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Norma Coates

Norma Coates is Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the Don Wright Faculty of Music and the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario. Her publications include articles about gender and popular music, sound studies, and transmedia engagements with music. She is a past officer of IASPM-US. She serves on the Executive Board of Console-ing Passions: International Conference on Television, Video, Audio, New Media and Feminism.

“What’s So Bad About Groovy? Teen Magazines of the mid-1960s as Proto-Rolling Stone”
Before there was Rolling Stone, there were 16, Tiger Beat, Rave, Hullabaloo and several other so-called “teen idol” magazines that primed the pump for, among other things, Rolling Stone magazine. Joe Hagan, in his recent biography of Jann Wenner, describes how 16 editor Gloria Stavers, along with musical Zelig Danny Fields (who worked for 16 and several other teen magazines in the 1960s and 1970s) taught Wenner “some of the tricks of the trade” and “recognized Wenner as a fellow traveler.” Tiger Beat’s young editor Anne Moses’ detailed profiles of and interviews with teen idols anticipated the vaunted Rolling Stone interview. Future rock critic “heavies” including Paul Nelson paid their dues at teen magazines in the mid-1960s. Yet writers, especially female writers, and articles from teen magazines are rarely, if ever, collected in anthologies of rock writing. Rarely are they or the magazines they wrote for acknowledged for their contribution to music journalism and rock music culture. The young and usually female audiences that consumed them, were expelled from the narratives of rock history, a history that focuses on appropriate responses to music bolstered by gendered ideologies of authenticity that emerged along with rock criticism. In this presentation, I revisit 16, Tiger Beat, and Hullabaloo, the teen magazine that eventually became Circus, as well as the work of Stavers and Moses, in order to argue for their place in rock music writing and history.