Thursday, October 22, 2009

ARP 2600, Contemporary Keyboard 1976

ARP 2600 synthesizer ad from page 26 and 27 of Contemporary Keyboard Magazine November/December 1976.

My CK magazine collection is not totally complete, but as I look through old issues it becomes clear that ARP didn't promote their 2600 in CK ads very often . ARP was definitely bringing out the big guns for the Xmas holiday blast of 1976 with this 2-pager around the same time the Axxe and Pro-GDX really started to get ad-play as well (just not in this issue). ARP did promote the 2600 in the 1976 ARP product family ad that I blogged about last week, but as far as I can tell, this ad just ran once in the magazine.

I'm tickled pink by this ad for a few reasons:

One. I find out that Joe Zawinul names his synths. Or at least he named his 2600's - 'Eins' and 'Zwei' (German for '1' and '2' - kinda makes sense since Zawinul was born in Austria). And at one point in the ad he talks about inverting the keyboard of one of the 2600's and calls playing the two keyboards in this fashion "...a real head trip". You just don't hear that phrase much anymore. Could someone famous please bring it back into the pop-culture conscienceness for me?

As an aside, I've only named two of my synths but I know lots of friends that name all their gear. In fact, if the gear were alive, they would probably be fed better than their own children. And no, I'm not going to tell you what the names of my synths are - just that they might somehow be related to Lord of the Rings. 'Nuf said.

Two. The ad mentions 'Human Engineering' - an ARP phrase that also appeared in a Contemporary Keyboard magazine article about David Friend that I talk about in same ARP family product post I mention above. This ad and the article makes me realize just how much the phrase was actively used by ARP to help separate itself from the pack.

Three. The photo shows the two 2600's standing on either side of an ARP Sequencer. Excellent secondary advertising.

Earlier this year I posted an ARP Sequencer ad that just happens to appear in this same issue of CK. I still think the hand in that ad looks incredibly creepy.

Anways, getting back on topic...

If you aren't familiar with Zawinul, a good place to start is the Wikipedia page for the band Weather Report. From there you will be bouncing around to different Web pages in no time.

I don't think I have to mention (but I'm about to anyways) that although this ad focuses on Zawinul, like most ARP ads, it drops the names of other famous musicians as often as Public Enemy drops beats. The usual lot are mentioned - Edgar Winters, Stevie Wonder, Bob James and Pete Townsend.

Before I go, just thought I would let you know I updated my last Emulator blog post. A former employee of E-mu mentioned that the image in the ad was actually the prototype of the Emulator, and you can see another photo of the prototype in the 'Vintage Synthesizer' book by Mark Vail. The book even mention that the awesome older logo that existed on the prototype was Scott Wedge's favorite. Nice.

Don't forget, you can always comment on my posts or contact me at retrosynthads AT to let me know what you think.

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