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Meet Mark Fisher, the man behind Limelight fanzine

From fanboy to founding editor – Mark Fisher remembers his time at XTC’s official mag

It was a Christmas present that changed Mark Fisher’s life. In 1979, the Merseyside teen received a copy of XTC’s Drums And Wires and it marked the beginning of a long association with the Swindon band.

“I remember becoming obsessed by XTC,” says Fisher. “I’d been reading a lot about them in newspapers like NME and was intrigued so I went to Virgin Records and bought up the back catalogue. I got my friend Paul Badger into them as well. Very naïvely, because we didn’t know anything about anything, we just said, ‘Let’s make a fanzine about them!’”

The pair were still at school at the time and, with no contacts in the music industry, they embarked on the long and rather haphazard task of reaching out to the band.

“We knew they lived in Swindon, so we went through the phone books in our local library looking for every D Gregory, A Partridge, T Chambers and C Moulding!” says Fisher. “It’s funny looking back at how naïve we were. We sent these letters off and the next thing we knew, we got a reply from the real Dave Gregory.”

Limelight – named after a rare single – was launched in 1982 and became the band’s official fan publication. It attracted readers from all over the world and developed a cult status, but after 10 successful years, Fisher decided to call it a day. He’s now a journalist and theatre critic.


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