It was nearly thirty years ago that the idea for the shortwave-related parody magazine first took shape. It had its beginnings with a group of DXers from the Johnstown, Pennsylvania area who had been gathering for what were termed DX sessions starting in 1978. These gatherings consisted of six to eight high school and college-aged guys sitting around their shortwave radios listening to far-off stations, fueled by caffeinated soda and lots of junk foods. These DX sessions yielded some pretty exotic catches including Mongolia, the 10 watt CKFX in Vancouver, and, most famously, the Falkland Islands. These receptions were reported in "Frendx", the name of the bulletin of the North American Shortwave Association at that time.

But this group wasn't your normal collection of radio geeks. Among the group members there were a number of creative minds who didn't want to stop with just listening to the radio and reporting their logs. Their somewhat warped senses of humor, probably fostered by too many episodes of Monty Python, hatched the idea of writing a take-off of Frendx featuring outrageous reports, jabs at the club's editors, and fantasy loggings that no one would ever have a chance of hearing. Thus was born Blandx. The title itself was an obvious play on the name Frendx, and from the front cover (featuring, among other things, a fake interval signal from the non-existent Tristan da Cunha World Service and a map of East McKeesport, PA) to the last page it was filled with oblique references and take-offs of the actual bulletin and DXers of that era.

The magazine was assembled in Allentown, PA in late 1980, was published in State College in 1981, and was mailed from a post office box in Park Hill, PA, selling out its first printing of about 50 copies. It was reprinted several times as copies were purchased by readers around the world. It received on-air mention over several shortwave radio stations and achieved a minor cult status. By that time, however, the group's members had started to scatter as they graduated from college and left for all corners of the world. Subsequent issues of Blandx were published by members of the original group during the 1980s and 1990s, and there was even a pirate radio station that called itself Radio Blandx at one point (not connected to the magazine) but here is presented, for the first time and from the original photomasters, the issue that started it all: the July 1981 Blandx.

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