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Michael Fremer  |  Oct 03, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments
If the sole criterion for choosing a winner in today's hotly contested premium arms race was original thinking, the Immedia RPM-2 might well come out on top. While some of its design details resemble those found on other products, in many significant areas the arm is unique—not for uniqueness's sake, but in order to efficiently implement some clearly considered goals. If the unipivot RPM-2 bears a resemblance to any other contemporary arm, it is Naim's highly regarded ARO—which I've never heard. The similarity, though, would appear to be superficial.
John Nork  |  Oct 01, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

Roger McGuinn. McGuinn co-founded the group with Gene Clark and was its nominal leader. If you disassemble the complex tapestry of the Byrds' sound into its molecular underpinnings, McGuinn's distinctive voice and unique twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar are the nucleus. Lead guitarist McGuinn's unique style simultaneously employs a flat pick and fingerpicking patterns, drawing

more from five-string banjo rolls than typical guitar scales. When this unusual picking pattern is done on an electric twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar, the resulting sound is a brilliant cascade of harmonic intervals and gleaming overtones. McGuinn also sang lead on many of the group's songs, including all of their Dylan interpretations.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 01, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments
TA: How did you select music as a career? What were the factors involved in your going that direction for your occupation?

RM: I just loved it and I kinda fell into it. I was playing it as a hobby and getting ten dollars a night at the coffeehouse.

TA: How old were you at this point?

John Nork  |  Oct 01, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments
It was January 20, 1965. The "British Invasion" was at its apex. Led by The Beatles, English rock bands dominated the American airwaves. Meanwhile, with little fanfare, a newly formed aggregation called The Byrds was working ardently on their first (and possibly last) single for Columbia Records. As was standard record company practice back then, the Byrds' contract called for one single. If it was successful, an entire album would be commissioned. Otherwise it would be bye-bye Byrdies.
John Nork  |  Sep 30, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

John Nork: Let me start back in the past, Chris - how did you get into music?

Chris Hillman: Okay, that's a good question. You know, you'd think I'd get that question all the time, but I never do. I grew up in a home where my parents were not musicians but they had wonderful tastes and there was always music on the record player. Their tastes ran from big-band music, which was their era, and Duke Ellington and Count Basie was what I heard...in fact, one day when I was in my early teens I found an old 78 album of Josh White and I asked my father, "Where did you get this?" And he said, "Oh, I just picked it up at one point." And what's really interesting is that my older sister steered me into music - she went to college in the '50s and she came back from her first year or two in the early '50s, you know, with The Weavers and Pete Seeger and stuff, and I started to listen to that. I bought rock-and-roll records in 1956 and 1957, junior high school. You know, 1957: the year of rock and roll. So, I bought all that, and then, like a lot of people my age, I drifted into folk music. I didn't really get into The Kingston Trio or The Brothers Four; I lasted maybe a week with that, but I really liked the more traditional stuff. I gotta hand it to my older sister. She sort of steered me in that direction and I took it from there. Of course, I wanted to get a guitar and I got an inexpensive guitar and started banging out chords out of a chord book. I didn't take any lessons or anything.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 30, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments
Though much has changed since this story first appeared, it still holds interest. Mike Hobson and Ying Tan have long since split, with Ying starting Groove Note, and sadly, plating guru Ed Tobin was murdered, but Bernie Grundman Mastering thrives, as does Classic Records, thanks to the vinyl revival now underway.

Spend a few days watching how they make records late twentieth century style and you'll understand why hardly anyone makes them anymore. You'll also appreciate why the good ones cost what they do.

John Nork  |  Sep 30, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

TA: You probably don't remember this, Chris, but when I interviewed you and Roger in 1977, way back when you were in Miami, I asked you guys why you didn't call yourselves The Byrds when you were in McGuinn, Clark and Hillman, and you said that you promised you wouldn't unless David were there, and I said, "What did he do? Threaten to write more 'Mind Gardens'?" and everyone got a good yuk out of that.

CH: (laughs).

TA: What about "Hey Joe?"

CH: Well, that's okay. I think that David did it really good, but I don't remember. I think that I don't take it as seriously because the Lees, kind of this Byrds-clone, put it out.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 30, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

Bernie Grundman Mastering is in Hollywood, Greg Lee Processing is south toward Long Beach and RTI, the pressing plant is, wouldn't you know it, way north of L.A. .So the Classic folks rack up lots of miles ferrying lacquers south and stampers north.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 01, 2004  |  1 comments

Grand Funk Railroad proclaimed itself “an American band,” but CCR was arguably, the American band of the late '60's early '70's rock era. Even if Fogerty and Co. was not your premier domestic purveyor of rock'n roll, the group's sound has stood the test of time and actually grown in stature. Dredged from blues, swamp, and rhythm and blues, and overlaid with a now-classic propulsive '60's rock sensibility, CCR today still sounds fresh and remarkably pure, even as so much of the music from back then sounds “of the time.”

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 01, 2004  |  1 comments

Originally recorded for a King Biscuit Flower Hour radio show and taken from a decent stereo board mix, this set chronicles The Ramones at their peak before an adoring home audience. The group had just returned from a triumphant European tour during which It's Alive had been recorded at the Rainbow Theatre on New Year's Eve just a week before.

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