Music, Magazines & Mayhem
Between 1994 and 1997, James Brown’s loaded magazine became the must-buy and must-be-in publication of the decade. It won every award going, year after year, and came to define not only its audience but also a generation. Bright, loud, funny, provocative, ambitious and careless, loaded was read from the barracks of Afghanistan to the England dressing room at Euro ’96. It captured a hedonistic lifestyle of alcohol, cocaine and more. The last great hurrah before the end of the century. It was the biggest noise in the golden generation of magazine publishing, rocketing from zero to half a million sales in a matter of months. What MTV had been to the 80s, loaded was to the 90s.
ANIMAL HOUSE follows James Brown’s remarkable career from a high school drop-out fanzine writer with few qualifications to NME features editor aged 22, and loaded founder at 27. In between, his mother died in tragic circumstances and gradually his own drug and alcohol use began to take over. Loaded‘s unexpected success legitimised (and paid for) James’s lifestyle, and it wasn’t until he crashed and burned at GQ, and went through rehab, that any sense of perspective kicked in.
Recuperating on the island of Mustique whilst plotting his return with Oz founder Felix Dennis, James was asked by neighbour Lord Patrick Lichfield: “How on earth did you manage to sell so many magazines whilst taking so many drugs?”
This book is his answer.