Found your terrific website by doing a google search for ‘Country Bizarre’. Not for the first time, I had been thinking about trying to find out more about the magazine, possibly with a view to somehow getting permission to making digital copies available on the net. I’m delighted to see that you beat me to it, and have been able to get the blessing of Bernard Schofield and the son of Andy Pittaway.
I found a copy of ‘The Complete Country Bizarre’ in a strange old second-hand bookshop in the early 1980s, and it has been one of my most treasured possessions ever since. It speaks to me on so many levels that I don’t know quite how to put them into words. The combination of words and artwork, the handcrafted William Morris feel, a nostalgia for the look and feel of 1970’s underground magazines, the ecological and utopian subject matter. After looking through it in the bookshop, I knew that even if they had asked £50 for it, I would have paid willingly, and never regretted it. (It was actually £1.90).
Suffice to say, it led me to try and create something similar, some 20 years ago, which I dedicated to AP and BS. I tried distributing it in much the same way that they did, but it never got as far as the second issue. You can find it at www.summercountry.demon.co.uk/before.htm if you are curious,
although I make no claims that it in any way matches the quality of ‘Country Bizarre’.
I’ve found copies of some of their other books in second-hand shops, and am extremely envious of your mint copies of the original magazine. You say in one of your posts that the Country Bazaar was a follow on magazine – I always thought it was a book – which I have. Do you have any more info about the magazine? Any chance of posting digitised copies, like you are with Country Bizarre? I’m now exploring the rest of your website, which has much in common with Country Bizarre. I shall be returning often.
Thanks for meeting up with Bernard and interviewing him, and I’m just really pleased that their fantastic magazine is available on the internet for someone to stumble across, just like I stumbled across it in that second-hand bookshop.