Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Last words from The Word... 'we're closing down'

Really sad to see this statement from David Hepworth re-his magazine The Word, edited by Mark Ellen.  I was a fan and subscriber from the first issue.

"We regret to announce that the August issue of The Word, which will be published in the second week of July, will be the last.
In the nine years since the magazine launched there have been dramatic changes in the media and the music business. These changes have made it more difficult for a small independent magazine to survive and provide its staff with a living. This hasn't been made any easier by the economic climate of the wider world.
We would like to thank all the staff members past and present, plus the writers, photographers, illustrators, artists, PRs and advertisers who have helped make the magazine what it has been. We also want to thank the backers who have supported us throughout.
Most of all we want to thank you, the readers. Your heartfelt involvement with the magazine - via its pages, its website, its events and its podcasts - have made the last nine years one of the most satisfying periods of our working lives. Mark has written about this in greater detail in the August issue
The website will remain open for the immediate future as a point of contact. We will be writing to subscribers with their copy of the August issue.
When we came up with that slogan - 'The Word - a magazine, a website, a podcast, a way of life" - we were being a bit tongue in cheek. But it was, wasn't it?' "

  • In February Stewart Lee in the Observer wrote: "I was reading Word, the culture primer for the time-poor ageing hipsters, a midlife crisis in magazine form."
  • Mark Ellen wrote this in The Word about magazines in the September 2009 issue:
    Magazines are deep: "The internet is perfect for exploring tangents. But magazines can carry the most intricate thoughts and images, the ones you can only fully appreciate if you look at them more than once."

    Ellen also conducted one of the funniest interviews with a rock star - Cream's Ginger Baker in the January 2009 issue of The Word  - I've ever read. Here's an extract: 

    Ellen: Why did you move to South Africa?
    Baker: It's a long, long story.
    Ellen: Well don't feel you have to tell me if it's a long story.
    Baker: No, I'll tell you it. I married an American and..(Ellen informs The Word readers: this answer lasts exactly 15 minutes and 20 seconds. Any attempt to reroute Ginger from this saga is greeted with "You asked me why I ended up in South Africa and I am trying to fucking tell you alright?" Here are a few key phrases- fill in the gaps...) Green card, drug busts in 1971, Canadian border, waiver, deported, stable girl was illegal alien, knock on door, handcuffs, strip-searched in jail, thugs, dogs, guns, "You get that fucking gun out, boy and you're dead!", subpoena, investigation, best immigration lawyer in Denver, deported, found guilty of knowingly employing an illegal alien, $2,000 dollar fine, costly dental work, implant, wife, bad things, READ MY BOOK! "lost all my Cream money in Nigeria in 1975", Ireland, tax thing, "can visit UK but can't live here as they will JUMP on me", Dominican Republic, Christian/Muslim bullshit, South Africa operation on leg, nerve cut open, taking the muscle out and sticking it back again."I'm TRYING to answer your questions but you keep going off on fucking TANGENTS!" money transfers going astray, "huge fucking fraud/sex scandal in South Africa which I am not allowed to discuss for legal reasons", Cape Town.

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