September 2, 1998 13:19

KEITH RICHARDS' STUNTMAN LEAVES NME.COM

[B]NME.com[/B]'s world is a black one today...

KEITH RICHARDS' STUNTMAN LEAVES NME.COM
BRENDON FITZGERALD,(pictured) NME.com's esteemed editor and harbinger of insults, is leaving us.

That means the NME.com desks will ring no longer to the sound of the time Brendon interviewed Keith Richards in Sweden (a story that gets fonder with every re-telling), air-drumming to anything with a pumping rock beat, demands for decampments to the pub for anything up to three hours (and if you don't drink copious amounts of beer you're a "hairdresser", in the nicest sense of the word), speaking in a muddy Australian accent of his altar-ego 'Max', and somehow confusing his role as NME.com editor to that of a German panzer commander on the Eastern Front. I'm not making this up.

For the last three years Brendon has been the man at the helm of NME.com,but that's just the latest episode in a life of cast-iron, 24 hour rock tomfoolery. Back in little old New Zealand he was a sometime newspaper sub, music journo and drummer - in The Mockers and The Hip Singles amongst others. But come his arrival in the UK in 1987 it was at the NME he found his niche. First as a sub, then production editor, then assitant editor, ruling with an iron fist and an asbestos liver.

He was moved to NME.com probably because he was the only senior staff member with glasses. He gave me a job and stopped me jumping on the 'plane back to New Zealand, taught me how to sub other people's copy, made me laugh too many times to mention, and generally made the NME.com office a great place to work. If at times a slightly scary one.

So we'll bid the grumpy old bastard adieu with a lager mountain tonight. Life will be quieter, and infinitely less entertaining without him.

Brendon 'Fast' Fitzgerald, we salute you.

Stephen Dowling

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