J.G. Rothberg Logo

PinterestFacebook IconTumblr IconTwitter IconLinkedIn IconInstagram Icon

Circus Magazine | Official Website

First Staff

The Original Staff. Original staff in an original first photo.

My 40 Year History with Circus Magazine
The Legendary Rock Music Publication

By J. G. Rothberg
Circus Magazine Founder, Editor, and Publisher

My history of Circus Magazine? Yes, that's a story I've been prompted to tell, for years. Now is the time. So, rather than wait a year, or two, or more for me to complete a manuscript, I thought it best to jot down notes as they entered my head.

This way, information will be transmitted instantly. True, with all warts, and welts. But that makes the tale grittier, I suppose. Stay tuned, Dear Reader. History of rock music's legendary publication, Circus Magazine begins now.

Before Circus Magazine there was Hullabaloo. The name changed occurred in 1969. But that is a story for later on. The first issue of the magazine was born on a long mahogany wood dining table, purchased used for $10.00 from a thrift shop. The table was set to complete with a clunky upright typewriter typed copy for the issue, Xacto knife, t-square, rulers, paste-up glue, white out, copy paper, and paste-up boards.

David Dalton was our first editor, who helped focus of the mag toward a serious appreciation of rock music. I did some writing, but David and freelancers did the bulk of the writing. Note the first issue, which featured British model Patty Boyd, with Beatles' George Harrison. Yes, the English invasion had already begun a year or so earlier. The Animals were here, The Rolling Stones, Dave Clark 5, and even Herman's Hermits. Note the first edition of Circus Magazine, with an incredible portrait photograph of Jimi Hendrix, snapped by a young Jeff Mayer, who became one of our regular rock music photographers.

The first official staff of Hullabaloo was, me, as editor-publisher, David Dalton, art director, and editor. Ian Cremer listed as editor-in-chief, and Bruce Gedman. associate editor-publisher. Sarah Dalton, David's sister, wrote the London Cable, Bruce Gedman wrote a music column, and Didier Delaunoy wrote record reviews. Norm Schreiber, and Jeff Steinberg were our go-to freelance writers. Jeff later became our editor.

Hulabaloo Magazine cover

Circus Magazine Cover, Formerly Hulabaloo

Lots of firsts. Top: First edition of Hullabaloo. Bottom: First issue of Circus Magazine, as it morphed from Hullabaloo.


The one thing I remember vividly about David, during a busy day was a telephone call that would come in from his mom. She spoke with a broad British accent. David was both editor, and art director for the mag, and had much to do in our office, which was my Studio apartment.

The phone rings, and I answer. Mind you, this was a landline desk unit that sat in the middle of the long table.

She: Is David there?
Me: May I ask who's calling?
She: His mother.
Me: David, your mother is on the phone.
David: Tell her her I'll call back in a moment.
Me. He'll call you back in a moment.
She: Thank you.

Inevitably this conversation went on a few times a day until David returned the call to his mom.

In those days, David Dalton could be seen at Steve Paul's the Scene, on New York's West 46 Street, with his new friend Linda Eastman, a photography newbie. Rock music heavies, like Jimi Hendrix, played the Scene, while British invasion bands jammed, and hung out. Linda became one of our earliest photographers, as well as Linda McCartney. Yes, Paul McCartney's wife.

At this time it was necessary to secure national distribution for the magazine. I was fortunate to hook up with Ace Distribution Company headed by the affable, and involved Aaron A. Wyn. A.A. Wyn founded Ace Books, which at that time was a well-known publisher of science fiction, and fantasy paperback books. The first success for this company, however, were with mysteries, and westerns. These genres were known as pulp fiction. Pulp because of the paper it was printed on.

The magazine started out as a pulp magazine, with color inserts, and was printed by an offset press. The first edition of Hullabaloo, soon to become Circus Magazine, was produced at a printing press company in Upstate New York.

Stay tuned. More to come almost daily, as the magazine becomes heavier, and the anxieties of publishing and survival are turned up.

J.G. Rothberg with Kiss in Publications NYC Headquarters

J.G. Rothberg with Kiss in publication's NYC Headquarters

J.G. Rothberg With the Cast of Hair Supporting the Cancer Society's No Smoking Campaign

J.G. Rothberg With Cast of Hair Supporting
Cancer Society's No Smoking Campaign

What's Up in Rock Music?
News & Notes from 3-22-2018

Circus Magazine got its start in 1966. I began publishing Circus as a general interest rock magazine, running stories on big-name rockers of the day. Later, I realized that the target audience of teenaged boys loved reading about their favorite rock stars over and over.

I soon made it my priority to cover the top acts repeatedly. Circus covered all kinds of rock and pop music but always featured a large number of heavy metal and hard rock bands in its pages. My 40-year journey with Circus Magazine was an interesting ride — email me today to learn more about it. Read more about this iconic American magazine and watch some early TV commercials below.

About me: J.G. (Gerald, Gerry, Jerry} Rothberg founded Circus Magazine, the legendary rock and roll publication and had been its editor and publisher for forty years. Rothberg is the author of "The Esau Swindle," "Love Song for Montana Greene," the just-released “Memoirs of a Woman With Two Lovers," and the forthcoming fantasy novel "Billy B Gude, and the Escape from Elsinore Castle."

Watch This Circus Magazine TV Commercial

Here's Another Early TV Commercial

Read a History of Circus Magazine by Steven Ward

Read "A Love Letter To Circus, The Magazine That Made Me Dirty" by A.J. Daulerio on Deadspin

Learn About Circus on Wikipedia


Thank you for your interest. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Service Area

Memoirs of a Woman with Two Lovers On Amazon.com »
Memoirs of a Woman with Two Lovers On Barnes & Noble »

Facebook Icon Twitter Icon LinkedIn Icon Instagram Icon Tumblr Icon Pinterest