I was an avid reader of Life as a teenager. There was always a pile of old copies of Life in my school library, which was weird given that it was an American magazine and my school was in a little market town in rural England. I’ve no idea how they came to be in the library. This was in the late 1970s and most of the magazines were from the 1960s, so I guess somebody must have left them there years earlier. They were far from pristine – pages torn, pages missing, spunking cocks drawn over people’s faces – but that didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for them. Spending study periods flicking through dog-eared copies of Life was one of the things that first made me want to become a magazine journalist.
The three covers above are all from the year 1960. Click on the link to go to the original article at Google Books.
The Trieste bathyscaphe – US Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh writes about his remarkable journey in the Trieste bathyscaphe with Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard. They took Trieste to the bottom of the Mariana Trench (near the island of Guam), which is the deepest point of the world’s oceans, reaching a depth of 36,000 feet (roughly seven miles down). The feat had never been repeated until just last month, when film director James Cameron (“The Terminator”, “Aliens” and “Titanic”) made the Jules Verne-esque trip in the Deepsea Challenger.
Marlon Brando – Interviewed on the set of “One-Eyed Jacks”, the only movie Brando directed. “I have no respect for acting,” he harrumphs. “Acting, by and large, is the expression of neurotic impulse. Acting is a bum’s life. You get paid for doing nothing and it means nothing.”
The 1960 Democratic National Convention – The Democratic Party select John F Kennedy as its candidate in the 1960 presidential election. “To nominate its youngest candidate, the party elbowed its elder statesmen, broke several taboos and cut loose from a large part of its past,” read the magazine’s editorial that week. “It now invites the country to do the same.”
Congratulations to the guys at Podrophenia, who have just aired the 50th edition of their tasty radio show/podcast. Recorded in a bunker hidden beneath the golden streets of sunny Southend in Essex, Podrophenia is hosted by two dons of the UK music blogging world – Mondo from Planet Mondo and Piley from Start The Revolution Without Me. Each programme has a different theme (Charity Shop Classics and Ghosts, Ghoulies, Gremlins are among the memorable recent offerings) and Podrophenia 50 is a film special handily called, err, The Film Special. Tune in for Jackie Mittoo’s reggae version of “From Russia With Love”, Sigue Sigue Sputnik frontman Martin Degville covering “The Streets Of London”, and a pre-Small Faces Steve Marriott kicking up “Consider Yourself” from the original stage production of “Oliver!”, plus tales of the six-fingered man in “Get Carter” and how The Beatles talked about buying the film rights to “The Lord Of The Rings” back in the Sixties.
While Mondo and Piley are old hands at this podding thing, Steve Worrall from the Retro Man blog isn’t too familiar with the world of microphones and jingles, although you’d never guess that from his debut Retro Sonic pod. It’s a confident start and no mistake. The Retro Sonic 1 playlist takes in American psychedelic soulsters The Chambers Brothers, Aussie punk pioneers The Saints and Mancunian powerpopsters Fast Cars, and Steve’s got some quality guests with him in the studio as well – rock photographer Paul Slattery, who is maybe best known for his shots of The Smiths and Oasis, and the walking punk encyclopedia that is Adam Donovan from The Jetsonics. Well, when I say ‘studio’, I’m not sure they are actually in a studio, because there’s a big log fire crackling away in the background. “Think of it like the crackles on a nice bit of worn vinyl,” says Steve.