Who’s Your Fave Rave?
By Randi Reisfeld and Danny Fields
Boulevard Books, 237 pages, $14
‘Who’s Your Fave Rave?” brings back the heyday of 16 Magazine. Authors Randi Reisfeld and Danny Fields, both of whom have served as editors of 16, trace the teenybopper magazine’s history, tell how images of teen idols were created and how these idols, most of them male, feel now about their handling.
Since 1957, 16 Magazine has served as confidant, gossip rag and moral arbiter, making even the bad boys appear to be good. In 1967, it sold nearly 1 million copies a month.
The pivotal figure behind 16 was an attractive, liberated, sometimes foul-mouthed and influential woman named Gloria Stavers. Her power extended to the record industry, television producers, talent agents and, naturally, the performers themselves.
The former model read the letters and sometimes photographed the celebrities. After 17 years, Stavers left 16 Magazine in 1975 for more “spiritual” pursuits and died of lung cancer in 1983.
But enough about the magazine. We know what you really want–the way-down secrets about your fave guys. Here’s what “Who’s Your Fave Rave?” has to say about some of them:
Fabian: Years of popularity: 1959-1962. The 14-year-old Fabian Forte wanted to make money for his father, who had just had a heart attack. Today: Performing in The Golden Boys of Bandstand revue. He hated the “set-up dates and actual interviews.”
Paul Petersen: Years of popularity: 1962-1965. He played Jeff Stone on “The Donna Reed Show.” Today: President and founder of A Minor Consideration, a watchdog group that looks out for show-business children. The conservative Republican says, “How sad that our culture changed so brutally that young performers, teen idols, were suddenly considered objects of ridicule.”
Bay City Rollers: Years of popularity: 1976-1978. The Scottish group hit No. 1 in America with “Saturday Night.” Today: The original lead singer still performs in Europe with four new members, but for legal reasons can only use the name Les McKeown’s Bay City Rollers.
Shaun Cassidy: Years of popularity: 1977-1979. He played in a punk rock band before “The Hardy Boys Mysteries.” Today: A producer and writer, the father of two won critical acclaim for his short-lived TV series “American Gothic.”
Scott Baio: Years of popularity: 1977-1983. Starred in movies and three TV series, including “Happy Days” and “Charles in Charge.” Today: “I think this business is 80 percent luck and 20 percent talent. Because there are people who are more talented than me.”