Margolis, John Wilcock etc. Member of the Underground Press Syndicate. Many issues have spectacular lay-out, artwork and photocompositions. "John Charles Bryan (November 12, 1934 - February 1, 2007), was a journalist who quit the San Francisco Chronicle in 1964 to found the brief-lived San Francisco bohemian tabloid weekly Open City Press, publishing 15 issues from Nov. 18, 1964 to March 17-23, 1965. Open City Press was a local forerunner of the Berkeley Barb, providing coverage of the Free Speech Movement. It was a one-man operation. In the beginning Bryan bought a case of metal monotype and hand-set his own copy, pulling proofs to paste up for cheap offset reproduction." (cf: Wikipedia). Bukowski's contributions started in Vol. 1 no 6 with the story "If I could only be asleep". After closure of Open City Press Bryan relocated to Southern California. After a stint working for Art Kunkin as managing editor of the Los Angeles Free Press, he launched Open City in Los Angeles, starting the volume numbering with vol. 2, no. 1 (May 5-11, 1967). In March 1968 he was prosecuted on an obscenity charge for printing an image of a nude woman in a record company advertisement for Leon Russell. Six months later, in September 1968, there was a second obscenity bust over the short story "Skinny Dynamite" by Jack Micheline, about the sexual antics of an underage girl, in a literary supplement to Open City edited by Charles Bukowski. The cost of Bryan's legal defense and a $1000 fine on the first charge eventually put the shoestring operation out of business. Issues present in this collection are: "Open City Press." [San Francisco, 1964-1965, numbered as Volume 1 ]: The announcement for issue 1, and Vol. 1 issues 3-7, 10 and 11(published from November 1964-Feb.23.1965, out of the total number of 15 issues published). Then continued as "Open City". [Los Angeles, 1967 - 1968: Volume 2 ]: Issues 1-4, 6-20, 23-25, 27, 28, 30-33, 35-43, 45, 47, 49-50, 52-83, 87-91 [66 is mis-numbered 65 on cover; 90 is mis-numbered 89]. All (except no. 18) have Bukowski contributions. Number 20, First National Edition. The Pot Scene. Number 52, May 1968, is the "First Anniversary Issue", with Renaissance, first issue,included, (this copy signed by John Bryan), with contributions by Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Charles Bukowski, Lenore Kandel, Anais Nin, Carol Berge, Anselm Hollow, Bob Kaufman, a.o. Other contributors were (a.o.): Simon Vinkenoog (on Provo), Phil Proctor, Liza Williams, Derek Taylor, R. Crumb, Robert Barrows (The Beard). Bill Spater, James Howell, etc.