News & Politics

Studies in Crap and Teen Beat Magazine Kill the Video Star (Willie Aames!)


Your Crap Archivist
brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from
basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets. I do
this for one reason: Knowledge is power.

Teen Beat Video Rock Stars Magazine

Author: Probably
whoever it was who first used the words “monetize” and “youth
culture” in the same sentence.

Date: Fall,

Discovered at:
Willie Aames’ garage sale.

The Cover
Michael Jackson has been pinned down like a frog in
Biology 101.

Also: Someone
needs to invent Photoshop.

Also: Willie
Aames, who is not in the magazine, touched this long enough to sign


“When the leading
jean manufacturer and one of the hottest rock and roll groups join
forces, you know that something big is going to come out of it. Well,
those fabulous five Canadian Loverboys and Sassoon jeans have decided
to capitalize on just such an alliance!”(page 32)

“But what is this
band called INXS? Many just call them ‘six lads from Australia.’ One
word they forgot to include in that sentence was good-looking.”
(page 58)

In 1983, not long
after Sassoon jeans and Loverboy set aside their differences and
chose to rule together, the zeitgeist straddlers over at Teen Beat
found themselves in a world made new.

How to handle the surprise
success of a cable channel dedicated entirely to short promotional
clips of white people pretending to play guitar? Like John Reed
celebrating the Bolsheviks
, editors Mandy and Harry Matetsky chose to
position themselves on the side of the revolution.

CONQUERS TELEVISION!” shouts an editorial by “MM.” In it, she
discloses the rules of the new regime:

“Gone are the
days when just listening to music was enough. Thanks to the
new wave of colorful, visually-exciting videotapes of rock stars in
action – rock music must now be seen as well as heard.”

Music must be
No word on the penalties for non-compliance. . . yet!


So, heading up the
wholly unnecessary ink-and-paper component of a sound-and-vision
revolution, the Matetsky’s launched “America’s First Video Rock

Their chief
contributions to the cause? Horrible writing and an outlet for
publicity stills.

First, the writing:

  • “In an age of
    simplicity, what simpler name could you think of for a band than INXS
    (pronounced in-excess)?”
  • “John [Cougar]’s
    style of music is not unusual but it is rare.”
  • “[Journey’s]
    videos show all the members of the group banging away on their
    instruments with life and fire or boogie-ing on down (and up!) to
    their top hits. The videos give the band a chance to enjoy themselves
    and their music, and they give you a chance to actually see them . .
    . And who in their right mind would pass up the opportunity to watch
    this gorgeous group?”
  • “Rock’s three
    blond baliffs [The Police] are back on the rock and roll patrol!”

Seriously, the
Police article sounds like a computer has translated it into English.

“In 1977, three
musical blondes met up in France, and from there Sting, Andy, and
Stewart introduced their back-to-basic sound in Birmingham, England,
thereby signifying the birth of The Police.”


“Despite their
almost fairyland world of fame and success, all three state that they
have still been able to keep a clear perspective on reality, much of
which is concerned with the future.”

The headlines and
publicity stills are almost as bad.

Here’s the exact
moment the word “exclusive” lost all meaning.


Apparently, J.
Geils once completed a screentest for the role of Wolverine.


The recipe for Lita Ford’s hair:


Cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes. When the popping slows to 1-2

seconds between pops, remove from microwave.

Caution: you will be hot!

Shocking Detail:

Selling out or deep level irony?


stars like David Johansen knows what taste is. David wears the finest
of T-shirts, just like this one he has on in these photos everywhere he
goes. During the late summer or early fall months when he’s dancing up
a storm on stage or when he’s watching a show, David knows that there’s
nothing like his Teen Beat tee to keep him cool.”



Yes, this comes
from Willie Aames’ house.

At the behest of
the producers of whatever horrible reality show he is currently
feeding his soul to, Aames held a two hour garage sale for television
cameras on March 26. Aames peddled Bibleman posters and some
impressive stuffed wildlife to the 200+ plus people who — like your
Crap Archivist — sharked on over, lured by the chum of celebrity


(Thanks to Ginger Man Justin Kendall for the video!)

Aames asked $3 for the magazine, admitted that he had no idea
whether or not he was in it, and reminisced a bit about opening for
Hall & Oates (and Chicago!) in Tampa, Florida.

You Tube confirms that, at some point, Aames had a record contract.

He added, touchingly, that John Oates is “the nicest man on the
face of the earth.” Thanks, Willie! Sorry the revolution didn’t work
out for you!

The Crap Archivist lives in Kansas City, where he originates his on-line Studies for the Voice‘s sister paper, The Pitch.

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