Classic Rock was the first publication that ever paid me to write about music – Issue Three was graced with a couple of thousand words that I whipped up about, would you believe it – Shania Twain – so it’s always had a special place in my heart.

It’s sister publication, Metal Hammer, should also be feted too, for holding the line for ‘proper’ metal when direct UK competitor Kerrang! started sniffing around non-metal (but very lucrative) subject matter, meaning that fans of metal for whom mags like Terrorizer was just a bit too much still had a safe haven to call on for all their metal-related needs; So we here at Sentinel Daily were as shocked as the rest of the world earlier this week when word came through that the two mags’ parent company, Planet Rock, was ceasing trading. The most serious immediate upshot of this was that 73 of the company’s 80 staff were released from employment with immediate effect – without pay for the month of December at the very least – with the company board unable to find investors or a buyer to keep things going.

There’s nothing any of us can do about this sorry state affairs in a corporate sense, obviously (unless you’ve a few million quid to spare and you’ve always fancied yourself as a metal-loving media mogul), but thankfully there is a way to help those journos and support staff to at least get a bit of monetary breathing space over the the always-financially-stretched yuletide period. Orange Goblin frontman Ben Ward has set up a Just Giving campaign to raise funds for those cast out into the snowy depths of winter; he’s also committed his band to a benefit gig for the cause early next year (5th of January at Camden’s Black Heart venue) with all profits from the show (entry is free but there’s a minimum ten pound donation to get in) going to the fund.

If you can’t get to the gig, please give real consideration to chucking some of your christmas readies into the pledge fund; inititially set to raise twenty thousand pounds, it now stands at nearly seventy three thousand quid, but even this will only give each sackee in the region of a grand each after deductions – we here at Sentinel Daily are giving – please do so too, if you can.