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The Wire / Tony Herrington vs. Late Lunch: Background on Ben Watson Losing His Weekly Show on ResonanceFM

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Programme-controller Ed Baxter told me it was a 15-minute tirade by Tony Herrington (publisher and editor-in-chief of The Wire) on the phone which led to the suspension of my Resonance show. Ed “hasn’t the time” for such “tedious” disputes. My differences (and alliances) with Herrington do go back a long way. He and I were both given our break in music journalism by the late R.D. Cook, editor of The Wire in the mid-80s. We were meant to be “blasts from the North”, something to blow away the cobwebs of conformity and collusion in London. At the time, Tony had a job in Decoy, a Manchester jazz-rock record shop, I was a semi-unemployed jazz-punk “tosher” (hanging around the University without being on a course) in Leeds. However, after 9/11 I fell out with The Wire and ended up leaving the magazine. I felt quite bitter about this as I was previously very comfortable with the “access all areas” brief. In February I read a reader’s letter complaining about today’s excess of “music product” (Wire &hash; 348), and I couldn’t resist attempting a Marxist explanation on Late Lunch. It was quite a mild piece compared to things I’ve said on the show over the last decade, but Resonance shows now go up on SoundCloud, so it was noticed. We posted up one of Tony’s angry emails, but it seems like he’s calmed down and even considering a debate about the issues, so we’ve taken it down. He also found our picture funny, so maybe we can put this spat behind us.

My “Marxist explanation” which so annoyed Herrington can be found as text here, or audio here

Lunch’s Anti-Wire Text >>
Lunch’s Anti-Wire Audio >>
Contact ResonanceFM >>Letter From Jack Wright >>

Jacob Bard-Rosenberg: Letter to Ed Baxter / ResonanceFM >>

22 Comments

  • For what it's worth, I thought Herrington's email was a very beautiful piece of hate-fuelled writing. It was finely (almost lovingly) crafted for maximum impact. It was musical in its use of rhythm, its expressiveness, the sense of there being wave upon wave of thick, black bile crecendo-ing with a "FUCK YOU". (It was also a bit camp, with all the rage of a queen that's just

  • Out To Lunch says:

    Evil, that picture is truly disgusting. Luvverly!

  • scnnr says:

    The remarks made about Wire magazine reflect many of my own misgivings.<br />Tony Herrington should have been canny enough to ignore such provocations though. If a Wire employee complains of bullying or harrassment they may be able to use the example of a fifteen-minute tirade at an Industrial Tribunal to indicate the culture of the workplace.<br />Conversely a guy launching such an attack would

  • What&#39;s that they say about sausages? All eyeholes and arseholes? Well there&#39;s the face to match!

  • Out To Lunch says:

    I think Herrington spoke in anger (&quot;the voice of honest indignation is the voice of God&quot;) and I hope his words aren&#39;t used against him in this way. He doesn&#39;t see himself as a &quot;boss&quot;, by the way, but organiser of a workers&#39; co-op – which is why my criticisms drove him to such a fury. At this point, I think it would be good to remember Finnegans Wake and its Shem/

  • criticallythinking says:

    Sorry what&#39;s happening with the radio prog then/ Is the &quot;suspension&quot; temporary, or has it been pulled for good? Or you still putting it up on Soundloud, OTL?

  • Out To Lunch says:

    It&#39;s in suspension while Ed Baxter asks lawyers for a protocol to stop him getting caught in the crossfire beaten Herrington and me. Meanwhile I&#39;m at home kludging together a show out of what I have to hand – mainly Ken Fox&#39;s Azmud over a bed of Miklos Rozsa epic soundtracks, Bill Doggett, Jack &amp; Jim Show from 1993 and JH Prynne as written by James Russell … and a piano with a

  • Out To Lunch says:

    Oops, &quot;between&quot; not &quot;beaten&quot; … No I don&#39;t Soundcloud, the shows go up on http://www.archive.org … Look for &quot;audio esemplasm&quot; … Cheers …

  • Pierre AKA says:

    This comments system is not as straightforward as the original one! You post a comment and it isn&#39;t always placed in the thread where you expect it. <br /><br />Maybe I should have posted this comment here: <br /><br />http://www.unkant.com/2013/03/jacob-bard-rosenberg-letter-to-ed.html#comment-817569272 <br /><br /><br /><br />Signed DC AKA

  • Pierre AKA says:

    I don&#39;t mean I tried to post in one thread, and it was placed in another! I mean the order in the thread. <br />I&#39;ll go and have a lie down!

  • scnnr says:

    I must have started listening to OTL 7 or 8 years ago and have missed a couple of episodes. It really is must-listen radio.

  • Out To Lunch says:

    Who are you? I&#39;ve got three regular listeners and one of them is in Canada and the other two are in America (New York and Boulder, Colorado). The one in Canada is Ken Fox – I&#39;ve been reading his stuff on air for years, and now we&#39;ve got his book out: Azmud (Unkant). What do you do thye rest of the week?

  • Simon Morris of them Ceramics says:

    Interesting reading and I can&#39;t help but agree with some of your original rant – and enjoy the cheek and verve of the parts I disagree with. I&#39;m not sure if you&#39;d be aware of this, but artists on The Wire&#39;s terrible cover discs nowadays PAY for the privilege of inclusion, judging that free promotion in the form of 20,000 or so beermats is worth £250 or so – I know this from

  • Pierre AKA says:

    Surely rather than resorting to &#39;legal protocol&#39;, it would be easier to just give The Wire an hour to reply? <br />All the better if it included Herrington&#39;s fifteen minute telephonic rant. <br /><br />It seems likely that Herrington hasn&#39;t read the introduction to Honesty Is Explosive. <br /><br /><br />Signed DC AKA

  • Pierre AKA says:

    Various forms of &#39;Pay-to-Play&#39; are longstanding in the showbiz racket, of which The Wire is part. <br /><br /><br />Signed DC AKA

  • Pierre AKA says:

    That piece reinforces for me that I was right to call Herrington, Red Herring. It&#39;s the sort of glib, lazy writing that is all too common in The Wire and elsewhere. <br /><br />But following the link was worth it for some of the brilliant comments, especially Christine Corneille&#39;s eleven-point response. Even Sam Davies, former recipient of a Lunch box of maggots, is on target. <br /><br /

  • Pierre AKA says:

    I just happened across this 2007 discussion thread on BW: <br /><br />http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbradio3/html/NF2620064?thread=3782738 <br /><br /><br /><br />Signed DC AKA

  • scnnr says:

    Your long neglected London listener. To be perfectly honest I prefer a low profile. If it wasn&#39;t for the fact that I like promoting work that appeals to me I would avoid social media entirely.

  • harry says:

    There&#39;s an intriguing snippet in the new April issue of &quot;The Wire&quot; concerning their monthly Salon at Café Oto (on 11 April next) on the theme of &#39;early sonic experiments in the early Soviet Union&#39;. Amongst the things mentioned is the composer Arseny Avraamov&#39;s proposal of &quot;proposed vocalizing the writings of Lenin&quot; using &quot;graphical sound and other

  • Pierre AKA says:

    There was an unkant posting on Avraamov last November. His name is in the tag-cloud. <br /><br />I tried to include the address in a comment, but again, it ticked away, but didn&#39;t &#39;post&#39;. <br /><br />I don&#39;t know if it is just my computer. <br /><br />Signed DC AKA

  • Out To Lunch says:

    You pointed it out ages ago, but Disqus does put our comments in a non-chronological order, it&#39;s very confusing. I think it&#39;s because it allows replies to specific replies, creating an endless branching out which is not conducive to a collective discussion. We are always being made to &quot;break up into groups&quot; to have a discussion, something I&#39;ve never much liked … Perhaps

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