Entries in The Secret History of Rock (172)
I’m going to read you a quote. The sentiments probably sound familiar.
“Forms and rhythms in music are never altered without producing changes in the entire fabric of society...It is here that we must be so careful, since these new forms creep in imperceptibly in the form of a seemingly harmless diversion. But little by little, this mischief becomes more and more familiar and spreads into our manners and pursuits. Then, with gathering force, it invades men’s dealings with on another and goes on to attack the laws and the constitution with reckless impudence until it ends by overthrowing the whole structure of public and private life!”
Sounds like your typical anti-rock’n’roll crusader, right? Actually, those words were written in 375 BC by the philosopher Plato.
In other words, the crusade to censor the music of the young has been going on a little longer than most people realize.
Just about everyone has some kind of portable device that plays music: iPod, iPhone, some other kind of phone, an MP3 player.
But what was the first portable personal music device? If you said the Sony Walkman, you’re wrong. A German guy named Andreas Pavel patented a cassette-and-headphones device he called the “Stereobelt” in 1977, almost two years before Sony introduced the Walkman.
When Sony introduced their product, Pavel sued and kept after Sony for more than twenty years until there was some kind of settlement for millions of euros. He then went after Apple and other manufacturers of MP3 players.
Let this be a lesson, kids: make sure you understand patents.
Here’s a little information for people who still treasure your CD collection. You may have noticed a sort of code on older releases—odd abbreviations like AAD or ADD and a few others. What do they mean?
They told us the process of how the CD was made.
The first “A” in “AAD” means that the music was made using analog equipment. The second “A” means that the mastering was done on analog gear.
And the final “D” meant that you were holding a digital product. This was a big deal back in the day because people seemed interested in how old and new technology was used in making that recording.
Today, we don’t see many CDs with those abbreviations, simply because almost every recording from start to finish is done digitally.
In their 30-plus years together, Depeche Mode has sold more than 100 million records and is easily one of the most influential alt-rock bands of all time. But what about that name?
Where did it come from? It certainly wasn’t their first choice. In the beginning, they considered Composition of Sound.
Then it was Peter Bonetti’s Boots (I have no idea who he was). That was followed by The Lemon Peels, The Runny Smiles and the Glow Worms. They even performed a couple of shows under the name The Scamps.
It was singer Dave Gahan that stumbled on the phrase “depeche mode” when he was browsing through a magazine stand. Depeche Mode is the name of a French fashion magazine—a name that can be translated as “fast fashion.”
That sounded good, so they took it. And the magazine never sued…