Wednesday, November 29, 2023


Besides the titles he's famous for, James Warren occasionally tested the market with other publications about pop culture topics. In the 1960's, magazines like DIG, TIGER BEAT, 16, and TEEN BEAT flooded drug stores and soda fountains all across the country. Warren thought he'd have a go at that market.

Primarily a Monkees fan 'zine, Warren's FREAK OUT, U.S.A. was a 1967 pop music publication containing a cross section of genres, and its first issue was pretty wild. Everything from bubble gum to R&B to avant garde bands are covered here. Paul Revere and the Raiders were the house band for Dick Clarke's WHERE THE ACTION IS, a spin-off of AMERICAN BANDSTAND. Other popular music TV shows for teens and young adults were SHINDIG, HULLABALOO, and HOLLYWOOD A GO GO. The Supremes, Mamas & the Papas and Lovin' Spoonful were all charting, and Jefferson Airplane was on the vanguard of the San Francisco hippie rock scene. The Fugs were an underground band who played anti-establishment songs. One of of their members, singer Ed Sanders, was also a writer who authored a best-selling book on Charles Manson. Other features are an interview with Frank Zappa of The Mothers of Invention and a profile of the hip British fashion model, Twiggy.

One of the editors was anthologist Roger Elwood and the magazine design was by Larry Brill, and Les Waldstein, who would a few years later publish THE MONSTER TIMES.

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