well, you are not wrong in your opinion. under a lot of circumstances, it would be ripping off. however, a lot of this stuff (remember this is ADVERTISING that uses art, not straight ART as in fine art prints) was done with that intention in mind when it was made. if a booker or club called the band and wanted to get them to play (remember back in those days, record campanies were considerd the enemy), the band would send them old posters, or sometimes, like in the case of that screamers image, an actually stock image - almost like a logo (what do bands like that need LOGOS for anyway? it's not like they're IBM or something.) joe blow the fanboy who wanted to book the band in his club he just opened in a old abandoned storefront or something, would simply add his own info and that would be the poster. when black flag played in seattle back then, they were relatively unknown. the punks, however, saw that image and knew exactly what was going on - sorta like a hippie in haight-ashbury seeing a psych poster and knew what to expect from the show. it's basically communication, not rip off. it was done that way intentionally.
a lot of poster art was used as stock admat material in the early days (before it all became so precious and valuable as 'art'). it was even encouraged by the bands and artists, just like movie admats or advertising admats are today. it was developed as a sort of primitive 'branding' strategy. the art was often more identifiable than the band name. that would comelater on.
this is obviously the famous raymond pettibone image lifted from the la show poster and applied by some anonymous punk to advertise their show. there must be at least three similar on this site (maybe more). i think that image holds a tie with gary panter's screamers image for the most lifted image in the history of punk.
i remember no warning - not much but i remember you guys.
the ever rat thing seemed to be a pretty shoddy operation that petered out quickly. probably best not to get too involved at the time. you lucked out.
kill lou guzzo? do you know who wrote that song? it's been a secret for a long time because ol' lou got pissed and tried to take legal action (what a twit). but now that he's dead and forgotten, i guess it's safe. mort (the fat guy) from the mono men wrote that. funny, huh?
helene silverman left the rocket (i replaced her as art director) and moved to ny. she ended up designing a magazine that became famous as 'metroplis'. it looked like the rocket, but ny bought it as high fashion and good taste. one of her old rocket friends started writing for the magazine and karrie jacobs became a huge design critic and now edits dwell magazine. helen then married gary panter. they have daughter named olive sienna panter (after their favorite crayola colors).
srangely, it was tapes of vanderhoof's punk record collection that buzzo gave curt cobain and turned him on to punk rock. it was how curt found out about bands like the vaselines and stuff. a drag queen known as 'satin sheets' leaves his old band, shortens his name to satz and organizes a punk band. ten years later his bandmate's record collection passes through some hometown friends' hands and we all end up with nirvana.