Friday, June 26, 2009

Alls Swells That Ends Swells

MJ (see below) will be remembered in part for knocking the unfortunate Farrah Fawcett off the front pages (which makes Farrah the Mother Teresa to Jacko's Lady Di). Steven Wells' death on Tuesday, meanwhile, barely rated a paragraph in most newspapers. However, his will be the loss I'll feel most keenly. Wells, who wrote for the NME in its (read: my) glory days, alongside the likes of Dele Fadele, Stuart Maconie, David Quantick and Barabara Ellen, was the sort of critic who, like Julie Burchill, often said things you disagreed with. But you had to admire the way he said them.

At almost exactly the time that Wells passed away, the NME's most recent editor, Conor McNicholas decided to jump ship and edit Top Gear magazine. Which tells you alot about the state of the music industry in general and the NME in particular. But there was a time that the NME cared about music and Wells, whether writing under his own name or in the guise of alter-ego Susan Williams, epitomised this (despite James Brown's assertions to the contrary). Read some of his greatest moments (though sadly not his Shed Seven interview) at the bottom of this tribute. RIP Swells.

1 comment:

digital_plamf said...

NME glory days (late 80s) - circulation of over 100,000. It was a proper success.

Swells often talked about music in a way that set things in a needlessly oppositional context. But that was what made it funny. (All the "autistic" Sonic Youth fans might disagree).

Shed Seven interview?