As mentioned below, here is Sleeping With The NME, the B-side of the NME-sponsored, charity Manic Street Preachers single, Theme From M*A*S*H. The single, recorded as part of the paper’s 40th birthday celebrations for the Ruby Trax album, reached number 7 in the charts in 1992 and spent three weeks in the Top 10. (Proceeds went to The Spastics Society, now Scope.)
The second b-side, chosen by the Manics, was an eight-minute extract from an hour-long documentary, Sleeping With The NME, made for Radio 5 – in its early, pre-Five Live days, when it was a “sport, children’s and educational” station and had a “youth” element. The documentary, produced by John Yorke, now C0ntroller of BBC Drama Production, involved he and presenter Mark Thomas spending a week at the NME‘s office in 1992. Their chosen week just happened to be the one in which Richey Edwards carved “4 REAL” into his arm while talking to Steve Lamacq and Ed Sirrs photographed it, creating what is now one of the most iconic rock photos of all time, I’d say. Have a listen to the extract.
You’ll hear James Brown, Danny Kelly, production editor Brendan Fitzgerald, Steve Lamacq, Ed Sirrs, art editor Pru Watkins, deputy art editor Marc Pechart, PA Karen Walter, news editor Iestyn George, assistant news editor Mary Anne Hobbs, and, sadly, me. (During the week, myself and Stuart Maconie had made ourselves totally available to Mark and John, and had become their point men, while some of the staff maintained a slightly snooty air about the BBC spies in our midst and kept their distance. This was, funnily enough, the start of our radio partnership – although Stuart was not present for the Richey discussion.)
Hey, it’s a slice of NME office life in the early 90s, and very funny, and you’ll hear what I used to sound like, aged 27, when I still had Northampton in my voice and had not yet learned how to speak on the radio – not having been on it before.