Started on the 14th of October, 1966 with a concert in the London Roundhouse which featured Soft Machine and Pink Floyd, the “International Times” was one of the earliest and most important British underground papers. After threats by the London “Times” daily newspaper, the “International Times” changed its name to “IT” but it often kept the sub-heading “The International Times” on its cover. It appeared regularly for thirteen years. The paper's logo was a black-and-white image of Theda Bara. Contributors included most of the prominent underground figures of the period, including Allen Ginsberg (who interviewed the Maharishi), William S. Burroughs, Germaine Greer, John Peel, Heathcote Williams, and Jeff Nuttall.
Originally published as a fortnightly, it reached issue number 164 in October 1973, when it ceased publication for 7 months. It returned as a monthly paper on the 1st. of May 1974. There was a further interlude in winter 1974 – 1975, when it appeared for 4 issues as “Maya”. The issue on the 1st of June 1975 announced “ it’s back”, and it continued, more or less regularly as a monthly until autumn 1979. In the following years, up to the middle of the eighties, “IT” appeared only sporadically.
In keeping with the times, the issues published in the sixties and early seventies were often multi-coloured and psychedelic, while later editions were almost completely without colour printing. Its graphical style often changed; sometimes the front page was a poster or a comic strip, other times it tried to look like tabloid or a “serious” broadsheet paper. In the late seventies, the punk “cut and paste” style was also sometimes used.
The 14 Hour Technicolor DreamEdit
From spring 1967 onwards, IT was subjected to police repression and raids. Due to this, “The 14 Hour Technicolor Dream” was organised as a benefit concert for IT and took place at the Alexandra Palace on 29 April 1967. The bands which played included top British psychedelic groups such as the Soft Machine, Pink Floyd, and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, plus rockbands such as The Pretty Things, Savoy Brown and The Move.