“Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends… We’re so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside…” – Karn Evil 9: Ist Impression, Part 2 by Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Coronavirus/covid-19: MC’s in the house as they say. I’m an agoraphobic who’s been battling with the affliction (and doctors) for many years. While self-isolating with no symptoms of the virus, I’m hopeful that I can carry on feeding in further artists/bands. What I want every one of you readers to do the same and save lives – including your own. To my family and friends: I love you all unconditionally; will keep my hugs back until it’s safe. To all the bands who can’t gig or make their living, my heart goes out to you. Keep on truckin’, keep on writin’; it’ll be all the better when we all resurface from our bunkers. I’ve a few ideas to keep us all busy from the boredom. Look out on the GRB site’s Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages.
Previous update: I’m now self-employed again; it means that I can finally feed in the corresponding discographies and also complete the never-ending task of finishing the elusive Great Rock Bible book (in two volumes: 1950s-mid-70s + mid-70s-2020). For the time-being, have a peek at the biographies for updates.
I’ve been living like a monk for the past several months; nay several years, but I’ve never lost faith and my will power to succeed in my mission – despite life’s trials and tribulations. Many of you who write to the GRB requesting the “team” to help you, I’m the team (plus admin man Stuart + p/t biog man Phil), the one and only… MC in the house!
Sadly, I’ve taken out the “In Passing” section for a couple of months – but it’ll be back soon. No doubt Covid-19 will take its toll on the industry. Please keep safe.
“forthcoming attractions” – We’re now into “the Metal Month of May…hem”, so this will include a second round of hard-rock/metal outfits that once graced the pages of the GRD. These will of course be updated up to err… May 2020. Keep in touch to find June, July, August, September discography deals…
Er… moving on… 866,000+ visits in past 365 days (155,000+ visitors), in total since its inception = 2,915,000+ visits (647,000+ visitors) – can’t be bad – a big thanks to all the readers – more features soon!I, Martin C Strong will still take on the mighty task of reviving, revamping and resuscitating ye olde GRD files, to give you the reader an up-to-date guide to the wonderment that is “rock” music – in all its forms! From blues, folk and country to prog, punk and metal, from R&B, soul and funk to rap, hip hop and whatever, the mission is to serve you, the reader, with the history of rock’n’roll, old and new.
For readers who still want to obtain my 18 books (7 editions of The Great Rock Discography, a disastrous Essential Rock Discography, a Wee Rock Discography, a Great Psychedelic Discography, two Alt & Indie Discographies, two Hard Rock & Metal Discographies and the shared Lights Camera Soundtracks – all published by Jamie Byng at Canongate Books, plus two Polygon/Berlinn editions of a trilogy(!): the Great Folk Discography, and Mercat’s Great Scots Musicography), they’re out of print, but you’ll find them mostly everywhere on-line.
Although I’ve closed the book on the previous website, I’d like to thank proof-reader Nathan Drew, who helped in his spare time. While I hope he can come back on board, I also would like help from biographers, discographers and, especially, a typesetter. If you think you fit the bill of becoming my apprentice – long hours, little pay, but with big rewards in the future – get in touch via email (see contact above).
One feature that has taken a couple of years to come to fruition, is the near-lost works of the late, great Harry Horse (born Richard Horne), who contributed a plethora of caricatures to the Great Rock Discography series during the 90s. He tragically died on the 10th January 2007. In terms of this GRB project of music (and art), is his outstanding lifetime’s work, overlooked by many, but here, resurrected in all their original glory. One can’t just dismiss his work, especially for the out-of-circulation GRD tomes, for which he was an essential part. Praise to Harry’s sisters Kay O’Hanlon and Emma Blackler (and other family members), plus publishing agent Caroline Sheldon, for permissions to include all the artist’s GRD works – and several exclusive ones that never saw the light of day… until now.
Other features will include:-
- Featured Artist – whatever I see fit to gain bigger exposure, or just a mighty rock band ready to explode back on to the scene.
- In Passing – the death(s) of some big names and a mini-obituary and link.
- The Month/Year In Review – a round-up of fresh album releases and what’s to come.
And in the future…
- The Great Rock Survey – a reclamation of my GRD feature from the mid-90s, taken over in subsequent years by Rate Your Music. Naughty, naughty, but thanks anyway.
- Music advertising sections – competitive rates for any music-orientated business who’d like to promote their albums, concerts/festivals record shops, etc.
- A petition to sign on behalf of the comeback of the once-Great Rock Discography series, for former fans who’d like to see it back in the shops after nearly a decade in the wilderness. It was said to have sold over ¼ million copies up to its untimely cull in 2008 – pity then I didn’t stick all the proceeds under the proverbial mattress and not into a damn house. What a fool believes!
Will the fully-updated, re-vamped and revised (US-friendly) discographies ever be viewed by its ever-decreasing fanbase? Well, that’ll be up to you before they all go into cyberspace. That would be a pity. Want an example of what I’m raving about, email me. I was 100% confident that the GRD/GRB would be published, and although one’s not really tried (by agent or correspondence as yet), one feels that it might slip of reach to publishers, still reeling from a recession and not willing to fork out the readies to publish factual or historical music tomes – just single artist/group autobiographies.
If you donate something (larger amounts will gain free access to the new Great Rock Bible – see mock cover on site), sign the up-and-coming petition, and forward some constructive feedback, one’ll take whatever one’s got synopsis-wise to a reputable publisher to garner consideration. Either that, or in time one’ll do it one’s self, vanity-style, and send you the reader a chance to “Build Your Own Book” © with all YOUR favourite artists!
From a warm-hearted but freezing-cold soul, of sorts, to past GRD writers, thanks also to authors/musicians in their own right: Brendon Griffin (BG; co-scribe of biogs/reviews on Lights Camera Soundtracks + the GRD), Adam Stafford (AS; leader of Y’all Is Fantasy Island), Mark Robertson (MR; former sub-editor at The List), and several others.