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excellent writing
masterpiece art
historical bonus 3
total score 9
grunt 1 _ grunt 2
Grunt #1
Grunt Comix #2
REVIEW SCORE: 10
REVIEW SCORE: 8
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keyline
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Grunt
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1972-1973 / Grunt Records

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In 1971, members of the turbulent San Francisco-based and psychedelic-rock-pioneer band Jefferson Airplane endured more life-changing events than they'd ever experienced before. Grace Slick and Paul Kantner had a baby in January (shortly after her divorce from her first husband) and founder and co-lead singer Marty Balin left the band in March. On May 13, Grace Slick was nearly killed when her car slammed into a wall in a tunnel near the Golden Gate Bridge, forcing the band to cancel most of the concerts they had scheduled that year.

Amidst this maelstrom of milestones, in August the band members also founded Grunt Records, its own vanity label distributed by their official record company, RCA Records. Grunt Records was created to be the label for their own albums (both the band's and their solo efforts), but it was also designed to seek and sign local Bay Area bands. This aspiration led to Grunt Records employing Greg Irons and Tom Veitch to produce a promotional comic book in the style of the wildly popular (with rock musicians) underground comics. Grunt, a full-color comic published as a free giveaway in early 1972, features a hilarious cautionary tale about what might happen to an ambitious young rock band if they signed with an uncaring record label instead of Grunt Records.
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After Grunt Records signed a few minor bands and recording artists, they came back to Irons and Veitch in 1973 to produce another comic book, this one to promote many of their new albums. Grunt Comix #2 features a story about a group of "society's rejects" living on "Grunt Farm" who lead a pirate-radio revolution against the "crap-rock" music controlled by greedy corporations. This time the interior is in black and white, except for the center section, which promotes Grunt's newest albums in full color.

The two comic books may not have been effective as promotional devices, but their entertainment value can certainly be praised. Grunt was smart to choose Irons and Veitch as their comic creators; there's not another underground artist/writer duo that produced a better body of work than them. Grunt was also smart to give them free reign on the content, which produced a genuine underground comic aura for the books.

Grunt Records might have made a real name for itself if it had been given the chance, but in 1974 RCA Records dropped its distribution deals with all Grunt artists except Jefferson Starship and Hot Tuna. Grunt Records continued releasing albums
for Jefferson Starship and its band members through the mid '80s, but folded for good in 1987, when Grace Slick left the band to rejoin...the newly reformed and original Jefferson Airplane.
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record label
Grunt Records Label, 1974
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post card
Grunt Records Promotional Postcard 1972