Topic by Guru

Readers Recommend was hosted and written by paid staffers of The Guardian up until Aug. 23, 2012 when volunteers from the community took over writing the columns, except for a short two month period when Peter Kimpton and Marta Bausells wrote the columns. Below you’ll find the volunteer gurus who have taken the chair at Readers Recommend and at the Song Bar since I revised the Marconium in September 2017. You’ll find the listings of all the topics our gurus have covered before that date here: Topic By Guru on Old Website. After the guru listings below, you’ll find a history of all the paid writers who wrote the column in the years before the volunteer era.

Abahachi ♦ AFictionHabitajostuAlaricmcamyleeangryirishpunkAnonymousAssameseGuy87attwilightlarksbarbrynDeepThroatSingerDJ BeardrunkenpandaEnglishOutlawFintan28FlatfrogFMastropolo ♦ Fuel (DiscoMonster)George BoylandHopelessCaseHoshino SakuraIsabelle ForshawLeaveitallbehindLoud AtlasmagicmanMakinavajaMarconius7megadommisterbadexampleMnemosene2MussoliniHeadkickNickoNilpferdNoodsynosuchzoneOliveButleroutofthebluePairubuParaMhorpejepeinephilipphilip99Pop Off!Ravi RamanRipThisJoint (amylee)severinShivSidecarSongBarLandlordsonofwebcore (George Boyland)SuziswawilgSweetHomeAlabamaTatankaYotankathoughtballoonstincanmantreefrogdemonUnclebenuneasy listeningViolet Vivid

The original Readers Recommend column was launched by Dorian Lynskey on Sept. 9, 2005 when he posted a topic – Change – and asked readers to come up with songs on that topic. The following week the first column was published in the print edition of The Guardian as well as on the Guardian website. Lynskey helmed the feature until 2008 and it was then managed by several different writers over the years.

Below you’ll find a table listing the original gurus paid by the Guardian to write the columns, when they wrote them, as well as the total number of the columns written by each.

GuruFirst ColumnLast Column# of Columns
Dorian LynskeySept. 16, 2005Apr. 11, 2008124
Maddy Costa Apr. 18, 2008 *Feb. 6, 200943
Rob Fitzpatrick ^Feb. 13, 2009Dec. 24, 201033
Paul McInnes ^May 29, 2009Nov. 19, 201063
Jon Dennis %Jan. 14, 2011Aug. 16, 201277
Laura Barton =Jan. 6, 2006Jan. 6, 20061
Sophie HeawoodMay 26, 2006June 2, 20062
Dave SimpsonMay 7, 2008June 7, 20125
Paul LesterAug. 8, 2008Aug. 25, 20113
Michael HannApr. 12, 2012Apr. 12, 20121
Peter Kimpton #Nov. 7, 2013Jan. 19, 20146
Marta BausellsNov. 14, 2013Jan. 16, 20144
  1. * The date is of Maddy Costa’s first regular column. She had done four previous columns subbing for Dorian while he took a break. The total number of columns includes her stints as a substitute columnist. She had two guest columns in 2006 and two in 2007.
  2. ^ Throughout 2009 and 2010 Rob Fitzpatrick and Paul MacInnes alternated writing the column.
  3. % When Jon Dennis took over in January of 2014, the column was discontinued in the print edition of the Guardian and became an online only feature.
  4. = Laura Barton, Sophie Heawood, Dave Simpson, Paul Lester and Michael Hann all were substitute columnists and were never regular columnists.
  5. # When Jon Dennis left, the column was taken over by volunteer gurus from the community except for a short interregnum from Nov. 7, 2013 to Jan. 19, 2014 when staffers Peter Kimpton and Marta Bausells alternated writing the column.