40 years of the Wire magazine: ‘Music deserves intelligent treatment. If that’s elitist, so be it’

From free jazz to doomy drones, outsider artists have always found a home in the Wire. Its creators reflect on upending the orthodoxy, coining genres – and their hatred of big-name rivals

“We were the last resort for a lot of music because nobody else would touch it,” says Tony Herrington, publisher of the Wire magazine. He also once said: “Most people would take the mickey out of some bloke making music by bowing away at the femur of a mountain goat, but we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.”

For 40 years – it is celebrating this anniversary with a series of events in July – the Wire has been covering bold, strange, noisy, genre-busting experimental music, in a crisp, sharply designed magazine.

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