Totally Wired is the definitive story of the music press on both sides of the Atlantic, covering its evolution from the 1950s to the 2000s, through rock ’n’ roll, mod, the Summer of Love, glam, punk, pop, reggae, R&B and hip-hop. Paul Gorman chronicles the development of individual magazines from their Tin Pan Alley beginnings and the countercultural foundation of Rolling Stone, to the 1970s heyday of NME and Melody Maker and the rise of dedicated monthlies like The Face and Mojo.
Drawing on his own interviews with many of the key players, Gorman paints a complete picture of the scene, exploring the role played by such writers as Lester Bangs, Caroline Coon and Nick Kent in the careers of David Bowie, the Clash, Led Zeppelin and others. He also tackles the entrenched sexism and racism faced by women and people from marginalized backgrounds by shining a spotlight on those publications and individuals whose contributions have often been overlooked. What emerges is a compelling narrative containing stories of unbound talent, blind ambition and sometimes bitter rivalries, making Totally Wired a rollercoaster and riveting read.
'Paul Gorman has given us the book that the music press deserves: fun, factual, glamorous, gritty, packed with mad anecdotes as well as cold-eyed truth. Essential'
'The music press as we knew it barely exists any more, which makes 'Totally Wired' the perfect eulogy - a broad, deep, fascinating exploration of its 100-year lifespan'
' I learned so much from this riveting sweep through the birth and evolution of the music press. The characters in it are almost as fascinating as the stars and scenes they wrote about'
Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages
'An illuminating treatise … Gorman expertly combines first-hand interviews with his own insight from inside the trenches to paint a vivid portrait … essential reading'
'Nobody is better qualified to write the history of the music press … there’s no doubt that he does a fine job of telling the whole story, from the launch of the Melody Maker as a monthly for dance band musicians in 1926 through to the closure of all the big titles in the 21st century'
David Hepworth, The New Statesman