Ifyou’re wanting to get on in the music business. this is the place to start. The Rock Report. compiled by Alastair Mabbott and John Williamson. offers a comprehensive guide to what there is available in the way of facilities for young musicians in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Ifyou feel you should have been included. ring(l3l 558 1191 now. Illustrations are by Jacqueline Stevenson.


K .




So you wanna be a rock ‘n‘ roll star? You think you‘ve got what it takes to be the next Smiths. the next New Order? Or perhaps your sights are set higher. You want to topple U2 and Springsteen from their perches. perhaps? You‘ve probany started by bashing away at an acoustic guitar in your room. with friends ofsimilar persuasions. and now you want to get more serious about it. Well. it‘s not going to be easy. It‘s a long road. with disappointments. hustlers. sharks and brick walls at every turn. It‘s going to need suss. dedication. a sympathetic bank manager and talent.

Edinburgh-based producer. Bob Last. who took the Human League from a medium-sized cult group to hitmakers. is currently involved with artists like Win and Clare Grogan; I asked him what it takes to be a rock star.

‘Everyone always thinks. “Ifonly I had a good manager. or ifonly A&R men weren‘t such a bunch ofjerks. or ifonly I‘d get a good publisher. or ifonly I could get this journalist to write about me“. In my experience. a good 70% of the time. none ofthat‘s got anything to do with whether they succeed. or achieve whatever it is they want to do. whether it‘s an indie single or a contract with CBS. A vast majority ofthe time what really counts is the bands or musician‘s own attitude. And the problem I have with people is that they very rarely even ask themselves what they do actually want. Or ifthey do ask that question. they don‘t answer it honestly.

‘People just seem to get in bands; it has this kind of momentum. and it gets more and more serious. and they never stop to think it through. A band has got to decide why they are doing it. Is it because they want the attention that chart success brings (which is the case for a hell of a lot more people than would ever admit it)? Is it because you think you‘ve got something important to say. and because you believe in what you‘ve got to say you want it to get as wide an audience as possible? If that‘s your primary reason. fine - but decide that‘s your primary reason. because it leads you to a whole different lot ofcompromises.

‘Or you might be going into a band because you want a job. and can‘t get a job anywhere else.

‘Or it may be because you see yourself as a ‘musician‘s musician‘. interested in the musicality ofwhat you‘re doing.

‘Or ofcourse it may be a combination of any of these things. but you need to analyse it. and have a sense of priorities. because the whole process at any level is making the right compromises. You don‘t get anywhere without making compromises. and the thing to do is to make them on your initiative.

‘Wha‘t is more important. and this is what local bands never ever realise. is that nobody else is going to be able to make those decisions for you. unless your motivation is clear. And the biggest of all these decisions is with what scale of success would you be satisfied?‘

However mega you want to be. you‘ve got to start somewhere. and on the following pages are a guide to the facilities and openings available in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Inevitably. a few omissions (but hopefully fewer mistakes) will have crept in. so if there‘s anything we haven‘t included. but should have. please let us know at once.


The List 21 Aug— 3 Sept 35