Now we are three. By Ben.
When we were young and green and in our salad days we sat around in a University flat and talked. Endlessly. About music. For days on end we would discuss the minutae of certain reviews we had read, why they were wrong and what we would say. We discussed which records were bad, which were good and how only we could tell the difference. We got drunk on our solidarity and the intoxicating feeling that, yes, we were right. It was a time of brave naiveté and not many friends.
However, one friend (to whom this piece is dedicated) from before this time stuck with it and felt something needed to be said. I like your friends. Theyre cool. However, you do go on about music a lot, she mentioned in the safety of Sheffield, a long way from our University.
Mmm. I said noncommittally.
If you dont agree about what someone has said about music, then why dont you write something yourself? she said, not realising the beauty of criticising something youve never tried yourself.
Well ... I said, knowing that actually writing something would involve effort which I could be putting into not doing anything instead.
Look, you wander about from GCSEs to A levels to university never really trying anything and never achieving much, so why dont you actually do something?
Like what? I said, stung into being on the defensive.
Well, you could start your own music magazine. I mean the Unions there to help with this sort of thing, and you know enough people to do it, and... She continued but I was lost. My imagination had leapt from this initial suggestion to a life of covering gigs and getting drunk with stars, having people hanging on my every critical word and courting my favour, fame and fortune and an easy life.
Mmm ... but its not that easy... I replied, suddenly realising the effort involved.
I got a look.
So, back at university, in the confines of the flat, I decided a suggestion might be in order.
Yeah, I do agree with you that he has no knowledge of music and couldnt write for toffee... so how about we do a music magazine? I mumbled.
The other two fell quiet.
I mean, we could write reviews and get some money off the Union and it cant be that hard, and... I tailed off watching the expressions on their faces.
Thats an idea. said Tim, looking thoughtful.
That would be cool. said Dave.
The next night we sat up for hours trying to design the look of the thing on Tims Mac Classic. This was a bit difficult without a name but we persevered.
So when should we try and do the first one?
How about January?
That sounds possible.
And much to the surprise of everyone, especially us, the first issue of RetroActive Baggage (and other derivative nonsense) appeared in the middle of January three years ago. Since then weve realised that its much harder to write this sort of stuff week in and week out than you would have thought and in some ways weve kind of grown up. However, a scene in the pub yesterday:
No, we cant put that there. It would be crap.
Look, weve got to mention the French techno movement.
But weve already got an Air review.
But theres still some of the best music last year that we have to mention, and youre just being ignorant.
...and so on. So thanks to Lucy for the inspiration for the Baggage. We dont talk about music so much now, just the bloody magazine.