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November 9, 2023 1:12 PM   Subscribe

"Grand Royal" editor + 90s tastemaker Bob Mack has died.

After profiling the Beastie Boys for Spin, Mack was recruited to edit the magazine they launched the following year. Nominally a reflection of the interests of the band and their circle, it was heavily colored by Mack's manic, seething (and booze-fueled) enthusiasms, and proved influential but short-lived. Journalist Stefan Marolachakis profiled him years after it all fell apart badly.

He notes, "[Mack's] obsessive need to create all-encompassing statements is what makes Grand Royal, in retrospect, feel like the wildly ambitious and ham-handed proto-Internet document it is. The second issue, Bob’s magnum opus, was itself responsible for triggering a number of viral trends in pop culture, not the least being the resurrection of cover star Lee 'Scratch' Perry’s career and the introduction of the term 'mullet' to society at large."

Mack struggled with alcoholism and to find outlets that could tolerate his personality and obsessive maximalism for the rest of his life - he died last week at 60, hit by a driver while biking in Los Angeles.

Still cited and now collectible enough to merit high-level hip art dealer attention, Grand Royal has had a selective, fan-driven internet afterlife but never been officially reissued.
posted by ryanshepard (8 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
rip ... see also internet archive (three issues).
posted by user92371 at 1:51 PM on November 9, 2023 [2 favorites]


I read about Grand Royal magazine when I was a teen and coveted an issue, but none ever washed upon my shores, so they became almost impossibly built up in my head. When I finally stumbled upon a copy, I was happy that it lived up to my outsized expectations, though I don’t know how it’s held up over the years.
posted by Kattullus at 2:06 PM on November 9, 2023 [1 favorite]

posted by eamondaly at 2:32 PM on November 9, 2023


I still have my issues of Grand Royal tucked away with the rest of the zines I've kept over the years (#3, #4, and #5; not sure if I ever picked up #6, and I've long kicked myself for never getting #2 when it was still on the magazine racks at Tower). They were remarkably fun reading. Thanks for everything, Bob.
posted by May Kasahara at 6:18 PM on November 9, 2023 [2 favorites]

OMG Mudhoney visited the Clinton White House on Pearl Jam's coattails? That in and of itself.
posted by not_on_display at 8:02 PM on November 9, 2023

posted by adekllny at 12:23 PM on November 10, 2023

posted by ChalybeateSprings at 1:35 PM on November 10, 2023

Bob Mack's confrontational interview with Ted Nugent in issue #2 is hilarious.
posted by borges at 8:00 AM on November 13, 2023

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