was 16 years ago today...
of the strange things about moving back to the house you
lived in as a teenager is finding things you haven't seen
in many, many years. For me, this means my 16 Magazine
stash. I hadn't seen these in the better part of 8 years.
This one is dated November 1984. That is 16 years ago!
Man, do I feel old.
all the ones for me to pick up out of the pack, this one
is quite a time capsule. This was a big year for me --
I made the move from Los Angeles County to Riverside,
aka The Boondocks, and from Michael Jackson to Duran Duran.
can forget the hair, the clothes, the shoes and the music
of 1984? It was all so rad!
is visible on the cover, John Stamos was pretty darn popular
at the time. I can't remember why, but then, I didn't
watch soap operas much.
find it so amusing that Ricky Shroeder is on the cover,
always have a special place in my heart, between The
Champ and Silver Spoons, how could he not?
I didn't even start watching that show purely for it's
Ricky appeal, but because I'd been a big fan of "Best
of the West," which starred Joel Higgins, who played
his dad on the show.
though he's a 30 year old man with a bunch of kids who
kicks some serious ass and says really dirty words on
"NYPD Blue," I still think of him as cute little
Ricky Shroeder. Actually, that's not quite true. I still
think of him as The Ricker, his character's
persona once he lost the bowl cut.
I even entered the contest in that issue to win a (non-speaking)
part on "Silver Spoons." Who knows how my life
would be different had I won? It would just be me and
The Ricker living in a nice, country house somewhere.
also strange to see Michael Jackson on the cover, before
he got too damn weird for teen fandom. The headline is
eerily prophetic, isn't it?
is right about the time I stopped liking him. I was starting
of him as Big Gay Mike and the glove thing was getting
silly. He wasn't very cool, compared to what else was
out there. I think I got out in time. It's really going
to date me, but, in my memories, Michael Jackson is actually
so, I was more than happy to see MJ live with all of his
brothers that October, right around the time this magazine
arrived. We'd mailed away for our Victory tour
tickets in the spring, when I still adored MJ, at a then-hefty
$30 each. We sat in the third tier at Dodger Stadium.
Horrible seats. It was bitter cold that night and, as
I recall, my Big Red gum and Dodger dog froze. My best
friend Rosie (with whom I've just become reacquainted
after almost a decade) and I were hoarse from screaming
the next day.
I wasn't ashamed of carrying around the Cabbage Patch
kid we'd decked out in Snoopy's old black tuxedo (though
with his own pants that one of my mom's coworkers made
for me, since Snoopy's had a hole for his tail). I'd carefully
sewn white sequins on the dickie (shirt front), black
sequin's on the lapels of the jacket and silver sequins
on his socks. We couldn't find a glove his size (though
we could've used a sock, come to think of it), he had
a little lapel pin in the shape of a white glove with
glitter on it. Amazing how novelty companies get right
on top of fads like that.
had been reading a lot of Star Hits over the summer
at my grandma's
house and watching MTV on a daily basis for the first
time (we'd had it off and on, depending on the whims of
the cable company). I clearly remember walking to Linder's,
a family-owned ice cream shop that made absurdly large
malts and buying other teen rags.
I came home that summer, the tide had turned and it was
all about Duran Duran. Somehow my mom knew this and on
my bed the very day I returned were copies of Rio
and 7 and the Ragged Tiger. Already, John
Taylor was my favorite. We moved into this house
that fall and the first close friends I met were Durannies.
Kristi soon became my best friend, even though we argued
constantly about who was going to marry JT. That was as
big as issues got in our lives at the time.
better or worse, so much of our identity was rooted in
which teen idol we admired. In fact, this copy of 16
is falling apart because I used to exchange pictures with
some of the stoner chicks. One in particular loved David
Lee Roth like you wouldn't believe. She'd have non of
our pansy British new wavers and gladly gave up piles
of pictures in trade for the few Van Halen pics that popped
up in 16 or Bop.
16 Magazine retrospective is complete without feauring
the cast of
"Breakin'." I don't know what happened
to Special K, but Shabba Doo and Michael "Shrimp"
Chambers, as you no doubt recall, went on to make "Breakin'
2: Electric Bugaloo."
was big news in Carson and Wilmington, where I'd lived
and started junior high, as these were local folks. I
still remember Michael Chambers' cousin chasing me through
the halls and Coco, the littlest breakdancer in the movie,
splashing me in the pool at the public park across the
street from our old apartment. In case you somehow missed
out on the cultural phenomenon that was "Breakin',"
Coco was also the tiny little breakin' boy in David Lee
Roth's seminal "California Girls" video.
guess I missed the Scott Baio thing. He never appealed
to me. Well, maybe when he was 11 and on "Happy Days."
always seemed far too old. Adrian Zmed was also in this
issue (pictured with his newborn son) and he was probably
30 by then, which was just too damn old for me to even
get hot over. It always seemed creepy when they put anyone
over the age of 25 in these magazines, considering the
cover teengirl masturbatory rags they were.
Macchio, however, was a different story. Though he was
already 50 years old at the time, he scarcely looked 13.
I bet he lookes exactly the same today. He was also forgiveable
because he was in one of my favorite movies at the time,
The Outsiders. I remember my whole junior high
had done something great, I think we sold a ton of candy
that year or maybe we were well-behaved when there was
an important visitor. At any rate, our reward was a special
screening of The Outsiders instead of 5th and 6th
period. There could be no greater reward.
remember Macchio did a play around this time and it seemed
the furthest thing from my world. Little did I know that
14 years later I'd live in New York and see a handful
of shows on Broadway.
you thought the Michael Jackson thing was embarassing,
this order form will blow your mind. I filled it out for
6 buttons, one for each member of Duran Duran, complete
with their nick names, and one that says "I <3
cannot for the life of me remember why the Andy Taylor
button, had I followed through and sent the order in,
would've read "Andy Taylor, aka 'Sniffer'."
I wonder now if we'd read this was his nickname in some
silly article and immediately adopted it as his nickname.
The funny part is now I can't help but wonder if it was
a sly drug reference.
the buttons the girl is wearing are "I Love Guys,"
"I love Someone Special," "I Love Robby,"
"I Love Van Halen," and "I Love Michael
Jackson," which seems to be stretching things quite
a bit. For emphasis, I guess, some of the pins appear
on her person several times.
big eyes and mouth kinda creep me out.
I joke about never having left the '80s. I guess it's
natural that everyone has an era they feel was their time.
1984 was the most '80s year there was. So many significant
things happened, both in the world at large and in my
little 16 Magazine skewed world.
think Jon-Erik Hexum's untimely demise was probably the
first time I really thought about death. I'd forgotten
how breathtaking he was. The grand prize for this contest
was a phone call from Hexum himself. My memory is that
this issue came out just after he died (I seem to recall
16 Magazine coming a week or so before the month
the issue was labeled with began. Based on a little
web research, this seems to hold true. I always wondered
how they handled that contest.
that same issue had a feature on "Silence of the
Heart," a TV movie about teen suicide.
remember seeing this movie at the time and really falling
for Chad Lowe. (I don't remember Charlie Sheen registering
on the radar until Platoon, about 2 years later.)
When Chad Lowe did Spencer later that year, I was
an avid viewer. I had a crush on a kid named Spencer,
probably in large part due to this show.
thought he was so cool, but though we hung out a lot,
he tended to make fun of me and that got on my nerves.
Then one day he showed up at my house and my mom had an
especially weird tone when she said, "One of your
little friends is here." He had showed up
with a classmate's kid brother, both wearing walkie talkie
headsets. What a nerd!
amazing how our tastes have changed and yet how much has
the same. I don't know if it's just me, but these guys
seem a lot more manly, yet in a non-threatening way, than
today's heartthrobs. Maybe it's because I'm older now
than any of these teen idols were then, so the boy bands
today really do look like boys to me.
Springfield was my one exception to the over 25 rule.
He was such a babe! I really felt dated when that cell
phone commercial with him at an amusement park came out
and the fans were only there to bring their kids and he
just happened to be playing that day. See, to me, Rick
Springfield isn't a has been, he's still Rick Springfield,
for crying out loud! You just know he's singing "Love
Somebody" in that picture, right? Oh, baby.
issue was full of surprises as well.
why on earth was Boy George ever in proximity of Robert
Mitchum? Can you think of an odder pair at a party? What
would they talk about?
tried to schtup Marilyn Monroe."
What a coincidence! I try to do my make-up like hers."
little heartthrob that escaped my attention at the time
was a not-quite 13 year old Ricky Martin. He was a wee
80 pounds of love I just couldn't get into at the time.
The irony, of course being he was my own age.
had the non-threatening teen idol part down, alright.
Blame it on girls maturing sooner than boys, but he just
wasn't quite man enough for me then.
suppose the more things change, the more they stay the