Interview with Scott Binder

Below, Scott Binder discusses his new book Make Some Noise: Become the Ultimate DJ with the SAE Institute in Istanbul.

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 There are books on how to become a DJ, books that talk about beatmatching, mashups, how to perform in nightclubs – even one that claims it can teach you everything in two hours. Make Some Noise is a complete DJ book that has been created on the cutting edge and goes beyond any current book on the subject. Yes, it teaches the basics, but it goes beyond the how-to, discussing DJing while playing with a live instrument as well as goal setting, marketing, and choosing your music genre.
Make Some Noise blends together practical advice and tools for learning the craft, along with an inspirational message that will help encourage you in regard to your own dreams and aspirations about becoming a DJ.

Listen: Cary Ginell on “Inquiry”

Cary Ginell recently was a guest on Inquiry on WICN radio in Worcester, Mass., and the subject was Julian “Cannonball” Adderly and Ginell’s book, Walk Tall.  (Keep an eye out for the next book from Cary Ginell in the Hal Leonard Jazz Biography Series, The Evolution of Mann: Herbie Mann and the Flute in Jazz!)

>>LISTEN HERE<<

Walk TallCannonball Adderley introduces his 1967 recording of “Walk Tall,” by saying, “There are times when things don’t lay the way they’re supposed to lay. But regardless, you’re supposed to hold your head up high and walk tall.”

This sums up the life of Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, a man who used a gargantuan technique on the alto saxophone, pride in heritage, devotion to educating youngsters, and insatiable musical curiosity to bridge gaps between jazz and popular music in the 1960s and ’70s. His career began in 1955 with a Cinderella-like cameo in a New York nightclub, resulting in the jazz world’s looking to him as “the New Bird,” the successor to the late Charlie Parker. But Adderley refused to be typecast. His work with Miles Davis on the landmark Kind of Blue album helped further his reputation as a unique stylist, but Adderley’s greatest fame came with his own quintet’s breakthrough engagement at San Francisco’s Jazz Workshop in 1959, which launched the popularization of soul jazz in the 1960s. With his loyal brother Nat by his side, along with stellar sidemen, such as keyboardist Joe Zawinul, Adderley used an engaging, erudite personality as only Duke Ellington had done before him.

All this and more are captured in this engaging read by author Cary Ginell.

Make Some Noise

Below is an excerpt from Make Some Noise: Become the Ultimate DJ by Scott Binder, published by Hal Leonard just last month.

What is DJ’ing?

With the recent developments in technology, DJ’ing has turned its attention to the computer generation. This has opened up a world of possibilities and is changing the culture right before our eyes, Of course, there are a lot of traditionalists who believe that the art form of DJ’ing is being lost in the technology, but I disagree. It’s simply providing yet another platform for the craft to evolve and expand. True, mixing records is a craft that takes much longer to perfect than mixing on a computer-based system, but I believe that the computer system provides opportunities for DJs to incorporate instruments, drum machines, synthesizers, and any other controller one sees fit. This opens a world to DJs truly creating a live show. Even if a DJ has no intention of including live elements or controllers into their sets, I have no problem with the computer-based mixing systems. Sure, one can incorporate live instrumentation on the traditional setups. I am one of those who do that. But technology makes this possibility even easier. After all, there is much more to DJ’ing than beatmatching and mixing. Does this mean I personally would DJ on a computer-based program without playing an instrument? No, but I think that if we resist change we are closing ourselves off to what lies on the other side as we sift through the ever-changing landscape of the music world.

To become an ultimate DJ, one must master all levels of DJ’ing. And in my opinion, DJ’ing consists of these elements: mixing and beatmatching, programming amazing sets, incorporating live instrumentation, and crowd interaction. If you master these elements, you will separate yourself form 99 percent of the DJs out there. Sometimes good DJs excel at mixing but completely lose sight of their crowd. Other DJs are great at connecting with people on the dance floor but lack proficiency at mixing or programming their sets. It doesn’t mean a DJ is necessarily bad if he or she doesn’t master all levels of DJ’ing. A good DJ is pretty good at most of the facets of DJ’ing but isn’t a master of any of them. Is it a bad thing to be a good DJ? Not at all, but being great means mastering as many levels of the craft as possible. Modern DJs are at their best when they are turning their shows into true live performance, and mastering all of the levels illustrated in this book will help you do that.

Make Some Noise

There are books on how to become a DJ, books that talk about beatmatching, mashups, how to perform in nightclubs – even one that claims it can teach you everything in two hours. Make Some Noise is a complete DJ book that has been created on the cutting edge and goes beyond any current book on the subject. Yes, it teaches the basics, but it goes beyond the how-to, discussing DJing while playing with a live instrument as well as goal setting, marketing, and choosing your music genre.

The book also features a collection of one-page spotlights from some of the biggest DJs in the world, providing you with the opportunity to learn from the best of the best. These DJs include Infected Mushroom (1,073,271 likes on Facebook), Judge Jules (102,871 likes), R3hab (413,237 likes), Todd Terry (22,733 likes), DJ Chus (57,076 likes), Max Graham (180,293 likes), Umek (1,612,019 likes), Bingo Players (293,612 likes), and Prok & Fitch (22,663 likes).

Make Some Noise blends together practical advice and tools for learning the craft, along with an inspirational message that will help encourage you in regard to your own dreams and aspirations about becoming a DJ.

ASCAP’s 100th Anniversary

Hal Leonard is proud to release two books in conjunction with ASCAP’s centennial: A Friend in the Music Business: The ASCAP Storyby Bruce Pollock, and The ASCAP Centennial Songbook. Below is Quincy Jones’s foreword to A Friend in the Music Business, “Why ASCAP Matters.”

I first joined ASCAP in 1955. I had previously spent a lot of time in France, and I knew about SACEM (Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Éditeurs de Musique), the French equivalent of ASCAP. I heard the United States had their own version of it, so that’s why I became a member. Also, many other composers and songwriters that I was familiar with were members too, like Duke Ellington and Count Basie.

For nearly 60 years, I’ve worked as a producer, arranger, songwriter, and composer in almost every musical style – including pop, jazz, R&B, rock ’n’ roll, and classical – and in all media forms, including records, film, and TV. It’s been an amazing journey. And through it all, ASCAP has always been there for me, making sure I received fair compensation for my work, thereby ensuring I could continue to work and grow as a creative artist. This has always been their main role – to be the champion for all their member songwriters and composers.

But in today’s music business, there is a proliferation of piracy everywhere in the world. Songwriters and music industry professionals are challenged to stave off this epidemic, because the means for producing, replicating, and disseminating intellectual property such as music is so quick, easy, and accessible to everyone. In this climate, the challenge is, how do songwriters and composers continue to be properly compensated for their work? The solutions are not easy to find, but if we don’t discover them, there aren’t going to be songwriters to write the great songs of the future. That’s why ASCAP is absolutely as essential now as it ever was and maybe even more so. It’s a game-changing time throughout the business, with people reluctant to pay for various uses of music. That’s why it’s important for ASCAP to persevere – to make every effort to work with the entire music industry, as well as legislative bodies, in making sure songwriters continue to be treated fairly in terms of appropriate compensation. So far, for the first 100 years of their existence, they’ve done a great job; they’ve consistently worked very hard to represent us at every turn, whenever there’s been a challenge to our right to make a living from our creative work. ASCAP has their hands full, but they keep working at it and finding solutions. As songwriters, we certainly need them. They are essential to our existence.

I talk to young songwriters all the time. I tell them don’t forget God’s rules, and that’s to have humility with your creativity and grace with your success. Start with that. That’s very important. Then I tell them join ASCAP and you’ll get protected from piracy, because ASCAP is a rights protection organization. I tell them ASCAP will champion your right to earn a living based on your creative work, and what’s more, will collect revenue on your behalf for that work.

Right now, as a society, we are not respecting the rights of songwriters – that they need to be compensated for their intellectual property, which is their songs and compositions. The world is running outside the boundaries of the concept of intellectual property rights, and we’ve got to get back in them, because it’s about respect for people’s property and the morality of not just stealing it because it is so easy to do. But even though the business is in trouble, young songwriters are creating great music. Music and water will be the last things to disappear from this planet. People can’t live without music. So we’ll need ASCAP to be doing their job until the very end.

I was so honored when I received the ASCAP Founders Award in 2013. Some incredible musicians have been recipients of this prestigious honor. ASCAP has an amazing legacy and a long heritage of nurturing and supporting the creative process. That’s why I try to do as many ASCAP events as my schedule permits. We all need to do our part to keep ASCAP visible and in the public’s eye, so everyone knows how important it is that they are there.

I was elected to be on the board of ASCAP, but at the time I was in the middle of an incredibly heavy workload, especially working with Michael Jackson and all my other endeavors in the ’80s. So I wrote a long letter to ASCAP recommending that Marilyn Bergman take my place on the board – which she did, and not surprisingly, she later became an awesome president and chairman of ASCAP for a period of fifteen years, until 2009. (Currently, Paul Williams has taken the reins and is continuing to do a wonderful job). I’ve known Marilyn and Alan Bergman since we were next-door neighbors and worked together on the songs for In the Heat of the Night in 1967. She’s like family. I knew she’d be right for the board because I knew her soul, her mind, and her God-given gifts. She definitely has a leader’s mind. She’s brilliant. You can hear it in her lyrics.

If you want to know what ASCAP’s mission is and always has been, just read the first few lines of “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” with music by Michel Legrand and lyrics by Marilyn and Alan Bergman:

How do you keep the music playing?

How do you make it last?

How do you keep the song from fading too fast?

 Quincy Jones

A Friend in the Music Business

On February 13, 1914, a group of the nation’s most distinguished and popular songwriters gathered together in New York City to support the mission of ASCAP, a new organization for publishers and songwriters. A few years later, ASCAP received its mandate from the Supreme Court to collect royalties for the public performance of copyrighted material. Over the course of the next century, ASCAP has been as prominent a force for the advancement and nurture and financial well-being of songwriters as any record label or publishing outfit one would care to name. With a responsive board of directors made up entirely of songwriter/composer and publisher members, ASCAP has defended creators’ rights at every turn against those who would seek to devalue music. Today, with copyright under renewed assault, its mission is as resonant and vital as ever, along with its relatively new role as a nurturer of the young artists who represent the future of music.

Award-winning music writer Bruce Pollock explores the growth and changes within this complex society and its relationship to emerging technologies, in the context of 100 years of an ever-evolving music business, to see how ASCAP has become, for those who hope to make a living making music, now more than ever, “a friend in the music business.”

Billy Eckstine 100th Birthday Celebration

The Jazzoo Concert Series in Palm Desert, Calif., is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Billy Eckstine with a concert on Jan. 26 that will feature Billy’s daughter Gina Eckstine.  Cary Ginell, author of Mr. B: The Music and Life of Billy Eckstine, will be on hand along with his book. For more information, click here.

In 1950, Billy Eckstine was the most popular singer in America. Movie-star handsome with an elegant pencil-thin mustache and a wide vibrato, Eckstine possessed one of the most magnificent voices in popular music history. Born in Pittsburgh, Eckstine won a talent contest by imitating Cab Calloway and started leading jazz orchestras under the name Baron Billy. In 1939, he joined Earl Hines’ orchestra, composing and performing the hits “Jelly, Jelly” and “Stormy Monday Blues.” In 1944, he formed what is now considered the first bebop orchestra that included, during its brief three-year run, legendary figures such as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and Sarah Vaughan. Signing with MGM, he rose to superstar status, sold millions of records, marketed his own line of “Mr. B.” shirt collars, and inspired an army of female admirers, known as “Billy-soxers.” Eckstine fought all his life for recognition and respect in his quest to become America’s first black romantic singing idol, but he faced hardships in the segregated music world of the ’40s and ’50s. Despite this, he went on to influence many singers who followed, including Arthur Prysock, Johnny Hartman, Johnny Mathis, Kevin Mahogany, Barry White, and even Elvis Presley. In this book, Cary Ginell traces, for the first time, the life of one of the twentieth century’s most amazing success stories, the man known simply as “Mr. B.”

Bruce Swedien Recording Method

Tomorrow marks the start of the 2014 NAMM show in Anaheim, California, lasting until January 26th. What could be more apt than a few words from Quincy Jones in The Bruce Swedien Recording Method? You can also check out Bruce Swedien’s website here.

Bruce Swedien – I call him “Svensk,” which means “Swedish man” – is the best! Nobody can touch what he created with the Acusonic Recording Process, using SMPTE to sync the multitrack recorders together, and using stereo pairs of tracks to build a sound that still can’t be beat. I’ve traveled around the world several times, and everywhere I go they play the music we recorded together. And every time it’s played in the clubs, the dance floor is packed! When you record the music right, with the perfect balance, a solid foundation, and just the right amount of reverb, people can’t reproduce it. They can try, but there’s a musical and emotional component that we were able to create together that was magical.

There is no one who matches Svensk’s innate sense of balance and musicality. He has always been able to find the musical blend that brings a song to life, and his mixes have set the standard for all who have followed. Since the first session we did together in Chicago at Universal Studios with Dinah Washington, Bruce and I have enjoyed making some incredible music. From that first session with Dinah and then another with the Count Basie Orchestra to The Wiz, Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad, Back on the Block, Q’s Jook Joint, and everything in between, Svensk has been my friend, my engineer, and my musical colleague. When we all started working together on Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall, we were ready – ready to create something so special that it would make a profound mark on the music industry and world culture. Bruce had grown up listening to some of the best and most well-structured and well-balanced music in one of the best concert halls; I had been studying and honing my craft since I was a young teenager hanging around the Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, and Dizzy Gillespie Orchestras; Rod Temperton had discovered how to write great music and lyrics that would connect with music fans all over the world; and Michael had grown to be possibly the best and most professional singer I had ever seen. We had all the bases covered and were ready to go. And that’s just what we did!

If you’re going to make great music, you have to be able to maintain focus until the creative flow has found its course. Bruce, Rod, and I worked for days at a time, literally 24 hours a day, finding just the right direction for the music – finding the very best ways to communicate the music’s heart and soul. Many times, during the Thriller album, we worked five straight days and nights, but that’s how it had to be. That’s what it took and we all loved it. They’d be taking the studio assistants out on stretchers, but we were so focused on the fantastic music we were laying down that we hardly noticed the time.

For someone who wants to learn how to record great music, there’s no one better to emulate than Bruce Swedien. Pay attention to how he records music, but just as important, pay attention to why he records music and to the care and love that go into how he works. Making great recordings is about so much more than technical concerns, and Bruce has always known that. I truly believe that his part in the music we did together was irreplaceable.

Bruce, you’re absolutely the best – there’s no one better. You’re my musical soul mate, my close friend, and my brother – min vän och min bror. I love you, man!

The Bruce Swedien Recording Method is an incredibly timely and timeless reference for anyone interested in capturing and mixing the best possible music recordings. From the Michael Jackson albums (Off the WallThrillerBadDangerousInvincible, and HIStory), to many Quincy Jones hits (The DudeBack on the BlockQ’s Jook Joint, and many more), to classic greats from Count Basie, Duke Ellington, the Brothers Johnson, and Natalie Cole, Bruce Swedien’s impact on popular music has been undeniable. Engineers at all levels still use Swedien’s recordings as a standard by which they judge the sonic validity of their own work.

In The Bruce Swedien Recording Method, Swedien explains many of the techniques he has used to get award-winning drum, bass, guitar, keyboard, vocal, string, and brass sounds. On the accompanying DVD-ROM, he further reveals what he looks for in a recording and the steps he takes to imprint his characteristic world-class sonic signature on the music he mixes.

Throughout this book, Swedien consistently pinpoints the most important considerations in the recording process, with such insights as: You don’t listen to the equipment, you listen through the equipment… Nobody ever walked out of the studio whistling the console… The sound has to be so good to start with that it gives you goosebumps – the list goes on and on!

The American Stradivarius

Today marks the opening of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art “Early American Guitars: The Instruments of C.F. Martin” exhibit. The exhibit runs through December 7th. To find out more, click here to view the video and the article from BBC, How Martin Guitars Became an ‘American Stratavarius’.

Inventing the American Guitar

Inventing the American Guitar is the first book to describe the early history of American guitar design in detail. It tells the story of how a European instrument was transformed into one with all of the design and construction features that define the iconic American flat-top guitar. This transformation happened within a mere 20 years, a remarkably brief period.

The person who dominates this history is C. F. Martin Sr., America’s first major guitar maker and the founder of the Martin Guitar Company, which continues to produce outstanding flat-top guitars today. After emigrating from his native Saxony to New York in 1833, Martin quickly established a guitar making business, producing instruments modeled after those of his mentor, Johann Stauffer of Vienna. By the time he moved his family and business to rural Pennsylvania in 1839, Martin had absorbed and integrated the influence of Spanish guitars he had seen and heard in New York. In Pennsylvania, he evolved further, inventing a uniquely American guitar that was fully developed before the outbreak of the Civil War.

Inventing the American Guitar traces Martin’s evolution as a craftsman and entrepreneur and explores the influences and experiments that led to his creation of the American guitar that is recognized and played around the world today.

Ableton Grooves

Josh Bess, author of Ableton Grooves, has uploaded some demo drum grooves from his book! Now users can listen to the drum kits they will be programming with Ableton Grooves. Follow Josh Bess on SoundCloud here, or visit his website at JoshBess.net.

Ableton Grooves will empower you to create realistic-sounding drum grooves using Ableton Live and the Ableton Grooves Drum Racks – specifically created for this book by certified Ableton Live trainer Josh Bess. Each groove is written using MIDI Maps, an original and powerful programming concept introduced for the first time in this book. With MIDI Maps and the MIDI Note Editor, you’ll learn not only how to read the exercises but also how to use them to develop your own creative and musical grooves. Bess presents musical notation alongside the MIDI Maps so that you can understand both the technological and musical sides of what you’re learning and creating.

Ableton Grooves teaches much more than how to map out beats and grooves! It demonstrates concepts that become stepping-stones to a new way of thinking and creating while introducing diverse groove styles. Tips and hints throughout the book and accompanying DVD-ROM reveal several ways you can create something new for yourself.

This book demonstrates how to program many groove styles, while presenting several techniques that add important musical feel and emotion. Included are over 80 standard and diverse dance, rock, metal, funk, R&B, jazz, Latin, and hybrid drum set grooves.

The History of Marshall

Coming soon – The History of Marshall: The First Fifty Years, by Michael Doyle and Nick Bowcott. Below is the two-part preface to the book. Enjoy!

So we meet again, twenty years since my last Marshall book, The History of Marshall, was published (1993) and over thirty years since my first, The Sound of Rock (1982). I never dreamed that a book or a company would have such a profound effect on my life that I would be asked to write about it decades later. Such is the power of Marshall.

In 1982, The Sound of Rock was just about the first book ever written on guitar amplifiers – and I was really concerned that I would be writing somewhat selfishly for an audience of one. It was researched in a couple of months, written by hand, typed on a typewriter by my sister, and photographed in black and white with a borrowed (manual-focus) film camera. I recall that the sharp photos were taken in the morning when I was sober, while those that were out of focus where taken in the afternoon after Jim, Ken, and I had enjoyed a few bottles of wine with lunch. Happy days and simpler times!

Back then, information on old amplifiers was extremely rare, and others who shared my enthusiasm for them even rarer. In the decade that followed, new interest was fired up, and vintage Marshalls became well established as part of many guitarists’ armory and many collector’s closets. The advent of the personal computer allowed me to cover a broader picture of the Marshall history than was previously possible, and I was safe in the knowledge that I would be writing for the benefit of an audience other than myself. And so it was that The History of Marshall was published in 1993. I wanted that book to be definitive, and thankfully it was widely received as such – enabling it to survive in print during the biggest revolution of all, the Internet age. Facilitated by digital photography, the web has redefined our access to information, and Marshall’s history is no exception.

However, guitarists are tactile people, and if they can feel the difference in a thousandth of an inch on a string gauge, then presumably they still appreciate the printed word. So we fittingly celebrate the first fifty years of Marshall with that most analog creation – a book.

When I was approached to author The First Fifty Years, I knew my memory was fading, and that fact, combined with my less than expert knowledge of most Marshalls made since 1995, made a co-author a necessity. Enter fellow Marshall nutter, “Grim Reaper” guitarist, and talented writer Nick Bowcott. Without Nick’s involvement, persuasion, and deep Marshall tribal knowledge, this book would never have happened.

My goal this time was to simply produce a book that would put a smile on Jim’s face. Regrettably, that didn’t happen. Jim was ill for many years and passed away in April 2012, aged eighty-eight, during Marshall Amplification’s fiftieth-anniversary year.

With his creation of the Marshall stack, Jim Marshall provided the tools that defined the look, as well as the sound, of rock for generations of guitarists. Inventor, leader, drummer, tap dancer, singer, and music-industry ambassador who contributed generously to many charities close to his heart, Jim Marshall ultimately lived life his way – loud and proud. Personally, he was an inspiration, friend, and mentor. The profound impact he made will live on in the music of the last fifty years and undoubtedly will set the tone for decades to come.

I look forward to hearing and reading about it.

MICHAEL DOYLE, 2013

In late 1991, I was both flattered and honored to be asked to demonstrate the then brand-new Marshall JMP-1 Valve MIKI Preamp at the 1992 Winter NAMM show. So, I got together with Andrew Lubman, a sequencing expert from the then USA distributor of Marshall, KORG USA, and we came up with a backing track that seamlessly segued over sixty modern and classic rock riffs while sending the desired program changes to the JMP-1 at the appropriate times. I guess we did a good job, as my NAMM gig quickly turned into a full-time job as USA product specialist/demonstrator for the company.

To say this job was a badge of honor for me would be a gross understatement, as Marshall had always been the “be all and end all” amp for hard rock, as far as I was concerned. From AC/DC to ZZ Top, Accept to Zakk Wylde, the Deftones to Def Leppard, and Slash to Slayer, the Marshall was not only omnipresent sonically but invariably visually as well, especially with acts like Slayer, AC/DC, and Zakk Wylde, who always have a veritable wall of Marshall stacks behind them onstage. Hell, Eddie Van Halen recorded “Eruption” – a game- and life-changing burst of guitar genius using a Marshall. I rest my case. In fact, I was such a Marshall head (awful pun, not intended!) that I didn’t consider myself a serious player until I finally owned a Marshall half stack – a 50-watt JCM800 2204 head and a 1960A 4×12 cabinet, both of which I still have to this very day.

To be a legit product specialist, I didn’t only have to be knowledgeable of the Marshall offerings at the time, I also had to get intimately acquainted with past products and the company’s illustrious history. My then boss, the one and only Ritchie Fleigler (author of the excellent Hal Leonard book Amps: The Other Half of Rock ‘n’ Roll), got me up to speed on the existing product lineup and then thrust a book in my hand and said, “Read and digest this.” The tome in question? The Sound of Rock, written by Mike Doyle in the early 1980s, and it proved a godsend…my bible, if you will. Also, as luck would have it, at the time Michael worked for KORG as the Californian sales rep for Marshall. We became good friends, and I was fortunate enough to travel with the man on several occasions. It goes without saying that I took every opportunity to pick his Marshall-addled brain. Thanks for that, Mike…please don’t ever change!

Then, in 1993, Michael’s next Hal Leonard book, The History of Marshall: The Illustrated Story of “The Sound of Rock,” was released and instantly became both my new bible and an invaluable reference tool, lofty positions it has held every since. Shortly thereafter, Michael moved to Fender (as did Ritchie), but we remained in touch over the years, and while he flourished at Fender (as did Ritchie), his passion for Marshall and the man behind the brand, Jim, never wavered even for a split second. Oh, yeah, when Ritchie left for pastures afresh, I successfully bagged his job as U.S. product manager for Marshall. Another badge of honor, which afforded me countless hours in the company of the legendary Jim Marshall himself! And I was getting paid while doing so: best gig on the planet. Period.

We now fast forward to the mid-2000s – with Marshall’s fiftieth-anniversary looming on the horizon, myself and Michael had long been talking about updating The History of Marshall together, and, as luck would have it, John Cerullo (a modern-day Job!) of Hal Leonard was also game to revisit the project. So around 2007 we set about doing exactly that. To say this was a privilege for me would, once again, be a vast understatement – to play a small role in updating the book I’ve long heralded as being “the Marshall fan’s bible” was effectively a dream come true. Now, at this point of the proceedings I know what you’re probably thinking: “Isn’t a guy who’s spent the better part of two decades working for Marshall going to be more than a little biased?” Well, here’s the rub. Shortly after taking on the book, I – like Michael and Ritchie before me – headed west and joined Fender!

One of the conditions of my taking this new job, though, was that I could continue working on the Marshall book with Michael (no longer at Fender by this time, he’d been with Guitar Center for quite a while). The fine folk at Fender agreed, and it was while I was there that the vast majority of my contribution was outlined and fleshed out. I am also delighted to report that despite my moving on, my much-valued relationship with Jim Marshall remained intact and I was only too happy to continue attending his birthday bash every year.

After a great three-year spell at Fender, where I worked with the wonderful Jackson, Charvel, and EVH lines, Marshall and KORG parted ways and the Brits asked me to come back and help set up Marshall USA. I accepted and so was able to be back with Jim as the fiftieth-anniversary of his company became a reality. Sadly, while Jim lived into the early part of 2012, ill health prevailed, and he left us to make heaven a louder place several months before the much-heralded Marshal 50th Anniversary Concert at Wemberly Arena. So, it was with heavy heart that the last couple of chapters of this book were written and the intro reworked…

It is safe to say that penning this tome was a labor of love for both myself and Michael…and sheer torture for John! It took longer than expected to get it to where we were truly happy – far longer. It also proved far, far harder than I could have ever imagined, and this is not my first ride into the book writing rodeo. I sincerely hope that our efforts give you the pleasure and insight that both of Michael’s previous books have given me.

This one’s for you, Jim…RIP, my friend, and thank you.

NICK BOWCOTT, 2013

The History of Marshall – The First Fifty Years

From its humble origins in the back of a small music store in London, Marshall Amplification has defined the sound of rock for generations of guitarists around the world.

The History of Marshall: The First Fifty Years tells the story of Jim Marshall’s remarkable life and documents the many innovations of Marshall amplifiers, from the famous “stack” to the most current offerings. The book features:

• Hundreds of color photographs throughout, including rare amplifiers and previously unpublished historical documents

• Reprints of vintage catalogs and marketing materials from Marshall and its related brands, including Park and CMI

• Extensive appraisal and history of the Celestion speaker

• History of the Marshall factory locations and the pictorial “factory tour”

The book is also:

• Predominantly full color (similar books are typically – sometimes exclusively – black and white) and includes more historical material than any previous publication

• The first publication to bring the history of the company and its products up to date

The History of Marshall: The First Fifty Years is the definitive account of this fascinating company known as “The Sound of Rock.” It’s absolutely essential reading for musicians, technicians, and collectors alike.

Martin Guitars 180th anniversary

On November 6th, 180 years ago, C.F. Martin set up his own guitar shop in New York City. The rest is history. In honor of today, here is the foreword of Inventing the American Guitar, by Peter Szego and Robert Shaw. 

Christian Friedrich Martin was one of eight million Germans who emigrated to the United States between 1820 and World War I. Martin came to New York, a major center of industry, finance, and entertainment, to pursue success. Looking for freedom from the restrictive economic model of his native Germany’s guild system, Martin realized that there was a growing market for musical instruments in New York. The city also offered him a global trade network that made it easy for him to obtain raw materials, to import musical items for resale, and to ship finished guitars around the globe. Yet, the cultural landscape of the city was far different from what residents and visitors experienced even a generation or two after Martin. Although New York already had a bustling music scene, many of the city’s most venerable music institutions and venues would not be established for some time. The New York Philharmonic, the nation’s oldest symphony orchestra, was founded in 1842, three years after Martin moved to Pennsylvania. The Metropolitan Opera was not organized until 1880, Carnegie Hall would not open until 1891, and Juilliard would not begin educating young musicians until 1905. C. F. Martin arrived even before Henry Steinway, the music manufacturer perhaps most closely associated with the city, who came to New York City from Braunschweig, Germany, in 1850 to build pianos.

When Martin arrived, the city was in the midst of an economic boom that was the result of the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. Although New York had been the largest city in the United States since the first census was taken in 1790, its growth accelerated tremendously in the early nineteenth century, topping one hundred thousand residents in 1810 and doubling to more than two hundred thousand inhabitants by 1830. Although the area of the city was confined to the southern tip of the island of Manhattan, with most of the island consisting of estates and farmland, the population would grow to more than half a million citizens by 1850.

As a German immigrant, Martin used his connections within the German community to establish himself in New York. The population of German immigrants and German-Americans was already more than 24,000 in 1840. That population exploded over the next two decades; by 1855, New York City boasted the third largest population of German-speakers in the world, behind only Berlin and Vienna. When the Martin family relocated to Nazareth, Pennsylvania, they again chose a place with a large German population that made the transition easier.

Martin opened his music store and lived in the same building at 196 Hudson Street, in an area of New York City that is now known as Tribeca, near the entrance of the present day Holland tunnel. During Martin’s time in New York, this was a growing residential and commercial neighborhood built on land that had been farmland owned by Trinity Church. The 1830s, when Martin was establishing his business, were tumultuous times in New York. In July of 1834, the city erupted in anti-abolitionist riots, and the nearby Laight Street Presbyterian church and the home of its pastor Samuel Hanon Cox were targeted and vandalized during several days of rioting. The church was a mere two blocks from the Martin shop. In December 1835, the Great Fire of New York City destroyed seventeen city blocks, and perhaps as many as 700 buildings. As a result, many New Yorkers looked to move their homes and businesses farther uptown, and many flocked to the area around Martin’s workshop. Then, in May 1837, a financial panic hit, throwing the city and the nation into a years-long recession that contributed to the Martin family’s decision to leave New York.

However, New York City remained an integral part of the Martin story even after the family moved to Pennsylvania. The city remained the most important market for Martin instruments, and it was necessary to maintain the business connections he built while living in the city. New York was so important for Martin that the city name continued to be stamped on his guitars long after his death.

C. F. Martin was similar to many other immigrants who came to New York City in the nineteenth century, embodying many of the ideals of the time.

He was a highly skilled immigrant who sought a freer economic system; an entrepreneur who tried several business models; a successful businessman who built a manufacturing company; and an innovative craftsman who combined his own knowledge with ideas that he encountered in the United States.

 Jayson Kerr Dobney

Associate Curator

Department of Musical Instruments

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Inventing the American Guitar is the first book to describe the early history of American guitar design in detail. It tells the story of how a European instrument was transformed into one with all of the design and construction features that define the iconic American flat-top guitar. This transformation happened within a mere 20 years, a remarkably brief period.

The person who dominates this history is C. F. Martin Sr., America’s first major guitar maker and the founder of the Martin Guitar Company, which continues to produce outstanding flat-top guitars today. After emigrating from his native Saxony to New York in 1833, Martin quickly established a guitar making business, producing instruments modeled after those of his mentor, Johann Stauffer of Vienna. By the time he moved his family and business to rural Pennsylvania in 1839, Martin had absorbed and integrated the influence of Spanish guitars he had seen and heard in New York. In Pennsylvania, he evolved further, inventing a uniquely American guitar that was fully developed before the outbreak of the Civil War.

Inventing the American Guitar traces Martin’s evolution as a craftsman and entrepreneur and explores the influences and experiments that led to his creation of the American guitar that is recognized and played around the world today.