Sunday, November 10, 2013

Amazing Quotes on Music

“When you make music or write or create, it's really
your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless
sex with whatever idea it is you're writing about at the time. ”
– Lady Gaga

“I stole everything I ever heard, but mostly I stole from the horns.”
– Ella Fitzgerald

“There’s nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do
is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.”
– Johann Sebastian Bach

“Master your instrument. Master the music.
And then forget all that bullshit and just play.”
– Charlie Parker

“Music has always been a matter of Energy to me, a question
of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really
mean is Fuel. I have always needed Fuel. I am a serious consumer.
On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle
on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right
music very loud on the radio.”
– Hunter S. Thompson

“I can’t stand BeyoncĂ©.”
- Etta James

“I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things.”
– Tom Waits

“Music is the strongest form of magic.”
– Marilyn Manson

“Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.”
– Ludwig van Beethoven

“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”
– Frank Zappa

“The only truth is music.”
– Jack Kerouac

“Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most
part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives
that they have heard it.”
– Henry David Thoreau

“I don't like my language watered down, I don't like my edges rounded off.”
– Ani DiFranco

“Listen, sonny, I was writing before you were a glint on your father’s dick.
Don’t you tell me how to write songs.”
- Keith Richards (to some figure in the music business)

“To live is to be musical, starting with the blood dancing in your veins.
Everything living has a rhythm. Do you feel your music?”
– Michael Jackson

“The first question I ask myself when something doesn’t seem
to be beautiful is why do I think it’s not beautiful. And very
shortly you discover that there is no reason.”
- John Cage

“At least I’m not opening for a cunt like Kanye.”
- Amy Winehouse


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Vintage Ads for Cool Guitar Amps

No pithy insights or obscure facts abut any of these-
just a nice collection of ads for amps by Marshall,
Harmony, Hiwatt, Sunn, Sears and other makers
during a classic era of electric music.'s a geek thing.

Add caption


Monday, August 19, 2013

The Mystery in the Middle of the 7 Inch Single

For 50 years, these wee pieces of plastic were at
the very centre of popular music.
There were millions
of them in homes and radio stations and all the other
places music lovers kept their collections.

Even when the record companies decided to eliminate
the 45rpm single and then vinyl itself, this shape refused
to leave the stage and in a digital age, has become for many

a symbol of music itself...

... and most people don't even know what they're called!

And the Answer Is...

Truth be told, it's something of a trick question,
because they were know by a number of different
names, including:

  • 45 rpm adapter
  • 45 rpm record insert
  • 45 rpm spindle adapter
  • a "middle"
  • an "ad" (short for adapter)

and my personal favourite...

  • a spider

Technically, a spider is a small plastic or metal insert
that goes in the middle of a 45-rpm record so it will
play on a turntable.

It was RCA president David Sarnoff who commissioned
inventor Thomas Hutchison to find a way
to make RCA's
preferred music format - the 45 rpm record - compatible
with the smaller spindle size of the 33⅓ rpm LP record
player that most music lovers already owned.

"The spider" was
Hutchinson's solution, and by the 1960s,
tens of millions of them were being sold every year.

Mr. Hutchison was once asked about the story behind it all:
" (Sarnoff) asked our company to design a better adapter
than was on the market at that time. So my plastic molder
worked on it, and we came up with this plastic adapter
with interlocking drive pins.

I sold my adapters so cheap, I had an advantage over them.
My molder also sold to Mattel Toys, so Mattel would supply
him with the plastic in silos. We purchased their surplus plastic,
5,000 pounds a week, so we kept the costs very low - almost
1/10th of a cent per adapter in the 1950's.

I paid $1.50 per thousand to have them made, and I sold
them for $2.50 per thousand, in lots of one million."

When one considers that Elvis alone sold over two million copies
of his "Heartbreak Hotel" single and more than four million copies
of the "Hound Dog" seven-inch, selling spiders was a very good
business to be in...

Sometimes, they were even made of metal!

If there was a drawback to the 7 inch single, it was the fact
that no matter which adapter you were using, you could only
play one song at a time.

While the disc itself could be impressed with seven or even
ten minutes of audio, radio stations at that time had a policy
of not playing songs longer than three minutes.

The solution?

Automatic Spindle Adapters

With one of these, you could stack up to ten
of your favourite songs on your player, press "start"
and really get into the groove.

Of course, given the nature of the free enterprise system,
these too would ultimately come in a wide variety of shapes,
sizes and capacities:

The Modern Adapter...

All of the old adapters are still available, either used
or new but as the vinyl revival has spread beyond DJs
and early adopters, the adapter itself has been adapted
to suit contemporary record playing needs and it continues
to morph into new and exciting forms...

This next one not only lets you play your singles,
it also helps you ensure that your turntable is perfectly
level to facilitate the highest possible quality of reproduction...

... and is anyone really surprised to learn that fans in Japan
      have taken the humble spider to new heights of cool?

Awesomely useful & curiously
compelling links about 45 adapters:

if you want to know all - and i do mean ALL - about these elegant,
iconic wee thingies, click here now to go to the best article in the world
about the rise and role of The Spider!

Fidelitone Aluminum 45 rpm Record Spindle Adapter

45 Record Adapter and Turntable Level

get your own Custom imprinted spiders!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

one day on Abbey Road - the Paul Cole story

For decades, music historians and Beatles fans have wondered
about the shadowy figure standing just down the road from the Fab Four
on the cover of the Abbey Road album.

Who was this enigmatic figure?

Was he the legendary "fifth Beatle"?
Or perhaps a Rolling Stone?
A run of the mill stalker
or maybe a KGB assassin?

None, as it turns out, of the above....

He's Paul Cole, a retired salesman living in Florida
who thought those fellas walking back and forth
across the street were just "a bunch of kooks"!


Family Bands - a Marketing Enigma

When most people think of a "family band", the first one
that comes to mind is probably The Partridge Family.

But of course, they weren't a real family... they were
a confection, a fantasy, a freshly-scrubbed invocation
of rock and roll without the rock. Or the roll.

The Partridges were show-biz kids, climbing the ladder of success
on the backs of hundreds of real American families who
were making music together from sea to shining sea.

The difference?

These real family bands did not have the benefit
of the Star-Making Machinery behind the Partridge
Family's popular songs...

...and they suffered accordingly- toiling in obscurity
with nothing but their faith in each other and the love
of music to keep them keepin' on.

In a real family band, Mom is probably not a MILF
and big sister is likely not a total hottie. The eldest son
is not the kind of "looker" that inspires impure thoughts
in listeners young and old.

At the same time, the Middle Child is probably not
a junior drug-abuser on the fast-track to family court
and weekends in a juvie detention centre.

In real family bands, the family dog would never need
hearing aids by the time they were five either.

When we look at the faces of these family band members,
there is a searing sincerity that is almost painful.

Seeing these images, bereft of any and all production values,
it's hard not to imagine the music... and shudder.

What do these outfits say about the sound to our jaded eyes?

What do these hair styles imply about the musical arrangements?

And the frocks. Oh god, the frocks...

Can we help but wonder, just as we must when looking
at the lost siblings of the Partridge Family...

where are they now?