How to Increase Your Odds of Music Business Success by 20,000

Bob Leggitt | Sunday, 3 July 2016 |

Rachel Stevens - BBC Top of the Pops, 2006

Okay, so you’ve probably seen the title, suspected it was empty clickbait, and taken a look just to marvel at the audacity of the post. But actually, this is not empty clickbait. It’s an entirely genuine article, which is going to explain exactly how musicians routinely, and devastatingly, compromise their chances of success, whilst others render high achievement almost inevitable. It has nothing to do with competence, talent, or practice. The odds of success or failure are in fact primarily determined by two very simple decisions, which most musicians make instinctively, right at the very start of their journey.

The Rise of the Guitar Effects Rack

Bob Leggitt | Sunday, 19 June 2016 |

Marshall Series 9000 power amp and RE-3 Roland Space Echo from the heyday of guitar racks

Watch an old live rock performance from the 1970s, and in the backline you’ll see amps. Just amps; no effects. Right up until the end of the decade, this essentially remained the case. But as the 1980s dawned, and technology began to invade popular music as never before, forward-thinking professional guitarists with cash on the hip steadily started to adopt rack-based setups on stage. Watch a late ‘80s rock performance, and if you don’t see a fancy stack of 19 inch processors in the backline, it’s like: “OMG! Where’s the rack???!!

How Flickr Favorites Get Your Images Scraped

Bob Leggitt | Friday, 17 June 2016 |

Back in early 2013, I wrote a post about Flickr’s attitude to its own ‘licence’ categorisations. Flickr had confirmed to me that the official Flickr API, used by third party scraper sites to ‘legitimately’ scrape content from Flickr and display it on their own domains, was engineered to allow the scraping and automatic republishing of All Rights Reserved images. In other words, the licencing choices made by Flickr users had no relevance at all to Flickr, and were disrespected by the site’s own redistribution service.

The Smarties Vintage Van Set

Bob Leggitt | Sunday, 12 June 2016 |

Those cupboards you never look in… They’re full of stuff like this… Well, they are if you’re a beyond-help hoarder whose floorboards are struggling to bear the weight of endless ‘nostalgia’.

This is a 1991 Smarties gift set, based around a model vintage van in the style of a Matchbox vehicle. The van is not actually a Matchbox product, but essentially a spin-off from the Matchbox brand. It’s made by Lledo, whose boss was formerly a director at Lesney/Matchbox. The van carries a simple three-part message on its base…


The model van replicates an old Ford, and this particular design was used by Lledo for a multitude of brand name promotions. The body is diecast metal, but the chassis and roof are plastic.

The Smarties presentation box still has its price label, indicating a retail value of £3.99. The rear of the box cites a Best Before date of “1 5 92” (British format, so that’s 1st May 1992). And the reason, of course, for the Best Before date is the presence, inside the box, of four tubes of Rowntree Mackintosh Smarties. For reference, someone ate the Smarties. I assume it was me.

Each Smarties tube is marked with the slogan of the day: “Only Smarties have the answer”, and features a coloured plastic lid. The tubes in themselves provide classic nostalgia from a quarter of a century ago. And back then, of course, the Smarties ingredients list featured a choice selection of ‘E’ numbers. I think that’s what my diet has been missing for the past decade, to be honest…

UK Punk Guitar: A Style Defined

Bob Leggitt | Saturday, 11 June 2016 |

Whether or not punk rock’s guitar style had a definite beginning is open to lively debate. And for good reason. The punk genre might have had a cultural singularity of birth in the year 1976, but musically it evolved over a period of time. How long a period of time depends on whose word you choose to take.