Last saturday both Piers and me attended the Salon du Disque de Montréal. It was a whole lot of fun, we met friends and collectors we had not seen in a long time, as well as new interesting people with whom we had the chance to chat about our common interests in music; from nice students filming a documentary on the resurgence of the vinyl record, to travelling collectors and radio hosts who feature cool underground local artists, We hope to see you all again next year!
Piers was also thrilled with his visit to Montreal, and I pass the mic over to him to share his thoughts on his music weekend!:
"I traveled all the way from Toronto to attend the Montreal Record Show on Saturday with Serge. We shared a table, sold some records, and some Beatles books. I even signed a couple of the books as well.
One big thrill was meeting the "two Gilles". Our table was between Gilles Valiquette and Gilles Pepin. It was great to finally meet Gilles Pepin from Quebec City. Gilles showed me a copy of the very rare Mercury LP by "The Fool" from 1969 which was pressed in Canada by Compo for London Records of Canada. I had never seen a Canadian copy of that LP before.
I also met Gaetan Bricault who I had been corresponding with for some time. Nice to match the faces to the names ! Serge and I took turns checking out the other vendors during the morning.
While I was walking around, I looked at a sealed 1970 Canadian Let It Be box set that was being offered for sale from the good folks at Beatnick records. Nick from Beatnick told me that he sold it to a Montreal collector who has now picked it up. The box set had originally come from Toronto and I had been aware of it's original owner and how he came to own it.
Now that box set was a very early pressing, as it was actually given to its original owner as a promo copy by Capitol way back in May 1970. Some lucky Beatles fan now has that Canadian Let It Be sealed box set in their collection ! Wow !
Another dealer there was Sheldon Frymerman who had also traveled from Toronto. Montreal Beatles fan Larry Leitman and his wife were working the front desk and it was nice to meet with them as well. I also got to chat with Frank Manley who has written a great book about Punk records in Canada. Serge and I also spoke with Sebastien Desrosiers, the host of the very hip and cool radio program "Mondo PQ" (www.mondopq.com). He even gave us a cool Mondo PQ button - Merci ! Sebastien told us that he is planning to interview 60s Montreal jazz legend Lee Gagnon in New York City. We can't wait to hear that interview Sebastien.
I also ran into Beatles fan Laurier Brunet, who I had not seen in many years. He had been the first person to show me a Canadian Sergeant Pepper Ampex reel a few years ago at an Ottawa record show.
All in all, Serge and I really enjoyed meeting all the folks who stopped by our "Capitol6000 table" the Montreal Record Show. It was a fun day and I hope we "get back" there again soon."
We received some great feedback to the recent article about the first Beatles discography. The following additional sources were also excellent initial forays into the genre circa 1975-1976.
Mitch McGeary produced a self-published discography in January 1975 that included a Canadian Beatles LP listing on page 16 (including the Polydor LP Very Together), but no listing of the Canadian Beatles 45s. It was one-sided on yellow paper. McGeary's books evolved very quickly with 8 revisions within 12 months.
In 1976, Britons Roy Carr and Tony Tyler produced a great book called The Beatles, An Illustrated Record that showed that there was a market for a well written and well illustrated book about the Beatles records. Although it dealt with the British Parlophone releases and the original release dates, it included bootleg recordings, releases by other artists who covered Beatles songs that the Beatles did not release themselves, and some unique releases by artists related to the Beatles (Louise Harrison, Pete Best etc.). There were no Canadian releases mentioned in the book but it was a good place to figure out how the British releases differed from the North American releases.
Arno Guzek was a Beatles fan from Denmark and his book from January 1976 was more or less a very detailed database dump of every song recorded by the Beatles (with recording date, musicians, record number, bootleg etc.) along with any Beatles song recorded by anybody else. No Canadian records were included. Well worth looking for this. It was a work of art on its own. Arno listed his book sources on the final page and one of them was titled "A Beatles Discography" by Bill Kingston, but I have no further information on this. Any information would be appreciated.
In 1979, Mitch McGeary teamed up with William McCoy to produce a booklet "Every Little Thing" that documented "all known differences between the British and other worldwide pressings of Beatles and solo Beatle recordings and between all mono, stereo and quadraphonic pressings." It was 12 pages with a staple holding it together and was published by Ticket To Ryde Ltd. It was also sold at record shows.
When the 1980s came along, the entire Beatles discography idiom was completely altered by the arrival of two amazing (MUST HAVE) books by Mark Lewisohn.
The Beatles Live! - 1986
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Story of the Abbey Road Years - 1987
And then one great (MUST HAVE) book by the late (great) Gareth L. Pawlowski:
How They Became The Beatles - 1989
In the mid 1990s the Internet came along to change the way we shared information about Beatles discographies around the world and we were now able to share information that was previously deemed "obscure".
This week we are taking a look at the beginnings of the term "Beatles discography". This web site has served as a portal for discographies on selected Canadian record labels as well as Canadian Beatles releases altogether. But way back in 1975-6, there were only a few places where you get could discography information about records already pressed for a given artist, in a given country. The earliest sources included:
These were fairly much only sent to stores who disposed of them as they received new ones. Unless you knew someone who worked at a record store, these were inaccessible.
- RPM Music Weekly (Canada, started in 1964)
- Billboard (USA) Cashbox (USA)
- New Music Express (England)
- Melody Maker (England)
- Disc and Music Echo (England)
- The Gramophone - Popular Record Catalogue (England)
Well you had to make friends who also collected records. We also developed a trading system with Pen Pals from other countries.
- Beat Instrumental (England)
- Zig Zag (England)
- The Rock Marketplace (Alan Betrock, USA)
- Who Put The Bomp (USA)
- Trans-Oceanic Trouser Press (USA)
- Goldmine (USA)
- Bam-Balam (Scotland)
- Comstock-Lode (England)
- Rock And Beat Tranquilizer (Pontus Von Tell, Sweden) * one of the very best!
- LARM (Sweden) Chatter Box (Germany)
- FORMAT (John Wagstaff, Germany)
- Record Collector (England)
In the 1970s, my brother and I subscribed to Bam-Balam and corresponded with its creator and publisher Brian Hogg. We also bought early copies of some of the magazines listed above. I corresponded with a few Swedish record collectors, including Pontus Von Tell. Some of these great publications allowed you to publish your wants lists and also records for sale.
- Beatles fan club (England and USA)
- Rolling Stones fan club (England)
- Monkees fan club (England and USA)
- Kinks fan club (England and USA)
The very first Beatles discography was published by Bob Maledon of Lake Orion, Michigan, USA in 1975. Bob included all of the Canadian albums and singles that were unique to Canada at that time. His level of detail was ground-breaking. The booklet was 23 pages and of good quality. Thank you Bob!
These booklets were printed in a very small number and are near impossible to find nowadays.
The following colour picture of Bob Maledon circa 1970-1971 was taken from a web site called Psychedelic Baby and was included in an article about a group called BOA who were based in Rochester, Michigan, USA. According to this blog post, Bob Maledon played the bass guitar in BOA.
Mark Lewisohn writes on April 3 2014:
"For me, it was Harry Castleman and Wally Podrazik’s All Together Now, and a privately published book by Dane(?) Arno Guzek. I also used the Beatles discography section at the back of Richard diLello's book The Longest Cocktail Party."
Note 1 - "The Longest Cocktail Party" was published in 1972 and included a great discography for UK and US Beatles discs. The discography did not include other countries. It is a terrific book written by an Apple insider.
Note 2 - "All Together Now" was first published in hard cover by the Pierian Press in 1976. It did include some early Canadian discs but not in a separate Canadian section. It was the best in class for many years.
Note 3 - "Beatles Discography" was privately published in 1976 by Arno Guzek. (Denmark, First Edition. Wraps., 1976. 8vo. Printed illustrated wraps. pp 72 (unpaginated). A thorough discography of the entire Beatles works.)