We met Jason Croft and became familiar with Bachelor Pad Magazine a couple of years ago. I really enjoyed the vibe and style of the magazine and wanted to share it with the readers of RumJourney.com. What better way than to interview the man himself and learn how more about him and his magazine.
RJ-How did Bachelor Pad magazine get started?
Jason Croft-Well, it all came from a retro culture website I started back in 1999 called Java's Bachelor Pad. That was a celebration of pulp paperbacks, hi-fi music, tiki, pin-ups and the like. From there, I started The Bachelor Pad Radio Show in 2002. Then I started a Yahoo Group (remember those) and did pin-up contests for modern gals. Well, I had always been a fan of old men's magazines. With this Bachelor Pad Empire building up around me, so to speak...I thought the time was right to start a print magazine. That was the middle of 2007.
I knew the magazine wasn't going to make me any money or make me famous. Print is a dying medium. If I was smart, I would have made it all digital. But I love magazines. The feeling of paper. The ability to hold something in your hands. Something you could put on a coffee table or pin to a wall. And something that can be a chronicle or a snapshot of a particular place and time. That's what has driven me to keep doing it. Four time a year, every year (plus a recent summer annual) since then. Still print only. Still digest-sized.
RJ-I believe the first time we met was at the Rockabilly Luau in Atlanta. How many shows do you do a year? Do you ever find models for the magazine at the shows?
JC-Sorry, it took me a bit to count on my finger and toes the number of places I go to. The top of my list is the Burlesque Hall of Fame (BHOF) Weekend. There's also Tiki Oasis, Viva Las Vegas, the Chicago Comic Con, the Atomic Frolic show in Dallas, and tons of smaller hot rod, burlesque, tiki, and rockabilly shows.
And, yes, every time I go out it's like a scouting report for pin-ups. I always keep an eye on who is where, who is doing what, and who has that special spark I think my reader would like. In fact, during BHOF, I help run a Photo Safari where we take a busload of models and photographers all around Sin City. That's like a whole afternoon of pin-ups on parade. I bet I could name a dozen gals I have met on that who have later appeared in the magazine.
RJ-Who are some of your favorite people to collaborate with?
JC-That would be a long list if I started naming names. I have come across so many amazing and talented people doing the magazine. It's nice to find these folks who all have this love for the retro lifestyle and places where it came from. When I meet someone, I can tell pretty quickly. Those are the people I gravitate to. And those are the people whom I have the deepest and most profound connections with.
RJ-I really enjoy the retro vibe of the magazine with the diverse range of collaborators. If someone is interested in writing for you, how would they go about it?
JC-Just email me! Please! We have general guidelines on the website, but for the most part I'm open to all sorts of ideas. One thing that has always been important for me is to feature stories and essays in the magazine. If you look at the magazines from the 1950's, that was the core of what they were about. Pulp fiction. Essays on history. Everyman fantasies. There was always so much wit and charm in those pieces. Sure, pin-ups are great...but I also want to people to read and think and enjoy this retro world we've created for ourselves!
RJ-The magazine is filled with lush photography, where are some of the most memorable places you had pictures taken?
JC-Oh boy. I have heard stories from photographer about using secret pools behind Las Vegas mansions...as well as apartment complex swimming pools at 2am. There was a pen for steers used for a matador set. Lot of expensive hotel suites. Various bars and nightclubs. And not to give anything away, but this year's Nightcap Edition will feature a nudie-cutie photo set in a used bookstore!
RJ-Please tell us more about your radio show?
JC- I do the live, two hour broadcast each Friday night on WEFT, 90.1FM in Champaign, Illinois. They webstream so you can catch the show live starting at 11pm east/8pm west. (And I hope you do!) After the show, I offer it online at http://www.javasbachelorpad.com/radio.html. As I say when I start the program each week: It's the best in lounge, exotica, private-eye jazz, big big bongo beats, bossa nova heat, and so much more!
RJ-If someone is interested in subscribing to the magazine, where should they go?
JC-That's easy enough. Just go to the "order" page of www.bachelorpadmagazine.com
RJ-Is there anything you would like to share with the readers of RumJourney?
JC-Just like the title of this publication, it's all a journey. It's all about discovering and living in a world you want to live in. And as I like to say when I sign off... "Keep Swinging!"