Magazine article Guitar Player

Farewell to a Friend

Magazine article Guitar Player

Farewell to a Friend

Article excerpt

Zap! Hey honey, who shrunk the guitar-mag market? It's no joke. Guitar ceased publication in June 1999, and in the scant year and ten months I've been editor of GP, the music community has also lost Maximum Guitar, Guitar Shop, and Musician. That leaves a small club of major guitar mags in the U.S.

A fiendishly competitive sort might be overjoyed when rivals bite the dust, but it's dunderheaded to be smug when there's attrition in the ranks. After all, a publisher seldom decides to kill off a magazine that is enjoying strong reader and advertising support. Do the math, and you'll see that the demise of three guitar-specific magazines (and a "musician" title) is not a good thing for the guitar community. It means fewer people are reading music mags each month. It means advertisers did not feel the guitar market was large enough to merit supporting multiple and varied guitar coverage. It means that each mag is missing constant, insistent kicks in the butt by a full field of cagey competitors. (Nothing jump-starts the creative juices like the cold-sweat fear that a competing publication will launch a better issue than you.) And it brings into razor-sharp focus that would-be guitar disciples can be beguiled by myriad distractions --including the Internet, Webzines, computer games, X-sports, and dance music.

Should guitarists cower and watch the skies for the apocalyptic thunder of the Four Horsemen? Heck no! But it's a certainty that we all must work harder to keep people intrigued and excited by the guitar. …

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