Articles

So, farewell then NME: what was its impact?

In Uncategorized on March 9, 2018 by kmflett

So, farewell then NME

As a Guardian Editorial reminds us its no surprise that the print edition of the NME has ceased and no real reason in the world of 2018 to mourn its passing either.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/08/guardian-view-demise-of-nme-end-of-era-predictable-editorial

No doubt many,as I do myself, gather information on music and culture from the review sections of the more serious papers, specialist publications and of course the interwebs.

In the 1970s and 1980s I was a regular buyer, reader and writer to the NME though. Fletters were a regular feature of the NME letters page and so were robust responses. When a picture of myself appeared semi-naked in the bath in the penultimate edition of the Sunday Correspondent a helpful reader wrote in to suggest that the shot was missing an electric fire- in the bath.

NME has long since lost the zeitgeist, but it had it once in a powerful mix of music, culture and politics. The Guardian Editorial reminds of the role that the late Steven Wells had on the paper for a while. He was a performance poet under the name Seething Wells for a period and since we shared the same politics, although hardly hair styles, I knew him, although not well. He put together the NME letters page quite frequently though any relation between that and my appearances on it are obviously accidental.

What the Guardian Editorial doesn’t mention is that Chris Dean of the Redskins, a mid-1980s band associated with the Socialist Workers Party, also wrote for the NME under the name X Moore. These were indeed interesting times and its worth reflecting that the music, the culture and the politics will have made an impact on numbers who decades on have influential positions in society. Indeed I know some, but its for them to note the matter not me….

 

Above is the front cover for 6th May 1978 reporting the previous Sunday’s Anti-Nazi League/Rock Against Racism Carnival in Victoria Park Hackney headlined by the Clash and Tom Robinson. At that point NME spoke for a generation

 

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