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Pete Atkin
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Not famous enough
« : 04.03.08 at 19:34 »
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Hayley, who's doing the PR for me, just received this good news/bad news e-mail from Mark Ellen, the editor of The Word magazine:
 
Subject: Re: Pete & Clive Interview
 
I should get issues on Friday or Monday. I only used Clive in the end as I felt Pete simply wasn’t well enough known to WORD readers, though he was obviously very interesting, and interviewed an American songwriter called Amanda Ghost in the same piece. But C&P get a half page colour photo in a two page piece plus I’ve run the sleeve of their album and a big plug for it too. It is fantastic publicity for the album.

 
I shall now aim and hope to become as famous as Amanda Ghost.  Heigh ho.
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BogusTrumper
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Re: Not famous enough
« Reply #1: 04.03.08 at 20:39 »
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on 04.03.08 at 19:34, Pete Atkin wrote:

 
I shall now aim and hope to become as famous as Amanda Ghost.  Heigh ho.

 
I hate to say this sir, but she is rather attractive young lady.  This might have something to do with the strange choice  Cheesy
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S J Birkill
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Re: Not famous enough
« Reply #2: 04.03.08 at 22:26 »
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Hadn't heard of The Word until Kevin posted a link to their website last month. I thought Mojo was still the last word in adult rock journalism.
 
Now seriously disappointed that what pretends to be a music mag can ditch input from the musician in favour of that from the celebrity. Glad I didn't subscribe!
 
Steve
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Kevin Cryan
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Re: Not famous enough
« Reply #3: 05.03.08 at 16:14 »
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Ah well, we now have another one-time member of Ugly Rumours whose judgment is open to question.
 
Kevin Cryan
 
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Mike Walters
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Re: Not famous enough
« Reply #4: 05.03.08 at 21:36 »
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Perhaps as an enthusiastic reader of The Word since its inception I should drop Mr Ellen a line to let him know that Pete is well-known among at least one member of his readership.  It seems an odd decision to me, despite Ms Ghost's undoubted pulchritude, since I'd have thought that The Word's readership (who, like me, are probably largely 40-somethings who buy it as a slightly less earnest complement to Mojo and Uncut) would be precisely the kind of people who would either be aware of Pete's music or would enjoy being made aware.  And, as Ellen acknowledges, Pete's views are no less interesting than those of his more famous creative partner.  
 
On the other hand, my major criticism of the magazine would be that, while its contemporary coverage is generally commendably eclectic, its perspective on more, um, mature artists tends to be rather more predictable and mainstream.  It's also 'dumbed down' a little from its early days when it had pretensions to cover a broader range of material - books, films and some politics as well as music.  Now, it seems to be very much a music magazine with a few gestures towards other media.  
 
Incidentally, one of my quirkier indirect claims to fame is that, while at Oxford,  my brother-in-law succeeded both Tony Blair and Mark Ellen in Ugly Rumours (in that he played bass and sang).  Sadly, he never became Prime Minister and now seems to have been written out of the band's history.  
 
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Re: Not famous enough
« Reply #5: 05.03.08 at 21:56 »
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on 05.03.08 at 21:36, Mike Walters wrote:
 
 
Incidentally, one of my quirkier indirect claims to fame is that, while at Oxford,  my brother-in-law succeeded both Tony Blair and Mark Ellen in Ugly Rumours (in that he played bass and sang).  Sadly, he never became Prime Minister and now seems to have been written out of the band's history.  
 

 
Maybe you should go to Wikipedia and reinsert him into the band's history  Cheesy
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Re: Not famous enough
« Reply #6: 05.03.08 at 22:17 »
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In fairness, it's quite possible that he made a conscious decision to write himself out, since I'm not sure he's Mr Blair's biggest fan...
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Re: Not famous enough
« Reply #7: 05.03.08 at 22:34 »
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on 05.03.08 at 22:17, Mike Walters wrote:
In fairness, it's quite possible that he made a conscious decision to write himself out, since I'm not sure he's Mr Blair's biggest fan...

 
You could make him anonymous for political reasons  Smiley
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Kevin Cryan
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Re: Not famous enough
« Reply #8: 06.03.08 at 07:16 »
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on 05.03.08 at 21:36, Mike Walters wrote:
......  It's also 'dumbed down' a little from its early days when it had pretensions to cover a broader range of material - books, films and some politics as well as music.....    
 

 
It's not so much 'dumbed down' as stopped wandering into territory that other Emap Consumer Media titles, such as Empire, have staked out as their own.  
 
Kevin Cryan  
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Ian Chippett
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Re: Not famous enough
« Reply #9: 06.03.08 at 08:28 »
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Pete wrote:
 
<<I shall now aim and hope to become as famous as Amanda Ghost.  Heigh ho. >>
 
If it's any consolation, Pete,  I've never heard of Ms. Ghost but I have heard of you.  
 
Ian C
 
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Mike Walters
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Re: Not famous enough
« Reply #10: 06.03.08 at 20:38 »
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Quote:
It's not so much 'dumbed down' as stopped wandering into territory that other Emap Consumer Media titles, such as Empire, have staked out as their own.

 
You might be right about the motive, Kevin, but, as far as I'm aware, The Word (unlike Mojo) isn't one of Emap's (or Bauer's, who've just bought the Emap consumer titles), but is published by David Hepworth's own Development Hell company.  One of the things I've always liked about the magazine is that it doesn't smack of being generated by a committee or market research but seems to reflect Hepworth's and Ellen's own enthusiasms.  I still think it's a shame that they moved away from the breadth of material they covered in the early editions - my own suspicion is that this was influenced partly by the likes of W.H.Smith's who like to know where to pigeon-hole a magazine.  Incidentally, I've noticed a parallel issue with 'Cultural Amnesia' - namely, that bookshops don't know quite where to put it.  Thinking about it, this might be the story of Pete and Clive's careers, for good or ill - too interesting to fit anyone's marketing category.
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Re: Not famous enough
« Reply #11: 06.03.08 at 22:07 »
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on 06.03.08 at 20:38, Mike Walters wrote:

 
You might be right about the motive, Kevin, but, as far as I'm aware, The Word (unlike Mojo) isn't one of Emap's (or Bauer's, who've just bought the Emap consumer titles), but is published by David Hepworth's own Development Hell company......  

 
You are quite right about who publishes The Word. I should have gone to david hepworth.com where I might have got a clearer notion of who published what. The idea that The Word had made a conscious decision not to intrude too much Empire's territory has been in my head for so long that I felt safe in assuming that they were both Emap (now Bauer) titles.
 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.
 
*I am one of the two founding partners of Development Hell Ltd an independent magazine publisher which publishes The Word and Mixbag.[/color] ...david hepworth.com
 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
 
Kevin Cryan
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Re: Not famous enough
« Reply #12: 07.03.08 at 08:48 »
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on 05.03.08 at 21:36, Mike Walters wrote:

  It's also 'dumbed down' a little from its early days when it had pretensions to cover a broader range of material - books, films and some politics as well as music.  Now, it seems to be very much a music magazine with a few gestures towards other media.  
 

Yes, that was very much my impression. I bought the first few issues, which were much more focused on print culture. Now it seems to me indistinguishable from those other music mags aimed at what I believe the industry calls the fifty-quid bloke.
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Pete Atkin
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Re: Not famous enough
« Reply #13: 07.03.08 at 11:13 »
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At least they are giving us some space, with or without me personally.
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Mike Walters
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Re: Not famous enough
« Reply #14: 11.03.08 at 15:02 »
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Pete's quite right, of course, and my mild middle-aged grumbling wasn't intended as anything more than that.  I still think The Word is a fine magazine - these days I find I prefer it to Mojo or Uncut -  and I think it's excellent news that they're giving coverage to the CD.  
 
I see the new edition has now appeared on their website, and so will presumably appear on the newstands very shortly.   Mr James's name appears alongside luminaries such as Elvis Costello, Billy Bragg and (presumably as a special treat for Mr Atkin) the Barenaked Ladies.
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Mike Walters
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Re: Not famous enough
« Reply #15: 12.03.08 at 19:29 »
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Picked up a copy of the new The Word (a phrase that doesn't quite trip off the tongue) on my way back from London this afternoon.  We should give Mark Ellen due credit - he was quite right.  Excellent coverage for Messrs Atkin and James - a large picture, a picture of the CD and the interview with Clive James which is not lengthy but as amusing and interesting as you'd expect.  
 
They've rather oddly presented the interview as though Clive and Ms Ghost were interviewed together (which I presume they weren't...I'm sure Pete would have noticed) on the art of songwriting.  Amanda Ghost does have one or two interesting things to say, but since her credits include a contribution to James Blunt's 'You're Beautiful', I'm afraid I was unfairly inclined to discount them.  I suspect Pete's thoughts on songwriting would have been more interesting, but equally I suppose he's contributed to fewer million-sellers.  
 
Clive throws in a few interesting asides, including an enthusiasm for the music of Carla Bruni (which I'd share, and like Clive I was disappointed that she chose to marry the man I think of as President Haricot) and the unexpected nomination of 'Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick' as his 'perfect song'.  Well, fair enough by me.  
 
All in all, alongside an excellent interview with Elvis Costello and a report on the Barenaked Ladies cruise (you'll have to read it), well worth £4.50 of self-respecting Midnight Voicer's money.
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S J Birkill
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From the cutting-room floor
« Reply #16: 13.03.08 at 10:43 »
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Here are Pete's replies, omitted from the printed version of the The Word interview.
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Mike Walters
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Re: Not famous enough
« Reply #17: 13.03.08 at 12:07 »
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And, yes, of course, much more interesting than Amanda Ghost.
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Re: From the cutting-room floor
« Reply #18: 13.03.08 at 17:52 »
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on 13.03.08 at 10:43, S J Birkill wrote:
Here are Pete's replies, omitted from the printed version of the The Word interview.

Thanks for that - it makes for a much better read now than alongside the inanities of la Ghost. I was surprised that CJ was so keen on Ian Drury's Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick though.
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Re: Not famous enough
« Reply #19: 13.03.08 at 20:50 »
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Rob wrote:
 
<<I was surprised that CJ was so keen on Ian Drury's Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick though. >>
 
As a song it's a bit lightweight inasmuch as you could never do a cover version (there's no "tune" to sing just a sort of recitation of words that don't have a great deal of meaning) but the musical arrangement (especially the bass line - how many fingers does the man have?) is stunning. Anyway, Ian Dury could do no wrong: I saw him in Bristol  on the Live Stiffs tour back in 1877 along with Elvis Costello, Dave Edmunds, Wreckless Eric, Nick Lowe and a host of others and rounded off an exhilarating evening by pogo-dancing, a stunning tribute to the man's genius.  I spent the following day lying in the staff sickroom holding my head while trying not to open my eyes, another tribute in its way, I suppose...
 
Ian C
 
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