Time Travel Through Music and Magazine History

Honoluluans of a certain age (well, mainly mine) might get a kick out of this: Google Books has just release a complete collection of the pop music magazine Spin, available here.  Spin published from 1985 to 2009, and Google Books presents every page of every issue, including the ads. I immediately went to the July 1986 issue (the summer after my high school graduation). Who’s on the cover? Prince, of course.

I enjoyed finding an article on Simply Red, a band I’ve been listening to again lately. I’m even enjoying the old ads a lot! Fashions that have vanished, devices that no longer exist. Remember when you used to have to buy a cassette deck head cleaner? It was a little device that looked like a cassette tape, but had little felt pads to clean the tape residue off the … oh, never mind. The iPod is a huge improvement.

As a magazine guy, I’m looking through the Spin archive with an eye toward the evolution of page design. In these old 1980s issues, the pages look crammed with copy. You’d find the same to be true in Honolulu Magazine’s 1980s issues. We actually go back to 1888, as Paradise of the Pacific. We don’t yet have the whole 122-year archive available online, but you can get a taste of this magazine’s history through our monthly department, From Our Files.

Meanwhile, Spin on, and remember The Wave, Pink Cadillac, Masquerade, and so.