Thursday, July 27, 2017

Magazines of my time Part 1: Introduction

My name’s Michael, and I’m a recovering collect-aholic. For much of my life, I’ve been obsessed with collecting music, books, and magazines.

In recent years, while music and books still remain very much at the forefront of this personal form of OCD, I’ve been relieved of the need to collect magazines. But for a while, peaking perhaps in the late 1980s, magazines were the most important thing of all. Mostly magazines of the music and pop culture variety, but also magazines relating to sport – football, cricket, boxing (specifically The Ring) … even the odd bloodstock glossy relating to the thoroughbred industry (Blood Horse rules ok!).

The recent demise of NZ Musician magazine – in its printed/magazine format – was at least understandable, but also a little disturbing for someone with my affliction, and it got me thinking about all of the great magazines that have come and gone throughout my lifetime. There’s been a few.
So I’ve decided to dedicate a series of blogposts to the genre, a handful of posts about the magazines, incorporating music “papers” and the odd comic, that have been important to me across the past four decades or so. Little bursts of nostalgia, with some context and detail around why each publication meant something to me.

Thanks to the way we now consume news, information, and infotainment, magazines will never again have the influence, or carry the gravitas they once bore. These days, there is less need – or desire – for tangible copy. Everything is available in an instant, on a hand-held device, no less. All the news and information we’ll ever need can now be accessed within a few seconds, and be discarded just as quickly. And that’s fine too.

When I was growing up, during the 1970s and 1980s, it was inconceivable that such an option could ever exist, that technology could open up so many possibilities, and I’m certainly not about to dismiss that level of accessibility in any “oooh, it were way better in my day, lad” kind of way.
But I do feel a little sad for my children, in that they’ll never experience the thrill of a weekly magazine subscription. Not for them, the rush of excitement as they walk into the newsagent and spot the new issue of something they’ve been looking forward to, sitting up there on the rack, in pristine condition, in all of its colourful glory. It’s quite probable they’ll never really understand the catharsis that can come with sitting down to casually flick through the latest issue of a magazine they’ve been forced to wait a few weeks for.

One of the goals behind everythingsgonegreen is document some of this stuff from the past, purely for posterity, or else it’ll be allowed to fall between the cracks. When my children can post online, for all of the world to see, from now until eternity, what they’re about to eat for dinner, then surely it’s up to my generation to record some of the pre-internet tidbits relevant to our own otherwise undocumented grassroots existence … and clearly, my former OCD-level need to collect, has now been surpassed by my self-indulgent need to document the trivial. If it’s not recorded, or written about, it surely didn’t happen, right?

I’ll break the series up into several parts … part 2 covering the 1970s, part 3 will look at the first half of the 1980s, part 4 will tick off the second half of that glorious decade, part 5 will look at the 1990s and beyond, leading into the slow steady demise of the printed glossy in the ever less functional world of everythingsgonegreen …

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