“When the breakdown is not a section of a song”: Rise and fall of a glorious Italian music magazine

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N. 765 is the last copy of Mucchio Selvaggio. It almost seems a countdown
In the right moment when something great falls down, the usual question is: Is there something that can be done to prevent the breakdown?

Even if the bad news is not a brand new one anymore, I want to deal with the departure of an iconic Italian magazine about music: Mucchio Selvaggio

Mucchio Selvaggio was created in 1977, during right the explosion of the Punk movement, and in that background, it has put its roots. The title is a tribute to a famous 1969 film by Sam Peckinpah  (literally “The Wild Bunch”), its spiritual guide was John Belushi.

Coming to the present, the magazine has now been closed by a tribunal injunction. Now, I’m not going to talk about every detail or situation that led to this decision, there’s plenty of Info out there on the internet. I’m going to tell you how I experienced the whole thing, from my first contact to the moment I’m writing this article.

The first time I have discovered Mucchio Selvaggio was in the basement of my house.  There were some copies which my father read at the end of the eighties. I was a young classic rock fan at the time, and reading what was the critical thinking about those artists I liked, in the right moment when they came out, left me deeply fascinated. Then something happened three years ago, I had totally forgotten those old magazines and with my mind fully involved in the university, I met that title in a magazine shop, pushed by my curiosity I took a copy. Maybe I was tired of listening to metal (that was my only taste until 2015), maybe I needed something new to “feel” in music, and reading of all those modern artists and finding their albums on the online media, I felt myself reborn, like being teleported in a new world I wasn’t aware of until that moment. Mucchio Selvaggio has deeply modified my perspectives about music in the last three years, it made me a better listener and musician, it let me enjoy a full spectrum of the art that I was blind to see before. If I run this Blog and my Instagram page is because of that.

Coming to the present day, some months have passed since the latest publication. I have read about reciprocal accuses by various workers and managers of the magazine, fake societies, public money used to buy personal properties instead of being invested in the press or the marketing. Actually, no one knows what is the truth about all the situation. Reality is that now there will be no more publications. The only player who loses the match is the music.

The following ones are just personal opinions, so take them for what they are:

I think the magazine could avoid the breakdown.  Everyone knows of the press crisis of the internet age and obviously, this is a serious issue, but no one has done something to avoid it for real. I have read every single magazine of the last three years, found lots of artists of which I have bought their stuff when I liked them, so basically the magazine has done its duty on the reviews. But making a good product and sell it in the Internet age isn’t enough. Has the Mucchio management run any kind of good marketing on the Internet? If you ask me the answer is just no.

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Nick Cave himself seems deeply disappointed
Having a site isn’t enough if it’s not used in a correct way. They could run a Facebook page with real previews of the magazine. Twitter to get the audience noticed of everything happening out there,  podcasts and interviews directly on the tube. Instagram to publish pictures of concerts and whatever, they could use thousands of tools to promote themselves without spending a cent, instead what I saw online was just quotes from artists like an indifferent quoting Facebook page.

The problem is the money? There are hundreds of examples of amatorial people that live and gain running media on the net, think about The Needledrop or Adam Neely. Nobody at Mucchio Selvaggio has thought to do any of these simple things. Using the new media doesn’t mean bending over to the industry. They could avoid all of this. And nothing is what they have done about it. They just stopped to push forward, like they did at the end of the seventies, they survived by inertia.

Now I’m searching for something new on the internet. The Internet is a powerful instrument to integrate the press, not an enemy of the paper magazines.

I hope someone learned a lesson from what happened to the wild bunch.

Angrily written by Music Pills

 

 

 

Useful links:

About the fall of the magazine (available only in Italian):

https://www.lettera43.it/it/articoli/cultura-e-spettacolo/2018/06/29/mucchio-selvaggio-chiusura-rivista-rock/221513/

https://www.globalist.it/musica/2018/06/29/chiude-il-mucchio-selvaggio-la-piu-antica-rivista-rock-dilaniata-dai-veleni-2027103.html

My Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/musicpills92/

My band: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRO4JUNmNj0VaTZBffvSewA

 

 

 

 

 

 

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