Archive for December, 2011

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Time Traveling

December 19, 2011

The Sunset Strip in LA in 1974. Photo taken by the great Larry Jandro. Bet there were some amazing gigs happening in LA the day this was taken.

Click on image to enlarge!

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Marketing Rock Old School Style Pt. 1

December 19, 2011

Back in the 60’s & 70’s, decades before the internet and instant access to information, a lot of us didn’t know when bands were putting pout new albums until we heard them on the radio. Some advanced news would filter in a head of time, minimally, in places like Scene, Creem, Circus, Rolling Stone, Rock Scene, Hit Parader, etc…
 
For those of us who bought all the magazines and tabloids (Melody Maker, New Musical Express, Sounds) we’d often get advance word that a new album was being released by the record company advertisements that were placed in the media. They were usually timed to see print just weeks prior to releases so we’d have a heads up on what was coming out.
 
Here are some random samples of various advertisements hyping new album releases from back in the day as seen in various music publications.

Click on images to enlarge!

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When ‘King Biscuit’ Was King Of Sunday Nite

December 9, 2011

Back in the 1970’s during the throes of my rock ‘n roll obsession  it was rock ‘n roll 24/7/365. I can remember attending three concerts in a week on occasion. Got all the albums, 8-tracks, posters, concert tickets, wearing apparel, just like you did. For the most part myself and friends, we worshiped at 100.7 on the dial, WMMS in Cleveland. And for most if not all of the 70’s a weekly feature that we always tuned in to (unless we were at a concert) was the Sunday evening broadcast of the King Biscuit Flower Hour, a syndicated radio program that broadcast concerts with the biggest bands in the land.
 
Sometimes we’d record them, I knew someone who damn near had a full library of King Biscuit broadcasts during the 70’s. I can recall recording a few, depending who the band was that night and if I was near a home based stereo. An old pal, Dave Corbett, recorded an Aerosmith King Biscuit concert on 8-track (!) and gave it to me. I wore it out.


 I can remember many a Sunday evening out cruising back roads with a carload of friends getting our minds right and listening, at maximum volume of course, to whatever band(s) were on that particular week.
 
The King Biscuit Flower Hour debuted on February 18, 1973 with Blood, Sweat & Tears, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Bruce Springsteen. Bill Minkin served as the show’s host from the debut into the mid-1990s and he became a familiar voice to us rockers out there. The show eventually was carried over 300 plus radio stations across the country.


 I can remember attending a couple shows at the Cleveland Agora that were recorded for King Biscuit Flower Hour broadcasts (Ian Hunter/Mick Ronson & Rockpile in 1979, for one).
 
The King Biscuit producers would usually show up with a mobile recording truck, record the concert, mix and edit it and then radio stations who participated would receive reel-to-reel tapes of the shows. The producers didn’t switch over to CDs until 1987. New broadcasts lasted until 1993.


 I had no idea the show lasted as long as it did. I figure I probably heard my last King Biscuit broadcast on the radio circa 1980 or so, but it was a nice diversion on a Sunday night, it was also a chance to record some live gigs by favorite bands for the cost of a blank cassette (it had to have been a bootleggers money machine back in the 70’s). I also recall that King Biscuit producers would manufacture albums for radio stations to broadcast that were meant for radio stations only but I recall buying a couple of them at record shops back in the day.
 
In 2006, the King Biscuit tape archives were acquired by Wolfgang’s Vault that began streaming concerts online and has made some available for download.

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Rock Star Literature Pt. 1

December 9, 2011

After all the grief my Old Man gave me way back then, glad to know I wasn’t the only one into comic books ‘back in the day’! Apparently I was in good company. (Click on image to enlarge!)

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Making The ‘Scene’ In The 70’s

December 3, 2011

Back in the 1970’s if you had any interest at all in rock ‘n roll, going to concerts, or just about anything in the popular culture rock-related, then you, at least on a few occasions, picked up a copy of SCENE Magazine, the long published tabloid that covered northeast Ohio rock ‘n roll and popular culture. You could pick up a free copy every week at any record store, mall, head shop, clothing shops, just about anywhere and read interviews with local, regional and national bands and performers, read current album and concert reviews, local, regional & national music news, photos and lots of cool advertisements hyping upcoming concerts, albums, clubs, record shops, clothing stores, head shops, movie theatres, just about anything.


 It was ‘the’ newspaper for its time and covered and recorded Cleveland and northeast Ohio rock ‘n roll and its culture during its glory days. 
 
SCENE was founded by Richard Kabat and was first published, under the moniker Cleveland Scene, on July 1, 1970. They dropped the ‘Cleveland’ from the title a couple months later. One of the first editors was John Richmond and among subsequent editors who had a real impact were Mark Holan and Keith Rathburn. During the 70’s they averaged a 70,000 free circulation.


 Among some of the notable writers were Anastasia Pantsios, Dave Thomas (Pere Ubu), Joyce Halasa, Scott Eyman and many more.
 
A rival publication, Free Times, closed shop in 2008 and merged with SCENE and is now owned by Times-Shamrock Communications.


 After marriage and kids and working I drifted away from picking it up after over a dozen years. From time to time I have picked it up and these days it’s unrecognizable to me. Not that that’s a bad thing, it’s just not the same Scene to me (that nostalgia thing again). But back in the day, SCENE was every rock ‘n roll fan’s bible of sorts, keeping up on rock music locally and nationally, news on upcoming album releases, upcoming concerts, it had it all!
 
Wish I kept them all!

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