Ask any magazine Editor what they consider to be the most rewarding and enjoyable aspect of their job and I'll bet a fair percentage reply "meeting our readers". I for one fall into this particular category and this time of year affords plenty of opportunity for mutual nattering. So, with the six-day long British Music Fair looming on the horizon, the staff of Sound On Sound went into training for the forthcoming marathon chin-wag sessions and literally made an exhibition of ourselves at the recent three-day APRS (Association of Professional Recording Studios) show held at Olympia in late June.
The beauty of attending such shows is that you never know who you are going to meet there. Take the APRS as an example: there we all were merrily enjoying ourselves on the SOS stand, when up comes this young bloke asking if he could have one of our natty-looking Sound On Sound carrier-bags - absolutely free!! "That's me on your front cover," he said, pointing pleadingly to our July issue. "You can't be Paul Hardcastle" we replied in unison, "...you don't even stutter!" But he was adamant (He wasn't there by the way) and refused point blank to move on until we gave him his free carrier-bag and a free copy of the mag and took another pic of him for his Mum.
Well that was it! As soon as they all heard that Gilby was a soft touch for a 'freebie' glossy white 'n' red carrier-bag, they were round in droves... Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Rupert Hine, Dead Or Alive... George Martin even caught a special flight in from Montserrat to collect his bag, without realising that Midge Ure and Ultravox had already picked up an extra one for him as they said they were going out there after the show to record a new album with producer Conny Plank. You wouldn't credit it either, but it turns out that Conny Plank was the tall, foreign chap on our stand who kept on leaning over Midge Ure trying to sneak a Sound On Sound sweatshirt while we weren't looking! The cheeky bu****! We caught him though, so we took back our carrier-bag and gave it to Peter Gabriel instead... and boy was Peter pleased! He was so overwhelmed that he wanted to pose for a few snaps with one of our administration staff (see pic) who had to force a smile and make out like she was actually enjoying being cuddled by one of rock's seminal figures!
And you know what? At the end of the show I nearly had a heart attack when some bright spark reminded me that there were likely to be even more personalities at the British Music Fair from July 29th-31st (trade days) and August 1st-3rd (public days) at Olympia 2, London. Ah well, I suppose we'll just have to hide the carrier-bags and sweatshirts when all those musical megastars start sniffing around the stand again. Just as well Ted Heath's not coming innit?
Editorial by Ian Gilby
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