Eclectic Blue

My friend the NME

Comments Off on My friend the NME 07 March 2018

Writing for the NME would have been a dream job for me. I loved to write, I loved music even more. What a job that could have been. Someone from my school, Julie Burchill, did get to work there. But I wasn’t writing too much back then. Certainly not as much as Danny Baker and Charles Shaar Murray.

Yes, a lot of NME writers – not necessarily all the above – were up their own arses, writing flowery, sometimes self-indulgent, prose. I would read a review of a new album and by the end be none the wiser as to whether I should buy it or not. I still bought the NME, though, because it was where the music was.

As was Melody Maker, Sounds and Disc (and Music Echo). I had a little Saturday job and bought the lot every single week. I bought the lot and read the lot and when I wasn’t reading the lot, I was making my own supergroups.

I grew up with newspapers and magazines and I will die with them. The NME died years ago, even if it literally only died today in its final rubbish free magazine form. It was so bad I didn’t even accept a free copy.

I cannot help but thinking that the loss of music papers, as with the loss of the printed word in general, brings with it the loss of brilliant writers. The Danny Bakers, the Richard Williams’ (my favourite) and all the rest of them grow old together. Now, we demand everything for free and much writing is not worth reading. I do hanker about the past music press because it was a natural addition to what I was hearing. I did not need validation but I did need new ideas for new music. For that I now have BBC 6 Music.

Music magazines are still there. I take Mojo every month and I will always buy another if I have a long train journey. I learned through magazines that new music means new life. I am not mourning the NME today because it’s been dead for years. It was nice to think about what it once meant, though.

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