I have always, always loved a magazine. This obsession with stories, gossip and chat stems from my weekly walk to the North Muirton post office to collect my Jackie. It would be circa 1984, a time before mobile phones, apps, texting, e-mails and twitter.
Along with many other angst ridden teenage girls my weekly issue of Jackie Magazine accompanied me through my teenage years. My peers' boy troubles were addressed by agony aunts, Cathy and Claire and the beauty advice included crimping your hair and putting toothpaste on your spots! Photo stories of glamorous girls in leggings and RELAX tshirts ran alongside tips on how to apply nail polish without smudging it. (There was no shellac!). The magazine supported and inspired two decades of girls and looking back it was all good clean fun.
Well, teenage girls of the seventies and eighties, hold on to your blue mascara and prepare for a journey down memory lane! Perth Concert Hall will welcome an all star cast of Janet Dibley (Eastenders, The Two of Us), Nicholas Bailey (Dr Trueman from Eastenders!) and Graham Bickley (Bread) from Tue 26 to Sat 30 April 2016 as part of Jackie:TheMusical's major UK tour.
JACKIE THE MUSICAL revisits those heady days, and tells the story of a fifty-something divorcée who revisits her stash of well-thumbed Jackie magazines for the same reason she first read them nearly forty years ago: advice on how best to navigate the opposite sex.
The quizzes, the fashion tips, the ‘do’s and don’ts on a first date’ and above all the Cathy and Claire problem pages are all devoured eagerly by our plucky heroine ‘Jackie’ as she revisits the dizzy world of the teen bible. With her ex and a handsome new guy both on the scene, the valuable lessons she learnt as a girl begin to influence her future and Jackie discovers the one person in control of her life is - her.
Funny and feisty, with a sound track featuring the era’s most beloved and memorable hits, including the sounds of Pop Idols Donny Osmond, David Cassidy and Marc Bolan played live on stage, the show promises a whirlwind tour of Planet Seventies and a most fabulous night out!
Nina Myskow, Jackie Editor at the time has joined the production as Editor-In-Chief! Here's what she had to say:
"I'm so proud to have been editor of Jackie in its golden years in the 70's. It always was a girl's best friend, but I could never have imagined then that its spirit of fun and warmth would live on to become a musical today. It's such a brilliant idea, and I'm absolutely thrilled that I'm going to be involved, all over again. How exciting! And I can't wait to see it, to hear the music, and to be transported back to a time when we were all young, and not just young at heart."
If you didn’t know the actual facts, you’d be forgiven for thinking Jackie was created by a pop music guru or a supertrendy fashionista. However, it was actually an ex-RAF pilot and his creative team who founded and ran it for the 29 years it dominated our lives.
Jackie launched on Thursday, January 11, 1964. At just 6d, the equivalent of 2½p, it was the must-have mag if you wanted to be up to date on what was hip and happening. I think I paid about 22p in the mid-eighties.
Jackie’s address printed in the magazine was 185 Fleet Street, Fetter Lane, London EC4A 2HS, but in reality it was actually produced hundreds of miles away, right here in Tayside! The thinking behind the London address was to give the title more kudos and to make it appear that Jackie was produced at the centre of the cool capital. The magazine was a lively mix of fashion and beauty tips, pop gossip, horoscopes, fun quizzes, love stories and life advice, including the all-important tips on how to kiss a boy!
Fashion played a major role in the magazine and throughout its life an amazing array of weird and wonderful gear graced the pages, including jeans with enormous flares, maxi skirts and huge platform shoes. In the early years of Jackie the fashions were drawn and the artwork was striking and very stylised. But as time went on the magazine changed from using drawn artwork to photographing “real”’ models on location.
Jackie was a fabulous magazine that was loved by everyone who read it and everybody who worked on it. Even Madonna graced the cover in her early days as a Material Girl!
But like a lot of great things from the eighties (my waistline for a start), it wasn't to last. Sales declined to 50,000, the decision was made to shut the title with the presses rolled for the last time on issue dated July 3, 1993. There is no doubt though, that the magazine holds special memories for millions of women who will never forget the huge part Jackie played in their teenage years.
May is Local History Month and Culture Perth and Kinross has organised events at libraries throughout the region to celebrate.