Right of Reply: Is it old or bold?: Mark Ellen, the managing editor of the new 'older' rock magazine Mojo, answers his critics

Mark Ellen
Thursday 04 November 1993 00:02 GMT

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'Strangelove was poleaxed by the revelation that Q magazine's publishers have identified an even older audience than the one they already have, and have launched Mojo for those who view the Grateful Dead as modern subversives. Wouldn't Dodo have been a more appropriate title?' Dr Strangelove, Evening Standard.

'Is there room in the market for yet another music magazine, and will Mojo not cannibalise Q's readership?' Nigel Cope, Independent on Sunday.

'I think they're going to tap into all those 42-year-olds with balding pates who think they're still hip.' Caroline Sullivan, Guardian.

'Mojo: For the vintage, 40-plus rock fan who finds Q a little trivial and youthful and wants to read long essays that place Frank Zappa in his proper cultural context.' Guide to music magazines, Independent on Sunday.

'I feel rather patronised by the assumption that because of a thing over which you have no control, ageing, you're expected to have certain tastes . . . There's an overabundance (of music magazines), and you eventually get so sated with useless information that it spoils your enjoyment of the music.' John Peel, quoted by Caroline Sullivan, Guardian.

GOOD OLD John Peel, he always slags off the magazines he writes for. He has to position himself in terms of his professional profile; the older he gets, the more he has to be seen to be championing things that are new.

Mojo is not a magazine for old people, not a sort of Chris Rea- land: it's likely to appeal to the slightly older and more intellectual wing of Q's readership. All those things written before the launch seemed to anticipate something for people who'd heard 'Hotel California' by the Eagles or 'Crocodile Rock' by Elton John in 1974 and decided that's where they were going to stay. Anyone who's seen the issue will realise it's the opposite of what we're doing. Neil Young, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, they're not the preserve of the over-40's.

I don't think you can be worried about market saturation. When Select and Vox launched, Q lost 5,000 readers but another 150,000 appeared. We don't know yet who's buying Mojo, but we've sold out in London. The office is papered with faxes and cards from people who've liked it, including heads of major labels. We expect Van Morrison's lawyers to fax us soon and some of the musicians writing for it are thrilled; they've obviously just got their cheques.'

(Photograph omitted)

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