Monday, December 06, 2010

Chilled to the bone and five miles to home

I've written before about my love of the magazine Smash Hits.

Smash Hits saved my life.

There you go, I've said it.

As a kid, growing up a mile outside a village that didn't have much going for it, it was hard to see how I was ever going to make it out. A love of pop music provided me with a ready-made escape route. That so, I eagerly awaited every issue of Smash Hits and would pore over every detail, even about bands I had no real interest in. The writing was funny and sharp, with the hacks unafraid of take the piss out of their pop star subjects where it was needed. However, it was more than just a music magazine to me.

I suppose there was a turning point of sorts, and that was the Jesus and Mary Chain. One of their chaotic live performances was covered in Smash Hits, and I became utterly enthralled about 18 months before I had even heard anything by them. That gloriously blasphemous name, the backs to the audience thing, the was just perfect. Years later I would read about how this was misreported in the press and carefully stage-managed by Glasgow's self-styled Malcolm McClaren, but to be honest, it makes very little difference to me what really happened. JAMC made me imagine a world that was different to the one I was in. From that point on, it was all about getting to that place.

Recently, the blog Like Punk Never Happened was brought to my attention (neatly enough, by the commenter on my 2006 blog post). Brian scans in an issue every fortnight and releases it 30 years to the day after its original publication. I urge you to check this out. It's a brilliantly worthwhile thing, especially for those of us who lost our back catalogues of ver Hits in parental purges, house moves, teenage revisions of history or general fits of pique.

Just like before, I'll be reading each issue carefully, and waiting patiently for the next one to appear.

In other news - Janelle Monae was wonderful in concert last night. I must say, I wish more pop stars would claim to be time-travelling androids from the future, and spare us from more talent show dreck.



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