Its about The Brand

By Scott Westerman
Beyond the haircuts, one of the distinctive visuals associated with the Beatles is the logo that adorned Ringo’s Ludwig drum kit. Brian Epstein was an early believer in the holistic approach to rock n roll branding. The hair, the suits, the boots, the guitars, the drums and the logo all contributed to the total Beatle experience. As a recent Freep slide show details a band’s logo is often instantly recognizable. Throughout the Keener era, you looked for The Brand when you flipped through albums at Harmony House, when you perused the newspaper concert pages and when you made those t-shirt purchases at the live shows. Dean Torrence, famously half of Jan & Dean, made a living in the imaging space crafting logos for the Turtles, Nillson and The Beach Boys. And today, The Brand is becoming more important that the records that were once it’s foundation. Radiohead and Prince have virtually given away their music in support of concert dates and merchandising. And Madonna recently abandoned Warner for Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promoter, who will try to maximize cash flows through multiple revenue streams, the records are almost secondary.. Frank Maruca had an innate understanding of The Brand in the run-up to Keener’s Halloween night launch 44 years ago, printing matchbooks, bumper stickers and high school book covers and plastering the station’s distinctive blue logo wherever he could. Even now, seeing it in it’s various incarnations instantly brings back memories.