Mad Editor says spend, spend, spend!
I don't suppose that there are all that many people around with money enough to spend for the sake of it these days. Unemployment and the general recession which we are all struggling through right now is making it hard for every musician to keep going — whatever he plays and whatever his style of music.
And yet, as the saying goes, it's an ill wind which blows nobody any good and, chill though these current breezes might be, there is a major comfort for the musician with a few pence stashed away, if he's prepared to dig deep and make a commitment to his music in the shape of some new gear.
Never before have manufacturers and retailers been so keen to sell. Everyone is having a hard time of it and there are bargains to be had almost everywhere. I don't mean necessarily from the 'discounters' (although some of them have excellent bargains) but even from the average music shop there are prices now which look really attractive for gear which is better, in most respects, than it has ever been.
A purchase held back from now for the sake of earning a few pounds' interest in the building society account might seem like good sense but, actually, it might be better to be just a little opportunistic and look around for what you can pick-up from your dealer. He's got stock to shift and times aren't easy. Few products are overpriced in the music shops today and this could be the best chance you'll ever get to buy a piece of equipment which could last you a lifetime. This month we've mixed things up more than ever before. We've appointed a drum reviewer, Rick Palmer, a player who can write well and who is a keen and competent critic of gear, and so, henceforth, Rick will be adding to our reviews and bringing, we hope, drummers and percussionists into our readership with something especially for them. To mark that we've also talked to Bill Bruford — possibly Britain's leading drummer — for this month's cover story.
But players of other instruments needn't feel neglected because we've got reviews of the very latest Gibson version of the original Explorer (an exclusive view, by the way) plus another exclusive review, this time of the latest ultra-power valve combo from Vox. Fancy something a little cheaper? How about a Westone Concord Bass? For keyboardists there's Vince Hill's current love affair with the near-legendary Synergy and for everyone a complete breakdown of mike terminology, a careful attempt to explain what all those strange sounding terms really mean. We're sure you'll find this issue more varied than ever before and, of course, amazing value at a mere 50p.
I'd just like to tell you that this month sees a major instrument trade fair, to be held in London. Unlike the previous bash at Birmingham's N.E.C. a couple of months back, this cine is, I'm afraid, for trade only. Reaction among instrument makers and dealers to the Birmingham show has been mixed, to say the least, and a lot of industry people are looking forward to this month's show with a keen interest.
If this show creates as much business as many wholesalers and manufacturers seem to think it will, then this year's Birmingham show could have been the first and the last and the instrument industry could revert to the old policy of 'trade only' which always used to be the case.
Well, I personally like the idea of a compromise. One show for musicians and one show where the trade can discuss its deals and promotions in private. If we lose the public half now it could be a great tragedy, so let's all keep our fingers crossed and hope that next year has its public show too.
In the meantime, whatever happens, Music U.K. will be the first to bring you all the new product news, reviews and interviews. We'll carry on bringing you all the news you need to know — not what we're paid to tell you about!
All you have to do is pick-up your copy every month. Sounds like a fair deal, doesn't it? Good reading — and happy playing!