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Posted 20 hours ago

Animal House

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I create this thing that explodes, and all of the things about me that annoyed people – my ego and my voice and opinions – got fuelled.

Trouble does seem to follow Brown – and he freely admits that at Loaded he was making the publishers so much money he was allowed to get away with it. In the book there’s a brief mention of Loaded’s similarity to Jackass and Jeremy Clarkson’s Top Gear, but not much pause for thought on the wider impact of what they did. James Brown will be in conversation with John Robb at The Louder Than Words Festival at INNSIDE Manchester on Saturday 12th November.The Financial Times and its journalism are subject to a self-regulation regime under the FT Editorial Code of Practice. James’ prose was a kind of turbofuelled psychedelic rant of infectious enthusiasm, like if Hunter S Thompson had been raised in Leeds on a diet of jam sandwiches and amphetamine. Life at Condé Nast was a culture shock for Brown – suddenly he was expected to schmooze at fashion events and shake hands with advertisers. I would like to have read more about his work post-GQ and I found the sections about his recovery from drug addiction thoughtful and sensitive and I felt that they gave a careful balance to the many anecdotes of drug fuelled behaviour that preceded it. There seems to have been a lot of love about in his childhood, despite there being mental health issues and divorce.

It is a world away from Newland Avenue, and without doubt the best, most head-spinning job I have ever had. For a teen-come-twentysomething, Loaded magazine was the bible of all things music/sport/fashion/film and gonzo journalism right at the centre of what would be known as 'Cool Britannia'. Animal House (2021) is the creator and editor James Brown's story of his humble beginnings in Leeds, to becoming become features editor at NME, his three years at the helm of Loaded, his tenure at GQ and his battle with the alcohol and drug addiction that very nearly consumed him. He created the award-winning and hugely popular loaded magazines, and went on to edit British GQ where he launched the Man of The Year Awards.He doesn’t stand outside looking on admiringly though, he kicks open the backstage door and gets wasted with the best/worst of them.

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