Former NME writer and beloved journalist Fred Dellar has died

Dellar's Fred Fact column was once given its own catalogue number by Factory Records

Former NME journalist Fred Dellar has died, it has been confirmed.

A beloved and highly respected writer, Dellar worked for NME from 1972 until the mid-’90s, and wrote the Fred Fact column for the magazine as well as compiling the crossword and contributing reviews, features and more.

A three-page Factory Records special of the Fred Fact column was given its own catalogue number, FAC227, by the label in 1989. “Hang on to this page,” Dellar wrote in the July 1 issue announcing the news. “It will shortly acquire a value far exceeding the fee you paid for this edition of the best rock paper in the world and then continue to soar. So don’t ditch it – ever!”

As well as NME, the journalist was also a valued contributor at publications including Smash Hits, Vox, Loaded, Q, and MOJO. He also wrote sleeve notes for record releases and co-authored many books, ranging from The Illustrated Country Music Encyclopedia, Sinatra – Night And Day, The NME Guide To Rock Cinema and more.

In an interview with YouTube channel UKRockHistory, Dellar spoke about his time at NME with humility. “It was quite funny being there with [writers like Julie Burchill, Nick Kent and Charles Shaar Murray] – all better writers than me,” he said. “I think I was a bit of an oddity but, because I was an oddity, I did quite well. I was very friendly with Julie and Tony [Parsons]. They’d bring me in cakes, I was a sort of old age project for them or something. But I seemed to get on well with everybody.”

 

Journalist David Quantick broke the news of Dellar’s death on Twitter today (May 16). “I am very sad to report that the brilliant Fred Dellar has passed away,” he wrote. “Fred was a funny, kind man whose knowledge of music, expressed in NME and his Fred Fact column in Q, was second to none. If you knew Fred and would like to send a card to his family, please message me.”

Since then, journalists and music fans alike have paid tribute to the writer on social media, hailing him for his wide-ranging musical knowledge, passion and talent.

“RIP the great, infinitely knowledgeable Fred Dellar, whose words & wisdom a lot of us knew as both readers & colleagues,” journalist John Harris tweeted.

“The lovely Fred Dellar has gone,” Stuart Bailie wrote. “A feature at the NME from 1972 until at least 1996 and thereafter a valued contributor to Mojo. The kindest soul, he made new writers feel welcome. Always there with a story, facts and smiles like a best, encouraging uncle.”

“I remember completing my first Fred Dellar NME crossword on my 18th birthday,” added Marcus Austin. “It was so important to me, that I can’t remember anything else about the day. RIP Fred.”

See more tributes to Dellar below.

Advertisement
Advertisement