Welcome to issue #95 of Tape Op.
Are you recording local artists? Are you a musician? Are you a fan of music? Are you a fan of great recordings? Does a vibrant live music scene mean a lot to you? I'll bet you answered "yes" to more than one of these questions. Now ask yourself, "How much do I know about the music history of the area in which I live?"
I moved to the Pacific Northwest from Northern California twenty years ago. At the time I'd made friends with some of the bands from Portland, Seattle, and Olympia, as well as other artists I'd played gigs with on tour. Moving to Portland, I felt I knew a bit about the music history here: The Wipers, Poison Idea, The Kingsmen, and Quarterflash all hailed from the Rose City. Through ensuing years I've learned more of Portland's musical past, especially as we've worked on the Jackpot! Covers Portland project at my studio. I thought I knew a bit, but I got a good kick in the pants last week as I read Peter Blecha's book, Sonic Boom! The History of Northwest Rock: From Louie Louie to Smells Like Teen Spirit. It's certainly focused more on Seattle, but a lot of Portland's history became unveiled to me. For example, the place I used to buy tape from was the same company that ran the studio that had recorded "The Kingsmen's" Louie Louie. That's crazy! There's certainly plenty of history to discover, and I'm on a quest to find out more.
We may assume that the music and recordings we are creating will become a part of history. But always remember that we also follow in the footsteps of everyone that made music, ran studios, and played shows in the past. Find a way to honor and learn more about your town's musical history; you may find your experience will become that much richer.
-Larry Crane, Editor