The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

Nostalgic Look at a Rock 'n Roll Magazine Archive

Ellen Levitt

Posted on June 14, 2020 00:09

3 users

Trouser Press was a fun rock 'n roll magazine in the 1970s and 1980s; the publishers have recently created a website of all the issues plus other features.

I used to love reading rock 'n roll magazines. First there was Circus, full of glossy pictures. Then I devoured Creem, which had lots of funny, biting commentary and a weird mix of punk rock, new wave and everything else. Occasionally over the years I'd read issues of Rolling Stone, and debate if it was worth getting a subscription. Then there was Spin, which I actually worked at as a college intern! 

In addition to those, I've read many others and even written freelance for some: Good Times and the Island Ear (concert and music reviews, occasional interviews); B-Side and Relix, Alternative Press and so on. Fanzines too, some so amateurish but full of energy and gushing over little-known bands and performers.

A few times in the 1980s I picked up copies of Trouser Press, a music magazine that featured new wave and punk rock acts, as well as classic rock, especially heavy on British groups such as the Who, the Kinks, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. When I was reading "TP" I was more interested in the new wave performers such as the Ramones, Blondie, the Pretenders, and also the quirky hard rock of Cheap Trick. I lost track of Trouser Press but had an inkling that they had ceased publication.

Then I saw a friend post on Facebook that there is a website of the Trouser Press Magazine Archive, and I clicked on the link immediately and binged on nostalgia. Apparently they published 95 issues of TP from 1974 through 1984, and they have uploaded every single issue on the website! Whoa, memories.

The website is well designed, and the main focus is all the issues. Every cover is visible and if you click on the link, you can scroll through every page. There is also a paragraph of recent commentary on each issue, typically notes about how the cover was designed, which interviews were hard to score, and so on.

There is also a collection of blog posts, some recent, some from the earlier 2000s (printed elsewhere); a reviews section that is alphabetical; a Forum that's reminiscent of old computer commentary boards; a collection of some photos from the magazine; and other miscellaneous items.

I had fun looking at several articles and felt the pang of nostalgic longing as I read them. But then I pulled back, and I noticed a few things: for one, Trouser Press only put female musicians on 11 or 12 covers. Of that cohort, three were Blondie (with Debbie Harry) and two were Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders. Only one all-female group was featured, the Go-Gos. Even more chilling: only three Black artists made the covers: Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy, Eddy Grant, and Tony Butler with the band Big Country. 

As much as Trouser Press was this hip, smart magazine in its prime, it still was lacking diversity. Sigh.

But I do recommend the website, music fans! You'll enjoy it, learn from it, and find inspiration from it. 

Ellen Levitt

Posted on June 14, 2020 00:09

Comments

comments powered by Disqus

Chuck Berry's music helped define the modern teenager Associated Press - 19 March 2017 00:26-04:00 Copyright...

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest