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We’ve been busy preparing the next edition before the big Christmas shutdown when the world goes mad and doesn’t go to the supermarket for ooh, 48 whole hours, and only the real saddoes (like me) are on eBay wondering if there’s a brilliant buy it now that’s been slipped on there by a seasonal refusenik. There isn’t, as I’ve discovered every Christmas for the past five years when I’ve snuck out there while everyone else is watching EastEnders or snoozing off the dinner. But I live in hope. If there’s a period of the day when I’ve not got the apron on, I’ll be curled up with a good book, or failing that, an interesting one. On my list this year is The Hammond Organ – An Introduction To The Instrument And The Players Who Made It Famous. No, I’m not kidding: I love the things. If my own organ was a steaming great Hammond with lots of stops and foot pedals, I’d be a happy man. To be honest, I shall probably be skipping over the bits about what the vibrato effect’s motor looks like, although the section about Hammond promoting family values looks like a cute bit of social history. But the final 180+ pages look brilliant and are chocka with potted biogs of keyboard fingerers, and they include some names you might not expect to find in a book like this, such as Winston Wright, Eddie Layton and The (Young) Rascals. So that’s me sorted for a few hours then. Then I’ll be forcing the family to listen to some of the 31 yuletide tunes mentioned in our Christmas issue… whether they like them or not. If Auntie Nightmare comes round, The Residents’ record goes on the deck first. That should shift her. I should be plugging a gig I’m DJing at over the weekend, but just to show my class, the place has been shut down by the police! This is also likely to be bad news for the neighbours, friends and family as the set is in its carry case and ready to go – it will have to be aired somewhere.  

The next issue is well under way, although if you are worried about getting too many bills after Christmas, it won’t help: we’ve got interviews with both Bill Nelson and Bill Bruford. The latter – surely the most classically handsome prog drummer – really made me smile: he knows how the world views skin bashers and he knows he beats that stereotype to a pulp – in 6/8 time. In the meantime the reports from the shops tell us that the current issue with Led Zep on the cover is selling well, so we thank you for that, readers. Had a great response from readers about our story on how R&B became reggae, and the Julian Lennon piece has spread like jam all over the internet, so we’re as pleased as punch. Whatever that expression means…

Hope your run-in to Christmas is serene (yes, yes, I know) and only attractively snowy rather than a whiteout.


Ian McCann, Editor-In-Chief

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In the current issue of Record Collector magazine:  RC Xmas

Led Zeppelin: Zep expert Dave Lewis reveals the meaning of the runes on their fourth, magnum opus

Deep Purple: main man Ian Gillan recalls waking up Cliff Bennett, and Don Airey guides us through his Top 121 projects.

Flying Nun: we lift the lid on the 80s indie scene in New Zealand.

Sleighed Alive: the Ed. picks 31 festive Christmas cuts that won’t make you want to OD on the sherry trifle.

Julian Lennon: an exclusive personal guide to his favourite Fabs memorabilia, and memories of John.  
Steve Roden: a sepia-tinged trip into ancient Americana.

R&B to Reggae: how one genre led to another.

The Jesus And Mary Chain: a fine Reid with the gothic siblings.


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