Saturday, December 17, 2022

An old music paper won't ever let you down

We've been talking about greatcoats on the pod. In the late sixties and early seventies every male student or head would be wearing one, bought for small sums at Millett's or your local army surplus store. We often followed bands who wore the same thing, though theirs probably came from trendier outlets. 

I found this pic of me in a standard greatcoat of the times. This was taken in a north London launderette when I was at college. By researching the edition of NME I'm reading I can establish it was taken in the first week of February 1969. Furthermore, thanks to the miracle of the internet, I've been able to read that issue again. Thanks to this blog so can you.

It turned out to be the week after the Beatles had played on the Apple roof. There's a news item inside about it. Thanks to Peter Jackson's "Get Back" these days we can all experience that week in glowing colour, some of us for the first time.

However there remains no better form of time travel than an old music paper (I mentioned this in a review of Paul Gorman's excellent new history of the music press, which is called "Totally Wired".) It's only here that you get a true flavour of the times. 

Suddenly the conversations The Beatles are having about replacing George with Eric Clapton make a sort of sense. It was in those few weeks the music papers were predicting that very soon permanent bands would be replaced by an army of star players merging and de-merging according to whim and musical fancy. Inside this same issue is the news that Steve Winwood was set to replace Jack Bruce in Cream and Klaus Voorman predicts that in the future bands simply would no longer matter the way they had done in the sixties. It was one of the great false dawns.

What neither Klaus nor the Beatles (nor the bloke in the launderette for that matter) could possibly have realised was that in the future those bands would come to matter even more than they mattered then.

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