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Excuse me for looking perhaps a little startled, but I've just been told in the slightly murmuring voice of someone similarly shocked by the turn of events that on May 1, just after this issue goes on sale, it will be 15 years since we put out the first Uncut.
I'd suggest a drink if we had the time, which we don't at the moment, deadlines snapping at our heels like angry dogs and all that and still quite a bit to do as I write before the final pages are finished and dispatched to the printer. We've had one or two unscheduled dramas that have made the last few days a little lively, but there's been nothing truly comparable to the flat-out sense of breathless mayhem that attended the 1997 launch of Uncut, that galloping rush to meet a looming on sale date that with every passing day grew ominously closer, like some malignant asteroid heading our way.
We had been given the green light to go ahead with Uncut on the singular and somewhat sobering condition that we get that first issue out in a little over six weeks, our confident bravado that this would be easily accomplished quickly giving way to nervous apprehension. I mean, at the time there was no staff to speak of, just me and our original art editor. Since we didn't actually have an office for the first week, either, it was probably just as well we hadn't yet hired anyone to work with us as there would have been nowhere to put them – no desks, no chairs, no computers, nothing.
When we eventually moved into the empty space that would be our home for the next few years, there were a few more of us, a fax machine no-one could successfully figure out how to work, the random pressing of buttons producing from the thing only a tragic wheeze or two that made it sound like it was expiring in quiet anguish, a bit like those of us who were by now feeling more than a bit ragged as a succession of very long days now included regular night shifts, no-one getting out of what passed for the Uncut office until what are commonly known as the wee small hours, a hollow-eyed time.
We made our deadlines, of course, with no staff fatalities, and on the designated date nervously revealed ourselves to the world. Looking back at it now, the issue no doubt shows signs of its hasty assembly, but what for the foreseeable future Uncut would be is already there, with an editorial lineup that mixed features on Elvis Costello, Taxi Driver, Bob Dylan, Sam Peckinpah, The Who, Clint Eastwood, Counting Crows and Quentin Tarantino.
If you've been with Uncut from the start, or somewhere near it, thanks for sticking with us and I hope you enjoy the new issue and everything in it – the Dexys interview, by the way, is a cracker.
Enjoy the issue and any thoughts you have on it, let me know, as ever, at: email@example.com
In this issue
FREE CD: AMERICANA 2012
15 Brilliant New Tracks Of Cosmic American Music, including Beachwood Sparks, Father John Misty, Sharon Van Etten, Deer Tick, Dr John, Dawes, Hans Chew and The Men
Our new front section this month: including John Lydon, Neil Young and Beachwood Sparks
BONNIE 'PRINCE' BILLY
An audience with singing, acting introvert Will Oldham
Beatles lawsuits and 'losing the plot'… Macca reveals the turmoil behind Ram
Kevin Rowland's legendary troupe – and their amazing new LP
Album By Album with the ramblin', gamblin' rocker
The head Heartbreaker comes clean about his troubled childhood and astonishing career
The bass behemoth's life in pictures
The true story behind the garage compilation and its greatest songs
The making of shock '77 hit "Gary Gilmore's Eyes"
Photo special: the Bad Seed at home in São Paulo
The Afghan Whig's life in music
MUSIC: New Albums: including Damon Albarn, PiL, Beach House, Richard Hawley
The Archive: including the Vanguard boxset, My Bloody Valentine, The Small Faces
DVD & FILM: Strange Fruit – the Beatles Apple doc, Norwegian crime drama Headhunters, and more
BOOKS: Gregg Allman's autobiography My Cross To Bear, and Richard King's How Soon Is Now?
LIVE: Bruce Springsteen, Pulp and Deer Tick