Tiger Beat magazine — 44 Years of FAB! GEAR! Teeny Bopper Greatness

November 8, 2009

“They’re exciting! Helpful! Daring! Cunning! BUT. . . what is a GROUPIE?”

Founded in September 1965 and continuously published since them, Tiger Beat magazine has been serving the female ‘tween market place and “stoking the the star-making machinery behind the popular song”* prior to the invention of the word ”tween.’

When I first encountered it in the mid-sixties it was comic book-sized with garish color covers with B&W interiors on 68 pages of  pulp paper. Today it is on slick stock, full color with the ever popular pull-out posters suitable for decorating  suburban bedroom walls of adolescents across America. While I sit here and wonder: Are Pretty Boys Out?

There was a dance party TV show host, Lloyd Thaxton who was cover featured for the first 12 issues as Lloyd Thaxton’s Tiger Beat. When Lloyd left his TV show he was dropped.

dyl_tigerbeat_coverNEWOf interest here is the November 1965 issue that has 2 pages and 4 pictures on Bob Dylan; an article by Earl Leaf titled, “Groupies! Who Are They? Where Did They Come From? (6 pages); Beauty Secrets of the Stars with Lesley Gore, Barbara Parkins, Annette Funicello, Mia Farrow, Sandra Dee and Ann-Margaret and a feature called This Popsy Topsy Music World that mashes together Tom Jones, Jackie DeShannon, Dino, Desi & Billy, and Tina Turner with Bobby Sherman singing and Keith Richards backstage.

Even my own question is not too controversial for TB’s hard-hitting journalism. See this cover-featured article: Are Pretty Boys Out? George Chakiris, James Darren, Richard Chamberlain VS. Mick Jagger, Ringo Starr, Sonny Bono and Freddy (of Freddy & the Dreamers) Click on image for larger size.

tigerbeatcoverNEWThe current version is certainly more polished graphically but the content, of course, is pretty much the same. Even the logo has only been changed (improved) slightly. Thought it could be argued that nobody remotely like Keith Richards would be covered today along side the Jonas Brothers, Hillary Duff and Miley Cyrus. It’s the triumph of the Pretty Boys of both sexes.

Sorry, Lilo. You are strictly a feather weight in comparison to The Human RiffClick on image for larger size.


* Joni Mitchell, “Free Man in Paris”

Below, just because we quoted her above, we present a beautiful version of Ms. Mitchell’s classic “Big Yellow Taxi.”

Watching this is it any wonder that I (along with most white adolescent males) was in love with her and her music in 1970?

And please note: long before Carl Sagan popularized the notion that we are literally “star stuff,” Joni sang that “We are Star Dust, Million year old Carbon. We are Golden, Caught in the Devil’s bargain. . .”

The original Woodstock Festival took place on August 15 through the 18th in 1969. A month before on July 20, Apollo 11 landed on the moon. On September 14, 1969 Joni Mitchell played a gig at Big Sur, California and debuted a song titled “Woodstock.”


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