As a fan of musical history, you get used to your heroes going, and each passing makes you reconsider what it was you liked about them. As we went to press for this issue, Gil Scott-Heron died. I loved his music, and then, with the rise of rap, he seemed a little past his sell-by date, even if he’d gone some way to inventing the genre. I stopped listening to his stuff at about the time Kiss-FM in London seemed to be playing Racetrack In France on heavy rotation; OK tune, but boring in bulk. Recently, I’d got back into Gil thanks to DJ Asparagus & Wipe The Needle’s (I’m not joking) lovely edit of Your Daddy Loves You (Gamm records), which reminded me just how unafraid to bear his soul he was. Of couse, it seems the moment you get back into somebody, they pass away. The message is, let’s celebrate our heroes while we can, and if it is too late, let’s at least appreciate what they achieved. Deadlines mean that our obituaries page has gone to press as I write, but we’ll feature a fulsome memorial of Gil in the next issue. In the meantime, Record Collector is putting its metaphorical hands together to applaud the living icons that are Marva Whitney, who says some strong words about the Queen of Soul; the Black Country Communion and Deep Purple legend Glenn Hughes, and the sultan of twang, Duane Eddy. We’re not the only ones saluting the latter – Hank Marvin, Steve Howe and other great axemen sing his praises in these pages. And talking of genius guitarists, we have a passionate piece about the late Rory Gallagher that his many fans will find gripping.
Collectors of The Rolling Stones’ older records might be intrigued to see the heap of singles they’ve released in the past 30 years in our cover story – bear in mind that this a major band and many of these releases were limited editions, meaning they have investment potential. Plus some didn’t sell well, as our story makes clear. We also reveal Kate Bush’s secret songs. I apologise in advance to readers with an aversion to (gulp) bootlegs, but considering how few records Kate has issued, some fans have resorted to these dodgy pressings to hear more. It’s a poor state of affairs. We’re reporting it but we don’t condone it. One thing we do approve of is great rock photography, and none is greater than the stunning work of Ross Halfin. But what’s it like to point a lens at musical idols? The forthright Mr Halfin gives us the lowdown as only he can. Plus there’s our regular features, and we’re introducing our new comic strip, Artistic Differences love it. See you next issue…
by Ian McCann
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