"Happy Birthday to Us" sings editor — thousands flee in terror
Good grief — what a year! Yes folks, it's one year since we launched the first issue of MUSIC U.K. — a year which has seen, so much new gear, so many new ideas, so many musicians pass through our doors that I can hardly understand how we've managed to get it all together! But we have and the magazine has grown in both stature and circulation further than we could ever have hoped. And, of course, it's all down to you, the readers and musicians of this country, who've voted with your 50p's in favour of our approach to the business of being a musician in the 1980's.
Writing the feature which tells you what we've been up to during our first year (so that you can catch-up on any features you've missed) made me think back to the early ideas the MUSIC U.K. team had when we first sat round a pub table and discussed the idea of launching a new musicians' magazine. We'd all been involved in music one way or another. In fact it's true that everyone on the mag has been on stage at some time (yes, even our advertising people!) and so we'd like to think that we have a pretty fair idea of just how hard it can be to be a musician and make a living (or even just find the gigs to enjoy yourself on) in this day and age.
But, if that was all that motivated us we'd have failed in our venture. What really determined us to succeed was the knowledge that musicians need the truth. New products fairly reviewed (not favoured because the makers advertise!), interviews which don't 'set 'em up and knock 'em down' (a favourite game of the worst of the weekly Press) and, above all, a genuine help to players of all types of instruments, in all bands, up and down the country.
Certainly we've made mistakes but we've tried hard to listen. If you don't like something write in and tell us. If enough readers agree we'll always change MUSIC U.K. to what you want it to be — not what we tell you it must be!
Anyway, that's enough about the past — what have we got to look forward to in your future copies of MUSIC U.K.? Well, we've lots of ideas which we daren't go into (we've had a few laughs this year at ideas which others have copied!) but we can tell you that we're going to be printing some very special features very soon. Articles will include a look at copyrighting your songs (how to stop your ideas being ripped off by unscrupulous publishers etc. etc.), genuine road tests (with genuine reports!) of P.A. gear, more home studio set-ups, an article about how to buy secondhand gear (safely) and lots more general features. But, of course, our main concentration will be on all the latest equipment on the market. One thing I promise you — no-one who doesn't know what they're talking about will ever write for MUSIC U.K.
Our PA and HOME RECORDING stories (by 'Nobby Line' — a pen name, of course) are written by a leading studio and PA engineer. Our keyboard reviews (by Vince Hill and Dave Crombie) are by two of the leading writers on keyboards in the World. Our percussion reviews (by Rick Palmer) are written by an experienced working drummer, and all our features are by highly experienced writers who only specialise in writing for musicians (Max Kay, Tony Bacon, and others from time to time). Me? — I'm just the gear-obsessed madman who puts it all together! But, when features in this magazine aren't 'by-lined' you can assume that an expert view (often several expert views) are behind them.
Uniquely MUSIC U.K. is only available through musical instrument retailers or by direct subscription. We've just raised our print-run to cope with demand but it would help us all if you placed a regular order with your retailer. Just ask him to save you a copy every month — I'd hate to see you miss one!
A couple of months back we sat round trying to think of the best possible way of saying 'thank you' to all the readers and retailers who've helped us get where we are today. Obviously, we wanted a bigger and better issue but we wanted something really special. Every month, right back to issue No. 1 we've run a competition and the gear we've given away is now working hard for the players who've won it. Right, we thought, let's give it all away! So we set about organising the best prizes from the best gear. That's how come we have a special cover on this issue — YOU can enter this competition (absolutely free of charge) for the category of instrument you want. The prizes? Well we've got some real winners! A Pro-amp combo, Vox Custom Bass, Yamaha electronic piano, Tokai guitar plus an amp and a Premier drum kit! You all stand an excellent chance of winning one of these fabulous prizes! But, even more, we wanted a star prize, something usable (lusted after, even!) by all musicians so we've decided to enter all the winners from each category into a special section.
Yes, the overall winner will receive, absolutely free, a TEAC/TASCAM PORTASTUDIO! This will be given, along with the other fantastic prizes, by a star guest at our MUSIC U.K. 1st. Birthday prizegiving.
I can't follow that, so let me just say, once again, thanks to everyone who's helped make this magazine a success. Now, I'll cut the cackle and leave you to enjoy issue 12. See you next month!
Editorial by Gary Cooper
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