Search This Blog


Monday, September 15, 2014

Putting Nick Cave on the cover of the NME is like putting Johnnie Ray on the cover in 1976

"Yesterday's Papers", my programme on Radio 4 this afternoon at four, doesn't have time to go into the minutiae of the decline of print music magazines but you can see one problem at work in the latest issue of NME.

Nick Cave had his major success at the end of the 80s, which is a quarter of a century ago. Putting him on the cover is like putting Johnnie Ray on the cover in 1976.

Of course that analogy doesn't apply because the world moves so much more slowly now and anyway Nick Cave has the kind of fans who may even buy the paper because he's there. The free posters are interesting too. Bet the Iggy Pop and David Bowie pictures date from before the current editorial team were born.

There was a time when the best thing you could put on the cover of the NME was the new, new thing. That formula stopped working years ago. And please don't waste your time blaming the publishers or the editorial staff for not being bold or adventurous enough. They found out where boldness and adventurousness gets them because they tried it and looked at the figures.

Old publishing saying: pioneers are dead men with arrows in their back.