“Went up Trev’s + took back records. Got some more Makers”
If it was 36 years later, the second part of that entry would mean that I had stopped off on the way home for a bottle – or two – of one of Kentucky’s finest bourbons, Maker’s Mark!
In 1972 however I was most definitely referring to Melody Maker, regarded as the UK’s (kinda) “third” stalwart weekly music paper, after New Musical Express (NME) and Sounds. (Can you even begin to believe now there was a time when there were, with these 3 plus Record Mirror and Disc, five weekly newspapers dedicated to music in the UK?)
Whilst the NME and Sounds (which I also read, believe me) covered the music scene with an attitude of some ‘irreverance’ (maybe even where I get my own healthy cynicism from?), and Record Mirror and Disc were for the poppier end of the market, the Melody Maker was a far more serious and sombre-in-tone affair.
It had some great writers and editors over the years (Chris Welsh and Richard Williams to name but two) and seemed to concentrate more on the ‘muso’ aspects of the ‘grown-up’ stuff kicking around at the time. How the music was influenced, how it was recorded, on what machinery, and where and by whom. Pretty intricate details. (In fact, thinking about it, modern day music magazines like “Q“, “Mojo” and “Word” probably emulate the old school Melody Maker – with their in-depth profiles and the suchlike)
The jazzier-influenced progressive rock (PROG!!) was Melody Maker’s mainstay – and it’s eventual downfall, the paper’s refusal to abandon its love for the genre in the punkier late 70’s the start of its slow and sad demise.
Stephen, Trev’s older brother – and consistent buyer of Melody Maker – was a big Prog rock fan and doubtless influenced what Trev listened to. And by association, what I was exposed to whenever I went to Trev’s and spent the day.
I do often wonder how different my musical ‘growth’ would have been without the likes of Stephen and Trev getting me to hear stuff and loaning me albums to
pirate record. As well as allowing me to borrow their Melody Makers. I know I feel as if I owe them a lot in retrospect.
Apart from that whole King Crimson thing.