Star Magazine: 1973 glam scene teen mag

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In 1973 Los Angeles, the glam scene was glittering and Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco on the Sunset Strip was where it was happening in the US. Looking to cash-in on the foxy/groupie scene, Petersen Publishing launched Star magazine for teenage girls. Writing in CREEM, rock critic Dave Marsh said that Star presented the English Disco girls as "the prototype of the chic teenage female." Reportedly under pressure from uptight parents, only five issues were printed and copies remain extremely rare. Fortunately, Ryan Richardson is putting all of the issues online in their entirety. Can you dig it? I knew that you could. Check them out at Star 1973(and a bit more Star history at "70s Invasion"). (Thanks, Koshi!)


  1. Oy! My previous comments about “grotesque and inhuman” presentation of children, only squared. Those are some seriously creepy magazine covers! File them with “Tales From the Crypt” comics, I guess.

  2. The thing I find most interesting about this (and other rags, to be fair), is that in Issue #1 they have a “letters to Star” section, and there are letter that were written by ostensibly real people and sent to the magazine.

    Lemmie get this straight: the people had to, by definition, write the letters before the magazine was published but since it is issue #1 the magazine didn’t technically exist before… so why were teenage girls writing letters to a non-existant publication?

    (It’s a semi-rhetorical question: everyone already assumes that half of those letters written to magazine are written, in fact, by the magazine staff themselves. It’s just interesting to think about.)

    Captcha: his Numente

  3. It will be interesting to compare them to the UK equivalents – Jackie magazine and Diane magazine.

    The reality of 1970s UK was likely to be very different to that portrayed in Star.


    This zine is CRAAAAZZZY! I would have died to have access to it back in 1979. THe letters section is an absolute HOOT! Half the letters are from young ladies who are none too happy with Foxy’s content. Some of the letters’ histrionics and downright non sequitur comments verge on the truthiness of Penthouse Forum. Really? They had a reader named Blanch Willaby (sounds like a drag star’s name) who is not down with Foxy’s suggestions that girls break out of the going steady trap and date as many guys as possible because “there are barely enough guys to go around as it is”!

  5. So the goal was to look like Jody Foster in Taxi Driver?

    The glowing movie reviews of films I know for a fact to utter crap amuse the hell out of me.

  6. I’ll be the first to bring this up ITT.

    This is 1973, and they look Madonna-ish. Madonna would have been about 13 in ’72. It looks like she incorporated this look into her Material Girl phase. Interesting.

  7. One more comment (wow – this mag wouldn’t fly today, man o’ man.)

    Go to:

    It is from the 2nd issue.

    It is titled ‘the Black Foxy Lady’ ‘CAN YOU HOLD YOUR OWN AGAINST HER’

    First line

    ‘Understanding the personality and lifestyle of the Bold, Black, Beautiful Foxy Lady is a big challenge to any with-it, happening girl of any race. Have you ever noticed the turned on eyes of all the young foxes when this she-cat glides by?’

    Anyway interesting. The writing reminds me of something from the fifties – you know the teen-instruction manuals (‘ride-em high boys’), but the content is well, from the seventies.


  8. It’s GLITTER ROCK! Glam rock is those 80’s hair-metal bands. And if you don’t believe me, ask R.U. Sirius.

  9. sorry, the term “Glam Rock” most definitely predates the 80s hair-metal scene.

    and as far as “Hammer of the Gods” goes, well, it’s a trashy, fun read, but i thought it was pretty clearly debunked a long time ago as mostly fiction.

  10. “Wow, I had no idea that some of those groupie girls were so young!”

    Adult women tend to have lives.

  11. Wow, if everything else wasn’t scary enough about these, check out the interview with Karen Carpenter in the second issue. I’m too lazy to retype it, but the article is “When I was 16” and much of the first page is devoted to how heavy she was and how much she dieted. Sad.

    1. How the heck do you get to the interviews? I totally wanted to read the Karen Carpenter and Marc Bolan interviews, but all that’s on the menu is the letters and dating advice columns!

  12. I just took the “how far-out are you” quiz from issue 3 and was sad to learn that I’m only fairly far-out. Gonna have to work on that.

    1. I’m also only “fairly far-out.” Of course I’m a 40 year old punk in 2011, not a 15 year old glam fox in 1973.

      I’m suprised at how sex-forward this is. Is this sexual liberation or training a generation of promiscuous women?

  13. I was 14 in 1973 and would have looooved this! Somehow, I doubt it made it to news stands in rural Ohio.

  14. I was about 10 years too young to read this mag, but having read through most of the articles in the first edition, including the Q&A sections, I’m sorry I was.

    The main messages of this mag seemed to have been that to be a “foxy girl/lady” meant not worrying about being beautiful, wearing the latest and most expensive clothes sold by Seventeen, or getting nose-jobs (cf. Evil She-Fox). The point made over and over again, was that “foxiness” is being yourself, knowing yourself, and respecting yourself. Right on, sisters!

    As a simple example, Star suggests instead of buying the expensive, mass-produced and mass-marketed clothes featured in Seventeen and its ilk (and boy, was that an evil mag when I was growing up), creating “outrageous” outfits from clothes and accessories that could be found economically in “antique clothing stores, army surplus stores, flea markets and Grandmother’s attic.”

    One of the letters to the editor in the first edition was written by an “elder brother” who was angry that “this women’s lib baloney” was being “foisted” on teenage girls. The other letters were fairly split between angry adults, including a parent, a nun, and a Deputy Sheriff from Arkansas who vowed he’d never let another copy of Star into Arkansas under his watch!

    I’m sad that Star didn’t last a little longer. The non-preachy feminist and positive messages that I read in the first edition were refreshing and cool. I would have loved to have chosen this mag over Tiger Beat. And I would have been better off for it, FOR SURE.

    btw, this mag was written for 15 and 16 year olds. As much as we are legitimately concerned about consumerized sexualization of youth, I remember the 70s. I also remember the cool sisters of my friends who were that age and were addressing their sexuality at that age. It was the 70s and 80s, chicks were dating and getting down and that’s a fact. Star gave them practical tools to protect them from predators and users.

    Older teenagers are sexualized creatures (evolution can’t be shaken off that quickly) and what I read in Star didn’t address having sex. In fact, I read a letter from a Star reader searching for sex information. Star’s editor told her that their mag was dedicated to teaching young women to learn how to carry themselves with respect when dating, but that they were not the mag to answer questions about sex. They recommended that the woman/teenager to talk to her parents, sex educator or clergy about those concerns. Ahh. I remember when we had sex educators.

    Don’t diss the source without reading a few editions. I was impressed and that was the furthest result from what I’d expected.

    1. I’m not so sure that this magazine was really aimed at the 15-16 year olds. After all, 17 year olds DON’T read 17, and Teen Beat is mostly read by pre-teens. Of course within two years, Sandy West and Joan Jett became founding members of the Runaways at 16 and 17 respectively.

  15. From the record reviews section, issue #5:


    Pink Floyd should get an award for producing the most sensational gassy sounds of the century with their new LP, Dark Side of The Moon. The LP is filled to the brim with the most inventive and weird sound effects ever before recorded. Side One opens with a heart beat getting progressively louder and then melts into the noise of constructions cranes and machines drilling into pavement. [?!?] Can you dig it? In Speak To Me you hear the soft, slow, sensual sounds of someone whispering over an air terminal speaker–then the sound of someone running down a hall and finally electric computers whirling away. There is a message in these sounds: in a world of mechanics nobody speaks or sings because there’s a complete communication breakdown.

    In a a way, their music is along the lines of Moody Blues, only more electronic. [More cowbell, too.] In On The Run you’ll hear some heavy (and I mean super-heavy) lyrics like:

    “You are young and life is long
    and there is time to kill today”

    If you and your honey are into a real mind-bending experience this is the record to listen to.

  16. I was a HS junior in ’73, the issues I glanced at seemed fairly representative of media of the time. The overuse of hip language seems a little forced or grating now, but honestly it did then too. Beyond that, I don’t see the big deal. My guess is that the magazine folded not because it was notorious, but because it didn’t offer anything new, and was kind of boring. I doubt any of my then-classmates would have bought this, as it mainly seems aimed at younger girls.

  17. The ‘letter to the editor’ from the scandalized Deputy Sheriff of the fictitious Arkansas town is pretty good.

  18. Oh, wow! I SO wanted to be one of those girls.

    In my town in Connecticut, everyone dressed so drab and was so puritanical, I could just scream! No, it’s not about getting VD. Everyone knows only prudes get pregnant, because they’re too chicken to carry condoms. The ideal was to act like a gay guy, cause gay guys were freer than anyone else, sex-wise! (Remember, this was 1973, not ’93.)

    Everyone knew (at least anyone with a BRAIN, not some dumb girl whose family makes her go to church, at least one of the dull ones) that drugs and sex make you free and interesting. All the great writers of the past 200 years took (we never said “did”, that would sound like, you know, one of those older people trying to sound hip) drugs and drank and had super sex all the time, and that’s why I read so much, and no one could understand why I never dressed like they did….

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