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.
[* there wasn't much LGBT nuance back then]