We are thrilled to announce this is our 100th Squire newsletter! To celebrate we are holding a special competition, and counting down the top five newsletters!
We originally started sending regular newsletters as far back as 1982, when we established the original Official Squire Fan Club. We revived them as an online instalment in 2019, to coincide with the release of September Gurls (Expanded Edition) LP. We even sent out a special limited edition printed version of that first new publication, as a celebration of starting the newsletter up again - and we have continued ever since!
We never expected to get this far, but with your support and interest, and with new releases, gigs, deep dives into the archives, and the many competitions (and appearances of Chanel), we’ve managed to keep going! Indeed, this year looks like being one of the busiest so far, with the early release of Passengers On Trains, the 40th Anniversary of Get Smart(!!!), 18 live dates booked so far, that with take us from Brighton on 26th August, via a UK tour with Secret Affair during October/November and finally Blackpool on 9th December.
Here is the poster for the first concert of the year, in Brighton, support from The Molotovs, The Electric Stars, and The 48ks, all great performers, and the night is going to be the event of the Brighton Weekend! Click on the poster above for the ticket link. You will also be able to see us on the Secret Affair tour in October/November!
We hope to add some extra dates, and will announce them here.
The first newsletter on 25th July 2019 reflected on our previous UK tour with Secret Affair (thats us on stage above on the tour), and celebrated the September Gurls release.
and as 2020 emerged and we went into Covid lockdown, so the newsletters became the weekly way to keep in touch with everyone while we couldn’t play live. It was the start of the regular conversation, and alongside the single re-issues, the newsletters gave us a great opportunity to reflect back and share the archive of unseen photos and unheard demos, discuss how the records had been recorded, and Squire's story in the context of early history, line up changes and key events.
Here is the TOP FIVE most popular newsletter countdown!
(if you click on the pictures below, you can get to the actual editions!)
NUMBER FIVE - RICKENBACKER!
In at number five, and a big surprise hit was the first of the Rickenbacker issues! It seems there are a few guitarists and guitar fans out there that love the iconic shape and legend of the Rickenbacker. We described how the different guitar sounds influenced each record, and played unheard backing tracks of ‘The Life’ and ‘Its Too Bad’ from Get Smart to illustrate the different timbres. A year later we went to the Rickenbacker exhibition and ‘From The Frying Pan to the Fireglo’ book launch, met with the Rickenbacker owner John Hall, and drooled over some rare examples of guitars on display, and last summer we repeated the experience again at the Modern World Exhibition in Brighton when we got to see Paul Weller's guitars close up. Its always fascinating to see the actual guitars of history, replete with the patina of use and passing of time, and imagine their place and influence in the story of our favourite music.
NUMBER FOUR - SATURDAY SHOPPING!
The subject of recordings and the development of the Squire sound was addressed in the Saturday Shopping newsletter. It allowed us to connect the story of how the LP 'Hits From 3000 Years Ago' came about, the influences behind the songs and how the sound exemplifies the DNA of the Squire sound. A great series of newsletters followed, stepping through the chronology of the singles releases, and highlighting key moments such as the abandoned 'Girl On A Train' album and behind the scenes look at artwork and style references.
NUMBER THREE - GETTING READY TO GO!
This was a particularly popular issue. Everyone loves the early days stories and we got to hear out-takes from the actual 'Get Ready To Go' recording session, including the unheard original band performance of ‘Getting Better’. The early punk influences are still evident and it was fascinating to understand how quickly Squire moved from the proto punk pop style band of the first single on Rok Records, to full on mod sounds of ‘My Mind Goes Round In Circles’ just a year later, via the Mods Mayday LP and two singles for I-Spy!
NUMBER TWO - MODS MAYDAY!
The second most popular newsletter, unsurprisingly, discussed everyone’s favourite subject - The 1979 Mods Mayday concert and live album! Since Squire were the first band on, and have played at nearly every Mods Mayday event since, it provides a perennial treasure trove subject and and there’s always more to add to the story, be it the recordings, eye witness accounts, bootleg issues, later 1999 Mods Mayday revival or the current annual events.
NUMBER ONE - THE SOUL OF SQUIRE!
Everyone was fascinated by the influence of Stax and Motown. Indeed, some of your favourite songs such as ‘B-A-B-Y Baby Love’ and ‘Stop That Girl!' pay homage to the sound, while the very early days saw songs like ‘My Girl’ and ‘Back In My Arms Again’ in the set. We found a rare recording of ‘My Girl’ recorded live at the Electric Ballroom in 1979 to share, and contrasted it to a live video of Squire headlining the 1999 Mods Mayday reunion concert where we presented a ‘Motortown Review’ style show compete with dancers on podiums!!
Of course, there are many more great newsletters that deserve mention and we may revisit them in the near future. The Kirsty MacColl connection, the Boys About Town Trilogy, the Get Smart series, the Powerpop Squire, and the various live concert tapes! There are many more gems in the archive, alongside future plans, to keep us busy for another 100 newsletters!
We will end with a grateful tribute to yourselves, and your own contribution to the newsletters and the fact that ‘competition time’ and “the winner is…” newsletters always score high!!
We’ve held seven competitions so far! Chanel has appeared in every one and we’ve enjoyed filming the magic moments. But reflecting back on the newsletters reveals that we missed running a competition for a couple of the singles in the reissue series!
So we will end this newsletter with a special competition to win a really rare 'Get Ready To Go' single White label Test Pressing together with a 'The Young Idea' Tee Shirt!!!
The question is in two parts -
- Name one of the missing records!
- What has been your favourite newsletter so far?
Email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org and please mark the subject line as competition so we can spot them easily! We will announce the winner on Saturday 22nd April and you can see who wins live on screen!
Thank you for your support and see you for the next newsletter!
Keep in touch!