Big-upz to 'Word' Magazine. They're not paying for this free 'plog', I don't even get a complimentary industry copy (!), no, just giving more overdue props.
People who know me well, know part of the sickness, my insane magazine collection, over 700 titles, i.e. more than a million mags. Fueled by a healthy dose of OCD at one stage, I was compelled to buy 2 copies of nearly every title, sometimes even 3, thankfully this has lessened of late. Anyway, why's 'Word' so good? - It gives that buzz, excitement when a new issue drops.
During my manic collecting years, several titles did give that buzz - Wired in the early 90's, mid-90's it was 2600, with its phenomenal freedom of speech issues & hacking stance - perfect paranoid pulp to keep ya on yer toes!!
These days, nothing really delivers that consistent buzz. OK, Rolling Stone now and again if the appealing cover star interview will pass time on a train/plane journey, Fortean Times, possibly if I'm feeling Fortean enough but 'Word', I get Pavlovian - Camden News' bell rings when I enter the shop & I dribble, smelling the new issue. I'm not alone - recently I was gently accosted by a fellow 'Word' fan who saw me leave Camden News with the mag and proceeded to behave like John Nada from one of my favourite all-time films, "They Live".
Nada (played by wrestling don Roddy Piper!) is a construction worker bum who discovers a special pair of sunglasses, which, when worn show the world in its true colours: Omni-present Media & Government billboards bombarding messages like "Stay Asleep", "No Imagination" & "Submit to Authority". Scarier still, the sunglasses reveal skeletal aliens leading this global campaign to keep humans in check.
One of the maddest scenes is Nada in a 20-minute fight with Frank (Keith David) forcing him to wear the sunglasses to see what he's been seeing. That's what it was like when I left the newsagent, with this guy preaching, telling me that without 'Word' we're doomed. I agreed but didn't want to get involved in a lengthy wrestling bout to further pledge my allegiance.
The 'comedown' from 'Word' is when I've finished devouring the mag and, after enjoying the likes of Mark Allen & David Hepworth tackle 'Pop Culture' so intelligently, sensibly and wittily, I find myself left with a lengthy list of CDs & DVDs, craving them like a crack addict does rock. Here's where you generous readers/fans can help - click HERE!!!
Before this unusually lengthy blog ends, apart from numerous great 'Word' pieces, (the ebay phenomenon, Secrets Of Entertainment etc.), there's been plenty of great succint interviews, here's a few quotes from some of those that struck a chord:
ISSUE 21/NOVEMBER 2004
[Interview with Eddie Izzard]:
Ten years of annonymous struggle and now ten years of global success - which taught you the most?
Oh, the failure. It's where your edge is. Are you going to chuck it in? Distinct parental pressure to get a proper job too. For a while I felt that stand-up wasn't going to work and I couldn't see how to make it work. I just couldn't do stand up. I'd be struggling away, doing workshops...couldn't get the hang of it, couldn't work out how to talk as myself. I kept doing street performing just because I couldn't think of anything else to do. I'd go out for half an hour with a partner doing a show I hated and earning five quid between us. It was fantastically dispiriting. But I learned some stuff I could take indoors, like how to play with crowds. And I learned how to take humiliation.........I get there in the end. I realise now I needed to do all that, but it didn't feel like that at the time. It felt like shit at the time.
ISSUE 18/AUGUST 2004
[Interview with Terry Wogan]:
"90 PERCENT OF BROADCASTERS ARE USELESS"
"The great thing about broadcasting is it requires no training - it's not like being a doctor or even a journalist - and there are no parameters and no ladder. So it's full of charlatans and chancers and people who, if they weren't doing it, would certainly be begging on the streets. And it's full of people who actually can't do it. I could go out on the streets and randomly pick people who are just as good as ninety percent of the people doing television and radio at the moment. Most presenters are just standing there with a microphone, mouthing. They're not trying to make it different. They haven't thought, 'What am I trying to create here?" They're just projecting past the camera, and it isn't about that. It's not a theatrical thing at all. It's about bringing people in."
ISSUE 8/OCTOBER 2003
[Interview with Travis]:
Fran reflects, “Is the suffering that you go through relative to the art? Is it like pulling back a slingshot - the more you pull it back, the greater the distance those emotions will travel? Graham Nash talks about how she’d be in a trance when she was composing. And writing is like that, like diving for pearls. You’re
feeling around blindly down in the darkness, the unconscious, and you find something and bring it back up to the surface. Songwriters, artists, are the people who reveal what’s below the surface. We all convince ourselves that this little tip of the iceberg that we see is all there is.
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