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Thursday, September 06, 2012

What do you do with old magazines?

Just that. What do you do with the buggers? I just opened a box which has been gathering dust in my office for ten years and was amazed what I found. Impenetrably dense issues of ZigZag from the days of punk rock, thirty-year-old copies of Rolling Stone, cultish Anglophile music magazines like Bomp! and Trouser Press from the mid-70s, editions of The Face from the days when you'd forgotten it was still going and lots of things I've worked on myself. For years I used to have the magazines I'd worked on myself put in bound volumes. This means they're in good condition but I hardly ever look at them.

But why did I keep these magazines in the boxes? Often because they cost money, were hard to track down at the time and would be impossible to replace. At the time in the mid-70s when I was originally enthralled by John Tobler's interviews with Mike Nesmith or Nick Kent's look back at the Beach Boys I suppose I thought I would never get that kind of treat again. Little did anyone suspect that in forty years time people would still be twining out glossier versions of the same thing. Nostalgia would prove to have a future that nobody could have predicted.

I look at these magazines now and I wonder what to do with them. Once I put them back in this box I'll never get them out again. They're not sufficiently organised for me to ever use them as a form of reference. If I wanted to find particular pieces I could probably Google them or I could easily email somebody who would have them. They're not worth any money on the secondhand market. And they're dust magnets. When I first packed them away I was a young bloke trying to hang on to my youth. Why the hell am I hanging on to them now?