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Pete Atkin >> Music >> Not famous enough
(Message started by: Pete Atkin on Today at 19:34)

Title: Not famous enough
Post by Pete Atkin on Today at 19:34
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.

Title: Re: Not famous enough
Post by BogusTrumper on Today at 20:39

on 03/04/08 at 19:34:33, 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  :D

Title: Re: Not famous enough
Post by S J Birkill on Today at 22:26
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

Title: Re: Not famous enough
Post by Kevin Cryan on 05.03.08 at 16:14
Ah well, we now have another one-time member of Ugly Rumours (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ugly_Rumours_%28band%29) whose judgment is open to question.


Kevin Cryan



Title: Re: Not famous enough
Post by Mike Walters on 05.03.08 at 21:36
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.  


Title: Re: Not famous enough
Post by BogusTrumper on 05.03.08 at 21:56

on 03/05/08 at 21:36:04, 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  :D

Title: Re: Not famous enough
Post by Mike Walters on 05.03.08 at 22:17
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...

Title: Re: Not famous enough
Post by BogusTrumper on 05.03.08 at 22:34

on 03/05/08 at 22:17:36, 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  :)

Title: Re: Not famous enough
Post by Kevin Cryan on 06.03.08 at 07:16

on 03/05/08 at 21:36:04, 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 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMAP) titles, such as Empire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empire_(magazine)), have staked out as their own.


Kevin Cryan  

Title: Re: Not famous enough
Post by Ian Chippett on 06.03.08 at 08:28
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

Completely out of touch in Pantin France

Title: Re: Not famous enough
Post by Mike Walters on 06.03.08 at 20:38

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.  

Title: Re: Not famous enough
Post by Kevin Cryan on 06.03.08 at 22:07

on 03/06/08 at 20:38:51, 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 (http://www.davidhepworth.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.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.

[bgcolor=Black]*I am one of the two founding partners of Development Hell Ltd (http://www.developmenthell.co.uk/) an independent magazine publisher which publishes The Word (http://www.wordmagazine.co.uk/) and Mixbag (http://www.mixmag.net/).[/color][/bgcolor] ...david hepworth.com (http://www.davidhepworth.com/)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Not famous enough
Post by Rob Spence on 07.03.08 at 08:48

on 03/05/08 at 21:36:04, 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.

Title: Re: Not famous enough
Post by Pete Atkin on 07.03.08 at 11:13
At least they are giving us some space, with or without me personally.

Title: Re: Not famous enough
Post by Mike Walters on 11.03.08 at 15:02
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.  

Title: Re: Not famous enough
Post by Mike Walters on 12.03.08 at 19:29
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.  

Title: From the cutting-room floor
Post by S J Birkill on 13.03.08 at 10:43
Here (http://www.peteatkin.com/theword.htm) are Pete's replies, omitted from the printed version of the The Word interview.

Title: Re: Not famous enough
Post by Mike Walters on 13.03.08 at 12:07
And, yes, of course, much more interesting than Amanda Ghost.

Title: Re: From the cutting-room floor
Post by Rob Spence on 13.03.08 at 17:52

on 03/13/08 at 10:43:04, S J Birkill wrote :
Here (http://www.peteatkin.com/theword.htm) 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.

Title: Re: Not famous enough
Post by Ian Chippett on 13.03.08 at 20:50
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

Far from it in Pantin France

Title: Re: Not famous enough
Post by Jan on 13.03.08 at 23:29
I hate to tempt fate but it looks as though Pete is famous enough to be quoted in tomorrow's Times (http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article3547340.ece) ... perhaps

Jan

Title: Re: Not famous enough
Post by naomi on 13.03.08 at 23:40
Yes, indeed, Jan: you have pipped me to the post !

In its Friday March 14 edition The Times has a piece about Pete, Clive and the new CD in the "Sounds" section, by the music journalist John Bungey, with a nice picture.

The article also includes a reference to Mr Birkill, I might add.

Naomi
:)

Title: Re: Not famous enough
Post by S J Birkill on 13.03.08 at 23:41
Wow! Now there's an article done right. Bravo John Bungey!

SJB

PS: A couple of Voices made it to the Groucho Club on Tuesday (not counting Pete and Clive, that is!) Well, one (Danny F) is I think a lapsed member, not having rejoined when we switched from the mailing list. Maybe we can persuade the other to write us a brief review?

Title: Re: CD launch - March 11, 2008
Post by naomi on 16.03.08 at 18:07
OK, Mr B, here goes - and many apologies for the delay:

By happy chance I found myself at the media launch of the Midnight Voices CD last Tuesday. My colleague John Bungey (we work on different desks at The Times), knowing me to be a big PA/CJ fan, had offered me the music department's second ticket ! John was still working towards the article that appeared in Friday's paper - but I was simply starstruck.

We were warmly welcomed at the venue - a cosy room at the Groucho Club - by Pete's PR lady, the delightful Hayley, and were soon joined by another devotee of Messrs Atkin and James from our newspaper, Danny F (already a proud owner of the CD).

There was a goodly turnout of music (and other) journalists at what was a very effective launch - yet the atmosphere was that of a friendly get-together, with plenty of chit-chat. The songs were performed from a corner of the room, to a rousing reception.

It was a truly memorable night for me. As well as meeting both Clive James and Sarah Moule for the first time, and having the opportunity to speak with Pete, I was introduced to Russell Davies, and again met Simon Wallace.  

Pete was in fine voice, and was accompanied at the piano by the excellent Simon in the following songs. Clive - tenor to Pete's baritone, I reckon - was happily summoned from the audience for the last number:

Touch has a memory (Pete also played guitar on this one)

Thirty year man

Between us there is nothing

Be careful when they offer you the moon (guitar; and lovely harmonising by Sarah)

and Laughing boy (guitar; Clive sang second verse - I think - and last verse).

All the artists deserve congratulations on the success of the occasion, as does Hayley -

Naomi
:)


Title: Re: Not famous enough
Post by Seán Kelly on 18.03.08 at 18:20
Thanks for this report Naomi!
Seán



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