How Things Begin (Time Out)

Time Out magazine was started in 1968 in London by Tony Elliot, who was 22 at the time. The original title was Where It’s At. There were all sorts of new cultural stuff, such as a concert by the Who, that the mainstream media didn’t notice. The fringe-y alternative media weren’t interested in the attention to detail required to put out a list of events. That was the gap Time Out filled. Elliot borrowed a small amount of money (70 pounds) to start it. He and his co-workers worked without pay for the first three or four months. It was hard to get distribution, so they went around to parks passing it out. At a Beijing talk, Elliot said he didn’t remember the first paid advertiser (maybe a music store) but he did remember when he got an unsolicited advertising order from the prestigious London Film Museum. They understand what we’re trying to do, he thought.

I asked what some of his biggest mistakes had been. Both involved not saying no when he should have said no.

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