Thursday, June 25, 2009

RIP Swells

One of the only music journos of any note of the last 20 years has died. 

Steven Wells used to write for the NME, and was their most radical writer, even when surrounded by fawning sycophants, he stayed true to his anarchic ideals - and his articles WERE NEVER BORING. 

He also directed the Manics clip above, which is bloody ace. 

Swells wouldn't like fawning sycophantic elegies, so I'm just gonna say, his stuff was around since i started reading the music press at 14, and I always thought it was (often wrong) but fucking awesome nonetheless. 

Swells struggled with Hodgekins Lymphoma, that eventually got the better of him. He wrote this amazing article about it a short while ago. 


BalearicBeat said...

Well said, Blimpy. I was really sad to hear this today. Judging by the comments in the Guardian music blog, even in death he's still managing to rub people up the wrong way, which is just as it should be. A sad reminder of the total lack of bollocks and passion in most music journalism these days.

RIP Susan

Tim (Kalyr) said...

And these things seem to go in threes - unconfirmed reports that Michael Jackson has died of a heart attack.

Blimpy said...

@BaBe - i haven't read the Guardian blog yet, should I?

BalearicBeat said...

No, I wouldn't bother, Blimpy. It'll only make you depressed at the idiots out there. There's a great link to a blog he wrote a while back though, where he gratuitously winds up guitarists who take themselves too seriously and sits back to watch the tirade of abusive comments from guitarists who take themselves too seriously. That one's a giggle!

As Kalyr mentioned, I do get the feeling this might be slightly blown out of the water by the incoming news about Michael Jackson though. Blimey.

Japanther said...

Thanks for giving Swells a proper post Blimpy.

For me too, he's been around my whole music press reading life and I always thought he was incredible. Along with Johnny Cigarettes his style pretty much defined my teenage years.

I hope some of his old articles/reviews get digitised and put on the internet now. His Elastica live review sticks in my mind, where he says that Elastica are the sexiest band ever, which of course they are (the closing line of the review was this "So, who gets to sleep in the wet patch? There is no wet patch, the whole bed's swamped baby!" - you didn't get that in Smash Hits!)

seriously gutted

Abahachi said...

He was one of the relatively few journalists who were entertaining, interesting and worth engaging with even when talking complete bollocks. I'd have loved to hear what he thought about the whole Michael Jackson Deification movement this morning. Reading Tits Out Teenage Terror Totty was like eating raw cake mix; you know it's quite unspeakably bad for you and making you sick, but you can't stop... Anyone know if there's ever been a book of his selected journalism?

TracyK said...

Agreed that he and Cigs were the NME of my youth, along with Collins and Maconie, Barbara Ellen and Sylvia Patterson. Much sadder to me than MJ's death. Lovely to see the Manics when they was good again too.