Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Grand Royal 03, 1996 / The Moog Issue

 Well, here I am, late on a Monday night, ready for a bit of the old volunteer radio.  Re-connecting with an old friend from the Direct Connect hubs, we were talking hip-hop.  He recommended a film I very much enjoyed, Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives from 2015, and we quickly got into the topic a couple heads get into after not talking for a number of years - that rappers will die of natural causes.  Fuck, man, Trugoy, Phife, DOOM, the Biz - I guess you're hitting the end of middle age when your heroes start to shuffle off the mortal coil en masse.  It's hard to see these inimitable human beings gone to soon, but what can you do but enjoy the tunes and interviews they left behind.  Anyways, my pal brought up Grand Royal, and, in true Grand Royal / Darwination fashion, I've put over a decade between the scanning of issues 2 and 3 ๐Ÿ˜ 

Often Wrong, Never in Doubt.  My copy was in pretty nice shape before disassembly outside of the cover which is scratched and faded to hell, I did what I could with it:


Get the full hi-res scan, with joined splashes and tag here: Grand Royal 03 (1996) (DREGS)

or you can view online or download other formats of an unjoined version at the IA here. Honestly, Blogger's image system is so bad, my blog is about one of the worst ways to look at the pages ๐Ÿ˜ 

The magazine kicks off with an explanation from Mark Lewman (BMX editor extraordinaire, no doubt brought in by Spike Jonze to help right the ship) for the delay between the second and third issues, a message about this blessed mess:

Look at those poor suckers, sleep deprived, flipping the bird, working hard to get the magazine out.  But Lewman's spot on here.  Grand Royal is an all-out assault on the possibilities of a magazine.  This issue is absolutely dense with content.  Three columns a page, graphic splashes everywhere, idiosyncratic but also accessible interviews.  Contributors giving their own take on cherished subjects.  There's a lot to digest.  Sure, a regular magazine schedule makes subscriptions work and planning advertising sales a thing, but GR is serving no wine before it's time.  The slacker generation and a great ambition for what a magazine can be meet head to head ๐Ÿ˜

The contents

PUNCH IT CHEWIE, mebbe a little typing music, eh, from maybe the only Grand Royal record I actually own, still with the sizzle, Luscious Jackson from Fever In Fever Out

 Spike Jonze jumps right in with an uninvited visitor's guide to the hotel pools of Hollywood

And then a couple of articles on legendary TV shows.  An interview with Michael Holman on Graffiti Rock, bringing hip hop to airwaves back in 1984, lasting only a single episode:

AND NOW THANKS TO THE WONDERS OF YOUTUBE, you can actually checka checka check it out, wild.  I'm grooving to the DJ behind the breakdancers and now recognize the sample of dude saying "don't try it (the scratching) at home on your dad's radio only on the hip hop super vision" heh heh damn and a lot more samples too.  RUN DMC vs Special K and Kool Moe Dee battle? whaaaat

 Another lost show, James Brown's Future shock by Russel Simins, blues explosion man

Again, the wonders of youtube makes myth reality, these damn kids don't know how good they have it


Next, a visit to the Hock it Me pawnshop in Butte, Montana, reveals an Evel Knievel art collection by the man himself gifted to the Pawnbroker who was once a barkeep of Evel's favorite watering hole.

Kool Keith on cinema, Bob from Pavement on betting the ponies, Mike Watt on his E-250 touring van (had one as a work van), Ricky Powell with the Globetrotters, then Yauch interviews the Dalai Lama.  Let's go ahead and put that one up in it's entirety

Following is a rather long and ridiculous interview with Weird Al in which Yoko Ono makes a brief and unexpected appearance.  You can't make this up.  Even back then, there was an appreciation for Al's many talents -

Iron-On included:


Which brings us to the meat of the issue, a series of excellent articles on electronic music. The history of the synthesizer, Survival of the Fattest, Darwin approves:

Then a four page interview with Bob Moog, followed by an interview with Wendy Carlos upon the matter of Switched-On Bach

Free the Robots sampling Egg doing Fugue in D Minor

 Mike D's list of top 10 Moog records.  I listened to Age of Electronicus and went back and forth from bliss to nearly going out of my skull in moog madness (Dick Hyman gives an interview later)-

The Grand Royal jokers set out to build a Theremin

From the detailed history of Adidas, I got Stripes, high fashion.  I wonder how many rappers wear Adidas these days, not too many

RIP BIZ MARKIE, a genuine sweetheart and master beat boxer

and much more.  The last page is a great tribute to Darren Robinson, another legendary beat boxer.

What a great mag.  I'll try and do the next issue before another decade passes.  Out of gas and off to bed.  Rappers die but hip hop lives, gliding in for a soft landing -

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