Thursday, April 2, 2009

Studies in Crap and Teen Beat Magazine Kill the Video Star

Posted By on Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 6:00 AM

Each Thursday, your Crap Archivist

brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from

area basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets. I do

this for one reason: Knowledge is power.

click to enlarge teenbeatcover.jpg

Teen Beat Video Rock Stars Magazine

Author: Probably

whoever it was who first used the words "monetize" and "youth

culture" in the same sentence.

Date: Fall,


Discovered at:

Willie Aames' garage sale.

The Cover

Promises: Michael Jackson has been pinned down like a frog in

Biology 101.

Also: Someone

needs to invent Photoshop.

Also: Willie

Aames, who is not in the magazine, touched this long enough to sign




"When the leading

jean manufacturer and one of the hottest rock and roll groups join

forces, you know that something big is going to come out of it. Well,

those fabulous five Canadian Loverboys and Sassoon jeans have decided

to capitalize on just such an alliance!"(page 32)

"But what is this

band called INXS? Many just call them 'six lads from Australia.' One

word they forgot to include in that sentence was good-looking."

(page 58)

In 1983, not long

after Sassoon jeans and Loverboy set aside their differences and

chose to rule together, the zeitgeist straddlers over at Teen Beat

found themselves in a world made new.

How to handle the surprise

success of a cable channel dedicated entirely to short promotional

clips of white people pretending to play guitar? Like John Reed

celebrating the Bolsheviks, editors Mandy and Harry Matetsky chose to

position themselves on the side of the revolution.


CONQUERS TELEVISION!" shouts an editorial by "MM." In it, she

discloses the rules of the new regime:

"Gone are the

days when just listening to music was enough. Thanks to the

new wave of colorful, visually-exciting videotapes of rock stars in

action -- rock music must now be seen as well as heard."

Music must be

seen! No word on the penalties for non-compliance ... yet!


So, heading up the

wholly unnecessary ink-and-paper component of a sound-and-vision

revolution, the Matetsky's launched "America's First Video Rock


Their chief

contributions to the cause? Horrible writing and an outlet for

publicity stills.

First, the writing:

  • "In an age of

    simplicity, what simpler name could you think of for a band than INXS

    (pronounced in-excess)?"

  • "John [Cougar]'s

    style of music is not unusual but it is rare."

  • "[Journey's]

    videos show all the members of the group banging away on their

    instruments with life and fire or boogie-ing on down (and up!) to

    their top hits. The videos give the band a chance to enjoy themselves

    and their music, and they give you a chance to actually see them ... And who in their right mind would pass up the opportunity to watch

    this gorgeous group?"

  • "Rock's three

    blond baliffs [The Police] are back on the rock and roll patrol!"

Seriously, the

Police article sounds like a computer has translated it into English.

"In 1977, three

musical blondes met up in France, and from there Sting, Andy, and

Stewart introduced their back-to-basic sound in Birmingham, England,

thereby signifying the birth of The Police."


"Despite their

almost fairyland world of fame and success, all three state that they

have still been able to keep a clear perspective on reality, much of

which is concerned with the future."

The headlines and

publicity stills are almost as bad. Here's the exact

moment the word "exclusive" lost all meaning.


Apparently, J.

Geils once completed a screentest for the role of Wolverine.


The recipe for Lita Ford's hair:


Cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes. When the popping slows to 1-2

seconds between pops, remove from microwave.

Caution: You will be hot!

Shocking Detail:

Selling out or deep level irony?


"Rock stars like David Johansen knows what taste is. David wears the finest of T-shirts, just like this one he has on in these photos everywhere he goes. During the late summer or early fall months when he's dancing up a storm on stage or when he's watching a show, David knows that there's nothing like his Teen Beat tee to keep him cool."


Yes, this comes

from Willie Aames' house.

At the behest of

the producers of whatever horrible reality show he is currently

feeding his soul to, Aames held a two hour garage sale for television

cameras on March 26. Aames peddled Bibleman posters and some

impressive stuffed wildlife to the 200-plus people who -- like your

Crap Archivist -- sharked on over, lured by the chum of celebrity


Aames asked $3 for the magazine, admitted that he had no idea whether or not he was in it and reminisced a bit about opening for Hall & Oates (and Chicago!) in Tampa, Florida.

(YouTube confirms that, at some point, Aames had a record contract.)

He added, touchingly, that John Oates is "the nicest man on the face of the earth." Thanks, Willie! Sorry the revolution didn't work out for you!

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