Nobody remembers how it got its name. The first issue appeared on Britain's streets in October 1986, carrying cover images of Paul McCartney and John Belushi, plus a giveaway guide to the weird new format that scientists were calling "the Compact Disc". Like CD itself, Q soon overcame the doubts of sceptical onlookers, winning support from enough of the music-buying public to ensure a healthy future. From that first issue, Q has grown to become the UK's best-selling serious music publication, the first choice for big-name interviews, and the natural habitat of the awesome Q Review section.
From its earliest editions, the magazine aspired to raise the game of music journalism through a clear and literate style and a user-friendly reviewing ethos that stressed impartial advice. Every month in Q, there are upwards of 200 CD reviews, each star-rated from one to five.
Bob Dylan, Madonna and Bruce Springsteen are among the residents of stardom's glittering firmament who've been interviewed for Q's cover story. Rare is the rock legend who ambles from January to December without at least one encounter with the magazine. Oasis, U2 and Radiohead have been regular visitors to its pages. Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and The Darkness are likewise accommodated.
A major landmark in the young life of the magazine occurred in late 1990, with the inaugural Q Awards. Once again Paul McCartney played a key role, turning up so early that he helped us lay the tables. The Q Awards continue to this day, their growing prestige reflected by a mounting drinks bill. David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Phil Spector and Keith Richards are among the stars who have stepped on stage to receive the coveted Q-shaped trophies. Tony Blair, Sir George Martin and Bob Geldof are among those who've presented to the winners. U2 have given Q Awards to R.E.M. and R.E.M. have given Q Awards to U2.
Ten years later, in 2000, the Q logo grew another appendage, in the form of QTV - a 24-hour interactive station showing music videos voted by the viewers. The Web site you' re now visiting was born only a few weeks later. Meanwhile, the magazine that made this madness possible continues to appear each month, lovingly recording what Spinal Tap have termed "the majesty of rock, the mystery of roll." Long may its pages rustle.