In yesterday's paper I featured Tim Anstaett, the host of Yesterday's Top Secrets on community radio station WCRS. Anstaett's show features his picks for the best tunes of the 60s, 70s and 80s, tying the punk and new wave scene that defined his young adult life to the classic rock that soundtracked his childhood.

Anstaett is best known around these parts as the man behind The Offense, a music fanzine that published throughout the 80s in various formats. Around the same time, he helped to foster the Columbus punk scene by booking some locals at South Campus dive Mr. Brown's and, later, played a part in bringing internationally acclaimed acts like Pixies and Nick Cave to Columbus.

I learned a lot during my chat with Anstaett last week, and I couldn't fit all of it into my story. So here's some more:

In yesterday's paper I featured Tim Anstaett, the host of Yesterday's Top Secrets on community radio station WCRS. Anstaett's show features his picks for the best tunes of the 60s, 70s and 80s, tying the punk and new wave scene that defined his young adult life to the classic rock that soundtracked his childhood.

Anstaett is best known around these parts as the man behind The Offense, a music fanzine that published throughout the 80s in various formats. Around the same time, he helped to foster the Columbus punk scene by booking some locals at South Campus dive Mr. Brown's and, later, played a part in bringing internationally acclaimed acts like Pixies and Nick Cave to Columbus.

I learned a lot during my chat with Anstaett last week, and I couldn't fit all of it into my story. So here's some more:

•When he returned from Florida in the late 70s, Anstaett started managing local punk band The Cowboys, a group fronted by legendary American Music Club mastermind Mark Eitzel during his stint at Ohio State. The Cowboys only ever put out one 7-inch single — on Anstaett's short-lived Tet Offensive Records — but those two songs can be heard on the Jan. 1 episode of Yesterday's Top Secrets, the first of several recent YTS programs to revisit the content of early issues of The Offense. Definitely check out the Cowboys tunes; they remind me of Mission of Burma, though they came out before that band's influence had reached outside Boston.

•I couldn't give full details in the story, but the evolution of The Offense intrigues me. After about three months of booking shows at Mr. Brown's, Anstaett got tired of concert promotion and decided to start a zine. The first issue (titled TKA Offense) was entirely hand-written and featured scene reports from various Midwest cities Anstaett had visited with The Cowboys. Its centerfold was a survey soliciting input on what kind of content to print in future issues. As with every issue from spring 1980 to spring 1982, that first installment was printed and bound in the basement of Anstaett's day job at a local insurance company.

•Although he employed a typewriter for later issues, Anstaett never completely abandoned hand-scrawled notes in the pages of The Offense. He often wielded the pen to respond to the many letters that appeared in the zine's pages. Other content included an extensive record reviews section and interviews with underground musicians like Gang of Four's Dave Allen. At first, Anstaett wrote everything, but he accepted submissions from just about anyone and eventually built up a staff of regular contributors.

•As you might surmise given the hand-scribbled content scattered throughout The Offense, Anstaett is not a tech guy. He doesn't own a cell phone, rarely uses the internet and hand-writes all his playlists for the radio show. But WCRS basically has its DJs put together podcasts at home rather than spin tunes live, so Anstaett gritted his teeth and learned how to assemble radio shows on his computer in order to get on the air.

•The Offense picked up steam fast. Circulation never got beyond about 1,000 copies per issue, but within a few months, Anstaett hooked up with a distributor and began shipping copies to record stores as far-flung as L.A. and London. After Anstaett's wedding in 1982, he couldn't keep up the pace, so he discontinued the zine for about five months until resurrecting it as The Offense Newsletter, a much thinner, photocopied publication. The switchover cost Anstaett his distribution deal and much of his audience outside Columbus, but it also allowed him to publish more frequently — 20 issues in the first 26 weeks, to be exact.

•The smaller issues came in handy throughout the rest of the 80s as Anstaett got back into concert promotion. Although The Offense Newsletter trickled off in consistency, Anstaett could rush a new issue out whenever he or Curt Scheiber brought a big-time alternative act to town.

•Anstaett has a wall in his basement covered in fliers and photos from the 1980s. All of his Mr. Brown's fliers are up, plus concert photos of acts like The Fall. One particularly interesting shot features Nick Cave holding Anstaett's young daughter as Anstaett and Cave's Bad Seeds look on.

•Early on in his journalistic tenure, Anstaett developed a close relationship with Ivo Watts-Russell of legendary British indie label 4AD, home of acts such as Pixies, Throwing Muses and The Cocteau Twins. Anstaett had approached several labels about sending him records for review, but 4AD were one of the only companies to take him up on. He interviewed Watts-Russell for a cover story and regularly supported the label's roster in his newsletter. Anstaett even got a vanity plate that read TKA 4AD. The close contact with 4AD helped Anstaett bring Pixies to Stache's twice, when the band had only mini-album Come on Pilgrim to its name. The connection also helped Anstaett and Schieber to land a rare U.S. performance by The Cocteau Twins, which was apparently such a big deal that 10TV ran two separate features about it on the nightly news. I've posted this video before, but it's definitely worth seeing again: