Let’s Read Interview, January 1989!

Interview was founded in 1969 by Andy Warhol and his cool art friends to give to other cool art friends as a “look how cool we are” gift, sort of like a zine but with far more pretentious production values because, well, Andy Warhol. The magazine went legit in the early 70s and continued as a highfalutin’ publication with interviews, lifestyle articles, and creative features from intellectuals and artists of the time until 2007, when “[editor Ingrid Sischy] and [publisher] Peter Brant’s ex-wife Sandra became lovers and left the magazine” briefly caused the magazine to go on hiatus before rebooting itself in 2008. The magazine supposedly went under in 2018 but the website is still churning out features on Grimes and John Waters, so much like Andy going out into the street and literally handing issues of his magazine to random passerby for free, it continues on regardless of conventional distribution.

Remember when she was a thing? I’m just kidding, she’s great. I’m going to warn you up front, the interview with Tracey doesn’t mention The Simpsons at all.

It’s worth noting that the magazine is physically oversized – about twice as tall and and almost twice as wide as a typical 8.5 x 11 periodical, which adds to the glamour of it – yes, world, I’m reading Interview and I want you all to know it – and also was a bit of a challenge to photograph, as I had to do it from a fair distance away to capture it all. You may need to do a little zooming to read all the text in this one.

I love that you can buy a print of the Absolut ad (this one, I’m presuming, by Kenny Scharf) by calling 1-800-CHEER-UP. Cheer up with our vodka!

Well, that’s direct.

These sound like fun people.
“What are you up to these days, Kisho-kun?”
“Oh, not much. Just building a new island city in Tokyo Bay.”

This is an ad for a pop-art calendar that supposedly you can buy from…somewhere? I guess that if you have to ask, you aren’t cool enough to own it. I think, going from this expert rundown of the featured piece, you could buy the calendar from the Mr Chow restaurant.

I would also be making that face if that was the result of my perm.

“I bet Walter $500 that by the end of the night someone’s going to end up pissing on this thing!”
“Ha ha! That’s hilarious, sir!”
“Keep drinking, kid. Keep drinking.”

This issue’s theme of half-thoughtful/half-snarky future pop culture speculation carries to the rest of the magazine, which is rather unusual, but since it’s the end of the decade and the year 2000 is starting to feel tangible in people’s minds I guess they just went with it.

Some of these aren’t too far off…and some of these are very far off.

Admittedly, I’d also be laughing at Captain Hover-hands over there.

As of now, only a few hundred people have actually undergone long-term cryonic preservation and most of the companies who hosted the bodies have gone bankrupt. Timothy Leary himself apparently realized what a stupid idea it was just a few months before he died and opted to be cremated, head and all, instead. I know, I’m just as disappointed as you are to learn that Timothy Leary’s head isn’t frozen in a jar somewhere.

I’m glad he’s got that glass of Hennessy all ready for a woman to throw in his face!

Apparently Uzzolo was a furniture store that “would make the Jetsons feel right at home

I am sad to say that they gave us future people way more credit than we actually deserve about being tuned into biotechnology. Sorry, snooty art people of 1989, I feel like we’ve let you down.

Meanwhile, Greg Goldin is pretty sure that our future is walking straight into Annihilation.

Well cool I don’t already feel seriously intimidated and poor and uncool now.

The Synchro-Energizer didn’t exactly catch on, but hey at least we have lo-fi beats to study to, right?

I’m with you, Fran.

I like that Susan Sontag said “a daughter”, when she didn’t have any daughters. She just wanted to take a daughter, not necessarily hers, with her.

That sounds right for David Lynch.

I agree with George Will’s decision to take Middlemarch, I probably would too because being stuck on an alien planet would probably be the only way I’d ever finish that damn book.

Tod Machover was nominated for a Pulitzer in 2012 for an opera that he wrote called Death And The Powers, which going from this trailer is probably similar to the experience of seeing VALIS live.

This would make for a very interesting date back in 1989.

This may have been the first appearance of this story, as Asimov was still alive at the time and I can’t find any earlier publication year for “Goodbye to Earth”. What a beautiful illustration.

I thought for sure that this was a recognizable 80’s supermodel, but a quick poll in the OT couldn’t identify her either so I’ll just chalk it up to her having good model presence. JIMMY’Z is apparently a skate/surfwear company known for velcro-closure beach shorts. And, going from this ad, t-shirts that double as emergency cover-ups when you’ve lost your bathing suit in a particularly rough wave.

Show ’em how it’s done, Tracey.

Tracey Ullman: we need to stop envisioning the future as weird tech-speak and tinfoil fashion and start thinking seriously about the environment and climate change!
Interview Magazine: how about those wacky 21st century biotech madlibs, right folks?

This is what cool art people do on New Year’s in 1989. I’m a fan of the Tamara Bane Gallery logo, which is probably supposed to look like an avant-garde take on a constellation but just looks like smiley happy boobs to me. Also, behold a man in a pointy witch hat riding a dinosaur.

Somehow I don’t think Cher will hook up with Wolfgang Van Halen, but as for performing a Vegas residency at the age of 105, that seems entirely plausible.

Also, people are still obsessed with Brooke Shields’ sexuality for some reason.

It took me a long long time to figure out what is happening here, but I think it’s a sleeve being held inside the opening of a denim jacket. Because nothing sells your clothes better than “it’s just a pile of denim and bracelets”.

They were eerily dead-on about the Mizuno bathing suits and the 2008 Olympics. Partial credit for the TV and camera predictions.

Well that just seems unsanitary.

Hello there, William Gibson. What are you up to? Writing a screenplay for Alien 3, eh. That’s going to turn out well (it didn’t).

Interviewer: Do you think books will become obsolete in the future?
Gibson: well, yeah, they’re going to fall apart and people will need to carry them around in baggies because they’re in pieces…
Interviewer: that is not at all what I meant — whatever, let’s move on.

The Gibson screenplay for Alien 3 was ultimately rejected because the story was going to involve Ripley in a coma the entire time while Hicks did all the hero-ing.

“We’re much more likely to end up in a duller world.”

Let’s go!

And now it’s time for the regular name-dropping column, which this time is presented in a pretty charming look back from a future in which someone named Cornelia Guest is a household name and bridesmaid tracksuits are a thing…oh wait, that one actually did happen. Dammit Britney.

Also, alas, we’ve come this far in our magazine reading without running into a Trump in the wild, but here we are.

Basically all of these can be answered with “Yes, and it’s called Instagram”.

How did it take them so long to figure out the seven Elvises?

That’s a pretty awesome way to end this issue.

This magazine likes to bookend itself with Absolut ads. Is this my favorite one so far? Absolutly.

Very nice.

And that’s it for this one! Thank you for reading, as always. Next time we will be on another expedition to vintage teenage girl world with Teen, September 1970!

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