Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Dynamite" magazine pulled no punches

If you grew up in the inflation-wracked, energy-crunched 1970's and bothered to attend school, you no doubt remember "Dynamite" magazine. It was sold through your school's "Weekly Reader" or Scholastic Book Club program, which was basically a pamphlet where you check off books you wanted to buy ( I bought my first Bigfoot book from the weekly reader program around 1974 or so), and a week or two later your stuff showed up. It was an exciting time.

"Dynamite" came a bit later, I think it started around 1976 or so. You could order it from weekly reader, but for some reason I felt a subscription was necessary. It was a kids magazine, so the subject matter was generally movie or TV stars kids would be interested in. "Issues of the day," I guess you could say. Like this one below:

That's right: after much wailing and teeth-gnashing amongst the editorial powers-that-be, it was finally decided that the top stars of 1978 were - Chewbacca and Shaun Cassidy. Well, they do have similar hairstyles. No doubt Lee Majors, various Sweathogs and Donnie & Marie are still demanding a recount.

"Dynamite" also gave megastars like the Captain & Tenille and Shields & Yarnell (mimes who somehow had their own TV show) valuable exposure to that critical 8-10 year-old demographic and their disposable incomes of .75 cents a week in allowance. But "Dynamite" was more than just fluffy entertainment news. They would eagerly tackle the tough issues of the day in order to supply answers to questions that were prompting schoolyard fights all across this great land of ours. To wit:

I think time has answered this question appropriately enough, no? I mean, come on - The 1978 "Sgt. Pepper" movie had George Burns in it. The "Sgt. Pepper" album? No George Burns. A clear win for the Bee Gees.

I also like that when deciding to sink it's teeth into the musical debate of the ages, they chose to go with a "Mad" magazine-style illustration for the cover in order to convey the gravity of the issue at hand. Exactly how "The Washington Post" would do it, I imagine.

Eventually (within one year) my interest on this dopey magazine waned, but not before I received not one but two cool King Kong posters that were included with issues. One was the 1976 remake poster (which came in an issue with King Kong holding "Laverne & Shirley" in his hand), and the other was a kick-ass 3-D poster of the old Kong on the Empire State Building, which hung in my room for several years. I still have the issue with the remake poster, but alas, not the cool 3D one.

**Short intermission while I go try and find a google image of said 3-D King Kong poster***

No dice. I remember seeing it on ebay about 5 years ago (and getting outbid on it), but now I can't seem to find an image of it. Nostalgia, thou art a harsh mistress.


Casey Brewer said...

Oh man, I remember this mag. By the way, I once bought a book about Disco from the Weekly Reader. It had illustrations and "stats" about the various characters you may run into at your local Night Club. There was "Harry the Hippy" and "Chico the Pimp". You were warned to avoid both. Harry the Hippy had fleas.

I also had the issue that had 3-D glasses for a special TV premier of which I cannot recall. Whatever it was, the glasses didn't work worth shit.

lee said...

Long time reader, first time commenter:
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for this blog.

BlogFoot said...

Sure thing, hombre'. Thanks for the comment and your loyal eyeballs.

RGame said...

I've got vague memories of this magazine. It's weird how many things in this blog are out of my past. Must be because we're about the same age. It's also the reason I kept coming back after first discovering it. The obsession with Klaus Kinski, or whatever his name is, is kinda strange though. The painting itself shows a lot of talent, though.

BlogFoot said...

Thanks for the compliment on the painting. But it sounds like someone
needs to take a little class called Kinski 101.

Rent "Aguirre, Wrath of God" and "Fitzcarraldo" at your earliest convenience and prepare to see the light.

gilligan said...

Man, I loved Dynamite (do you remember their "spin-off" magazine, Bananas?

How incredible that there actually was a debate on The Beatles vs. The Bee-Gees. I love the brothers Gibb and all, but c'mon! I'm sure Peter Frampton regrets daily his decision to ride that Bee-Gees wave!

Great post - I found it via a Google search for "Dynamite magazine" (sadly enough). I'm anxious to graize through the rest of your blog!

BlogFoot said...

Sweet - Google is like a bread-crumb trail leading right to Blogfoot.

Thaks for the comment. I'll check out your blog as well - a glance reveals that it contains subjects that are of definite interest to me, including, but not limited to, Michael Landon as a Teenage Werewolf.

BlogFoot said...

Oops - sorry, I didn't answer your questions. So here goes:

No, I don't remember "Bananas." Congratulations - you have stumped "The Human Footnote."