...BECAUSE SOME OF US THINK THAT THIS STUFF IS IMPORTANT
What happens when you mix what is - arguably - the world's most interesting record company, with an anarchist manic-depressive rock music historian polymath, and a method of dissemination which means that a daily rock-music magazine can be almost instantaneous?

Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

IN WHICH JON LAYS OUT HIS STALL

It was nearly 40 years ago since I first discovered the music press.  It was the summer of 1974, and an older lad on the school bus gave me a copy of a brightly coloured tabloid called Disc.  I was entranced.  Before then my only access to news about the musicians who entranced and enthralled me was schoolyard word of mouth, and Top of the Pops on BBC1 for half-an-hour every Thursday, when my old-fashioned and completely anti-pop music father would deign to let me watch it. In the pages of Disc I found news, reviews, gossip and a modicum of debate, and so the next Wednesday, instead of lining up for my lunch like all the other diligent pupils of Bideford Grammar School, I pocketed my lunch money and snuck off into town to buy the next issue. To my great joy I discovered that Disc wasn’t the only one, and came back clasping my prizes; copies of Disc, Melody Maker, Sounds,and the New Musical Express.  I took them home hidden in my school bag, and read them from cover to cover, over and over again.  Thus began a weekly routine which I followed until the mid-1980s when I transferred my allegiance to the newly arrived glossy music and culture magazines like Q, Select and Mojo

I learnt a lot from the music magazines, and I think that they shaped my young mind more than I would actually like to admit.  I paid more attention to what people like Nick Kent, Mick Farren, and Charles Shaar Murray said, thought, and did than I did my parents, teachers, or peers.  For in my young mind the hip young gunslingers of the NME were my peers, and I wanted to I inhabit the same world of anti-establishment, intellectual criticism as did they. 

Nearly 40 years on and I find myself the editor of this weekly newsletter, as well as a daily blog based around those jolly nice people at Gonzo Multimedia.  Gonzo has such a diverse and rich back catalogue that I find myself like the euphemistic kid in the candy store. Rob Ayling, the Gonzo big cheese, has given me carte blanche to write what I want, as long as it is vaguely connected with the Gonzo multiverse.  So I have, and I have dragged my poor long suffering wife, and my friends Richard Freeman, Graham Inglis and Dave Curtis along for the ride. I have even co-opted Gonzo guitar star Paul May of the mighty Atkins May Project into writing gig reviews for us.  But I want more.

I have always been somewhat OCD, and I would admit that during my mis-spent youth I fetishised music to perhaps an unhealthy extent, but I loved the music pages back then.  And now I have the opportunity to build this weekly newsletter into the same sort of anarchic, crazy-passionate mish-mash of news, reviews, and debate that I used to love so much. I have already had several respond to my call for new writers, and I shall be putting them to work in the next few weeks.  But do YOU fancy trying your hand at being a rock journalist? 

The contemporary music business has changed beyond all recognition, and music may not ever be as socially and economically as important as it once was. But emotionally, sociologically and spiritually it still speaks to me, it still speaks to you, and I suspect it still speaks to a lot of people.  Gonzo is a fine example of the new breed of record companies.  Let’s make this newsletter into something really special together. 

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