Collection of The Rocket newspapers, 1980-2000

Overview of the Collection

Collection of The Rocket newspapers
1980-2000 (inclusive)
255 issues, (10 boxes)
Collection Number
2013.13 (accession)
Issues of The Rocket , Seattle's free music newspaper, spanning the period from shortly after the paper's inception in 1979 through its last issue in 2000
Museum of History & Industry, Sophie Frye Bass Library
Sophie Frye Bass Library
Museum of History & Industry
P.O. Box 80816
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2063241126 x137 or x237
Fax: 2067801533
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public by appointment.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The first issue of The Rocket newspaper, reporting on the local music scene, was published as a special edition of the free alternative weekly Seattle Sun on October 1979. Frustrated by the lack of support among senior staffers at the Sun for covering the emerging music scene in Seattle, arts editor Robert Ferrigno and art director Bob Newman raised money to found their own publication. The Rocket ran initially as a free, monthly adjunct to the Seattle Sun, but was popular enough to become self-supporting within a year. Editor Ferrigno stated the paper’s mission in its first issue: "We believe the local music scene to be vibrating with life, multi-faceted and responsive to a wide range of audiences. We will cover national acts like The Cars, but remain committed to supporting local music."

With its increasingly popularity, The Rocket increased its distribution from monthly to bi-weekly in 1994. In 1991, a Portland edition was launched, though it was essentially identical in content to the Seattle edition, except for its club listings. The Rocket was sold to BAM Media in San Francisco in 1995, and after BAM’s decline, to David Roberts, publisher of the Illinois Entertainer, in 2000. In spite of Roberts’ pledge to revitalize the paper, the last issue of The Rocket was published on October 18, 2000.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists of 255 issues of The Rocket, Seattle's free music newspaper. The collection spans most of the paper's run, though does not include any issues from the first 6 months of publication; the first issue in the collection is from April 1980. The years from April 1980 through September 1994 are well represented, with only a few issues missing. Coverage from October 1994 through 1997 is sparse, with 15 issues from this period. The collection contains all but one of the 1998 issues, a majority of the 1999 issues, and all of 2000 through The Rocket's final issue on October 18, 2000.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The Museum of History & Industry is the owner of the materials in the Sophie Frye Bass Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from MOHAI before any reproduction use. The museum does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Collection of The Rocket newspapers, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Location of Collection


Location of Collection


Acquisition Information

Gift of Robert Murray; received in 2013.

Processing Note

Newspapers were boxed in chronological order.

The December 1982 issue of The Rocket was received in a separate donation (2018.90) in 2018 and boxed with the collection.

Related Materials

Three additional issues of The Rocket are available in the Kurt E. Armbruster Collection, accession number 2014.43. These are: No. 199, February 15-March 1, 1995; No. 200, March 1-March 15, 1995; and No. 300, April 21-May 12, 1999.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
1 The Rocket
9 issues
All issues from April through December. Issues are unnumbered.
1 The Rocket
13 issues
Complete year of 12 issues plus one issue dedicated to Bumbershoot. Issues are unnumbered.
1 The Rocket
11 issues
Numbers 28-31; 33-39. Missing May issue.
2 The Rocket
12 issues
Numbers 40-51. Complete year.
2 The Rocket
10 issues
Numbers 52-57; 59-60; 62-63. Missing July and October issues.
2 The Rocket
12 issues
Numbers 64-75. Complete year.
3 The Rocket
12 issues
Numbers 76-86 (both the August and September issues are numbered 83). Complete year.
3 The Rocket
12 issues
Numbers 87-98. Complete year.
3 The Rocket
12 issues
Numbers 99-110. Complete year.
4 The Rocket
12 issues
Numbers 111-122. Complete year.
4 The Rocket
12 issues
Numbers 123-134. Complete year.
4 The Rocket
11 issues
Numbers 135-143; 145-146. Missing October issue.
5 The Rocket
12 issues
Numbers 147-158. Complete year.
5 The Rocket
15 issues
Numbers 159-173. Biweekly publication begins with number 168, September 29-October 13. Complete year.
1993 January-December 22
6 The Rocket
18 issues
Numbers 174-190; 195. Missing numbers 191-194 between October and December, 1994.
1993 December 22-1994 October 12, 1994 December 7
7 The Rocket
6 issues
Numbers 196 (December 21,1994-January 18, 1995); 202 (April 5-19); 213 (September 13-27); 215 (October 11-25): 217-218 (November 8-December 6).
1994 December 21-1995 November 22
7 The Rocket
5 issues
Numbers 227 (April 10-24); 229 (May 16-29); 232 (June 26-July10); 234-235 (July 24-August 28)
7 The Rocket
4 issues
Numbers 250 (March 26-April 9); 253 (May 14-28); 255 (June 11-25); and 267 (December 3-17).
8 The Rocket
21 issues
Numbers 270-272; 274-291. Missing number 272 (March 12-24)
9 The Rocket
17 issues plus one cover
Numbers 292-296 (December 16, 1998-March 10, 1999); 297 (cover only); 298 (March 10-24); 305 (July 17-21); 307-316 (August 11-December 15)
10 The Rocket
20 issues
Numbers 317-336. Complete through The Rocket's final issue on October 18, 2000.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Alternative rock music
  • Music
  • Publications--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Rock music

Geographical Names

  • Seattle (Wash.)

Form or Genre Terms

  • Newspapers