An open love letter to ROCTOBER magazine
An open love letter to Roctober editor Jake Austen:
If you want to sum up what Roctober is about, then #50 does it with both Jonathan Poletti’s very personal, slightly off-key investigative piece on the rise and fall of glam rocker Jobriath, followed by a feature on only-in-the-80s creation New Monkees and an interview with its drummer Dino Kovas. Considering I didn’t even know there WAS a New Monkees, this article was nothing short of a revelation.
As for #51, it’s the “Comedy and novelty records issue”, which again demonstrates what Roctober does best. While Tom Lehrer is a glaring omission, it’s still an extensive look at this oddball sub-genre of records.
Who knew I’d be sucked into reading features on obscure performers like “The Funky Tramp” Jimmy Lynch, a comedian who gained some notoriety for being the first artist to use “motherfucker” on a recording. Plus dancer Mr Lee and James Wesley Jackson. Country singer and rassler Sweet Daddy Siki, plus a review of Jimmy Walker’s autobiography, Dyn-O-Mite! Ood Times, Bad Times, which almost made me want to buy it.
And then Poletti resurfaces with a deeply subjective, extensively researched, ultimately flawed bio on the first sex-change patient Christine Jorgensen
Speaking of Poletti, his review on the new doco, Jobriath A.D., is deliciously bitchy. It’s as if he’s saying, “How dare someone produce a documentary on MY Jobriath – and come to a completely different conclusion than I did?” Hysterical. Jake, you summed up Mr Poletti perfectly when you wrote that he tells us more about himself than his subjects in his novella-length articles.
But I think what I love most about Roctober – beyond its quirky subject matter and sheer enthusiasm for those oft-overlooked, hidden gems in the world of entertainment – is that each issue leads me to expand my musical horizons.
My kids love wild music – eefing, punk, Wall of Voodoo – and I can’t wait to show them copies of Roctober when they’re older to fill their heads with more wonderful musical craziness and inspire them to explore their musical boundaries.
For all this I say, THANKS, JAKE. May Roctober continue to fascinate, educate and inspire me for another 50 issues.