Thursday, 23 January 2014

Lennon’s On Sale Again



John Lennon on the cover of NME. We bought it. In fact the NME arrives by post every week here at Rock’n’Roll London. We look forward to it.

But is the cover of NME in the year 2014 any place for John Lennon? Or Bob Marley? Joe Strummer? Or even Noel Gallagher, for that matter?

The cover of the NME is surely no country for old men.

Has the UK’s last surviving music weekly and famous champion of new music finally gone all geriatric in its 60th year?

I rather fear the truth is much worse than that for fans of music mags:


It’s all over for Dead Tree Media.


A quick glance at the front page of the NME’s website – nme.com – presents a much healthier picture. New acts, a great balance of rock and hip hop (to use broad, catch-all terms). The oldies are there, too (Neil Young) as are the “young oldies”: Outkast, Suede, Radiohead. NME darlings Arctic Monkeys are, of course, on the front page, too.

On top of that, the NME’S Twitter feed – @NME – is an invaluable part of the Rock’n’Roll London week.

Delighted we are, therefore, to report that rumours of the NME’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

It gives me pause, though, as a lifelong fan of music magazines. It seems that Lennon’s presence on the front of the print edition is to keep old geezers such as I buying the mag.

A pity, this, as I take the NME to keep up with the new, not consolidate the old. There are plenty of other mags around to do that.

I can’t be alone, surely? Or am I really such an inconsequential sliver of the demographic pie chart – Old Farts Who Still Wants To Listen To New Music – that there’s no magazine to be my guide.

It would seem that the plan is to wring a few quid out of supposedly high-earning (!) old farts in the death throes of print era, before the mag closes completely and we all go digital.

But what happens when the advertising dept see pound signs by letting John Lennon and the founding fathers take over the website, too.

What then for new music?




 
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