Saturday, 25 May 2013

My Life In Magazines


(I got the idea for this post from Twitter friend Katie Oliver, who very kindly said she didn't mind if I nicked her idea!  Here is her post:  http://katieoliver.com/ko/?page_id=27)


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I adored magazines, all through my teens, twenties and early thirties.  I loved reading the beauty articles, sure that if I did all the stuff they said I would be beautiful - now, of course, I see that their purpose is just to get you to buy the products.  How jaded one becomes!  But buying Cosmo, Elle, Honey, etc used to be such a pleasure of mine.  One thing I really enjoyed was getting the new copy of Slimming magazine and reading it whilst eating a bag of assorted toffees.  Don't you just love all those obese-to-slim true life stories - wow, did she really eat all that??!  





I rarely buy magazines these days, because I don't particularly want to read about  how to get my man, or, when I've got him, what he might or might not want to me to do behind the bedroom door... neither am I interested in career vs children articles, as I am past the age where I give a stuff, and the last time I made anything from a cookery article was in 1985 - the malibu milk jelly with the consistency of a rubber tyre was quite enough, thank you . 

I'd like to share with you now, though, my magazine memories - some of them you might remember well!


 


When I was a child, my sister and I used to get June & School Friend every week.  We actually got it between us - I can't remember us ever arguing about who read it first, though - maybe it was automatically Julia, as she was the eldest!  I can't remember anything about it at all, apart from one story called 'Swimming To Fame', about some girls who competed in swimming competitions (duh-uh!).  I was fascinated by all the different strokes, particularly the butterfly.  Didn't do me any good - I never got past half a width with a rubber ring!

From this children's comic we moved on to Jackie, which we got from about 1968 to 1971. I was a bit too young for it (age 9 in 1968) but young teenage magazines in those days weren't as they are now; the most risque thing you might read about was whether or not to snog on the first date.  



What most people remember most about Jackie is The Cathy & Claire Page - yes, the problem page!  How can I make him fancy me?  Why hasn't the boy I met on holiday replied to my letters?  How I longed to be grown up like those 13 year olds, wearing white lipstick and bell bottom trousers and going out with boys!  Then there were the pin-ups on the back page - long forgotten names like Jack Wild, Ben Murphy, George Best... and David Cassidy, of course!


By the time I was 12, I had my own magazine.  Every Saturday evening, all to myself - the wonder that was Fabulous 208!  Dig that groovy frock!



Fabulous 208 was, as well as being a teenage mag, all about Radio Luxembourg (the frequency of which was 208) - I used to listen to it all the time, with DJs Kid Jenson, Dave Christian, Mark Wesley.  I adored this magazine.  Saturday evening when it arrived was the highlight of my week. My friend Sally and I used to ring each other up to discuss what was in it, cut out the pictures, etc... ahhhh!  These sort of magazines often featured some column allegedly written by a pop star - I think there was a David Cassidy one in Fab 208!  My friend Sally used to insist it was really by him - even then, I knew it wasn't.  Oh dear, maybe I was born jaded...

Another big favourite around this time was Disco 45, which was, if I remember rightly, just full of all the lyrics to songs in the Top 20 - I never sang, but I think I used to follow the lyrics when I heard the songs on the radio!



There - it was all of 5p!!

I then moved on to more girly magazines, none of which existed after the mid 1970s: Valentine, Mirabelle, Petticoat - and Romeo, and Look Now, but I couldn't find any pictures of them.  



It's a pity these pictures aren't a bit bigger; then you'd be able to see that they cost about 8p!

I must just move back for a moment here; I remember going to stay with Julia's godmother in the summer of 1971, when I was just 12, and sitting in her conservatory sneakily looking at a copy of her glossy, glamorous Vanity Fair...



.... and reading this article, furtively looking up to make sure no-one caught me reading it.  It was about a new book that had just been published called The Sensuous Woman, by some bird called 'J'.  In the interview with her she talked about oral sex - and I really, really did think that oral sex meant talking about it....

Back to the mid-seventies - who remembers those magazines you could buy in weekly parts, followed by all the binders to put them in?  My first serious boyfriend used to buy Supercook ~



We collected them faithfully, every week for what seemed like ever - I think I made about 4 things out of them!  Jiffy Tuna Surprise, Arroz Con Pollo, American Apple Pie, and some thing with pork chops and wine - and that's it! Jiffy Tuna Surprise (or just JTS) became our staple meal... tuna and onions and garlic and basil and curry powder, I think - I can still taste it! 

In the late 70s I loved Honey, and 19 ~




.... and, of course, the wonderful Cosmo!  That magazine taught me so much - I kid you not!  In this article I've tried to pick issues with the covers that I actually remember, and I loved this one in 1976 of Jerry Hall; I believe it came out around the time she danced with Bryan Ferry in the video for Roxy Music's 'Let's Stick Together' - that was in her pre-Jagger days, of course.



In the 1980s I also used to read Company (one of the best, I think), and Options - and I was also introduced, by my boyfriend of the time, to The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers...  



... and I remember, one day in the late 80s, my brother coming round with this brilliant new publication he'd discovered when he'd been up north :


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 Viz- the magazine only puffs don't buy

It was only about twelve pages long at the time, until it caught on and became available everywhere.  I still buy it now, sometimes.  My favourites are Modern Parents, The Critics, the Drunk Bakers, Mr Logic - and then there are the old favourites like Sid The Sexist, Paul Whicker the tall vicar - and the Pathetic Sharks!  I still love the Top Tips, too :)

From about 1988 to 1992, going to see rock bands became a huge part of my life, and I used to buy Kerrang every week, along with Metal Hammer sometimes - though that was more heavy metal orientated, whereas I was into rock rather than metal, though of course there are areas where the two cross over.  Q came out around then, as well, though that was more of a serious music magazine.



..... and yes, I was at Donington 1990, though I'm not on the cover of this issue of Kerrang, which is probably just as well!

That's pretty much when I stopped buying magazines on a regular basis.  I moved onto Marie Claire for a while, but I found that, by then, I just wasn't very interested in many of the articles.  I find that many of them in such magazines as Red, She, Elle, etc sound as if they're going to be really fascinating - and then they're just not.  Either that or I've read them all before - or just, quite simply, that they're aimed at people younger than me.  So often I've bought one, finished reading it in about half an hour and thought well, that was a waste of £3.60, or whatever it cost.  Much of them, now, is just advertising - and I don't just mean the adverts.  I think the best women's glossy now is probably American Glamour, which I do get occasionally - I'm not ready to go onto Saga yet!



I'd love to go to one of those fairs where you can buy old issues of the magazines and comics of your youth.  I've still got a Jackie annual from 1973 - but I'd never sell it.  Well, it's got an article written by David Cassidy in it.....





23 comments:

  1. What a great trip down memory lane, Terry. I was Bunty until secondary school and then Jackie all the way. I wasn't keen on Cathy and Claire though. I liked Patty's World and Sugar Jones best. I then moved onto Smash Hits. I had lots of aunties who aren't that much older than me so I was introduced to Cosmopolitan probably far too early. As an adult my favourite has always been Vogue though. I'm ashamed to say I never miss an issue.

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  2. Yes, I read Cosmo earlier than I perhaps should have done as well - I think I soon found out the truth, re my 11/12 year old experience with Vanity Fair! I think you must be a little younger than me, as I considered myself much too old and groovy for Smash Hits, ha ha!! And I haven't got a clue what Patty's World and Sugar Jones are, as my Jackie experience ended in about 1971, I think - I remember reading in Fab 208 that Pete Duel of Alias Smith and Jones had died, and we were all so gutted at school, as emotional 12 years olds tend to be!!! That was in winter 1971 - I remember my friend Vanessa walking up to my house to tell me. Oh, hell, now I'm rambling - and I am aware that many of the people who've read this won't have a clue what I'm on about! :) Thanks for commenting

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  3. Wow! This bright back memories!! I had forgotten about Honey, and Petticoat - I read both of them! And slimming...... does anyone remember Ayds ...also current at the time...little fudge lumps that were supposed to take your appetite away!Didn't though....

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    1. Thanks for reading, C! Yes, I remember Ayds.... the same man who introduced me to The Furry Freak Brothers also showed me more effective ways of controlling my appetite - nuff said!!!

      I just wish, wish and wish I had kept old copies of the 70s mags - @oxfordnovelist on Twitter said she has one of Petticoat!!

      Oh - and do you remember Protein 21??? I can feel a 70s beauty products post coming on...!

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  4. Oh yes, I remember Ayds, the company folded in the early 1980s, wonder why!!?! I remember I used to love Options and of course the wonderful Cosmo. I had a few issues of Nova. Now here's a magazine fact - in my wardrobe I have all the editions of American Glamour mag from 1994 to about 2004, possibly more than that. It's my only hoarding. Simply fascinating as a historical archive. It's not so good any more, they don't do many articles, it's all sound bites. Nothing will induce me, even though I'm now in my late 50s, to read fucking Woman and Home, especially if they think to recommend themselves to me by putting fucking Twiggy and fucking Dawn French on the covers. Sorry about the language, Terry!

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    1. That's okay, more people should say fuck on blog comments.

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  5. Great article! I only remember Jackie, plus a few of the modern ones. My big sister got Jackie every issue and I sneaked a peek. I was 5 years younger. My first magazine was a comic - Twinkle - I was about 4. When I was about 7, The Nutty came out with such favourites as Bananaman - loved that comic! I also loved The Beano and The Beezer, although I didn't have the money for those, so had to borrow others'. And quite frankly that was it for me. Since I am the least girly girl I know, apart from enjoying facials, I didn't read ANY of the mags about makeup etc. In recent years, I buy Zest (fitness), Sainsburys magazine and Runners World! I still think The Nutty was the best. Sooz

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  6. Ah, you see I've never heard of The Nutty - what a difference 13 years makes! Most of the other ones were out when you were pre-reading stage, after all; none of the early ones lasted beyond the early 70s. Oddly enough (well, not really!) I thought when I had written this, I won't bother to tell Sooz about this as I don't suppose she was into the 'frocks, sex & facials' mags!!! Which probably about sums them up, despite the odd article about 'strong women', etc!! Also I realise that Kerrang, for instance, is as much a special interest magazine as Runner's World - but I should damn well hope you've read Viz, as it comes from only just sooth o' the border, man!!

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  7. guid point, I have read Viz, but mainly because I had a boyfriend who used to read it. Have never bought it, but admit it's funny, or at least it was when I read it 20 years ago!

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  8. Really interesting blog Terry. All the more interesting to me because in the early 80s I wrote photo story scripts for Jackie and Blue Jeans mags. Run by dear old DC Thomson of Dundee and they loved stories with a twist. Do you remember Blue Jeans photo novels? Whatever happened to photo novels? I think TV killed them off

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  9. Sooz, I remember Twinkle, it was for really little girls. Ah, Geoff, Blue Jeans photo novels! And for the record I'd like to say that I now subscribe to Vanity Fair, because it's written by educated Americans, and is simply fascinating. I buy the odd copy of Elle, but it's hard to find a mag for the woman in her 50s who still cares about being glamorous (that's me I'm talking about, by the way!). Woman and Home thinks they're going to appeal to me by putting fucking Lulu or Lorraine Kelly on the cover, patronising ?&*%**!s

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  10. Loved this trip down memory lane Terry. My first magazine was 'Donald & Mickey' (as in Disney) and I remember my brother simultaneously had 'Whizzer & Chips'... remember those?

    Then I had Fab208 for a couple of years, only for David Cassidy's column! (Incidentally, I used to run a website dedicated to him and only sold my mahooooosive collection of DC memorabilia last year for over £2000 which included loads of Fab208 mags!). My Mum was browsing through Fab208 one day and came across an article where Dave Bartram (lead singer of Showaddywaddy) revealed how he lost his virginity. That was it! I was no longer allowed to read it! I was gutted. I used to like Mirabelle too.

    My first 'grown up' mag was Company, then I moved on to Vogue and stuck with it for about 4 years. Vogue was book size back then! Took ages to look through - kept me quiet for ages. I never used to read it - I just loved the pictures!

    Thanks for sharing :) this was fab. X

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    2. Alice, thanks so much for your comments! Ohhhh, how I would have loved to have seen those old issues of Fab 208!! It's great to see someone who remembers that and Mirabelle, too. Oh, and you're forgiven for thinking DC's column was real, as you were probably only about 9 when it was out, whereas I was a worldly-wise 12!!!!! My friend Sally's idol was David Cassidy, and I liked Marty Kristian of the New Seekers, but managed to get over that and go on to prog rock by the time I was 13, which started off my rock chickery of later years. Yes, Company was terrific at first, wasn't it?

      Julia, you know what I think about Woman & Home and all that shite, too!!!

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  11. Aaah Marty Kristian - I remember him well as he had hair like David Cassidy! LOL Oh, and do you remember Music Star magazine? I used to love their pin-ups. Marty, David, Donny and little Michael Jackson featured regularly. I knew David C didn't write those columns even at that young age - I was more concerned with collecting pictures of him and there was always a picture attached to the column. I had so many scrapbooks. I sold 20 last year - they went for between £15-£45 each! Incredible. Anyway... time moves on, BUT my heart is stuck in the 1970s. X

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  12. Disco 45 - now that brings back memories!

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    1. ohhhh yes - it's funny that we actually cared what the lyrics were...!

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  13. 'Jackie' - Oh how I loved it, not my favorite at the time, 'My Guy' was my fav, with Jackie a close second!

    Now recalling 'fondly' my 'Tucker Jenkings' pin up - and feeling old o_O lol

    Great post Terry! x

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    1. If you're young enough to have seen Tucker Jenkins as a pin-up, you're not old at all!!!! :)

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  14. I used to watch the escapades of Tucker Jenkins after I came home from a day's teaching! As I'm much older than you I started with Dandy & Beano, then Bunty & Judy & ended up reading my Mum's People's Friend Magazines. Now I buy Family History Magazines or Homes and Antiques.

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  15. Aha - my mother used to get Woman and Woman's Own in the 1960s, when they were proper women's magazines, not the trashy 'true story' things they are now! I don't get any magazines now, only sometimes for current culture research when writing. Thanks for reading, Liz! xx

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  16. I love this post. My mum still has copies of the 'comics' - I think that's what she called them - from when she was a kid 60 years ago! I used to love reading them. She also saved the ones me and my siblings read. I persuaded her to part with a few copies and actually framed them and have them hanging on the wall - they're such a lovely reminder of childhood.

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    1. Ruth, I'm green wiht envy, what a terrific thing to have! Yes, call them comics here, too (I think you're in Australia??). I was a kid 50 years ago, so my memories of June and School Friend are probably similar! I'd love to have copies of the ones I used to read. :)

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