No Cause for Concern? Issue #8 | October 1983 | Page 3 | letter #1
[letter to the editor]
There is a new phenomenon happening in Ottawa, the appearance of "commercial fanzines" if you would. I called one of them, "Nightmoves" and asked if they would publish "letters to the editor",. The publisher's answer was so unencouraging and non-committal that I thought I should write you with my feelings.
Local music publications have always been an alternative to the mainstream music industries' press, ever since the scene was revived in the late '70s. What we have in Ottawa re new local publications trying to suck up to big business and commercial rock and roll. In the process of doing so, they start off with little of the idealism that perpetuates the best of the local, original music scene, and whatever integrity is with them will erode away as these publications court business advertising revenues and let commercially-oriented bands "see themselves in print".
"Nightmoves" is a case in point. The publisher, Michael Bartholomew, first describes his tabloid as "an Ottawa Rock Trade Magazine" and then proceeds to name drop his meetings with big name celebrities like Burton Cummings, Elton John, and "run-in" with John Lennon (how many years ago?) and a photograph with himself and Miss Universe. What a pile of garbage! As if all of it would somehow raise up our opinion of him or his magazine!
Describing Ottawa as "Negative City" and patronizingly calling locally produced material "too loud" that if somehow Ottawa would get tons of commercially oriented, over-produced, million dollar-backed superstars to play here, and if publications like his would praise the commercial-sounding cover bands, mixing their local coverage with the multi-billion dollar rock industries press releases, then we'd have a great scene. I think that perspective will kill originality, spontaneity and meaningfulness in the local music community here.
Of the bands Micheal lists as "coming up", two thirds of them play mostly cover material. Publication like "Nightmoves" will do nothing but promote the bland lifeless, uninspiring bar scene. Or encourage young musicians to develop an "image, approach and sound" to "virtually put the continent at their feet". This whole attitude is a reflection of the greed, idolitry and plasticity that have made mainstream music culture trivial and decadent.
With such a lack of vision, we'd be better off without publications like "Nightmoves" despite the needed forum it would provide.
- Vig DeLiberté
P.S. I just went out with Debbie Harry, Stevie Nicks, LInda Ronstat, Carol Kind, Bo Derek, Susanne Sommers and Cheryl Tiegs -- all at the same time! Aren't I cool?
[read the additional comment from the editor]