Periodically Speaking… Circus, Creem And All The Rest

I recall when I was young, that if you wanted a music magazine you had very few choices. Generally speaking this was limited to what the grocery store carried, which is where I first got to see magazines. There was Rolling Stone of course, and if you were lucky you might find a couple others. Sometimes there was also Creem and/or Circus. These were often next to the Archie comics and on the lower shelves, apparently targeted for the shorter rock fan demographic, meaning those who were younger and would likely cut them up for room decorations.

That wasn’t my scene.

If you wanted some real selection you went to Walden Books in the mall. Remember when there were book stores in the mall? That was the magazine mecca. They had a music section that held sometimes as many as 6 different music magazines. That is where I first saw Spin, which is what Dalton used to get. It had the new bands, most of which I had never heard of. I ALREADY felt old.

Then over time, there came more and more, there was the occasional Rolling Stone Special Edition which featured one artist or band. I have picked those up more than once. Which is kind of redundant in the age of the, ahem…

I N T E R N E T

but I can’t say too much, I still subscribe to Rolling Stone. Sue me.

I even purchased a DVD set of scans of all the old Rolling Stones. Reading material for when I retire, along with the 1000 Analog and Fantasy & Science Fiction digest magazines I have.

I once subscribed to Living Blues during my heavy blues phase but I had never seen it in any book store. I found out about it on the radio of all things and looked it up on the internet to subscribe. I made it a year. I’ve also done Guitar Player, Alternative Press, Relix, Guitar World and The Big Takeover. Plus several e-zine digests in my inbox. Only Rolling Stone has survived. Though I still have my bones to pick with that magazine, it seems to be improving as of late. My recent Rolling Stone storage area:

The new style Rolling Stone magazine with the addictive (well played R.S.!) spine builder design on the left. Looking good. Almost done with Rolling.

I have been known to pick up from Goodwill or garage sales old music magazines like NME and Mojo. It’s fun to look back at not only the articles about bands knowing the trajectory they followed, but album reviews and the advertising.

I found this at a garage sale once. I had never heard of this magazine. DISCoveries. “The Music World’s Trade Center”.

Inside it was essentially advertising for mail order record shops. Buy and Sell.

There were some articles in the front though. This one had a good article on Robert Plant from his “Manic Nirvana” phase.

I also picked up some old Billboard magazines.

These look old, but they are actually from 1990. Uh… at this point I guess that IS old. They are jumbo size and on newsprint. How old school.

Still, I had to say WOW on a recent visit to Barnes and Noble. It’s been a long long time since I visited the magazine area, but this day I lingered in front of the music section of the magazine rack.

Yeah… this WHOLE section! I was kind of blown away. I could have stood here for hours. There were regular magazines that covered lots of styles, distinct genre mags, instrument mags and equipment mags, vinyl collector mags, and magazines devoted to only one artist or band. It was amazing.

Many of them had CD’s attached to them.

I had my hands on Uncut for a while, then picked up the Nirvana special edition magazine, then glanced through the Prog 100 and then checked out the Ringo special edition. They all look great, but in the end, I didn’t buy anything.

It’s fun to window shop though.

When I got home I checked out Pitchfork and Consequence of Sound online.

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