Some wormhole yesterday led me to the Wiki entry for Dynamite magazine … and boy, did that bring back four or five vague half-memories.
(It feels like I’ve written about just about all of my strong pop-cultural memories. Now I’m writing about things I vaguely sorta recall. Maybe it’s time to stop?)
Anyway, I was a touch too young to have read ur-’70s cover stories like “The Bee Gees vs. the Beatles! Who’s The Greatest?” or “Mork and Mindy: TV’s Out-Of-This-World Comedy!” when they were fresh off the press.
But I remember reading them anyway … perhaps a few years later, probably in bags of handed-down books from neighboring families who realized the book-hungry Blumenau boys might be good audiences for their outgrown kid-lit.
It’s also possible that I bought an issue or two through Scholastic book fairs, which were to early-’80s elementary school students what the Sears catalog was to prairie farmers. I don’t remember reading any of the early-’80s cover stories, though. (I’m pretty sure I would remember reading “Joanie Loves Chachi: And Dynamite Loves Them Both!”)
Dynamite apparently lasted until 1992, which is longer than I would have guessed, as its satin-and-neon image in my mind is pretty firmly hitched to a period roughly between 1977 and 1981. By the end it was giving cover stories to Urkel, Paula Abdul and Beverly Hills 90210.
I wonder if a magazine like that could exist today, even for a pre-teen audience. Is there still room for a non-threatening, friendly, written-straight-off-the-press-release cover story in a world where the foibles of famous actors and musicians are instantly shared with everyone online — sometimes by the performers themselves?
While I chew on that, I’ll end with some riffing:
10 ’70s Cover Stories
I Wish Dynamite Had Gotten Around To Writing
1. Bear Leaves B.J. Behind for An Exclusive Interview!
4. Bon and Angus: Those Lovable Devils from Down Under!
5. A Dynamite Saturday Night with Walter Mondale!
6. Gil Scott-Heron: What’s the Word?
7. Black Sabbath: A Friendly Bunch of Geezers!
8. Becker and Fagen Go to the Movies!
9. All Aboard the Supertrain!