Before there was MySpace and other social media, there were fan clubs and fanzines. If you had a personalized desktop, it meant you had plastered your desk with stickers and magazine covers of your favourite star, then covered it with plastic sheeting. The only custom ringtone popularly available was fifteen seconds of hissing and static as you waited for your bootleg cassette to wind around to the first track.
Back in the day, the only two-way interaction between a celebrity and a fan involved a lot of mail. Physical mail. Waiting on the porch for the mailman after school kind of mail. Newsletters. Christmas postcards. Envelopes stamped “with love from Olivia” or “from Leif.” “Autographed” posters from Bo Derek.
Those of us “of a certain age” remember Leif Garrett. His chest was bared in almost every one of his appearances in early celebrity magazines like Teen Beat. It was an eerie contrast to the hirsuite images of Barry Gibb and Abba’s Benny and Bjorn.
His fan club included a membership card, a fanzine and a “welcome message” 45rpm record from Leif, as we can see over at as ShortTermMemoryLoss.
An excerpt from the 45:
“Before I leave you, on this recording, that is.
I want to thank you for being so wonderful.
It’s fans like you who make me smile from my heart.
I can take it, just about any place.
It’s one of my favourite things to do.
And I’ve had a few opportunities to take it out.“
End of recording
I have NO IDEA what the boy meant by that. Maybe it was the heroin talking.