Macca still ‘hates’ CSM

What did Charles Shaar Murray do to earn Paul McCartney’s undying hatred as the Beatles legend told the audience of BBC Radio 4’s Mastertapes series this week? He wrote a hilarious piece about his 1975 interview with ‘Venus and Mars’ for the NME, published in his collection, Shots From the Hip – now out as an Aaaargh! Press e-book – and titled ‘No, not really in a way actually as it happens’.

The NME reports Macca as saying:

“… you still remember the names of the people who gave you really bad, vicious reviews: Charles Shaar Murray [former NME journalist] shall ever be hated!”

From Ultimate Classic Rock:

McCartney’s memories, as it turns out, also extend to the reviews he’s received over the years — particularly the bad ones. “You still remember the names of the people who gave you really bad, vicious reviews,” he said, half-jokingly singling out longtime NME writer Charles Shaar Murray — who described Wings’ 1975 effort Venus and Mars as “terrible” and “one of the worst albums I’ve ever heard from a so-called ‘major artist’” — as someone who “shall ever be hated.”

CSM says: “All I did was transcribe verbatim after I realised that if I removed the contradictions and incomplete sentences, there was nothing left to quote. So I ran it as was.”

Get Shots From the Hip here.



Aaaargh! authors on radio

Charles Shaar Murray’s ‘Guide to the Blues’ kicks off the new season of Madam Miaow’s Culture Lounge, hosted by Anna Chen, on Resonance 104.4FM, Tuesday 4 March, 5pm-6pm – just as the new collection of Murray’s journalism — Shots From the Hip — first published in 1991, with a new introduction by Joel Nathan Rosen and a new afterword by CSM himself, is published by Aaaargh! Press.

The book puts together Murray’s writing on music and much, much more from the 1970s and 1980s in New Musical Express and elsewhere, edited and introduced by Neil Spencer. It shows just why Murray acquired the reputation of being the most intelligent and acerbic popular music critic of his generation.

CSM starts a summer course of his Hothouse Project “Journalism as Craft And Art” writing masterclasses in West Hampstead — eight Thursday evenings from 29 May to 17 July. Book now!

His ‘Guide to the Blues’, kicking off the new season of Madam Miaow’s Culture Lounge on Resonance 104.4FM, can be found here.



Shots-web-very-smallShots From the Hip by Charles Shaar Murray has just been published as a Kindle e-book. It’s available from Amazon here.

First published in 1991, it is a collection of Murray’s legendary journalism on music and much, much more from the 1970s and 1980s in New Musical Express and elsewhere. The Guardian described Murray as ‘one of the best British writers on pop music, and this is a compilation of HIS best’ – and it’s published here with a new introduction by Joel Nathan Rosen and a new afterword by CSM himself.


Aaaargh! writers triumph

Anna Chen won the 2014 New Year Farrago Poetry Zoo Award for Best Performance by a London Poet on 30 January – and Charles Shaar Murray won Best Fiction Performance. How splendid! Aaaargh! Press roolz. Audio and video to come with any luck ….


CSM masterclasses return

Hothouse-flier-spring-2014_webOr learn how to pimp your prose.

Legendary author and journalist Charles Shaar Murray’s excellent Hothouse Project writing classes return to north London in February for eight weeks.

A collection of CSM’s hugely entertaining columns for Guitarist magazine  was published in a Kindle edition by Aaaargh! Press last years as The Guitar Geek Dossier and our next book is a new e-book edition of his journalism from the 1970s and 1980s, Shots From the Hip. We are delighted to present, in association with , the third of his series of writing masterclasses.

He’s recognised as a fabulous stylist who helped bring the liveliness of the counter-culture into the mainstream in the early 1970s when he was one of the star writers on the NME in its glory days.

He’s also an engaging raconteur so expect to hear his stories about meeting some of the great men and women of the culture including Paul McCartney, The Who, Pink Floyd, John Lee Hooker, Marc Bolan, Patti Smith, Chrissie Hynde, J G Ballard, Black Sabbath, Kurt Vonnegut and David Bowie.

The course takes place in West Hampstead on Thursday evenings from Thursday 20 February. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn from ‘the rock writers’ rock writer’ in person – and there are still a few places left.

For details and booking  visit this page  or email


‘Charles’s course is personal, packed with anecdote, caters to the individual and is so helpful for anyone brushing up their journalistic skills or branching out into different types of writing. Five shiny gold stars from me – I’d do the course again just for fun to be honest!’
Juliet Rossetti

‘I thought your course was ‘write on’! You polished and perfected everyone’s writing style. I felt privileged to have been coached by you. You imparted a lot of knowledge. The course was well structured and more importantly, good fun. Would I recommend it? Absolutely.’
Tessa Christian

‘For anyone interested in the processes of writing and assessing creative journalism, Charles Shaar Murray’s Hothouse Project courses are essential!’
David Hodson