I went looking for a book today in my hallway cupboard that contains, quite frankly, nothing more than a lot of junk. There are various bits of seemingly important paper, there are vinyl records, there’s a can of soup (WTF?), there are books that aren’t interesting enough to have on the shelves, and there are lots of old magazines.
In the end, I couldn’t find the book I was after, but I did spend an hour or so going through the magazines. There were classic 1980s magazines like “The Face” (which I collected religiously from its inception until almost the end), classic 1990s magazines like “Attitude” and more recently “Delicious Magazine”.
In some ways it was a brief journey through my life, reflecting on how interesting and important magazines once were to me, in contrast to now. The only time I ever read a magazine now is in a take-away or at the hair-dresser. And then I never read anything of substance. The crappier the better.
But back in the 1980s, buying and reading magazines like “The Face” was really important to me. Each month I’d anxiously await the latest copy, devouring it over several hours. With news about fashion, club culture, etc from the United Kingdom, it was a “guilty pleasure” for me, allowing me an insight into a world I couldn’t experience when I lived in Brisbane, Bourke, Renmark or Wagga. For a young lad from the bush, it was pretty bloody exotic.
And I loved it! And for years I would keep “The Face”, ordered month-by-month on my bookcase, as if it was an encyclopedia of style and taste.
In its time it was a great magazine. But then I lost interest in fashion (that shouldn’t surprise you), and the music and the artists they spoke about became less and less interesting, and I had other things in my life, so I stopped buying it. And then sometime in the last few years, it just folded. I don’t remember when.
I’m not sure how many people read “The Face” in Australia. I think the only time it ever really got much press here was when it was sued by Jason Donovan when it was suggested by the magazine he was not entirely heterosexual.
I noticed at work the other day Jason has a new CD featuring cover versions of a range of classic 60s songs, including a reworked version of his hit “Sealed With A Kiss”. With Jason on the comeback trail, maybe it’s time for “The Face” to re-emerge?