LIBRARY LURVE: TEEN IDOLS
We asked staff who made their brains and/or hearts throb as teenagers.
Hey Staff, who was your Teen Idol?
Amy, Adult Services at Woodmere (now Branch Manager at Kingsley):
Hardships were plentiful in my youth, growing up in rural Northern Michigan in the 90’s as I did, idolizing the leaders of the Seattle grunge music movement. Namely, the internet hadn’t become a “thing” yet, grunge wasn’t covered in teen magazines, and we only had 3 television stations that came in, none of which were MTV. Stefanie Sargent (guitarist of 7 Year *itch), Shannon Hoon (frontman of Blind Melon), and topping the list, Layne Staley (front-man for Alice in Chains); I loved each for their raw voices and powerful come-and-get-me attitudes. After discovering and falling madly-in-love with each of these personalities, I would shortly afterwards find out that they were already dead. I wore mourning garb to school for a week when Layne passed in 2002.
If you need something dark and moving this winter, or if you’re feeling the need for flannel-clad nostalgia, check out the compilation disc (no relation to the movie), Sleepless in Seattle or, my favorite, Dirt by Alice in Chains.
Annie, Adult Services at Woodmere (now an author and downstate librarian):
I was in junior high when No Doubt released Tragic Kingdom and Gwen Stefani blew my mind. A platinum blonde in a crop top and ska pants with a bindi? And the cover art had moldy oranges all over it. It was all so funky and fearless to me and I loved feeling that way when I was listening to it. Like a lot of female vocalists in the 90s, Gwen seemed totally confident even though she was singing about all of her vulnerabilities- maybe because she was singing about them. In some ways, I feel like it’s the opposite now. But I still think “Just A Girl” is the best song to rock out to when a “girl” is taking on a fierce challenge. And I married a guy who knows how to play “Sunday Morning” on the guitar (He’s my Gavin Rossdale:).
Betsy, Adult Services Librarian at Woodmere:
The Lowe brothers were all the rage when I was in my teen years. I thought Chad Lowe was just scrumptious to look at and way cuter than Rob (but only because I thought Chad would be more obtainable than dreamy Rob and less popular). I would tear out their pictures from Teen Beat magazine, post them on my bedroom walls and pretend they were my boyfriends, talk about my day with them and cry my heart out to them about real boyfriends who just did not measure up. Even today when I see Rob Lowe on the (now old) Direct TV commercials (and more recent 9-1-1 Lone Star TV series) and as you see laugh lines forming on his face, I sigh and think, “We are growing old together.”
(Want to read about why Betsy was so twitterpated? Check out Rob’s memoir, Stories I Only Tell My Friends
Christopher, Youth Services Librarian at Woodmere:
But of course, the fabulous BEATLES. I was in 6-7 grade and our family was driving up to the Searchmont in Ontario to go skiing. On the AM station came the song “I Want To Hold Your Hand” (available on Beatles, 1962-1966). I turned it up, my father turned it down, I turned it up, and thus the magic of great music erupted in me. The Beatles greatness and charisma made much of what they accomplished transcendental.
Katheryn, Adult Services Librarian at Woodmere:
I had many crushes over the years. I grew up without People magazine, the internet or cable. MTV was the Ed Sullivan Show or the occasional American Bandstand. I didn’t scream for the Beatles (George was my favorite) or the Rolling Stones or any others in the “British Invasion.” I bought Tiger Beat for Bobby Sherman of the television show “Here Come the Brides.” I liked the character he portrayed and the songs he sang, not to mention he was CUTE! (We didn’t use HOT!) I still have his records. CDs didn’t exist, nor iPods or mp3 players, and cassettes were just coming out. I fell for Davy Jones of the Monkees— CUTE, smart and the accent, oh my: the one and only fan club I joined (the equivalent of following someone on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.).
I don’t recall any centerfold in my teen magazines. The photos were all black and white. I do remember pictures of Bobby Sherman with a girl *rumored* to be his steady, and “rumors” that they might be engaged. Turns out the rumors were wrong, they were *married* secretly so as not to jeopardize his popularity with his girl fans. They had to come clean when she was pregnant with their first child.
Melanie, Youth Services and Circulation at Woodmere (just recently retired):
Hmmm, let’s see, my teen years began in the psychedelic sixties, late sixties. Independent, rebellious, soft-spoken yet outspoken, did not take drugs. She went by one, short first name. Yes, that would be Cher. My older sister took me to see Sony & Cher at the Ohio State Fair when I was twelve. We were there early and got great seats, only a few rows away from the stage. I remember Cher saying how she made most of her own unique clothing. I recall giving that a try and never being very good at it. However, I did quite well with the rebellious attitude….and the Beat Goes On.
Thanks for reading! A wonderful post from the past and while all the movie, music and books are linked to physical items in the catalog at tadl.org–you can still place holds on them when we re-open. Also, many of the titles, author, artists and magazines are available in different databases for the taxing district at tadl.org/at-home. While Dirt by Alice in Chains is not listed, many other albums by that group is available in Hoopla as well as a bunch of magazines (People included) that are available in RB Digital.
Questions? Email email@example.com or chat with us during designated times at tadl.org/chat.