A few thoughts on the weekly UK music paper.
I started out reading Sounds, a rival paper, because it was a best fit for the music I was listening to at about age 16.
Soon migrated to the NME, despite it's heavy focus on Post-Punk - which I couldn't get my head round at the time - because of the diversity of music covered.
At a young age, I was reading about Miles Davis, Fela Kuti, Lee Scratch Perry, and other exotic artists. My interest in Jazz was sparked by the NME, along with countless other interesting avenues of exploration.
The paper's peak was probably around this time as far as I'm concerned, and for a teenager, the paper seemed to be the epitome of cool. The paper had a stellar cast of jounalists, including editor Ian Penman, Paul Morley, Charles Shaar Murray, Nick Kent, and hip young gunslinger couple, Julie Burchill and Tony Parsons (who cordoned their corner of the office off with barbed wire...). This lot took no prisoners, weren't afraid to trash reputations, and spoke as they found. I remember a Paul Morley interview with Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. Morley had set out to ridicule Garcia as a dinosaur, but came away from the interview with a warm respect for the old hippy.
Another interview from that time (can't remember interviewer) with Phil Collins, was pretty ruthless, and had Collins agreeing that his latest album wasn't up to much at all. Astonishing to me, at that time.
Anyway, I stuck with the paper through some undignified phases where the journalists only really seemed interested in ensuring their places in history by identifying the next big movement, and new genres were created on an almost weekly basis.
Gave up on the paper about 10 years ago, because I thought they'd lost the plot, since they were becoming increasingly wilfully obscure and contrary in their recommendations. Felt more like a fashion paper.
Despite that, I owe much to the NME for the education I received in what's good in the world of music.
Long live the NME...