September 27, 2013
The observant among you will notice that this blog, if not quite dead, is certainly resting.
However I still receive a steady stream of enquiries from all over the world asking for help in researching information for books, TV projects, pHD’s, websites etc.
To save me replying individually here are the pertinent facts.
I don’t have an exact list or searchable database of the copies I own, nor can I easily search for reviews, interviews etc. other than picking up the physical copy and scanning each page. This seems to come as a surprise to many, particularly those born into a world where Google and the internet have always existed. In case it appears otherwise, this blog is not the product of a small business start-up. This blog is the product of a single, recently divorced man, sitting alone in a room late at night and manually scanning pages of old music mags with a shitty home scanner.
If you want to find a specific article or research your pHD then the place to start is at the British Library (in London) which holds a complete archive of all MM and NME’s.
You need to register for a reader pass and the best thing to do is to pre-register online. You will need to bring proof of your identity and your address (and your student ID if you have any).
You can search most of the catalogue with your pre-registration.
When you request something it will usually take up to 70 minutes for them to give it to you. If you need to get a particular book, it may take up to 48 hours so that ideally you request everything a couple of days beforehand.
However, all the magazines, NME, Melody Maker, Mojo, Select etc. etc. can be accessed straight away in the Humanities 2 area. They are grouped by year in big book sleeves. You can just take them out, read them, take notes (only pencils and laptops are allowed)
You can photocopy and scan articles. As the magazine paper sizes are really big (at least the old ones are) you are only allowed to scan them which is quite expensive. It’s 37p per scan. Museum staff will watch you so there’s no way around it. Alternatively, if you have a smart phone, apps like CamScanner do a good job of scanning a page such that it’s readable, albeit not reproducible in print or broadcast TV
You can’t remove any of the books or magazines from the library.
I hope this helps.
My thanks again to all the writers, photographers and bands that made this pre-internet period of music journalism so vibrant and exciting.
July 3, 2012
If you’ve found this due to the recent Stone Roses gigs then welcome. This blog has been dormant for a while but it’s not dead, just resting. I’m still planning its resurrection but in the meantime, rest assured, I still read and approve all comments and contact messages. Charles
January 2, 2011
The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:
The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.
The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 100,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 4 days for that many people to see it.
In 2010, there were 34 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 318 posts. There were 40 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 96mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.
The busiest day of the year was March 14th with 852 views. The most popular post that day was Melody Maker review of May 1987 with staff picks by Carol Clerk.
Where did they come from?
The top referring sites in 2010 were blissout.blogspot.com, facebook.com, guardian.co.uk, en.wordpress.com, and twitter.com.
Some visitors came searching, mostly for damon albarn, sinead o’connor, kurt cobain, the cult, and caitlin moran.
Attractions in 2010
These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.
Steve Sutherland interviews Damon Albarn, 16th September 1995 June 2009
Sinead O’Connor N.M.E. cover 1988 May 2008
Barry Egan interviews Sinead O’ Connor, 29th October 1988 November 2008
Damon Albarn on the cover of NME, 16th September 1995 July 2008
February 18, 2010
If anyone knows how to contact Jane can they pass this message on. I have Jason’s email so message me back via the Contact page and I’ll pass on his details to you. Thanks
I’m writing to make an inquiry regarding your tenure as a writer for New Musical Express.
Presently I’m preparing a book on The Smiths, to be published by Omnibus Press. The book is a collection of facsimilies of original articles and interviews, album and single reviews, live reviews and news items, and will include many items from Melody Maker and New Musical Express, including your review of the Smiths’ Los Angeles Universal Amphitheatre, 25-26 August, 1986 gigs (New Musical Express, circa September ’86). IPC has not been able to confirm that you were a staff writer, and I was hoping you could clarify your position at NME during this time. Since IPC has not been able to confirm your position they are only able to issue a licence for use of this review under an archive contract, which does not guarantee the rights to the piece.
If you have since acquired the rights to your review, or if you penned it as a freelance contributor, a fee for its use will need to be discussed – as long as you are happy for it to be included. Apologies, but I do not have the precise date of publication available to me.
January 11, 2010
Despite the lack of posts for, let’s face it 5 months or so, this blog isn’t dead. But it has rather gone to seed hasn’t it? I’ve ignored it completely for months and it’s only a couple of comments that came through recently that have prompted me to revisit the old dear again tonight. Looking back at it again feels good though and it seems it’s still being looked at by just as many people everyday as it was back in June when I was still posting regularly.
This blog was born out of a change in my personal circumstances and it’s withered as a result of further changes. I’m not going to make any promises but I think it feels right to start again. Just don’t call it a new year’s resolution.
September 23, 2009
It’s a fact of life isn’t it? You change. The world changes. And if you don’t change there’s a danger you’ll get left behind. Change, lest we forget, is the underlying theme of this blog.
All of which is by way of a rather melodramatic preamble to say things have changed for me. I was recently made redundant and it’s largely the reason I stopped the blog as I needed to focus on other things. But I think I’m through it now…have turned a corner etc. etc.
I’m not quite there yet though. In the meantime, if you’re new to this site, or are patiently waiting for new material, here are a few links to some of the posts I’ve liked or that provoked discussion.
Early on in this blog, I posted up a singles review from James Brown, then of the N.M.E. The post now is almost exactly as originally posted. I say almost, because a week or two after posting it, I received this email which I’ll share with you all now for the first time.
To whoever you are
A friend sent me a link to your website pointing out some singles reviews I wrote. Can you remove the libelous comment about ‘nazi worship’.
Now I don’t know how this reads to you, but I was rather taken aback. I mean, surely if you are going to threaten someone over a libellous comment, then the least you can do is spell the word correctly. As a friend said at the time “the immediate legal threat, poor spelling and reference to ‘Big House’ should be enough to try and pillory the cunt.”
But I didn’t. I maintained a dignified silence, tweaked the post and left it at that. But today I thought I’d share that with you in case anyone does sympathise with him and thinks I’ve got him all wrong. I haven’t.
One of the great things about the format of this blog is that a new post can simply be a new scan. If I don’t feel inspired to write anything then I don’t have to force it. I’m not a particularly great writer but occasionally I have found myself writing longer posts. An interesting effect of which is that it’s these posts that generate the most comments and discussion. Here are a couple of my longer posts that got people talking.
Everett True on Hole I like for the embedded video and list of their notable highlights and here’s another one I remember that amused me when I read it which I think provoked some fair retrospective analysis.
Clearly, there’s a lot more than this at AMP. I forget how much I’ve posted over the last year and a half. If you like the links above then stick around, dig deep and enjoy.
August 18, 2009
As you’ll see I’m taking some time off from this blog at the moment.
I’ll be back soon. Subscribe to the RSS and then you’ll know when I’m posting regularly again.
May 19, 2009
AMP is one year old today! I made it. I kept going. Just. And if it hadn’t been for the holidays, hookers and crushing spells of crippling depression I’d have kept to a post a day just like I promised I would a year ago.
But I don’t think I’ve done badly overall. I’m proud of my minuscule contribution to the wider web and I’m not stopping now.
So Happy Birthday AMP.
Now…where’s that piece Taylor Parkes wrote celebrating The Verve as the saviours of music…
April 11, 2009
I’ll be taking a little break over Easter so I’ve scanned in the whole Reading Review to tide you over. Normal service will resume around 20th April.
Now, I’ve deliberately kept this blog strictly about the scans and topic in hand up to this point but I’m organising a small event soon and I wonder if you (whoever you are out there) would be interested in being part of what I’m planning?
Do you Twitter? I do. Since 2007 in fact so, y’know, I’ve been a Twitter twat longer than most. However my use of it has changed and increased since the beginning of the year, and really, it’s all down to this blog. I didn’t use Twitter much to begin with, I followed a few mates but mostly it just lay dormant for months on end. But then, at the beginning of this year, all that started to change. I started being followed, and in return following, people who had found me via my blog, despite not publicising myself on the blog.
All of which leads me to my point. There’s a little Twitter experiment/event planned soon in central London. To be part of what I’m organising you’ll need to be able to be available for an hour or two in Kings Cross, on the evening of Wednesday 22nd April . You’ll also need to consent to being filmed.
January 27, 2009
Whilst there is still more material to post from the original pile of papers I started out with back in May last year I feel that I’ve now posted most of the “best stuff”. Allied to that, my familiarity with these papers led to a certain listlessness on my part to keep the blog going, which is sad because I have enjoyed doing this in a perverse kind of way. So the choice became increasingly clear – end the blog early or find new material.
Now occasionally people have written offering to send me some scans from their collection and I’ve always replied to the effect that the standard of the scan really matters to me. I’ve asked to borrow copies I don’t have to scan and then return but it’s never amounted to anything – probably because I came across like a arrogant prick. But you see whilst I’ve enjoyed and warmed to providing the odd bit of (low quality) commentary, I do think that the standard of the scans here is of a high quality and a large factor in this blog’s success. So I started toying with the idea of buying a few more copies myself, not only to have something fresh to post, but also to satisfy my own curiosity and interest, which has been piqued simply as a result of starting this thing up.
Which leads me to the point of this overly long preamble. Today, in a two fingered salute to our impending financial meltdown, I bought a whole pile of new Melody Makers.
Does anyone have any clever ideas for how I go about scanning this new batch? The random thing is easy to start and keeps Mueller on his toes but it does get hard for me to remember what’s been scanned and what hasn’t. I also wonder if I should perhaps date the posts to match the month and year the scan comes from. Moving forward I need a system. For now I’m just going to start chronologically scanning the cover of each new paper I have while I think about it further but if you’ve got a better idea about what will work best then please let me know.
Here endeth the announcement.