The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast

The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast

Tony Fletcher

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Ep. 3: Image as Virus with Joly of Better Badges

Between 1976-82, Joly MacFie printed some 40,000,000 badges (pins, in the USA) related to music culture. Along the way his company Better Badges grew from one-man garage operation to a sizeable small business that also printed and distributed dozens of fanzines. That connection started in spring of 1979 when Tony Fletcher stopped hoping for an ad for the 7th issue of Jamming. Joly, having just acquired a brand new table-top litho machine, offered to print Jamming at cost as 'guinea pig'. Joly and Tony's relationship flourished almost all the way to when Better Badges imploded, due to the usual cash flow problems brought on by a rapidly expanding business. Since the late 1980s, Joly and Tony have both lived in New York State, and in September 2021, they reconnected in the Catskill mountains. Tony brought Joly a copy of The Best of Jamming! book and the two sat down to relive the story of Better Badges. The edited conversation includes: the role of hippies like Joly in the punk movement the free festival scene and influence of the Pink Faeries and Hawkwind Joly's conversion to punk alongside Joe Strummer the appeal of the button badge and Joly's slogan: Image as Virus Why 2-Tone pushed Better Badges towards fanzines How Joly Division manager Rob Gretton convinced Better Badges to not pay royalties the six issues of Jamming printed at BB's Portobello Road headquarters the end of Jamming! and the demise of Better Badges Joly’s exploits in the States as concert promoter with Golden Voice, TV producer with Snub TV, PunkCast video documentarian, and, again, pin printer. Joly MacFie can be found on Facebook at His work can be found at The Old Punk Rock Badges Fanatics Facebook group is An article by Joly MacFie about Better Badges is at The Best of Jamming!: Selections and Stories from the Fanzine That Grew Up 1977-86 is published by Omnibus Press and available from all good book shops in the UK/EU; Dec 2 in the rest of the world. More info and online purchasing options at:   'The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast Theme' is by Noel Fletcher. Copyright reserved. Editing assistance and logo by Greg Morton. The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast website can be found at Social media at See for privacy and opt-out information.

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