Erica Lyle papers, 1991-2010
Erica Lyle papers, 1991-2010
University of Miami
The Erica Lyle archive offers a rich history of Miami’s countercultural art and music scenes and grassroots political activity from the 1990s to the present.
Included in the archive are:
- Copies of Lyle’s fanzines. Writing under the name Iggy Scam, Lyle produced in Miami a series of classic underground fanzines, called Scam, a window into a romantic and vanished Miami, and painstakingly documented a lost underground history. Scam is a record of a small but incredibly vibrant music and art community that was connected to the national punk and activist community even while laboring under a lack of support locally.
- Hundreds of Xeroxed flyers, dating back to the 80s, for punk rock shows, art events, and political protest makes it possible to literally map the Brigadoon of the underground as it appears and reappears throughout South Florida, surfacing briefly wherever events could happen.
- A large amount of national and local zines that Lyle either wrote for, was interviewed by, or was written about inside.
- Correspondence between Lyle and well-known figures in the punk rock scene, like musicians and influential columnists for the punk bible, Maximum Rock and Roll, Ben Weasel (of the popular Chicago band, Screeching Weasel) and Sam McPheeters (of the New York City band, Born Against). The correspondence also includes letters to and from other well-known zine editors like San Francisco filmmaker Greta Snider (Mudflap), Cindy Crabb (Doris), and Janelle Hessig (Tales of Blarg!).
- Notebooks that Lyle traveled with across the United States and Europe, and the notebooks in which Lyle composed his famous zines.
- Lyle’s Super 8 film, Nostalgia, about Lyle’s 1999 trip to Cuba. The film concerns Fidel Castro’s trip to an exhibition baseball game between the Cuban national team and the Baltimore Orioles and includes footage of the dictator enjoying the game behind home plate. Footage that Lyle and collaborator, Ivy McLelland shot in Super 8 film for Greta Snider’s 1996 film Portland, about the trio’s freight train hopping trip to Oregon in 1994, and footage of young Lyle hitchhiking on South Bayshore Drive in Coconut Grove.
- Several silkscreened posters that Lyle made for his efforts over the years.
- A thick artist sketchbook with collages made from scraps of street art, street posters, trash, maps, and old photos from Buenos Aires thrift stores.
- Almost all of the music from bands described in the zines is present as a record, CD, or tape.
- Field recordings of Lyle’s best friend, Ivy McLelland, singing and writing songs in the Mutiny Hotel squat, and of Lyle’s musical collaborator, Steve Funyon, playing music on the streets of Miami Beach. Videos of Lyle’s band, Chickenhead, playing at the venerable bar, Churchill’s Hideaway, in which singer Chuck Loose sets himself on fire on stage and there is video footage of bands described in Scam playing naked and shows where you see chairs and beer cans flying through the air.
- Hand drawn maps of freight train yards and actual hitchhiking signs lettered in black marker on dumpstered cardboard used on trips written about in the zine. The Kinko’s copy counter that Lyle would use to, well, scam free Xeroxing of his zine while she traveled across the country by freight train and a police radio stolen from the cops and written about in the intro to Scam #4. There are old spraypaint encrusted stencils and the very maps that Lyle carried with him on trips to cities throughout the world, maps now marked and covered in Lyle’s travel notes. A set of ‘Things to Do lists’ from the early 90s include items to check off the list like ‘cut lock on squat’, ‘play music by the tracks’, and ‘steal a young girl’s heart’.