“Men Can’t Be Cool”

dando_zineIn the summer of 1994 Jeff Fox was inspired to write a zine against Evan Dando, the lead singer of the Lemon Heads. Fox’s inspiration came from a statement by Dando in which he wanted to be more like a woman because, “men have proved that they really can’t get it together, they can’t be cool.” Dando’s quote was the fuel behind the creation of the zine, “Die Evan Dando, Die.”

Fox explained, “having been freshly out of college, where you are told around the clock that you should be ashamed of being a male, I resent males that collapse into that kind of thinking.”
The 18 page anti-fanzine was aimed to dismantle the claims made by the Lemonheads front man. The zine was designed to boost male confidence levels – “masculinity without shame.” Fox did not want to see Dando’s naked body on the cover of every magazine and thought that the “overexposure was driving people nuts.” The zine featured topics such as shaving tips, checking out muscle cars and a page of philosophy from stock-car driver Richard Petty.  Fox’s aim was to reinforce the idea of masculinity, because he feared public figures such as Dando were redefining the term. “Die Evan Dando, Die” sold over 800 copies and was featured in Time magazine. Fox asserts that the popularity of his zine was because many people disliked Evan Dando. Furthermore, many zines out in the market were targeted towards women and “Die Evan Dando, Die” was one of the few that reinforced the idea of “masculinity without shame.”

One thought on ““Men Can’t Be Cool”

  1. I appreciated your choice of “Die Evan Dando, Die” as it showed another side of Zine culture since it was created for a male audience not a feminine one. I was wondering however if the zine presents one type of masculinity or does it enforce the idea that there are several ways to be masculine and you should be proud to be a man no matter what one. It seems to me that with the tagline “masculinity without shame” the sine would promote a more specific time of masculinity.

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