( All pages, including all logos of Circus Magazine, Circus Raves, Hullabaloo Magazine, Memoirs of a Woman With Two Lovers on these pages of gerald rothberg.com are Copyright (c) 2018 by Gerald Rothberg. All rights reserved.)
Circus Magazine Official Website Rock Music at its Best!
Correction Note for Wikipedia. Check Circus Raves cover above. When designs were coordinated, Circus Raves merged into Circus Magazine. and published every two weeks. I did this so magazine wholesalers would accept Circus Mag as a bi-weekly. Wikipedia incorrectly stated that Circus Raves was abandoned.
Circus Magazine February 1970 One of Most Uncanny We Had Ever Produced
Can you imagine anyone today in media asking the question posed on the cover? One of the most uncanny cover stories we had produced asked a question which may sound strange today, but was very relevant then. It was a time of youth rebellion, and a time when 30 seemed old. Tragically four of our cover subjects didn't make it through the 1970s, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Elvis Presley. Stay tuned. More about this issue, the mistakes, inconsistencies, in My Continuing Story of my History with Circus Magazine.
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Circus Magazine A Day in Rock Music History. September 18, 1970
Jimi Hendrix is Dead
In an emotional piece written just after Jimi's death, Tony Glover filed this report with us.
Circus Magazine December 1970. Part II Written by Tony Glover
Jimi Hendrix is dead.
That's only four words, but they're pretty heavy. Twenty-seven years old, he had a lot in front of him. As I write this, it's early Monday; he was found unconscious by a friend in London last Friday, and died shortly afterwards in St. Mary Abbott's hospital. Scotland Yard says there'll be an autopsy in a couple of days, but it'll most likely confirm what all the papers have been saying - "O.D."
Overdose of drugs.
The questions people ask now will probably never be answered. Like, how and why? Was it an accident? Get a bit stoned, have some drinks, take a sleeping pill, have some more drinks, did I take the pill? Better do another, whoops. . . .
Or was it deliberate? Could a cat who had bread, fame, chicks, and talent get so tired of it all that he just didn't care anymore?
Only Jimi knows for sure, the rest is just guessing. . . .
Being an artist of any kind is a heavy trip . . . if you're totally committed to what you do, you pay a lot of different types of dues. It seems out culture is getting kind of tragic lately: Brian Jones, Altamont, Canned Heat's Al Wilson and now Hendrix - but it's been going on as long as creative people have been around. Van Gogh went a bit insane, cut off an ear, mailed it to a chick and went on to paint some masterpieces. Edgar Allen Poe, the master of the macabre died in a gutter. Modigliani was an addict. Nijinsky, the Russian dancer, spent the last years of his life in an insane asylum. Hart Crane, the poet, jumped overboard from his ship. Lenny Bruce OD'd . . . the list goes on.
Why? It's not easy creating and very often the sensitivity and a awareness that makes an artist able to communicate emotions to people also makes him very easily hurt by both his art and life. And Hendrix was vulnerable. Listen to the Redding-Hendrix Monterrey LP on Reprise, dig him talking to the people. That was really his first big gig in the US - he was established in England, but hardly heard of here. He puts himself down and at times almost pleads with audience. ("Don't get mad now, come on . . .") Later he would put down audiences, and walk off-stage when there were equipment hassles. He did it on the Tonight Show and left the back-up drummer sitting there looking stupid. But it wasn't just an ego trip - he really cared about getting the right sound . . . and doing it right or not at all.
I remember the first time I interviewed him after a concert with the Experience in Minneapolis in late 1968. It'd been a great concert, but there'd been some equipment trouble - one of his Marshall amps had quit on him. I asked him what he thought of the concert.
"We don't judge by the people," he said, "we judge by what we get across music-wise. If we're not laying down anything and they're screaming and hollering and thinking that's good, it makes me feel bad."
A lot of artists demand much more of themselves than their audience ever [will] - and get much more depressed when things don't work out.
And then the fame trip - it sounds groovy; be rich, be famous, do what you wanna do . . . but a lot of times it ain't like that. If your face is well known you can't go anywhere without people hitting on you for one thing or another - your time, your money, your body maybe even your soul. If you give a little to everybody who asks for it, how long before there's nothing left for yourself? And then there's all the time you have to spend moving through the plastic world of hotels and airports. The nights without sleep . . . it adds up.
Jimi lived high, hard and fast. He said, "I think anybody should be able to do whatever he wants." He did, and it cost him. And that's where the tragedy comes in. Any musician knows sometimes you need ups and downs just to get through the days and nights - road life is hard. But you gotta know how much your body can take, and you gotta know what it is your taking and what it'll do to you. . . you gotta be careful. Unless you just don't care.
How can you sum up a man's life and career in a few words in a few hours? Let's just say this: Jimi made a lot of bread and spent a lot of bread. He had a lot of women, a lot of good times. His guitar and life style have left a permanent dent on rock music. He left behind five LP's that are classics. (The next one is 3/4 finished. . . producer Eddie Cramer says he and Mitch will try and finish it up for release.) He was here for awhile, he changed the heads of anybody who ever tripped with him. . . and now he's gone for awhile.
Miss him? Hell yes, but don't mourn. When he was acquitted of drug charges in Toronto over a year ago he said, "I tell you when I die I'm not going to have a funeral, I'm going to have a jam session. And, knowing me, I'll probably get busted at my own funeral."
Noel Redding said that before the funeral in Seattle there will be a jam session in New York this weekend. He, Billy Cox, Mitch and George Harrison will play. Just like they used to do for the jazz men in New Orleans.
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.
Circus Magazine Founder, J.G.Rothberg presents Lita FordGold Plaque Award, in front of Rock 'n Roll Wall of Fame at NYC Headquarters.
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 change 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. from a thrift shop. The table was set complete with a clunky upright typewriter typed copy for the issue, X-acto knife, t-square, rulers, paste-up glue, white out, copy paper, and paste-up boards.
First issue, Beatles George Harrison, andmodel Pattie Boyd. The couple married January 21, 1966. Jimi Hendrix graced the first cover of Circus Magazine.
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 Pattie Boyd, with Beatles George Harrison.
British Rock band Eric Burdon, and the Animals. Our first centerfold."House of the Rising Sun," video above, became trans-Atlantic hit song, after its release by MGM Records in 1964. Described as first folk-rock hit.
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.
What 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. 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 I'll call back in a moment. Me. He'll call you back in a moment. She: Thank you.
This conversation went on a few times a day until David returned the call to his mom.
The original staff. Left to right: Gerry Rothberg, Bruce Gedman, Jan Cremer, Darling, and David Dalton.
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. Steve Paul was an affable guy, open, and friendly.
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.
Seeing the first edition going to “bed” was a nightmare. I was at the printing plant as a means of micro managing, I suppose. Making sure there would be no last minute glitches, or emergency phone calls.
When we finally got on press, late at night, and the last job of the shift, I looked up, and saw the pressman man running on top of the gigantic press machinery.
The press kept moving, as paper was fed in for inking, with the pressman in pursuit on top, overseeing the right holes fit into the correct grooves. What a frightful sight, as he could have been trapped in this labyrinth of machinery.
Back in the office, two camps arose, in our editorial process. One which favored lampooning artists and, the other to stay the course with a strict music appreciation line. Bruce Gedman strongly favored the strict music appreciation point of view, with criticism left to the record reviews. He was adamant about this, and thankfully so.
We could have drifted off to a less than serious rock, and pop publication. From the onset, several writers, and critics praised the magazine for taking the music seriously. I tended to lean towards a less than serious point of view. But Bruce held to his viewpoint. In a way, Circus Magazine, as it evolved over the years owes its approach to rock music to Bruce Gedman.
Bruce was the kind of guy who felt the music, and sought out the right people for us to be in contact with. Among these music people was Nat Weiss, who dealt with Brian Epstein, who managed the Beatles. Bruce was quick to set up a dialogue with Nat, who had many contacts in the music business.
So on we march to the second issue, which was tighter, and more focused in my opinion. The Rolling Stones in an incredible, cover story with great photos, the Beach Boys, Dave Clark 5, Paul Revere, and the Raiders, Donovan, among our interviews. With all this, we launched The Adventures of Gedman, a music column by, you guessed it, Bruce Gedman.
The cover story remains a mystery to me. Were those photos by Linda Eastman, who soon became Linda McCartney? Who wrote the piece? The author starts off that he received a phone call from me, assigning him to this Stones project, but never identifies himself. No photo credits appear on the pages. Hm-mmm!
Stay tuned. Circus Magazine History to be continued. More to come. Check back with us from time to time for more updates.
Random Images Through The Decades With Circus Magazine
Above, Paperbacks we published with CBS Publishing, Wonder Woman, as portrayed by Lynda Carter, and vintage portraits in performance of Ted Nugent. and Freddie Mercury. More about these images to come in our continuing series, updated weekly. Read on.
News & Notes
July 18, 1967: The Jimi Hendrix Experience is thrown off Monkees tour. Jimi's manager Chas Chandler admits afterwards that it was a publicity stunt.
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."