Peep This! Original Copies of East Village Eye Up For Sale

East Village EyeMarc H. Miller East Village Eye, June 1979

Speaking of neighborhood artifacts: you can now get your hands on copies of the underground paper that filled the void after the East Village Other stopped printing in 1972.

Marc H. Miller is selling original copies of the East Village Eye on his Website,, which chronicles life on the Bowery from 1969 to 1985 and sells art that parallels the period. Mr. Miller, an active artist during the ’80s who penned the magazine’s “Miller’s Memorabilia” column about local art and photography, is selling the copies on behalf of a former editor.

East Village EyeMarc H. Miller

Founder and editor Leonard Abrams published 72 issues of the alternative paper from 1979 to 1987. The mag covered the raucous art, music and street culture of the ’80s. Punk, disco, new wave and hip hop were vibrating through the neighborhood, offering up a soundtrack to the political and social movements that would ultimately shape the decade.

Each issue reflected the mood of that month, taking the pulse of the community. “Steve Hager, an editor who went on to work for High Times, wrote one of the first articles on hip-hop,” said Mr. Miller. “The Eye actually claims to be the first place that the term ‘hip-hop’ ever appeared in print.” The outlet also covered a lot of artists on the cusp of their fame, like Keith Haring, Kathy Acker, the Beastie Boys, Afrika Bambaataa, and Betsy Johnson.

With credentials like this, it’s no surprise the magazines have been selling well. “I sold a complete set of all the issues to a lawyer who’s writing a novel set in the East Village in the 1980s,” said Mr. Miller. “He said it would be good research.”

At $50 a pop, you’ll have to be selective. If you’re wondering which issue would make a good collector’s item, here are Mr. Miller’s recommendations:

June 1980 – The Death of Punk Issue: “I can’t believe this one is still for sale. This was one of the biggest issues. It’s a John Holmstrom original cover that shows him and Legs McNeil saying ‘I guess we blew it,’ referring to the fact that they don’t even recognize the punk movement anymore.”

P1010022-copyMarc H. Miller

October 1985 – Art Issue: “This issue is devoted to East Village art, which was exploding at that time. David Wojnarowicz, a prolific artist, performer, and activist features in this issue. Sadly, he died of AIDS in 1992. Cynthia Carr just wrote a great biography on him, actually.”

May 1984 – Fifth Anniversary Issue: “A compilation of the best articles from previous issues. If you want to get an issue with a little of everything, this is the way to go.”