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Uncle Jam Wants You!

March 9, 2011

NoW: men's magazine Jam to be included in 6 March issue

I was walking up the carriage of the London-Midland Lime Street to New Street looking for a spare Metro when a small magazine left on a table caught my beady eye. On the cover of ‘Jam’ was a photo of Liam Gallagher sporting his Mary Quant swede, so I grabbed it and flicked through what I assumed was yet another freebie listings mag. But no, on further inspection ‘Jam’ is infact the News of The World’s special issue ‘men’s magazine’ boasting cover headlines such as….

‘razor sharp style you can afford shock’

‘how to date famous chicks’

‘the world’s deadliest gangs’


‘behind the lines with the renegade doctors’

On the other side of the cover under a strapline that boasted ‘we’ve got a better line-up than Glasto…’ were further recommendations;

Marco Pierre White…on food

Johnny Vaughan….on gadgets

Bobby Gillespie….on music

Brian Cox…..on space

Amir Khan….on fitness

Jay Kay…..on cars

John Lydon…..on whatever he wants

Charlie Sheen….on crack?  No, that would be irresponsible. It’s as if the train had gone through a time tunnel and we’d retruned to the mid-90s because evidently the people behind Jam, those turned on hipsters at the NOTW still believe Liam Gallagher is a sellable cover star and men’s magazines are still mired in the Loaded tradition. Not being a News of The World reader, perhaps Jam isn’t aimed at me anyway but somehow I doubt even the most retarded ‘new lad’ nugget is gonna get much from this pile of shite.

Johnny Vaughan telling you how the Monster Beats Pro headphones by Dr Dre are a five star alternative to the three star Sennheiser HD438 ? Jay Kay’s £5million worth of motors? I wanna be Jay Kay, he’s soooo cool and Johnny Vaughan is a lad’s lad, he wears a kagool to work and eats bacon butties just like a real lad. Tell me more about how to be a lad Jam magazine! Marco tell me how to make fillet steak provencale, T4 presenter Rick Edwards let me know how much you love kebabs, Eilza Doolittle explain why you’re a gooner, Brian Cox OBE just go over what happens to a star once it dies one more time, this science stuff blows my tiny mind.

OK, why get so worked up about a free men’s mag in a shite Murdoch rag? It’s not the dated format and content of Jam so much as the lack of decent alternatives these days. I still keep copies of the first issues of Arena in safe keeping…OK, in a box in the shed and still hanker for the days when even the flawed but enjoyable Loaded first kicked a hole intop the staid world of GQ, Esquire, L’Uomo Vogue and yes Arena too by the mid-90s. Look at any of these mags today or even the likes of Loaded and Front and all those other tedious tits n’ arse mags and it’s pitiful to see what the men’s magazine market has degenerated to.

The internet ofcourse has played its part in this decline so it’s interesting to see James Brown attempting a cyber-mag at Sabotage Times based on a syndication model that I doubt will offset any set-up or ongoing costs. Then there’s Anthony Teasdale’s more ambitious ‘Umbrella’ website ( offering a middle ground between GQ/Esquire and the Monocle/ Idler/Chap and ridiculous fashion, food and furniture titles.

We began Swine almost six years ago and whilst realising that the world of men’s interest mags would never be the same as before, the internet has proved a rather poor substitute to good old ink stains on yer kecks. Perhaps in these days of free cover price mags used as glorified advertorials,  Jam is the best we can expect.  

The cover read


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  1. Fat Jeff permalink

    Ever thought about bringing out “Swine” Magazine as a paper back or fanzine at least. I’m sure it would do well, especially at Goodison & Anfield..

    • we’ve discussed it for 6 years mate but it all boils down to dough and er, dedication…we’re too lazy and skint.

  2. Spot on, it’s struck me over the last number of years that there just isn’t a magazine aimed at blokes who aren’t dickheads.

    Swine has a following beyond Merseyside too, I’d subscribe to a paper version.

    • a mag called ‘no dickheads’ would be good – personally i like ‘the chap’s’ old format – like a proper fanzine but even that’s gone upmarket these days – professionalism is the death of any mag.

  3. I’ll never forgive that Irish pop band Boyzone for calling themselves Boyzone. Not sure whether the timeline matches exactly with the death of the mag but it sure signalled the end of my Boys Own T-shirt wearing phase.

    Great read is Swine – we even get it in good old honest Yorkshire.

    • cheers mate – have you read good honest racism from yorkshire yet? i’d love to see boyzone in boys own tees – farley would never live it down.

  4. Weekender permalink

    Couldn’t agree more. GQ has turned into some sort of handbook for minty West Brom players. “Buy this utterly overpriced motor, wear these ridiculous sunglasses whilst sipping dreadful bubbles at some hellhole nitespot in Sth Ken”. The absence of anything accessible in the advertorials to those of us not funnelling our wages to Liechenstein is bobbins.

    Mind you, the choice over here in the antipodes is even more basic. Cars, Rugby League, Birds. Repeat. Add surfing. Stir in beach couture (no, really). Despair.

    Lowest common denomiator always wins out nowadays, mind.

    • when whoppers like shane warne are national icons, you know you’re in trouble (that goes for freddy flintoff too!)

  5. We’ve done 15 odd issues of the faith zine on actual paper mulch, never made a penny but just about paid for the printing and that’s giving it away free. That’s a lot of German deep house snoreathon interviews which we somehow still got money for. Make Swine an artefact, I’d deffo put my hand in my pocket.

    ps – the Boys Own/Boyzone embarrassment axis has pretty much already happened, by proxy at least.

  6. I’m sure a fanzine of the type you describe would do well here in Newcastle too. I’d buy them as I said & sell them too. Sure a lot of people would probably be interested, people like the True Faith fanzine who regularly link to Swine on their website.

    The state of the tory government & popular cutlure, its crying out for a new approach, a voice.

  7. Yep read the Good Honest Racism piece – spot on. Surprised Plus Net didn’t get Boycs in for the ads – although his love for all things OT will seriously dent his World’s Greatest Yorkshireman credentials. Having lived here for many years but coming from Coventry this regional pride thingy is all alien to me.

    Happy Yorkshire Day for August (or whenever it is)……..

  8. AD 2000 was where it was at.

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