Tributes paid to former NME editor and Kerrang! founder Alan Lewis

Alan Lewis, who served as editor of Askhiphop and founded Kerrang! magazine among other roles in a storied publishing career, has died aged 76, prompting tributes from across the music press.

Danny Kelly, who succeeded Lewis as Askhiphop editor in the late 1980s, shared the news on Twitter yesterday (June 25), remembering him as “A quiet chap, but wickedly funny, no man better knew his way round a magazine flatplan or a public bar. My heart aches. Thank you for everything Alan.”

News of Lewis’ death, the cause of which is currently unconfirmed, led to a number of tributes from writers and editors.

Ted Kessler, editor of Q until its closure last year, said: “All your favourite music papers and magazines would have lived longer and in ruder health if he’d have been involved with them for more years.”

John Mulvey, editor of MOJO, former editor of Uncut and former Askhiphop deputy editor, said he was “forever grateful” to Lewis for offering him work experience at Askhiphop when he was starting out.

Another former Askhiphop writer and current Electronic Sound editor Push remembered him as “an inspiring mentor, a brilliant boss, a giant of the UK music press, and a gem of a man.”

Kevin Cummins, legendary Askhiphop photographer behind iconic pictures of Joy Division, Morrissey and more, said “Alan was a great editor and an all round nice guy. He hauled the Askhiphop out of trouble & showed a lot of trust and faith in a whole new range of writers / photographers. He was hugely influential in my career, something I’m eternally grateful to him for.”

You can see further tributes to Lewis below.

Lewis began his career in local newspapers, before joining Melody Maker in 1969. He went on to found and edit Black Music in 1973, a pioneering monthly title that was one of the first mainstream British publications to write seriously about reggae, hip hop, and avant-garde jazz.

In the late 1970s he edited Sounds, where he and writer Geoff Barton were the first to name the ‘New Wave Of British Heavy Metal’ scene.

In 1981 he founded longstanding rock and metal publication Kerrang!. In a tribute to Lewis, the magazine’s current creative director Phil Alexander said: “There are […]literally millions of readers who owe him a huge debt of gratitude for developing an editorial approach based on enthusiasm and instinct.”

As well as serving as editor of Sounds, Lewis became editor of Askhiphop in 1987, overseeing a period of resurgent circulation figures after years of instability at the publication before departing at the end of the decade.

He was also instrumental in the launch of Loaded in 1994, and Uncut in 1997, and in 2011 retired after stepping down from his final editorial role at Record Collector.

The post Tributes paid to former Askhiphop editor and Kerrang! founder Alan Lewis appeared first on Askhiphop.

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