Yes I still read the NME. So shoot me: I read J17 until I was about 21- those posters of Josh Hartnett were just TOO tempting.
But this weeks NME has taken it a step too far: free stickers! Yes, free stickers, just like you get with the Spongebob magazine, or Smash Hits. Isn't Smash Hits defunct now? Perhaps NME feels like it needs to squeeze into that gap.
I remember NME laughing heartily at free stickers once upon a time. Now we've got stickers saying 'the Klaxons r cool' and 'Emo rules' and 'I love junkies' and 'NME sucks corporate cock' (or something). I've never felt so old.
I did a in-depth online survey about the NME a couple of months back and the questions were things like,
'what do you think of Nu Rave?' (it doesn't exist)
'should we feature more Emo?' (no)
and 'what are your favourite bits of the magazine?' (the letters page)
Since then, my favourite bits have been all but obliterated so I guess more kiddies replied to the survey than adults. Still it seems wrong for them to sell out their heritage so blatantly: the NME was once a respected brand, now it rolls over and plays dead for Topman and Shockwaves and HMV and Carling and... need I go on?
Even talking about this seems defunct and dated because no one reads it anymore anyway, since it shrunk and shrunk and got thinner and got glossier, and the feature articles were reduced to literally one.
But I have hung in there, despite the patronising tone, the building up and knocking down of various degrees of rubbish, the rabid Pete Doherty obsession. I even let them like Destiny's Child, then admit they were shit a year later.
I would have killed to write for the NME, but never got the chance, probably because I don't like the perveyors Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby and I don't think My Chemical Romance are worthy of anything but mild contempt. There is a taste vacuum and it's getting wider.
Anyway: these stickers are the last straw. I don't have a folder to stick them to. I can't annoy my parents with them. They are just a message to me, and it's a message saying 'fuck off. You're not required anymore.'
And I've got a message back: next time, let's at least have one of Moz, or Conor, or even Brandon (nah actually- not til he's shaved his moustache off).
Will I still be buying the NME? Well yeah. I'm too young for Q. I have LastFM and Drowned in Sound and yourstandardlife and all the million other music sites that are fresh, un-patronising and current to turn to when I'm online. I'm not stuck for music news or new bands to fall for.
But I know it's only a matter of time before either I give up on the NME, or they go under. Until then, it's a battle of wills. In the meantime I will dream of the music newspapers of the 90s and wonder where it all went wrong.