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How did you find these bands?

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HackettFan View Drop Down
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    Posted: March 28 2013 at 00:19
Originally posted by HolyMoly

I got into prog in the 80s, not the 70s, but it was still pre-internet.  I discovered a lot of that stuff by way of the Rolling Stone Record Guide.  I read that book from cover to cover several times.  Even that had pretty skimpy coverage of prog, but it was a start.

Yeah, the 80s for me too. I also frequented the Rolling Stone Record Guide, trying to find out more about Genesis at first, and then looking for bands I might like similarly. I never bought the book, just stood there at the bookstore going through it. I had at least a good handful of friends who liked progressive rock too. Buffalo, NY was good for that even in the 80s. There were a couple used record stores in the area too that were chock full of old progressive rock albums.

Edited by HackettFan - March 28 2013 at 00:26
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hercules Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2013 at 19:52
I went up to Cambridge in 1968 and the place was awash with early prog. Sid Barrett came from there, as did Dave Gilmour, so Floyd were well known and popular though I'd never heard of them when I went. The folk scene in Cambridge introduced us to prog folk bands like Fairport and Steeleye. We visited each other's rooms to listen, browsed through each other's record collections, borrowed and lent and sampled. I also tried to start a prog band, but I was too slow to learn (I blame the fact that I had to work for my exams) and they soon replaced me with someone who could actually play bass in time and in tune.
 
After graduating, I went to Imperial College and started a PhD (Brian May was apparently in the same department but left to work full time with Queen before I got to know him) and London was absolutely awash with prog. I saw almost every major band then active including Floyd, Purple, Heep, Caravan, Focus, Tull, ELP, Yes, BJH and many more - except Genesis and Strawbs, which I regret deeply since I've never seen either live and I love them both.
 
I left the country for Canada, which was almost prog free, but when I came back to do post doc at St Andrews I met people who doted on bands like Camel, Druid, Gryphon and Horslips and soon I did too. I also saw Rush in Glasgow, a band I'd missed in Canada (though they weren't really prog then). It was there I fell in love with Alan Freeman's show and I recorded a huge archive of material, but sadly a jealous ex-partner threw it away as an act of revenge - b*****d. Noel Edmonds also used to play a lot of prog on his morning show. Melody Maker, Sounds and NME also covered prog extensively.
 
In short, if you were at university in the late 60s/70s, prog was everywhere. You couldn't NOT hear it. It was one of the best selling genres (think of Floyd and Mike Oldfield who were in the charts for years at a time) and many bands made it on to mainstream television like Top of the Pops. And there was the OGWT which was compulsory viewing.
 
Things might have been very different outside the university environment, though.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2013 at 19:48
Originally posted by cstack3

Originally posted by dysoriented

I asked my father the other day if he had heard of some of the 70's prog acts I listen to. To name a few, King Crimson, Hawkwind, Gentle Giant, Caravan... And he said no.

This absolutely baffled me, because his music, in general is proggy! David Bowie, Queen, Bryan Ferry. So I suppose, what I'm asking here is, how was it marketed back then? I was told "We didn't have the internet back then to discover music, we just made do''. And it made me wonder, how people found out about these bands? As I'm guessing it was just as niche then as it is now.

Does that make sense? LOL

(By the way, I don't just mean those select few, I mean the whole prog scene, obviously there's a ton of bands/musicians that were active at the time)

Ha!  Prog was HUGELY popular back then!  Singles by Yes, ELP, Focus, Flash and other bands received as much airplay back then as Justin Bieber does today!   Rock magazines like Circus were full of news about Yes, Genesis etc.  

National tours by prog bands were some of the largest events in rock, filling the largest venues in big cities!  Many records were broken by Yes and ELP.   My first prog concert was Yes CTTE, 22 September, 1972 (with an unknown band called "The Eagles" opening for them!). 

Back then, we had "record stores" and the best ones had many bins of import albums.  That is how I learned about Magma, Amon Duul II and other bands in 1973.  There were also underground radio stations, like the very progressive and hugely popular TRIAD radio in Chicago.  See this page for the history of "freeform radio"


I believe prog was even more popular in the UK!  Yes held court at the Marquee Club in London etc.  
 
Exactly......I was from northwest Indiana and went to college at IU and many people were already into prog and 'weirder' sounds in 1969. There were local record shops and bins that specialized in imports and prog, etc.And some of the Chicago stations played more prog at night in themed shows. I had many friends who were more into classic rock or country rock or jazz but there were many who had records from all the genres. You might go to a party and here Zep, Sabbath, The Beatles, The Byrds,   Yes, Elp...or whatever. But not that many were into the more 'obscure bands' like Nektar or VDGG....but they were around.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Manuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2013 at 19:14
Originally posted by Mormegil

I'd have to say (and kudos to the marketing departments), but a lot of the prog bands I followed in the '70s were because of some really striking cover art! It's one of those "the cover's cool so the music must be great!" kind of things.

This was my first thought when I read this thread, but I must say that a lot of my friends who shared the same taste, at least back then, hear some song on the radio, like "From the beginning", "Living in the Past", and others from prog bands that became popular and were played on the radio. After buying the albums, we all discovered a new world of music, and at least for me, has remained my favorite to this day.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 2112R Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2013 at 18:57
Only by the grace of God I was able to plug into the Prog world. When I started high school years ago I remember listening to Tom Sawyer with my dad in the car and thinking... Yeah, this is pretty good. It wouldn't be until I walked into my ninth grade history teacher's class on that awkward first day of high school I would venture into Prog. I remember walking in and hearing this devil singing, heavy back beat, vicious guitar sound (I would later learn it was Opeth's Ghost Reveries) and thinking, "What is this?" My teacher really expanded my taste and view after we hit it off talking about Rush. Ever since that fateful day I've been growing and and expanding into the Prog community. If it hadn't been for high school, I don't think I would have stumbled too far into Prog.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ProgBob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2013 at 18:40
Originally posted by Snow Dog

Oh well  I am obviously barking mad. I never heard Prog on mainstream radio. What else can I say? Just explaing why it is not unusual for his dad not to have heard of those bands.


I only really became aware of rock music around 1979 and, even though we were well into the punk/new wave era by then, there was still a reasonable amount of prog on mainstream media.  I remember seeing a Mike Oldfield concert (Exposed tour) and a Genesis show (round about the time of Duke), both on BBC2.  There were various singles in the charts (Genesis, Rush, Peter Gabriel). There was The Wall. I remember seeing a massive window display for Drama in one of the local record shops. The Friday Rock Show on Radio 1, although mainly heavy metal by then, did feature some prog.  On it, I heard archive sessions of Caravan and VDGG. I also heard And You and I which was what inspired me to buy my first Yes album.  Certainly progressive rock (as it was called then) was unfashionable and on the wane and it's true that I was in a minority amongst my peers, but I wasn't alone in being interested in this stuff, and digging into early 70s back catalogues etc. My recollection is that even those who didn't like it had heard of most of the major bands.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2013 at 17:59
Originally posted by dysoriented

I don't think I've ever seen Old Grey Whistle Test, only heard tales of it lol. Didn't even know there was a prog show on the radio!
A couple of you said you went by album covers, I do that, it's not the best way to go. Anyone name an album they bought at the time completely unknowing of the band, just based on the cover? Was it any good?

I presume you want to go even further than that, right? Casual findings? Wink

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Post Options Post Options   Quote dysoriented Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2013 at 17:56
I don't think I've ever seen Old Grey Whistle Test, only heard tales of it lol. Didn't even know there was a prog show on the radio!
A couple of you said you went by album covers, I do that, it's not the best way to go. Anyone name an album they bought at the time completely unknowing of the band, just based on the cover?
Was it any good?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote akamaisondufromage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2013 at 17:14
^ Easily amused? 
 
Anyway I think they are distinct to this. Not that I care.


Edited by akamaisondufromage - March 27 2013 at 17:14
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2013 at 17:06
Similar thread. Boom.

Now that I look at all that, I can't help but chuckle.


Edited by Dayvenkirq - March 27 2013 at 17:09
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Post Options Post Options   Quote akamaisondufromage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2013 at 16:39

I suppose when I first started listening to prog there was very little on the radio as it was 76/77 ish and guess what was pushing its way into the world.  I know I used to listen to Alan Freeman on Sat but I don't remember what he used to play (except I was quite surprised once when he played something by Joy Division and that may have been the first time I heard them.  At the same time I would listen to John Peel (so pretty well no prog there).

So basically any other prog I heard from friends and friends of friends.  Who found out about it from older friends and brothers and sisters and their friends.  Borrowing records!! You don't have to do that now.  And by reading the music papers.  I remember reading about what is called neoprog round these parts in Sounds and the Melody Maker and then trotting off to see Marillion just on the basis of  a gig review.  You just had to find out for yourself with no interenet or nothing
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Snow Dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2013 at 16:13
Oh well  I am obviously barking mad. I never heard Prog on mainstream radio. What else can I say? Just explaing why it is not unusual for his dad not to have heard of those bands.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2013 at 16:07
Some prog was played on the radio and I remember at school the music library was well stocked with ELP, Yes and King Crimson albums. I even remember someone polling kids at school to find out their favourite bands and the prog bands came out on top. This was in Swindon ( a benchmark for English averageness not some strange place) and it was around about 1977. BBC Radio wise Alan 'Fluff' Freeman was a big deal on a Saturday afternoon. I also discovered Radio Luxembourg and Radio Caroline who seemed to play a lot of prog stuff. I don't believe it was that underground at the time although by the early eighties it was being wiped off the face of planet it seemed. BUT then came IQ,Marillion and the rest.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Snow Dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2013 at 16:03
Originally posted by elbownut

I was fortunate to have some friends who were into prog when I was at school. So a lot of discoveries were from them and word of mouth generally.

As has been mentioned already, in the seventies prog was pretty mainstream and was on radio and TV. I discovered a lot of great stuff listening to the likes of Alan Freeman on Radio 1 and watching The Old Grey Whistle Test on BBC2. What memories !
 
Mainstream?

Alan freeman show, 2 or 3 hours every saturday, OGWT half an hour every week  late at night..when it was on.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bobthenob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2013 at 15:58
As a veteran of the 70's...in LA no less, we relied on word of mouth, knowledgable record store (member those?) clerks, and publications such as Melody Maker, Creem, Rolling Stone, and of course the fun, but often unreliable method of choosing cool album covers.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote elbownut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2013 at 15:58

I was fortunate to have some friends who were into prog when I was at school. So a lot of discoveries were from them and word of mouth generally.

As has been mentioned already, in the seventies prog was pretty mainstream and was on radio and TV. I discovered a lot of great stuff listening to the likes of Alan Freeman on Radio 1 and watching The Old Grey Whistle Test on BBC2. What memories !
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote KingCrInuYasha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2013 at 15:23
King Crimson - My dad had a guitar book that mentioned several guitarists, one of them being Robert Fripp. Not long after that, I was exposed to most of  In The Court Of The Crimson King via AOL Radio.

Gentle Giant - My dad wanted me to listen to Three Friends. I wasn't too interested, but there were some parts I really liked. It wasn't until I delved further into their output that I stared listening to it more often.

Van Der Graaf Generator - I liked the computer game Lemmings and was curious if there was a song titled "Lemmings" - don't know why, I just wanted to. I think these guys were the first to pop up.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Snow Dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2013 at 14:45
Originally posted by lazland

Originally posted by Snow Dog

Originally posted by cstack3

Originally posted by dysoriented

I asked my father the other day if he had heard of some of the 70's prog acts I listen to. To name a few, King Crimson, Hawkwind, Gentle Giant, Caravan... And he said no.

This absolutely baffled me, because his music, in general is proggy! David Bowie, Queen, Bryan Ferry. So I suppose, what I'm asking here is, how was it marketed back then? I was told "We didn't have the internet back then to discover music, we just made do''. And it made me wonder, how people found out about these bands? As I'm guessing it was just as niche then as it is now.

Does that make sense? LOL

(By the way, I don't just mean those select few, I mean the whole prog scene, obviously there's a ton of bands/musicians that were active at the time)

Ha!  Prog was HUGELY popular back then!  Singles by Yes, ELP, Focus, Flash and other bands received as much airplay back then as Justin Bieber does today!   Rock magazines like Circus were full of news about Yes, Genesis etc.  




Not in the UK it wasn't. Most kids never heard of those bands

It was a strange situation then. Shows such as Top of the Pops were full of glam, crappy "soul" music from the States, and corny pop.

However, the music press then regarded what we call prog or art rock as the epitome, and shows such as Old Grey Whistle Test catered for serious music fans. When Rick Wakeman appeared on this, aided by a news dispute on BBC1, he became an overnight star.

Bands such as Yes, Led Zep, The Who, Deep Purple et al sold albums by the truckload. Serious bands sold out gigs at large venues.

I don't deny it. But at school. most of my contempraries  didn't delve into these bands. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2013 at 14:35
Originally posted by Snow Dog

Originally posted by cstack3

Originally posted by dysoriented

I asked my father the other day if he had heard of some of the 70's prog acts I listen to. To name a few, King Crimson, Hawkwind, Gentle Giant, Caravan... And he said no.

This absolutely baffled me, because his music, in general is proggy! David Bowie, Queen, Bryan Ferry. So I suppose, what I'm asking here is, how was it marketed back then? I was told "We didn't have the internet back then to discover music, we just made do''. And it made me wonder, how people found out about these bands? As I'm guessing it was just as niche then as it is now.

Does that make sense? LOL

(By the way, I don't just mean those select few, I mean the whole prog scene, obviously there's a ton of bands/musicians that were active at the time)

Ha!  Prog was HUGELY popular back then!  Singles by Yes, ELP, Focus, Flash and other bands received as much airplay back then as Justin Bieber does today!   Rock magazines like Circus were full of news about Yes, Genesis etc.  




Not in the UK it wasn't. Most kids never heard of those bands

It was a strange situation then. Shows such as Top of the Pops were full of glam, crappy "soul" music from the States, and corny pop.

However, the music press then regarded what we call prog or art rock as the epitome, and shows such as Old Grey Whistle Test catered for serious music fans. When Rick Wakeman appeared on this, aided by a news dispute on BBC1, he became an overnight star.

Bands such as Yes, Led Zep, The Who, Deep Purple et al sold albums by the truckload. Serious bands sold out gigs at large venues.


In Lazland, life is transient. Prog is permanent.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote presdoug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2013 at 14:34
I did not discover prog until the mid to late 80s, though i had superficially been aware of it when i was young in the seventies. A friend lent me some prog albums in 1985, and then i became, as one friend put it, "the beating heart of the used record stores of my city".
      I bought big names, and also took gambles on very obscure albums. Though the cover of a record is not the most important thing, it was a pretty big factor in what i decided to gamble on.
          My prog listening and awareness just mushroomed from then on.
"and what music unites, man should not take apart"--Helmut Koellen                               
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