Tuesday, 7 July 2015

NME for free

Music weekly newspaper-turned-magazine-wtf-is-that-about the NME is to become a freesheet from September.

When I was 16 to 20 it was such a staple of my life. Most of the time twinned with Smash Hits, which was mostly aiming for a younger demographic but if you wanted to read about Kylie and Fugazi that was the press combo for you. My dalliance with the NME only ended when long-term unemployment alternating with scant bits of part time low paid work that amounted to the same kind of wage as dole became so entrenched as how I live that I stripped it from my list of priorities - about the same time buying records dwindled from a weekly browse towards an occasional "oh do you think any good bands are still recording?"

I'll have to make a point in September to pick up a copy and stare blankly at the names of all the artists now on the build-em-up knock-em-down mill.

Back when it Mattered to me, the NME did do good things in making a young queer feel less isolated - for some reason I think of David Quantick as the responsible journalist but probably most of the people there were in the good things camp. When Guns n Roses and Happy Mondays went off the rails on gay issues* the NME gave lots of space in letters pages and opinion pieces to saying that the artists were wrong, that this would not do them favours in the long term, and to giving voice to readers who were doing things like smashing up Happy Mondays records they owned and sending in the bits / photos of the bits.

When you - we - didn't have the internet, that kind of thing being in print made a lot of difference. So even though I would hardly ever feel the urge read that paper now, because I'm just too out of touch with what's new and shiny and will probably never prioritise the time it takes to get back in touch: thank you NME, and good luck still today in your latest incarnation.

[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-33408435 refers]
[* there wasn't much LGBT nuance back then]

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