Having declared my formal allegiance to Magnum in their 1990s "grey" period I have tried to analyse further why this band is so durable and why they invoke such passion in their hardcore fans.
I spent three years at the end of the seventies studying in Birmingham which coincided with the band's formative recording years, I am pretty sure I caught them supporting Blue Oyster Cult in 1979, but I also had tapped in to that Midlands magic, the culture that has spawned some of the UK's greatest bands.
In researching our major promotion (and celebration) for 2012 I realised that for a period of a few intense years I became a Magnum Maniac, how else do you explain the collecting of collectibles, the extra effort made for gigs wider afield and the accumulation of much band-branded clothing?
And then, uncovering some priceless typed bio and handwritten annotation from none other than the lovely Ollie, Bob's mum who tirelessly kept the night lite burning amongst the fans and now sorely missed.
It's not just about the music.
The bond between frontmen - and founders - Bob Catley and Tony Clarkin has always been a prevailing factor, but chatting to them in 1994 or 2011 is no different.
You would expect them to be bitter and twisted, buffeted and bruised by a fickle industry that hasn't always dealt them a fair wind.
But no. They are the proverbial nice guys - comfy in the knowledge that quality always wins out and, it has to be said, a gentle Brummie sense of humour. But, forty years on, they are still pushing their personal boundaries.
As Bob says, the moment you stand still musically you may as well call it a day.
Longstanding keyboard player Mark Stanway sums up the wide appeal: "I've never heard Bob swear on stage, ever."
This band, then, has a halo over its head. And if "Saint Bob" doesn't exactly sound rock 'n roll, it may help explain a little more about Magnum's longevity and appeal.
Moreover, as the band enters their fifth decade, they are making some of their finest music.
Get Ready to ROCK! is proud to present Magnum as our Ambassadors in 2012 as we celebrate our 10th anniversary and the band's 40th.
Magnum ... one of life's great pleasures.
Joe Geesin, GRTR! reviewer and Record Collector contributor
Back in 1985
I was on my way to my first rock festival, Donington, at the tender age
of 17 and on the coach from Stoke all the fellow rock fans were raving
Now I knew the name having read about them in Kerrang! but hadn’t heard any music. Well after seeing them open the festival (and along with Marillion, band of the day) I became a fan and have been ever since.
Jason Ritchie, GRTR! Reviews Editor
Sunday 18 December 2011, we'll have a two-hour Magnum Special 'Magnum at 40' introduced by rock writer and broadcaster Malcolm Dome who has written about the band since the late 1970s. In the second hour a recent interview with Bob and Tony talking about the band's progress and 'Evolution'
Interview now available as a podcast. More...
Get Ready to ROCK! Radio Specials 2012
1 Malcolm Dome from 'Classic Rock' with personal recollections
2 Vintage Rare: Magnum
3 Radio archive: 1992
4 The 1990s
These specials will be repeated to coincide with the UK tour 18 November-2 December 2012
MAGNUM TOUR DATES OCT/DEC 2012
"On The 13th Day" Tour 2012
Sweden Rock Cruise
Zaragon Rock Club
Masters Of Rock Cafe
Muni Arts Centre
Follow the links - right hand side - to explore our Magnum archive
Photos by Ian Pollard, Lee Millward and Noel Buckley
Main b&w photos by Ian Pollard.
Interviews by David Randall, 28 November 2011
Press release (PDF, opens
in new window)