Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Leslie Pixie

Go-Set: 9 February 1966: Page 18
One question that must be asked about magazines that are aimed at a female teenage audience is what makes them want to write, then what sustains the interest and the need to return to the column.
Leslie Pixie, or "Dear Leslie Pixie" was Go-Set's attempt at producing a section where teenage angst and questions about relationships could be put to someone who could answer their questions and solve their problems.
Leslie Pixie was obviously not her real name, aesthetically it is a cute name, appealing to young girl teens, and write they did. The growing success of Leslie Pixie may have been because teenagers in Melbourne at the time had no one else to write to, or did they?
I will examine the content of these letters, and examines the themes and approaches taken by Leslie Pixie in satisfying the relationship information needed by the magazines audience. You will see that there are themes, philosophies and approaches to the way in which the questions are answered.

Another aspect of this particular part of the magazine must be viewed in the context of the editors. It must be remembered that the editors of Go-Set had, within the last 6 months been writing for a strongly left university paper that held strong political views of the world. The context of the popular social psychologist solving the problems of teens is far from their previous experience.
Research indicates that we must find out who originated the idea!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Prue Acton's Fashion

Page Heading

Go-Set: 9 February 1966, Page 8
For a magazine to have a successful fashion outlook, it would probably be essential to have a big name fashion maker within the pages. Go-Set had Prue Acton.
When I was researching the thesis I managed to get an interview with Prue, as she lived in a nearby region and was coming into Canberra for a function and agreed to allow me to interview her.
I was quite surprised when she said that she was not aware that Go-Set had a column that featured her fashion, she was quite surprised by the pages I showed her.
In fact she said that she thought it was the work of one her assistants.
From the perspective of the Go-Set reader, it is highly likely that they were unaware of the actuality of the situation. I am not sure the Go-Set editors had any knowledge of the position!!
This area is certainly worth more research, so who knows what the research will find out!?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Molly Meldrum - The Stardust Page -1974

Go-Set: 5 January 1974: Page 24 The Stardust Page

Go-Set 1974 First Issue

Go-Set: 5 January 1974 Cover 
By January 1974, the face of popular music had changed quite significantly. Pop and rock still existed, and while was being dominated by Glam, rock was being dominated by blues boogie.
The first cover of 1974, featured 12 covers from 1973. The artists being featured represented a wide cross section of the international music industry.
In order of appearance on this cover
1. Australian May Join Zappa (US) (14July73)
2. Now Tull Quit (UK) (8Sep73)
3. Sherbet's Daryl (AUS) (16Dec73)
4. Aztec Energy Rising (AUS) (30June73)
5. Glittermania (UK) (10Nov73)
6. Aztecs First To Rock Opera House (AUS) (29Sept73)
7. Cassidy Signs For Australian Tour (US) (27Oct73)
8. Jackson 5 Mania! (US) (7July73)
9. Kinks' Ray Davies Quits Too! (UK) (4Aug73)
10. Slade Storm England (UK) (28July73)
11. Brian Cadd Considering Four American Tours (AUS) (15Sept73)
12. Cadd-Hewett 'No' To Opera House (AUS) (1Sept73)

By 1974, many things had changed in the Go-Set publication format, from the owners, to the sources of information. From the percentage of Australian content, to the authors of the content.
Retrospectively Go-Set had changed because its readers had grown up, the world had changed as had the media companies that owned the popular music press.
Significantly, in 1974, Go-Set was owned by the UK media giant IPC, and it had competition from other magazines, but more specifically Dolly for the teenage market it was originally aimed at. However, historically, Go-Set was now targeting the market that was now predominately University students, and more largely male in gender.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Go-Set: 2 February 1966 Page 4

Go-Set: 2 February 1966 Page 5

Go-Set: 2 February 1966 Page 5
The Groop were the first Melbourne band, also the first Australian band to be featured in Go-Set. Probably picked because they had played support to Tom Jones and Herman's Hermits, who had toured Australia just prior to Go-Set coming onto the scene.
The feature contains a very important philosophical standpoint, and this was that "The Groop" played what they characterised to be the "Melbourne sound". Important in its own sense, when writing the thesis, this concept of a "Melbourne sound" is quite significant in terms of differentiation and creating a brand sense for Australian and more specifically Melbourne readers at the time. The 3UZ chart a spread of artists between the UK, USA and Australia. There is nothing unusual about this. The Beatles being held off the top of the chart by "The Seekers". The top 15 songs are dominated by UK artists, with 8 songs, then comes Australian artists with 4, and finally US artists with 3. The Groop are posted at number 24 with "Ol' Hound Dog", written McKendee and Ross.

It is not possible to say at this point who wrote the feature, and although Go-Set had a limited number of feature writers and the staff were still looking for a style.

Crazy New Game Who-Man

Go-Set Game: 9 February 1966
Reader interaction with Go-Set would find many pathways over the years. The creation of a game or competition in which readers could draw images send them in, and if they were liked, they would be published, gave the audience a chance to participate in the creation of more reader interest.
The underlying strategy is a play on the word "man" by adding a pronoun, perhaps, a preliminary term that would give the term ...man, a new meaning.
The image drawn by Herman, and signed as Herman, has both childlike and in a sense "beatnik" qualities to it. It looks like the image has a beard, yet when we look closer we see it is meant to be a shirt, or is it.
The image has a naivete that is  quite innocent, and this makes it attractive to its teenage readers. The audience gender to which this image is intended to convey most meaning is somewhat vague, yet at the Herman (aka Peter Noone) was a heart throb of the teen female audience, so it would be expected that the competition would draw its entries from mostly teenage girls.
In a few posts I will examine the outcomes from this competition.

Another aspect of this competition is that it establishes Go-Set as a pipeline to the pop stars of the period and that Go-Set could establish, almost casually, a relationship with pop stars that the teen audience reading Go-Set, could only see from afar.

Reader participation with Go-Set brought them one step closer perhaps, to meeting the stars that came to Australia!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Normie Rowe - First appearance in Go-Set of Normie Rowe

14 February 1966
The association of Go-Set with Normie Rowe started in the 3rd issue. It would be the beginning of many links between Go-Set, its audience and the more subtle political agenda that Go-Set would run with its audience. Was it known at this time that Normie would ultimately would have to go and fight in Vietnam? The agenda around Normie going to Vietnam are all played out in Go-Set, sometimes openly, sometimes some others issues were going on behind the scenes. I will examine these issues in further posts.
Go-Set was not above keeping its readers interested in the social and love life of its teen stars. His life can be followed quite intimately through the pages of Go-Set. He was the most covered artist in terms of pictures and stories until he went to Vietnam. The early success of Go-Set could in some ways be attributed to the coverage Go-Set gave to him, as by 1966 Normie was one of, if not already, Australia's biggest home grown star.
With respect to the place of the feature itself, placed on page 5, under an item on the Rolling Stones who were about to tour Australia, it was in fact rather modest taking up the bottom third of the page.
The feature itself reviews a Sydney awards event where Normie was awarded two Gold Records.
The scale of the event seems large by Australian standards, and I will have to research it more. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

1970 - 3 January Top 40 Chart

Top 40 Chart 3 January 1970 Compiled by Ed Nimmervoll
By 1970, all the compilation of the Top 40 charts was handled by Ed Nimmervoll. Ed had been studying architecture, and had an underlying interest in music. The charts he produced for Go-Set were based on a methodology he worked out. He had started supplying Top 40 charts to the Go-Set office in 1967. The office did not know who he was, but published them anyway, along with the explanations sheet that he provided with them.
I don't know whether they paid him, it is most likely they didn't, at least not in the beginning. As Colin Beard has said before, nobody got paid, but there were benefits for working for Go-Set, which I will mention in another post.
Ed Nimmervoll's charts are excellent, and they were the only National Top 40 charts at the time. The Kent Charts (no relations) would be another 4 to 5 years off.
Philosophically, Go-Set's strategy was both to unify the Australian pop/rock nation, and at the same time show its constituent parts. The chart is something of a unifying picture versus the edition philosophy of now having separate editions for Melbourne and Sydney. Alignment occurred amongst the States as the WA and Queensland editions were also contained in the Sydney edition. Melbourne got its own version. The story of how they produce these different editions will be addressed in another post.
Ed Nimmervoll is quite thorough in his sourcing of charts. Breaking down the data, the spread of stations is as follows:
NSW: 4: 2UW, 2SM, 2UE, 2CA
VIC: 4: 3UZ, 3AK, 3DB, 3XY
SA: 1:  5AD
TAS: 2: 7LA, 7HO
WA: 3: 6PR, 6KY, 6PM 
QLD: 2: 4BC, 4IP
Total Number is 16 stations
The actual means of calculation is something I have a great interest in. The only person who really knows is Ed Nimmervoll, so it to him we must ask the question. However in the meantime, we can see the spread of the stations is concentrated into the 8 stations of NSW and VIC. The remainder is spread over the other 4 States. The WA aspect of the calculation is based on 3 stations compared to SA (2) and QLD (2). Ed once said the calculation took into the population proportions of each State.
One example of the detail in the chart relates to the sources of the data in the context of the song position. Looking at song 31, Carroll County Accident by Bobby and Laurie. The song was in for the 2nd week, it had previously been at position 38. The calculation was based on charts from Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania. Sadly we don't have the full Top 40 chart  for the States in question, to see the specific place information, but that was not the purpose  of the chart. Readers were more interested in the sense of Australian ness of the song position rather than how the song was performing in each State. Thus the sense of a united country was presented. Ironically, Carroll County Accident was the cover of a song from the USA.

Monash University's Lot's Wife - a snapshot

Image from Lot's Wife - 3 March 1965
At Monash University, the student magazine Chaos was closed down and replaced with a new magazine called Lot's Wife.

The mood and direction of Lot's Wife is expressed articulately by the editor, Tony Schauble.
In this first issue of Lot's Wife, Phillip Fraser is listed as an artist, along with John Phillips.

October 1965, Phillip Fraser and Pete Steedman shared the editorial.

The comments on the page mention Steedman, Fraser, and Laird (Ross). Laird indicated in an interview that discussions around time indicated that the editors were looking for something new to do. Participants in this discussion included Damien Broderick, who produced the Lot's Wife justification at the beginning of the year.
The editors earned 12 pounds for each issue, the staff member responsible for collecting advertising could earn 50 pounds an issue in commission, however for the editors, and according to Laird, earning an income, was one motivation for thinking of life beyond university at the time.
"From little things, big things grow!"

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Melbourne and Sydney Edition Difference 1

Go-Set Sydney edition 3 January 1970 Page 8

Go-Set Melbourne edition 3 January 1970 Page 8

By 1970, with different offices in different capital cities, Go-Set was able to produce different editions of the issue. This is one example of the different pages.
The Sydney edition ran an item called Donnie's Place. It was the Sydney version of Ian Meldrum's gossip. Donnie was Donnie Sutherland, who would go on to host Sounds (commercial TV), while Meldrum went onto host and talent coordinate for Countdown (Australia's ABC).

The Sydney office was quite different to the Melbourne office, and I will explore this issue is a later posting.

The  Melbourne page is characterised by the Wendy Saddington column. Wendy was a musician, more specifically, she sang the blues.

I will analyse the content of each page, but for the moment, just enjoy the different styles.

Go-Set 3 January 1970 Page 1

A grainy colour version (thanks Barry)
Image is from the Microfilm held at the NLA
Russell Morris featured on the first edition for 1970.
He was probably the most successful recording artist of 1969 with his single Johnny Young written song "The Real Thing". The single was produced by Ian Meldrum, but all the technical and production work was actually done by the engineer John L. Sayers.
By 1970, Go-Set had found its groove. Two of the original founders, Tony Schauble and Doug Panther had gone, and the focus of the magazine was on pop with a growing coverage of rock music and issue.
1970 would also be significant for the release of Revolution, and the inclusion of the Rolling Stone (magazine) Supplement. Go-Set was reaching maturity, both in content and appearance.

Sports Car Buyer's Guide

In 2011, 299 Nepean Highway is still a car sales location!

Motoring was an area that Go-Set staff thought was a reachable audience
In the first few year, Go-Set explored a number of areas of teenage and twenty male interest. This feature looked at sports cars, The author was apparently Maurice Bramston. He is not by-lined, but his is pictured in a car, and in the secod issue, he does answer a readers letter on motoring.
The main focus of the feature is the sports car, what is affordable, what is fast, and what is cool. The feature is readable and interesting, and conveys a sense of knowledge that the writer has.
It is not surprising that Go-Set chose motoring, Go-Set management speculated that their audience was aged between 12 and 20, so it was quite reasonable to expect that their demographic would include the male market interested in sports cars.
The image the first issue generates is that of a magazine with wide interests and attracting the widest possible audience.
I will explore the feature at bit more quite soon

Monday, August 15, 2011

What did you do after school in the years before Go-Set in 1966? I'm very interested.

How old were you in the 1960s?
Do you remember activities other than school sports?
When did you get interested in the opposite sex?Who were they? How did you meet them? Where did you go with them?
When did you start going out to see singer/group? Which groups did you see and where? What did people wear? What did you drink?
When did you start playing music in a group or singing? Who were you listening to? Where did you hear music? What was your audience like?

                        Age in the 1960s  
Year Born       61        62        63        64        65        66        67        68        69
1946                15        16        17        18        19        20        21        22        23
1947                14        15        16        17        18        19        20        21        22       
1948                13        14        15        16        17        18        19        20        21
1949                12        13        14        15        16        17        18        19        20
1950                11        12        13        14        15        16        17        18        19
1951                10        11        12        13        14        15        16        17        18
1952                9          10        11        12        13        14        15        16        17
1953                8          9          10        11        12        13        14        15        16
1954                7          8          9          10        11        12        13        14        15
1955                6          7          8          9          10        11        12        13        14
1956                5          6          7          8          9          10        11        12        13
1957                4          5          6          7          8          9          10        11        12
1958                3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10        11
1959                2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10
1960                1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9

Gossip columns - first it was Ken Sparks

Who does he mention: The Five; Tony Shepp; Sydney Product?; Two by Two (Westralian R&B); Twilights; A small Ballarat promoter (who?); The Seekers (twice); 3UZ (young Normie); Paul Jones (Manfred Mann); Mike Vaughn ("Easy beats" manager); Laurie (of Bobby & Laurie).

Classified advertising - who thanked and who advertised

Thank you

Thank you

Thank you from the printer

Thank you from Peter Raphael
Thank you for "such a vital publication"

The print media creations of Phillip Frazer

Gas was created as a means of displaying the photos that Colin Beard had taken when the Monkees toured Australia. It would eventually become a posters magazine edited by Ian Meldrum, but more so by Ian McCausland

Cover 2, was the inside fold, and what readers didn't see until they opened the magazine up 

Underground  Revolution, this was the fold shoppers saw, and gave the magazine a smaller footprint. Frazer would use the same strategy for Digger
Underground: For High Times first issue, Frazer borrowed the controversial cover of the controversial Oz magazine.   
The Digger, the last of Phillip Frazer Australian production, his most critical work to that period.
From 1966 to 1983, Phillip Frazer made a more than significant contribution to Australian cultural media history, not just in the pop and rock world, but also as a leader of alternative thinking in Australia. Frazer has never been recognized in Australia for the work he did in bringing Australian teenagers out of the dark ages and into the world of wider teenage culture and social awareness. Through Revolution and Digger, Frazer took his readers into the world of social awareness on issues of society, and of the world of injustice that was hidden in the establishment, and ultimately create social change within his readers
He created through Revolution an awareness of rock music that would for a short period in Australia, bean intellectual equivalent of Rolling Stone magazine. The articles presenting critical thinking articles to its readers.  Interestingly, Revolution also has exclusive Australian rights to print parts of Rolling Stone magazine in Australia. Frazer had negotiating publishing rights off Rolling Stone's founder.
Finally, High Times, was presented as an evolution for its readers and was a means of creating social change through evolution, as compared to Revolution which sought social change through revolution.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Letters to the 2nd issue of Go-Set

Reader engagement with Go-Set brought forward a bevy of ideas that the editorial team took up. In this letter Kristine Kelly of Clayton suggests a means by which readers can let other Go-Setters know who they think is good and bad. The idea of the specific terms "Go-Go" and "No-Go", seems simple yet effective, and many readers took up the offer. The editor seems comfortable with shortening Kristine to Kris. I wonder why. It should be pointed out the Mixtures were a fairly successful group in 1965.

Pat Carroll talks about Vietnam. In the thesis I speculated that Go-Set used the words of musicians and artists as a way moving a political agenda onto a teenage audience. Pat Carroll was well known as a singer and less none for making political statements. Interestingly the letter only sticks with matters of pop and does not comment on her statements about Vietnam. At this time Australian troops had only been in Vietnam in number for less than a year. The comments on an article on the Flies, would be followed up very soon by an article on the Flies in Go-Set.

Bad English at the start of the letter. This letter also mentions dossiers, it is an odd word for "file" unless the word comes to Go-Set readers in the context of the "cold war" and "spies". More importantly is the section of the letter that asks Go-Set to ask visiting stars questions "away from the normal", and show photographs of the artists as well. More specifically is the request for a picture of Bobby Bright, whose birthday they express an interest in.
The letters show an enthusiastic readership, keen to make a difference to the pop world of the other readers in Melbourne. Still one can't help thinking that to some extent there is a degree of collusion between them.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Who were the Go-Set? (First masthead)

Masthead (2 February 1966)
The masthead lists 6 people, it does not list Phillip Frazer (he would eventually run Go-Set as founder owner), who was kept off the list due to a possible clash with his studies at university. It does not mention the two disc reviewers, who are acknowledged on the review page. Of those it does mention, Peter Raphael managed the Moods, a group I have mentioned in an earlier blog. He is something of an entrepreneur, and it was his association with Collin (sic) Beard that brought Colin Beard into the magazine.
Douglas L. Panther was then, an adventurer, not intimidated by the establishment, and a huge risk-taker. My thesis research indicated that Doug Panther was offered a management position, but could not take it at the time due to his "being on the run" (see the thesis for more details-I will go into this in more detail in a later blog).
Two members on the list of which I have no information are photographer Ken Montgomery and features writer, Mike O Nash. I am after information on both these people so more interviews will be needed. However Go-Set did use pseudonyms in some cases. I believe, and I may be wrong, that the name Mike O Nash was such a ploy, for whom, at the moment I can only guess. The reason i say this is that the first issue was largely compiled by the team of Lot's Wife during the Christmas holiday period at the end of 1966. On the staff at the time, and interested in the pop venture were Damien Broderick, Pete Steedman and Ross Laird, and Chris Hector, of these Laird and Hector would go on to produce jazz and folk columns. Steedman would eventually get into politics. However, the real intellectual was Broderick, who with his sardonic sense of humour, would pursue an interesting life, as editor of different magazines, and other things. My belief is that it is Broderick who wrote various features under different pseudonyms, and I believe that Mike O Nash may have been one of those. Further research may prove otherwise!! 
Finally (but not final) Go-Set was published by Waverley Offset Printers. The same printers that printed Lot's Wife. The story behind this will be explored in a later post.
If anybody has any information then please email me.