Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Instrumental Break

Presented here are some scans from the UK's premiere music magazine of the 1960s and '70s, Beat Instrumental. Geared toward musicians, Beat Instrumental featured articles and columns that focused on how the British bands created their sound and style. The magazine was published by Sean O'Mahony, who also published the official Beatles fan magazine, The Beatles Book, under the pseudonym of Johnny Dean.

I find the ads for various music shops in London, Glasgow, and other UK cities, as well as the ads for instruments and gear featuring popular musicians, to be very interesting historical artifacts that make the time period come alive. These classic ads for Rickenbacker, Vox, and Premier, companies that were integral to the British Invasion sound, reinforced the idea that their products were what every teenage boy needed to be a pop star. (I have to chant "Premier drums" from The Who Sell Out every time I see anything about them!)

The features on Dave Davies, Peter Quaife, Keith Moon and Bill Wyman (who wrote a column for the magazine) offer insight into their musical influences, personal thoughts about their instruments of choice, and the advice they would offer to fledgling musicians. When reading the final scan, the list of bands and their itineraries makes one wish it could be 1965 again.

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