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Animal House

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This might be true, but they couldn’t truly tame the impulsive and occasionally reckless editor they hired. Following a few anecdotes and a brief overview of James' early years, James begins by talking about his publishing career and the creation of his Fanzine.

It's an inspiring read of a working-class boy who did really well and lived by the motto that anything was possible. The Financial Times and its journalism are subject to a self-regulation regime under the FT Editorial Code of Practice. The former charge is a particular bugbear of Brown’s; he was only there for 36 issues, and 26 of those featured men on the cover. Brown's very personal story is as moving as his tales of debauchery whilst running the country's premier 'lads' mag are hilarious. His writing was still much in demand though and he still knocked out the occasional article for the likes of the Times.

I liked the James in this book but I feel he may have hidden a lot of his bad behaviour as he said a few times that he had condensed down the original draft of his anecdotes significantly. Read more about the condition New: A new, unread, unused book in perfect condition with no missing or damaged pages. Then came Loaded, a magazine for men that featured all the things that men talked about in the pub, but had not been previously reflected anywhere in any one cultural focal point, certainly not in the mainstream media. It helped that Condé Nast were waving heaps of money at Brown for him to edit the upmarket fashion magazine GQ, believing it had got stuffy and needed an injection of fun.

But in this instance, there seems to be zero humility from the author, or any sort of inward looking acknowledgement of his behaviour. 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'. One of Browns traits was being a tad cocky, which probably helped him get the gigs and into gigs he was employed to earn his keep. The industry approved and showered the team with awards, including one ceremony when Brown was so convinced they couldn’t win again that he persuaded the entire team to share a sheet of acid beforehand. Oasis and Blur were spearheading the Britpop movement, the Premier League / Sky TV partnership had re-packaged football as a shiny tribal leisure option, and Tony Blair’s New Labour were heralding an era of reinvigorated political optimism.

The strapline, “For men who should know better”, reflected the sex, booze and drug-fuelled lives of the editorial team, and their debauched lifestyle spilt gleefully on to the pages.

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