Friday, April 15, 2011

Rant #485: Tiger Beat Beat Beat!!!!!

Ah, Tiger Beat.

When I was growing up in the 1960s and early 1970s, this was the magazine that every girl from the ages of seven to about 13 had to have.

It was the only place you could find out the latest news and gossip about all of your favorite stars, everyone from the Beatles to Paul Revere and the Raiders to Herman's Hermits to Dino, Desi and Billy to the Monkees to Bobby Sherman to the Cowsills to David Cassidy ...

Yes, I think you get it.

I heard the other day that its founder, Charles Laufer, who published Tiger Beat and other fan magazines that breathlessly covered the doings of teen idols, died at age 87.

The story goes that Laufer was teaching at a Norwalk, Calif., high school in the 1950s when he came up with the idea for a student-oriented magazine called Coaster. He later changed the name to Teen.

In 1965, he launched Tiger Beat, which covered the emerging, very fast-paced world of teendom in its infant stages. At its peak, the magazine sold hundreds of thousands of copies each month.

If you wanted to know the likes of Davy Jones, or wanted to know about Paul McCartney's latest girlfriend, you had to have Tiger Beat.

And this magazine made the use of apostrophes into an art. David Cassidy likes smart girls! Davy Jones is going with Sally Field! Mark Lindsay's desires!

Almost every sentence was punctuated with an apostrophe.

I mean, this was heavy stuff, or at least for a nine year old girl.

And to get the latest love beads (Davy Jones wore them!) or puka shells (David Cassidy wore them!), you had to have this magazine.

My sister collected these magazines, and read them from cover to cover when she was a kid.

She used to cut out the pictures and put them on her wall.

Me, I would take a glance every once in a while.

For boys, the news was negligible. What was important were the photos. You couldn't see photos like they had in Tiger Beat anywhere else.

And, if you wanted to keep up on the latest exploits of Susan Cowsill or Maureen McCormick, well, you had to have Tiger Beat.

Honestly, I have not looked into a Tiger Beat for decades. I guess they still cover the same type of thing--Justin Bieber and the like--for this generation of young girls.

It's a harmless publication, but I wonder how the Internet has impacted its reach.

Again, way back when, it was the only place you could find out what type of pillows Desi Arnaz Jr. liked to sleep on.

Today, that information is readily available on the Internet.

So, is the magazine still relevant?

Who knows, but you have to hand it to Laufer for dreaming it up.

It was pure genius!!!!!!

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