XTC managed to interpolate themselves among the indie-popsters in the pages of my second fanzine. But I was extremely harsh on (a) Colin Moulding – why I didn’t have time for ‘Grass’ back then is a mystery to me now; (b) Todd Rundgren, whose music a friend subsequently converted me to with a tape entitled ‘Todd is God’, and who – though his interpersonal skills were evidently lacking – can hardly be blamed for wanting to get XTC to make a great record; and (c) Skylarking in general – only half of it of value? A letter Mark Fisher was good enough to publish in his excellent XTC fanzine Limelight the same year (1987) was much kinder, though I still had it in for Colin. I also suggested that ‘Dear God’ – the subject of the latest Backed with – ‘could well be my favourite XTC song… mmm… ever!’ and that it should have been on the LP instead of ‘Earn enough for us’, contradicting what I wrote in my own fanzine about that song. Teenagers, eh?
Graphically a good idea inexpertly executed. I would get better at this kind of textual shaping later on.
The Brilliant Corners have not loomed large in my life since those times – whereas hip-hop has.
This excellent piece of (self-)analysis over at Unpopular rather neatly kicks off with a reference to XTC and then moves on to my other subject here: fanzines of the 1980s. My fanzines, too, were ‘written out of some desperate need to communicate and make connections’, and Alistair was, of course, one of those with whom I connected.