09 June 2008

M The Civilized Man



I have to admit...I was obsessed by this magazine. "M" A Civilized Man, was unique. It wasn't GQ. Which in the late 70's and through the 80's was sooo gay. If you picked up a copy of GQ at a newstand, you were telling whoever was standing next to you, you were gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Esquire, save an issue or two or three a year, was just plain boring. Some amazing covers but inside the copy was as dull as the layout. Playboy was a joke. Not even close to what it was in the 60's. Buffed and waxed women who, like the cartoons, looked the same. Probably didn't help that Playboy was in very deep financial trouble.

Penthouse was always way out there. Early in it's life some great articles on food, wine and clothing were put into each issue. I'm thinking late 60s early 70s. Then Bob took off with film production and some fairly "organic" models. Often European. Always earthy. I was a fan. But there was nothing about clothes or cheese or how to make a Martini. Bob was focused, like a laser, on long legged, exotic, medium breasted girls from Paris who could do some amazing things with La Perla. And for that, I am forever grateful.

"M" didn't have naked women but it had everything else I wanted. Great covers with some beautiful graphic design and layouts. Some interesting stories but the clothes were to die for. Classic American for me and European for the straight fan of GQ. I'm not sure why they didn't make it.

22 comments:

Lou said...

I,too, used to love M Magazine, back in the day (late 80s - early 90s) when I lived in New York. I would enviously peruse the black-and-white photos taken at hotspots (e.g. Au Bar), parties in the Hamptons, etc. However, my main fascination were the fashion layouts that featured apparel from the best stores across the country, such as Louis Boston, Barneys New York, the late lamented Bigsby & Kruthers and Ultimo in Chicago, etc.

Laguna Beach Trad said...

Late '80s and early '90s M Magazine was IT. I recall photos of gents salmon fishing in Scotland, beaglers in Ulster County (or wherever), and Oxbridge dining clubs (recognised a few chums there too!).

Bradford said...

I wish I still had my copies of M Magazine. I recall one specific issue with a cover article about Classic American Style - stuff like khaki's, button-downs, Levi's, leather jackets, etc - that I absolutely loved. M was one of the best magazines ever produced regarding menswear and style.

Anonymous said...

i just bought the first issue off of ebay. Pelham

Bit Of A Dandy said...

I agree that M The Civilized Man was the premier men's magazine and was sorry to see it go. Unfortunately, I remember it's slow death as it morphed from M The Civilized Man to M, Inc. to just M. By then, the magazine had lost all of it's allure having to maintain advertising dollars by appealing to the masses. As men's ideas about fashion became casual, so did magazines like M The Civilized Man. I was an original subscriber back in the day right up to the change to M, Inc. Sadly, I threw all my issues away during a move from Providence to Cape Cod, but have been able to rebuild my former collection through ebay. The sad part is that when I began collecting on ebay in the 2002-2003 timeframe, I was able to purchase issues for $5.00-$7.00, but I have seen the prices soar with recent offerings capping out over $40.00. Seems like the word is out. All in all, M was truly a magazine for civilized men, of which the ranks continue to decrease with each generation.

Anonymous said...

My dad turned me on to this magazine when I was 12. I still have every issue printed in Storage in Virginia with Mums. I hope she has not burned them.

Anonymous said...

I love M magazine and completely agree that it was sad to see it decline as it became M, Inc.. I still have every issue, and when I look at them I fondly remember my college days and friends when we would read this magazine and daydream about taking over corporate America.

Tom said...

I loved this magazine when it came out. It showed me a world that I wasn't a part of ...yet , but one that I would dream of . I miss this magazine very much. I think most 'Men's " magazines today are horrid.

tintin said...

Ceratinly the US published mags are. Some unique stuff is coming over from Europe. Stag is impressive in layout but too shallow. Still, one can hope for a "M" to return.

Anonymous said...

To the fans of M: The Civlized Man who was the real W. Rushton Chatsworth III? He was the best. Does anyone know if he continued writing?

LDK said...

Found this entry while cleaning out some old junk.

I'm looking for a specific back issue of M - August 1986. Any ideas?

tintin said...

The Perfect Wife issue. A good one. Gallaghers inNYC was the place until they closed. Keep an eye out on eBay. If you google Gallaghers magazines they may still be selling on line. He had a ton of M and most were $20.

Anonymous said...

Tintin -

I am also in search of W. Rushton Chatsworth III information. This magazine and especially Chatsworth's wit capture my imagination and set me on my trad path ever since.

Thanks for the blog as I really enjoy your taste in most everything. Also child of the 50's and 60's, and former military guy of the Vietnam holiday tour.

Keep it up.

Burma

dcm said...

I read it constantly. Fantastic mag.

Jörgen Fägerquist said...

"M" showed me the exquisite supermodel Somali beauty Iman, now that lovely wife of David Bowie. She was an extraordinary beautiful woman then and now.

Anonymous said...

I wish they'd bring it back. The Official Preppy Handbook is supposedly making a comeback, so let's all keep our fingers crossed that this comes back too. Incredibly good magazine!

JMG III said...

Sorry to jump into this SO late, but a bit of insomnia-fueled Googling led me here and, after reading the comments felt it worthwhile to drop my 2 cents.

M was, AFAIAC, the best men's magazine ever. As you noted the GQ of the late 1970s-early 1980s seemed to be aimed at a very...uh...specific...er...subset of the male readership.

When M came out in 1983, the publisher got into a bit of trouble for saying something like "This not a magazine for boys, or those who like them." This was meant as a broadside against GQ. You will note that coinciding with M's inaugural issue was GQ's last ever cover with a "regular" model instead of a celebrity.

I am relieved to have EVERY issue, even the appalling "M Inc" issues.

Anonymous said...

I also was a big fan of M magazine, especially during the years 1984-88. I am a retired naval officer, and during that time I was serving aboard my first ship (and primarily cruising around Europe and the southern Mediterranean). In the days before the internet, cell phones, and instant messaging, it was sometimes difficult during extended periods at sea to stay connected with the "real world". M magazine was there to remind me, and the rest of the wardroom, just what we were serving to protect: the finer things in life!

Anonymous said...

My elder brother is the one sitting down on the left.

He received a lot of fan mail and some questionable offers as result which made me wonder about the readership but your comments made me feel a lot more comfortable.

My younger brother gave him grief that there were no comments about him in this thread so I am afraid I had to remedy the situation immediately like any little sister should.

D, you rock! Well, you used to;)

tintin said...

Many thanks, Anon. Ask your brother if he would be interested in contributing to a book on M I'm editing. Would be great to hear his war stories.

Anonymous said...

Have passed the comment on. The ribbing has started and will leave it in his court.

Although, I should mention, the stories that younger brother and I are making up about him being naked under his gown are much more exciting than the real ones;)

Would appreciate it if you could mention that he is stupid and ugly as being both smart and good looking is way too much for one person to shoulder. His siblings would appreciate it.

Think he'd be happy to help out but will leave it up to him. Good luck with the book, Tintin.

Keith Baker said...

One of the best things my first wife ever did for me was to order me a gift subscription to M. It was a total surprise, I enjoyed every issue immensely, and I hated to see it go.