Archive for the ‘Magazines’ Category

Bought UK publication NEO (issue 200) to see what they are up to. They cover Anime, Asian film, Music, Cosplay, Manga etc. I did spot an interesting ad from a UK based record label called JPU Records that specializes in Japanese music and I recognised the artist whom turned out to be Isana Kagami (much beloved Babymetal & Band-Maid t-shirt wizard). Turns out you can buy some really cool designs from this artist from the JPU Records site along with releases from a lot of bands including Lovebites, Aldious, Ladybaby, Fate, Band-Maid and PassCode (all mentioned earlier on this blog). I always said that it would be great if a label zoomed into Japanese stuff and here it is. As for the magazine, I can see why people would buy this title to get access to some of the latest news and happenings from Asia.

(My shot of the last spread in the NEO 200 issue, highlighting the art by Isana Kagami and JPU Records)

Now here is an album that will touch your heart, and it has every chance to be a good seller. I saw a glimpse of this last Friday morning on a Swedish morning show on TV4 as journalist Jan Gradvall presented this record in front of a fair chunk of the population. It does not take too many viewers that like this for word to spread. Two Volumes in this series will be released on the same day (on September 25), the third Volume “Ultra Rare First Wave Of British Heavy Metal 1978-1983” (perhaps the final release covering the UK scene?) and the fourth that is titled “Ultra Rare First Wave Of Swedish Heavy Metal” 1978-1983″. The latter is the one that interests me the most since I was around back in the day and got involved in my own way (not as a musician, but in other guises – I did present the scene Stateside in CREEM METAL and used the First Wave Of Swedish Heavy Metal phrase, hoping it would catch on!). Silver Mountain is really the only well known band from the era here (with the Johansson brothers that would find fame in Yngwie Malmsteen´s Rising Force in the early 1980s), the rest never really got that lucky break. But they were all busy in their small towns around the country and they all made their own mark within the scene. The bands on offer here are Mercy, Stitch, Greensleves, Ironside, Highbrow, Turbo, Quix, Trazer, Silver Mountain, Squetters, Paradize and Behemoth. I did see Silver Mountain live, so they were out there and they had a reputation. Got to love the actual cover too (artist is unknown to me at the moment), especially the Heavy Load and 220 Volt t-shirts that are there for the trainspotters to see. If this Volume of Jobcentre Rejects sell, I have to assume that the label will go for more Swedish bands and highlight what went down here back in the day even more. There is a ton of great acts from those days, many of whom are worthy of being highlighted. And after that, maybe Germany, Japan or America awaits? This series could go on forever.

(My shot of the Swedish flag, album cover inserted)


The second of the trilogy of the currently planned Whitesnake Compilations will be released on November 6. Titled “Love Songs” it features 15 tracks and it will be out on CD & Vinyl.


Fans of the short lived Coverdale Page project will have a Double CD titled “The Studio Broadcast” to pick up any day now. Released under the name David Coverdale & Jimmy Page on a small label, there is no way in hell that David and Jimmy has been involved in this. There are a lot of radio shows being released by acts like Van Halen, Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC etc etc. You have to wonder what the artists think about it all. I have not seen a story about this in the rock press, but it is a mystery that needs to be explained.


The classic Rainbow release “Live In Munich 1977” is out on Vinyl (Triple). Looking good too.


Singer Ronnie Romero (of latter day Rainbow fame) has a new album out with his band Lords Of Black in early November called “Alchemy Of Souls, Part 1”. There is a video on YouTube for the song “Dying To Live Again”.


The official Ozzy Osbourne YouTube Channel has added the documentary “30 Years After The Blizzard” for free viewing for a week (today being day two). Sadly, Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake is not in it. The “Blizzard Of Ozz” album turned 40 today.

(Seen above is DEEP PURPLE FOREVER issue 18 with a cover shot of David Coverdale by photographer Ola Bergman – published in November 1997)

I published Deep Purple Magazine issue 16 in September 1980 so it has been 40 years now. It was a double issue and you can see the covers here. The main cover had a rather nice live shot of David Coverdale and Micky Moody from a show in the UK that year, courtesy of club member Mike Magnér. The second had a MK4 cover with Glenn Hughes, Tommy Bolin and David Coverdale (borrowed from the UK Deep Purple Apprecation Society club at the time, Fin Costello took the picture). It was true fanzine days and I do not regret it for a second. Changed my life forever.

People tell me all the time that they still have these fanzines tucked away for safe keeping. I really appreciate hearing that.

Earlier today I posted part 37 in the Old School Magazines & Comics series on this blog, and I was highlighting a classic Swedish publication from 1942-1969 called Rekord. It later dawned on me that I published a collage of covers on the back of my PIZZA 2006 publication, 14 years ago. So here is a snapshot that represents what Rekord was all about pretty well. The magazines I did at that time reflects what you see on this blog, I did exactly what I wanted to do and I had a ball doing it. Tarja Turunen from Nightwish had the cover (shot by my friend Michael Johansson back in the day), and inside the magazine there is a story about the last concert in Sweden with her in the band and the painful split. This issue also featured Audrey Hepburn, High Chaparral, Sir Lancelot and Ritchie Blackmore, and other things. Good times.

(My shot of said publication)

The American Pulp Magazines never really got translated and published in Sweden, but some covers and articles were imported to a Swedish publication called Rekord that was aimed at men (sports, adventures etc). Seen here is Rekord issues 29 1961 and 39 1961. This was before my day (it ended in 1969) so I missed out on this although I have got a nice collection of them now. No cover art credits inside (unless the artists were Swedish).

(My shot of said publications)

The magazine business is in serious trouble, but so far most of the titles that I usually support are still out there. I am sad to report that UK publication Planet Rock is over after 22 issues though. They bow out with a fine issue that includes, among other things, a great Deep Purple feature and “Whoosh!” review. I have really enjoyed this publication so this is sad to see. Classic Rock soldiers on and issue 279 (Phil Lynott cover by Ross Halfin) is packed with good stuff, not least a good feature on Thin Lizzy and a mega article about the history of the Donington Festival. Pretty spectacular, and with some interesting details that I did not know about. I knew that the original idea came from Rainbow but I did not know that it was Cozy Powell that secured the site (a race track) with one simple phone call (him being into motorcycles and cars, he knew people). Then history was being made and you could say that the Download Festival is the bastard child of Donington. Good Roger Glover interview in UK publication Bass Player (issue 399, cover shot by Getty), so the Purple related covers keep on coming. Metal Hammer is still out there and issue 339 has some good stuff in it (Metallica, Avatar, Lemmy). Good cover art by Michelle Harvey (Wolfskulljackart). Metal Hammer caters to both young and old rockers, which may give them an edge (Kerrang!, that goes almost exclusively for a younger crowd, are obviously in trouble).

Support your culture now – this is not over yet.

(My shot of said titles)

It was announced today that Sakura Gakuin, the Idol Group that was formed in 2010 by the entertainment company Amuse in Japan, will end its activities on August 31 2021. It was from Sakura Gakuin that Babymetal was formed as a subunit built around the vocal talents of Suzuka Nakamoto (Su-metal). The first Babymetal performances and recordings took place when Su-metal, Moametal (Moa Kikuchi) and Yuimetal (Yui Mizuno) were still part of Sakura Gakuin and because of this much of the very early Babymetal stuff can be found on the 2010-2013 era releases (albums, singles, DVDs, books – the first official Babymetal DVD was released in 2013 and the first album in 2014). Babymetal became an independent project in 2013, preceeding the graduation of Su from the group that year, but Moa and Yui were still part of Sakura Gakuin until they graduated in 2015. By then Babymetal was a sensation around the world. The last version of Sakura Gakuin (eight members) will now graduate a year from now, at which point 36 members will have passed through the ranks. It could be argued that Covid 19 has been largely responsible for Sakura Gakuin coming to an end. Without concerts etc, 2020 has been a tough year in the industry. This years graduation took place online and not in a packed theater. There are 10 albums out plus a “Best Of Sakura Gakuin” CD and numerous DVDs, books etc. Due to the success of Babymetal, the Sakura Gakuin stuff will likely remain available for some time. Babymetal will celebrate the 10th Anniversary in October. No word yet on what will go down or how. Some kind of event that may be live streamed seems likely. The lore, as announced on a previous performance, has mentioned the date 20201010. Former members of Sakura Gakuin can now be found in all sorts of places, in groups, in theater and in films and television etc. And some have obviously taken the very concept of Kawaii Metal to the world, and succeeded against all odds. I predict future books, DVDs and Compilations and whenever Babymetal get down to writing their history, they will certainly have a proud place in that chapter of music history as well. This is a journey that will not be forgotten.

(My shot of three Sakura Gakuin books, a magazine, some DVDs and CDs)


And the magazine covers keep on coming. Here is UK publication Power Play issue 232. Third cover in the UK in recent weeks. There is also a decent Ian Gillan chat in MOJO issue 322 (David Bowie cover) with a great shot from the early 1970s in it. Loads of publicity right now, I think the guys are doing way more interviews than ever before. Well, if you can not tour, you can still do press.


There will be a Dio comic book in June 2021 based on the cover of “Holy Diver”. It comes from Z2 Comics in the States, the same company that published the Babymetal comic book a while back.


A monster box with Uriah Heep stuff is coming up on October 30. Titled “Fifty Years In Rock” it features 23 CDs, “The Magicians Birthday” on Vinyl and a 64 page book. Original members Mix Box, Ken Hensley, Paul Newton and Lee Kerslake have all been involved in the project.

(My shot of the Power Play magazine)

Swedish magazine Motor, issues 15 and 12 1967. This publication always had awesome covers. I mean, compare these cover shots with the car magazines today and there is no wonder that they are on their way out now. The magazine business will slowly dry up, one reason being that the fun has slowly eroded from the scene. No photo credits for these covers, the cover to the left looks American to me and the one to the right may be Swedish (who knows).

(My shot of said publications)