The idea for an Australian Fairport Convention fanzine started in the far off days of 1985.  There were quite a few ‘zines around then, lovingly put together on manual typewriters, utilising actual “cut and paste” techniques that involved scissors and glue.  Hard copies of Fiddlestix were put together in this way and posted around the world with a new issue every 3 months or so.   Such was the scarcity of Fairport and general folk rock news that quarterly updates seemed sufficient.  This was obviously pre-Internet - in fact, Windows 95 was still a decade away!

Times changed.  For Fiddlestix, the manual typewriter gave way to an actual Canon StarWriter word processor that cost about as much as a full computer today.  Then a purchase of Windows 98 made the transfer to digital complete.  Along the way, the magazine had released the ‘Attic Tracks’ series of cassettes and the corresponding CD of Fairport rarities, and indeed had lent its name to the local, Adelaide gig by the band in 1999.

Eventually, the paper concept seemed outdated and slow, and so the change to email occurred in 2001.   That’s probably the point where the term “fanzine” became redundant, and it became an email newsletter or whatever one may want to call it!   Fairport’s own site, along with various message boards and the like, ensures that information is accessed far more easily and immediately, so Fiddlestix now exists to add its own reviews, interviews etc to the mix.   There’s still a goodly number of people, including band members, pleased to receive the postings when they appear as needed.

So a quarter century after its inception, Fiddlestix continues on its own path and its webpage, with general info and details of how to subscribe, is generously hosted by Green Man Review.  The mag is now put together on a Mac Mini, but I still have the old typewriter just in case.

Cross-posted to Sleeping Hedgehog.

Leave a Reply