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Making Music

and music shops, and lunch money...

by Ben | 8th May 2018

Making Music holds a bit of a special place in my music technology formative years. It was the first music mag that I got regularly (I was a thirteen at the time) - no doubt helped by the fact that it was *free* - and free went a long way when you just had your lunch money to spend (and there wasn't usually much left over by the end of the school day!)

The first issue I had was issue #2 - I was browsing in one of my two local music shops and noticed the basket of mags, with Vince Clarke casually sporting a Casio CZ-101 on the cover. As I had a CZ-101 at the time, it was a no-brainer!

And it was MM that drew me regularly into that music shop, and I always felt slightly guilty for picking it up and taking it (I still couldn't quite understand how the mag could be *free*, so it still felt a little like I was blatantly stealing it every time.)

This wasn't helped by the fact that the owners/staff of this music shop were always super grumpy and clearly had an attitude that kids had no money, and therefore no business being in the shop (actually, as I got older and had more money and friends who bought stuff, we got on much better with the main guy who turned out to be a nice enough chap. The other guy was always miserable, though.)

MM was a bit more colourful than the other more reserved mags - irreverent and fun, alongside the more usual gear reviews and news. I also liked the small little features like "Chord of the Month", and technique articles - things to try out and use in your own music.

That first MM issue I picked up also had a nice little bonus - a free patch for my CZ-101!

Synth patches in magazines were a big draw for me back in the day, as other than your own patches, the only way of getting new patches was to buy cartridges (expensive, typically £50-80 for bank of patches), or perhaps on tape or in printed book form - either way, £££money I didn't have. So to get free patches was very cool, and a definite motivation to pick up the mag (E&MM/MT, and IM&RW also featured free patches regularly.)

So at least once a month I'd make the after-school trek down to the shop to grab a new issue, and I read MM for probably three years, although in the last year it got more sporadic and I just couldn't be bothered with getting glared at at the shop everytime to go and pick it up. After a while they put the MM rack outside the front door - presumably so people that were only coming for the mag wouldn't bother them inside!

By that time, I was regularly buying mags at WH Smith's instead (no attitude!), and had started to buy International Musician, and then Music Technology (they didn't have Sound On Sound).

But I kept *all* the MM issues I had (along with the early SOS and MT issues), hoping that one day perhaps I'd be able to have them in my computer for easy reference.

So, as the first issue of MM goes live, I'd like to say I'm really happy to be archiving Making Music on mu:zines, and I'm quite looking forward to revisit the isues I had, and check out the ones I didn't.

Special thanks to Tony Bacon and Editor Paul Colbert, and the founders and publishers Adrian Walker and Brian Giddings, for allowing us to include Making Music.

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