SIXTY YEARS ago in Copenhagen, the name Brodr Jorgensen meant a small musical instrument shop. Today, it has grown to international stature, as a retailer, wholesaler and manufacturer. They have set up distribution companies in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, West Germany, Switzerland and now the United Kingdom. Brodr Jorgensen (U.K.) is situated at Strand House, Great West Road, Brentford, Middx, and was officially established this June.
The man in charge of U.K. operations is Brian Nunney. Brian started in the music business eight years ago as general manager of J.D. Cuthbertson & Co. of Glasgow, during which time he was president of the Scottish Music Merchants Association and a member of the Music Trades Association. He stayed there for six years, before moving on to Dallas, where he took up the position of export director, which he held for two years.
Brian maintains that contact with the customer is of major importance. "We are in the process of having Ansafones and Robophones installed so people can talk to us at any time, he told I.M. He also regularly travels around the North to talk to dealers, while Fred Mead covers the South of England. Brodr Jorgensen (U.K.) will be handling a far wider range of the Japanese made Roland electronic equipment than has previously been available in the United Kingdom. "We will be doing six rhythm units, three synthesizers, two electronic pianos and one string and brass ensemble," said Brian. "We're also introducing the Roland Revo Sound System, and will be carrying an extended range of Roland effects units."
As well as the aforementioned items, Brodr Jorgensen (UK) are introducing Roland amplification, which consists of two P.A. mixers, two combo amplifiers and three new speaker units with a very high specification, never before seen in this country.
Brian is obviously very much aware of the needs of today's musician. "I consider synthesizers to be a major growth area in the music business today," he told I.M., "and amongst these, the Roland SH2000 is unique. It's the only synthesizer available with 30 presets. The Revo system also promises to be extremely exciting, as we're already in a backorder position for them."
Another point in Brodr Jorgensen's favour is that they are ideally situated at the junctions of the North and South Circulars, and the M4 and A4. "Ultimately, we will probably be looking for new premises, but at the moment we find we are ideally placed."
Roland products are already well-established in a number of markets, including Japan, Australia, Europe and the U.S.A., and Brian now feels "The most important thing initially is to get the Roland name established in the United Kingdom, and to make people aware that they are quality products."
A RELATIVELY new company, Brodr Jorgensen did extremely well at their recent exhibition. Brian Nunney stated that "We were very gratified to find so many enquiries from retailers, especially since we are only six weeks old. We found the demand fairly equal all over the country. Within our range, particular interest was shown in the SH 2000 synthesizer, allied with the TR77 rhythm box. There was also considerable interest in the Rhythm Arranger, a unit which gives you riffs in addition to the basic rhythm. All in all, we took a lot of orders."
ALAN HAVEN, the organist, has set up a new company to handle the U.K. sales and distribution of Haven and Crumar organs and keyboards.
Both the Haven Organs and Crumar keyboards are manufactured in Italy and the new company, Crumar Ltd., is currently seeking Out-Of-London premises from which to operate.
Alan Haven is Managing Director of the new company and part of his task is the launch on the new Haven portable organ. This will sell at around £1,195 including VAT, and Alan Haven describes it as "a console organ that has been contained in a portable package."
CBS/ARBITER are already opening new retail premises in London's West End following the two a.m. fire which gutted the Soundhouse premises in Tottenham Court Road. Estimates at the loss through the fire vary between £2 and £3 million and little stock was saved.
The new Soundhouse is at 57-87 Hampstead Road, London NW1, and takes up the ground floor of a building with a lengthy frontage. The usual range of CBS/Arbiter products will be on show — new merchandise has been rush-imported — and it is expected that the new shop will be in full operation from the second week in October.
The future of the old Soundhouse building was still uncertain at the time of going to press; suggestions have been made that the building will be completely demolished.
A NEW group of companies trading in various aspects of the music industry has been formed in High Wycombe. The company is called Complex 7 and boasts Rick Wakeman as one of its directors.
The company name is indicative of the seven companies that comprise the group. Housed in factory Unit Two, Abercromby Industrial Estate, Abercromby Avenue, High Wycombe, the organisation is originally a brainchild of Rick Wakeman.
He started looking for factory premises to house his massive amount of equipment, and then decided that if he were to get slightly larger premises, he could also have a service workshop. From there, it was a natural step to an area large enough to house a rehearsal room with studio potential.
At the same time, Rick had met an American keyboard inventor called Dave Biro and it seemed the ideal opportunity to set up an operation to market Dave's new instrument, the Birotron, in the U.K.
The complex was officially opened last month and it is really a drive-in haven for bands and their road crews. Tired, ragged bands, thrashed to bits by brutal tour schedules and underpaid one-night stands can arrive at the complex and refresh themselves, their music and equipment all under one roof.
The functions that the company operates is expanding continually. At the moment, they include manufacturing and marketing the Birotron, manufacturing and selling flight cases, operating a hire service (based upon Rick's mountain of equipment), marketing, help install piano pick-ups, offering rehearsal rooms, service facilities and general storage facilities.
Since Rick's idea first grew the company has grown away from him somewhat and now has a board that includes several personalities well known in the music business.
Pete Robinson looks after the whole operation of the company. He's responsible for overall development and with the other technical and administrative directors, he is working to make Complex 7 the professional's pull-in.
MCI, ALREADY an established name in professional recording equipment, have established a UK Company to distribute its products under the direction of Dag Felnar.
Formerly of Feldon Audio, Felnar is responsible for marketing the entire range of recording desks and consoles. An MCI is seen here in situ at Marquee Studios, Wardour Street London.
DICKIE WREN, Managing Director of Farfisa and President of the M.T.A. association has reported that attendance at the recent trade fair at London's Connaught Rooms had poor attendance figures.
"A questionnaire returned by our members has indicated that overall sales were about 50 per cent down on last year's show," revealed Mr. Wren.
"One of the main reasons is that there is still a high degree of uncertainty about the VAT rate on electronic organs. A major part of the electronic organ business is involved in trade-ups — a customer will trade in his organ for a more expensive model — and the 25% that has now got to be added to new instruments means that the difference between the trade in price and the new organ is too great.
"The M.T.A. are presently in negotiation with the Customs and Excise Officers in an attempt to get a more satisfactory rate of VAT on electronic organs."
MM ELECTRONICS, who recently held an exhibition at the Ivanhoe Hotel in London, have reported tremendous success as a result. Tony Gipp of MM stated that "A number of bands including E.L.P., have been using our equipment for quite awhile. At the exhibition, our 12-channel mixer and the new drum synthesizer were of particular interest."
Bands and musicians visiting the stand included Patrick Moraz of Yes, Jon Hiseman and Greenslade.
BEN PAGE have announced that the exhibition which they recently held in London's Ivanhoe Hotel was "Very successful. We had a lot of groups come in. We also had a few shopkeepers, but it was mostly bands," stated Ben Page.
Page went on to add that groups like Genesis were interested in new Sunn three channel keyboard amp, as was Noel Redding.
Mike Rutherford, Genesis' bassist, bought a Micro-Fret six string bass.
Also of interest was the Eminent 100A amp with echo combined.
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