A year after the bankers collectively destroyed our pensions and forced Gordon Brown to pump about £500+ Billion into the financial system I thought we had seen the last of the City trader types and their tasteless excesses.
How wrong I was
I chanced upon Future Publishings new title about 6 months ago. Guitar Afficionado is probably the most innapropriate guitar magazine ever. As I gazed upon it in my local independant newsagents (WH Smiths seem to be steering clear of this one) I was drawn to its glossy cover.
As I tend to speed read most magazines in about 3 minutes, I almost fell over laughing, it was like a Chris Morris sketch come to life.
Guitar Afficionado is basically aimed at the well healed 45-65 year old, Ive not seen a reference to playing the guitar….just owning them, like racehorses or women I suppose. All articles are on things like Vintage wines, Fine Wristwatches, Luxury Supercars, global travel and aside from a couple of Guitar related articles, the whole magazine looks exactly like the FT’s “How to Spend it” magazine, all fine art, luxury brands and world travel. I don’t know if the suits on Dragons Den play guitar, but if they did, this would be their magazine.
Now I think their probably is an upmarket audience for a mature guitar magazine. But Germany’s guitar and Bass magazine already publish ‘Guitar Dreams’ which despite all the adverts being for expensive boutique kit is actually about music, classic artists, vintage guitars and rock n roll.
The latest issue of Guitar Afficionado includes….and I quote
Our latest issue (and hottest yet) features:
• John McEnroe’s incredibly rare Burst
• Lost Guitars of the Hard Rock
• Golfing with Alex Lifeson
• George Gruhn on the rarities no one wants
• San Francisco in a Mercedes SLS gullwing
Plus, the Fender Custom Shop La Cabronita Especial, 2010 Porsche Panamera, Mel Bay’s 1973 D’Aquisto, Andy Warhol’s favorite guitar, and more.
I love Alex Lifeson and John McEnroe for different reasons, I love the fact that both men have made successes of their lives…and more importanty they’ve made their own money…..honestly. Alex has had quite a career with Rush and John with his Tennis and now Television and the last time I looked Gordon Brown hadn’t subsidised either of them. Alex lifeson is supposedly quite a golfer although I hope he’s not been learning bad habits from Tiger Woods.
I sort of think the target audience of this magazine are precisely the sort of people whove gotten rich of our collective misery, as our pensions erode and our terms and conditions of employment decrease in the favour of the government and big business I guess it’ll be ok as long as Miles and Charlie can do a line of coke and afford the PRS they’ve never learnt to play, but y’know £5 grand, its just a drop in the ocean….sniff.
But please don’t get me wrong.
I dont think theirs anything wrong with aspiration, theres nothing more I like to see than a self made person who’s a success story. But in the UK according to official figures actual social mobility has been at zero for the last decade. If your born poor you stay poor if your middles class, your job may become increasingly casuallised and you might not live in a house the size of the one you grew up in. These are the new realities of living in Britain now. The fact that the state had to rescue the entire financial services industry a little over a year ago leaves a rotten taste in my mouth and its not a 1945 Chateau Batailley Pauillac Grand Cru Classe either.
But theres something unreal about this magazine. The fact that WH Smiths are not stocking it, speaks volumes to me. Its almost taboo like pornography. Theres just something immoral about it. Future haven’t advertised it on any of their websites. Ive never seen this mentioned on music radar….its like a little exclusive club of (scuse my language) cuntdom.
Perhaps the real question Future should be asking of themselves is, where is the target market, does it exist outside of Surrey? I often go to London and browse Denmark St and I remember the besuited yuppies in Soho Soundhouse trying out the latest Mesa Boogie or PRS and y’know what……it didn’t stop that shop from going under. I don’t see stuff flying out of Vintage and Rare, they’ve had some of that stock for 2 years, that Tangarine American Strat Deluxe is in a different shop every time I go there, but i know the serial number and I know its the same guitar, its been passed from shop to shop like a Thai hooker when the ships come in. So the good times are not returning.
So who is buying “Guitar Afficionado” and more importantly where did they ultimately get the money from……????