TOTALLY WIRED: The Rise & Fall of the Music Press by Paul Gorman

The home computer and its promiscuous offspring the internet were wrecking balls, demolishing much that was worth treasuring. Amidst the debris they left behind, the typewriters, fax machines and paper maps, was the UK’s once magnificent weekly music press, the history and culture of which is the subject of Totally Wired

        Unlike the monthly music magazines of today, which rely largely on nostalgia, the institution Paul Gorman writes about was immediate, spontaneous, opinionated and uncontrollable. It stirred battles royal over content and musical direction, drug- and alcohol-induced recklessness and titanic egos that exploded in desperate power struggles. It was a vibrant, messy, unforgiving arena that gave voice to countless writers of note. Bought by millions and read by millions more, that it no longer exists in recognisable form makes Totally Wired a document of great importance for anyone studying the evolution of the UK’s print media during the 20th Century. It is also, in its own way, a despairing eulogy, a tragedy for both aspiring writers and the music industry itself. 

        Herein are documented the rise and fall of scores of music papers, from titans like New Musical Express and Melody Maker to radical papers like Oz and IT, from later, hugely successful, glossies like Smash Hits, The Face and Q to publications that were little more than Xeroxed fanzines, all of them staffed by schemers and dreamers drawn to the bright lights of pop, most of them engaging characters of one sort or another whose work is documented and, to some extent, assessed by colleagues and the author himself. Furthermore, although the emphasis is on the UK, Totally Wired extends its reach to the US with its dry trade journals like Billboard, twinkling teenybop mags like 16 and hard-nosed monthlies like Creem, and where the struggle to outshine Rolling Stone continues to this day.

        Totally Wired begins and ends with Melody Maker, my own alma mater, for the simple reason that, in 1926, it was the first music paper ever to be published anywhere, and, aside from a brief epilogue, Paul Gorman chooses to conclude his book at the turn of the millennium, which is when MM bit the dust. It might surprise some to discover that MM had the field to itself for 20 years, chronologically over a quarter of this book’s time span, until the arrival of Accordion Times & Musical Express, which after a change in ownership became NME in 1952. Thereafter, the rivalry between the two is one of Totally Wired’s many sub-plots, with NME eventually coming out on top, not just because it remained in print for 18 years longer than MM but because once Nick Logan took over the editor’s chair in 1973 it became more daring, more fun to read and sold more copies.

        Lest the impression is given here that the book’s focus is on these two publications, be assured this is far from the case. With the odd exception – see below – just about every music paper you care to name gets a mention, regardless of its significance, circulation or readership demographic. Paul Gorman’s remit is comprehensive – he’s fastidious about quoting circulation figures and largely impartial in his assessments of editorial quality – but while the tone of the book leans more towards the fortunes of the actual papers, the greater fascination for me (because I know or knew many of them) lies in the stories of those who created their content. Prominent among them are NME’s trio of seventies literati, Ian MacDonald, Nick Kent and Charles Shaar Murray, who were pitted against MM’s Richard Williams, Michael Watts and Allan Jones, amongst others, but also in the Hall of Fame of those who shaped our music press we find heroes both sung and unsung: Max Jones, Val Wilmer, Ray Coleman, Penny Valentine, Chris Welch, Caroline Coon, Pete Frame, Mick Farren, Julie Birchill, Tony Parsons, Neil Spencer, Mark Perry, David Hepworth, Mark Ellen, Alan Lewis, Barney Hoskyns, Paul Morley, Jon Savage and Chris Salewicz; and in the US Paul Williams, Greg Shaw, Gloria Stavers, Lisa Robinson, Lenny Kaye, Dave Marsh, Lester Bangs, Jon Landau and Rolling Stone supremo Jann Wenner. In Totally Wired we hear from, or about, them all, and apologies to those I’ve missed from this very selective list. 

There are omissions, among the most glaring Record Collector, launched in 1979 by Sean O’Mahoney, who under the pseudonym of Johnny Dean was also the mastermind behind The Beatles Book, the only periodical authorised by the group, which at its peak sold 300,000 copies per monthly issue, a statistic worth a mention in itself. Other, perhaps more understandable, omissions are Dark Star, the eccentric but discerning music ’zine issued sporadically between 1975 and 1980 that gave my great friend and noted rock biographer Johnny Rogan his first by-line, and Tony Fletcher’s nationally-distributed Jamming!. Also, the impression is given that the music press was limited to the UK and US but this is not the case. In the seventies MM’s content was licensed to Go-Set in Australia, and most counties in Continental Europe boasted at least one rock mag, my favourite France’s Inrockuptibles.  

But these is minor quibbles. Totally Wired is an exhaustive, superbly researched, 382-page volume about an important subject dear to my heart, illustrated with loads of front covers. The tragedy that is at the heart of the book, the death of our beloved music press, is best summed up by Q and Mojo founder David Hepworth in its closing words: “You’re going to miss the music press,” he wrote, addressing the music industry. “It did the one thing you failed to value. Through its lens it made your acts seem exciting and larger than life, even when they weren’t.”



It was Derek Taylor, the eminent Beatles PR, who gave me my first copy of A Christmas Gift For You, Phil Spector’s classic Christmas LP. It was 1972 and Derek was working for WEA (Warner-Elektra-Atlantic) Records at the time, head of Special Projects I think, but had taken it upon himself to promote a record on a competing label. The edition Derek gave me was a reissue on Apple Records, which had nothing to do with Warner Bros, but he had no compunction about moonlighting for his old chums since Spector, who had produced records by John and George, was sort of family I guess. More to the point, Derek believed in the record and felt, rightly, that it deserved the second chance this Apple reissue offered. 

        Before we go any further with this I ought to state that what follows does not in any way excuse Phil Spector’s conviction for the killing of 40-year-old actress Lana Clarkson, following which he was sentenced to 19 years to life, dying in a prison hospital in 2021. Whatever opprobrium was deservedly heaped upon Spector, however, does not reduce the merits of A Christmas Gift For You nor his skills as a record producer, and Derek Taylor had died six years before all this happened. 

        Recorded at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles over many sessions during the summer of 1963, A Christmas Gift For You was first released in the US on Philles, Spector’s own label, on November 22 that year, by a quirk of fate the same day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Texas. America was in no mood for festive fun, and Spector’s masterpiece died a death as a result. Which is why I was unaware of it until I happened to be in Derek’s office in the week before Christmas 1972. 

        I was too late to join in the merriment to be found in Derek’s Apple office, described in jaw-dropping detail by ‘office hippie’ Richard DiLello in his book The Longest Cocktail Party, but Derek continued to host lower-key, early evening soirees in his corner office at WEA, sitting in his peacock chair and pouring drinks for visiting music writers. It wasn’t unusual for members of The Faces to be hanging out in Derek’s office as they were favourites with the girls who worked there, along with his PA Mandi Newall and the more jovial members of his staff like dapper promo man Des Brown. 

Derek in his peacock chair

        The LP, now retitled Phil Spectors Christmas Album, was playing when I arrived for my festive drink and when I remarked on it, Derek extracted a copy for me from a box of them on the floor beside his desk. “Happy Christmas, old boy,” he said with a twinkle in his eye as I left with it tucked under my arm. When I got back to my flat in Bayswater, I played it for the first time. And I’ve been playing it ever since, though nowadays it’s more likely to be the CD enclosed within the 1991 Back To Mono Spector collection of three separate CDs, 60 tracks in all. 

The Apple reissue I was given 

        A Christmas Gift For You contains 13 tracks; only one of them, the closing ‘Silent Night’ with its monologue by Phil himself, sacred, and from a glance at the titles, you could be forgiven for assuming it was all a bit cheesy. ‘Frosty The Snowman’, ‘Rudolph’ and ‘Marshmallow World’ might appear childish, but from the opening notes of opener ‘White Christmas’, an ascending line on the bass notes of a piano, and Darlene Love’s pronunciation of ‘I’m’ as ‘Ahiyam’, the stage is set for a Christmas record like no other. The wall of sound thunders in and after a couple of verses steps back. “The sun is shining, the grass is green,” Darlene tells us, half talking, half singing. “The orange and palm trees sway. There’s never been such a day in old LA. But it’s December 24th and I’m longing to be up north. So I can have my very own White Christmas. Oooohh yeahhhh… Ahiyam dreaming…” and off we go again, another verse with a closing nod to ‘Jingle Bells’.

        Almost all the tracks are prefaced by brief, melodic orchestral preludes before the Spector mix of guitars, horns, pianos, bass, drums and additional strings kick in, and every track is a joy. “He had a grand idea,” writes my former Melody Maker colleague Richard Williams in Out Of His Head, his Spector book first published in 1972. “He wanted to make a Christmas album. It sounded like a terrible, corny idea, but Spector knew different: playing on the sentimental core hidden inside his freakishness, he decided he wanted to take all the usual Christmas songs and, using all his artists, really do them over differently.”

        Nowadays they’re not so much different as standard, at least in our house. That’s because it’s been played more often than any other Christmas record, so much so that my kids actually assumed that similar sounding ‘wall-of-sound’ tracks by The Ronettes, like ‘Be My Baby’ and ‘Baby I Love You’, and by The Crystals, like ‘Then He Kissed Me’ and ‘Da Doo Ron Ron’, were Christmas songs too, at least until I pointed things out. 

        “It was an artistic triumph,” writes Richard. “He truly captured the secular spirit of Christmas. Listen to The Ronettes’ ‘Sleigh Ride’, to the care with which it is produced, to the bells and horses’ hooves, and to the way Ronnie sounds like she’s singing from inside a big fur coat. Listen to ‘The Bells Of St Mary’, on which Bobby Sheen sings his McPhatterish heart out over one of [Jack] Nitzsche’s most brain-storming arrangements, with an occasional interjection from Darlene and [drummer] Hal Blaine at his wildest on the fade.”

        I couldn’t agree more and this was why I determined to put Richard’s Spector book back into print while I was running Omnibus Press. To this end, Richard and I met in an Indian restaurant on Soho’s Bateman Street and over lunch agreed terms for a new, slightly revised edition of Out Of His Head. The date was February 3, 2003, but little did we know that at the exact moment we were digesting our chicken tikkas, over in LA Phil Spector was being arrested for murder. Some coincidence.

The original UK edition of Out Of His Head, published by Abacus in 1974

The Omnibus Press edition of Out Of His Head, published in 2003

        We emailed one another the next day, both of us astounded by this quirk of fate, one that surely ranks with the original release date of A Christmas Gift For You. 

        As Richard writes: Just as A Christmas Gift For You was hitting the shops, the new came that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas. Suddenly no one wanted tinkling glockenspiels and horses hooves and songs about Mommy kissing Santa Claus. Phil Spectors magnum opus was dead in the water. It would take ten years and the patronage of The Beatles before the album emerged from the status of collectors item to claim a permanent as a seasonal favourite.


TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS – Live at The Fillmore, 1997

“Oh, baby doll,” exclaims Tom Petty in his endearing Southern drawl at the start of this 2-CD set drawn from six of the 20 nights he and his Heartbreakers played at San Francisco’s Fillmore West between January 10 and February 7, 1997. Then they’re off and into ‘Jammin’ Me’, the song he wrote with Bob Dylan and ace guitarist Mike Campbell, followed by ‘Listen To Her Heart’, two of the 14 originals offered up here alongside a host of well-chosen covers.

    The six Fillmore shows can be found on two packages released last month, a 4-CD deluxe package with bells and whistles and a more user-friendly double CD set that I’ve been playing for the past couple of weeks. It offers a generous two hours plus of music and proves beyond any doubt that Tom’s Heartbreakers vie with Bruce’s E Street men for gold in the US bar-band Olympics. 

    Indeed. Live At The Fillmore 1997 establishes a copper-bottomed claim that Tom and his men are the best tribute band in the world. Between stage patter – “This is going out on the internet… whatever that is” – we get Chuck (‘Around And Around’ and ‘Bye Bye Johnny’), Kinks (‘You Really Got Me’), Stones (‘Time Is On My Side’, ‘Satisfaction’ and ‘It’s All Over Now’), Byrds (‘It Can’t Be Wrong’, ‘You Ain’t Going Nowhere’ and ‘Eight Miles High’, with Roger McGuinn), Led Zep (‘Black Dog’, disguised as ‘Ugly Homecoming Queen’), Them (‘Gloria’) with a touch of Dylan (‘Knocking On Heavens’ Door) and even a sprinkling of Who (‘Shakin’ All Over’, as a Pirates/Who fusion). 

    Almost all of these are performed true to the originals. Mike Campbell pays homage to the group’s heroes by lovingly replicating guitar solos as you expect to hear them, deftly recreating Dave Davies’ ‘ripped speaker’ solo on ‘You Really Got Me’ and getting the fuzz tone dead right on ‘Satisfaction’. Tom pronounces the heavenly door as ‘dooer’, and for my money has always sounded a bit like Roger McGuinn, while the group can sound uncannily like The Byrds when they want to anyway.

    The fun they had is reflected in ‘Heartbreakers Beach Party’, which Tom claims they never played before, and the grungy ‘Louie Louie’ which morphs into ‘Gloria’ but for all the fun and games the highlight of CD1, and for my money the entire set, is the golden triptych of Angel DreamThe Wild One, Forever and a delicious acoustic take of ‘American Girl’, all three drenched in emotion, tenderness and the same brand of understated eloquence that Tom brought to I Need You at the Concert For George in 2002. 

    Playing nightly for a week or more in the same venue is not a new concept. It happens in Vegas all the time and early on The Beatles did pretty much the same thing, first in Hamburg, then at UK seaside resorts during 1963 and finally at their Christmas shows at the Finsbury Park Astoria. The Who tried it at the Young Vic in London in early 1971, an ambitious experiment by Pete Townshend that didn’t really work out, and Eric Clapton did it for years at the Royal Albert Hall. Still, Petty & The Heartbreaker’s stint at the Fillmore West was clearly something extra special, for both the band and the audience.

    Tom wanted to get away from the soulless stadiums he and his band had graduated towards, and the whole crew felt the need to do something other than play the same set, their best-known songs, night after night, as they had felt obliged to do when facing audiences of 10,000 or more. This is the result, loving compiled by Mike Campbell now that his boss is no longer with us. “I will always remember those nights with joy and inspiration,” he writes in a preface to the top notch booklet notes by Joel Selvin, rock critic on the San Francisco Examiner



Around about this time one year ago there was a great deal of wailing and gnashing of teeth in our little village. The Gomshall Mill, the historic pub on the main A25 road that links Guildford with Dorking, closed its doors for what many of us thought might be the last time. Just before Christmas, too. The Mill was a victim of Covid, of course, but an additional factor was its location over the River Tillingbourne which flows beneath it and, from time to time, backs up at the point where it enters the tunnel underneath and floods the ground floor.

        The building which houses the Mill dates back to the 11th Century, and it was still grinding flour until 1953. Inside, encased behind thick glass, you can see the old waterwheel that was once turned by the river, though in reality the Tillingbourne is nowadays a gentle stream less than six feet wide. Only in torrential rain does it back up, but that’s occurred three times since we moved to the village, with disastrous results for the Mill. Fortunately, we live above it. 

        Long before we moved here, the Mill was the village post office, then a tea shop run by a couple of elderly ladies. Later it became a pub and restaurant. When we arrived it was run by the Bluebeckers chain, then it was taken over by a London based company called Brunning & Price, which operates over 80 pubs around the UK. When they opted to throw in the towel last December, the doors were padlocked, a security firm installed cameras all around and up went a For Sale sign. Because we live close by, I opened up email communications with the company’s Operations Manager, name of Tamsyn, seeking to establish when and if a new owner had been found.

        About eight months elapsed. Two or three times, Tamsyn told me they were showing around prospective buyers. Two or three times, Tamsyn told me there were no takers yet. I spoke to one who was mooching around and bigged it up. I complained to Tamsyn that the Mill, once the pride of our village – there are brown signs on the roads approaching Gomshall drawing attention to it as a ‘historic building’ – was looking a bit derelict and that the back garden was badly overgrown. To her credit, gardeners were sent to tidy it up, but the weeds beneath the paving stones on the front patio gave the Mill an unloved, run-down look unbefitting a Grade II listed building. 

        I was told the Mill would be auctioned off last April but it never happened. Opposite it, on the same level, is a huge car park with room for perhaps 70 or 80 cars, and there were fears this might be sold separately. The phrase change of use was heard. It had an ominous ring. Then in July, Tamsyn emailed me again: “We are preparing it for sale. I believe it will be with a new owner imminently.” 

        The room in which I do my writing looks down on the Mill’s extensive back garden and not long after receiving that email I spotted two gents down there, sat at a table. I decided to join them. They eyed me suspiciously as I approached. “Are you going to buy it?” I asked. One of them, name of Julian, said maybe. I bigged it up again. 

The view from my office window, with the Tillingbourne running beneath The Mill

        In the event it never went to public auction. Julian Clarke’s company, New Dawn Pubs, bought the Mill at a price rumoured to be in the region on £720,000, which is a snip as three-bedroomed houses in this village can sell for more than that and the Mill is hardly small. The catch, of course, was that according to a local builder pal of mine it needed over £1m spending on it. The roof tiles were crumbling. One of the walls had cracks in it, and the interior was in dire need of some TLC. The kitchen equipment was probably old and playing up. 

        So, for the past four months I’ve looked down on all-hands-to-the-pump restoration work going on at our old Mill, and – praise be, as they say in Handmaids – it re-opened with a villagers-only party last week. Although work continues on the exterior, The Gomshall Mill is now up and running again.

        And while it’s lovely to have our pub back, what’s even nicer is reacquainting ourselves with the community spirit that the Mill’s closure somehow took away. Covid and no Mill had distanced us from friends and neighbours in our village but at the party in the newly opened pub, and when we called in for a drink last Friday, the atmosphere was warm and welcoming. It was also packed. We said hello to dozens of friends we know from the village but hadn’t spoken to for a while. Everyone was smiling. Everyone agreed that it was wonderful to have our pub back and that it looked fabulous. 

        Pubs are closing down left, right and centre these days which is a tragedy, not just for the licensed trade but for the communities they serve and which supports them. The Mill’s reopening exemplifies that old adage that Joni used for the lyrics in ‘Big Yellow Taxi’: You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone. Thanks Julian and your partners for reopening our pub. Just in time for Christmas, too. 



Last week I was interviewed for a forthcoming music documentary in which the subject of being ‘bigger than The Beatles’ cropped up. I pointed out to the interviewer that at one time or another all sorts of acts – usually boy bands – have been described as ‘bigger than The Beatles’ but only for two or three years, at which point they cease to be ‘bigger than The Beatles’ until the arrival of another one that is claimed by someone or other to be ‘bigger than The Beatles’. 

        However, no one ever says that this or that band is bigger than the last act that was said to be ‘bigger than The Beatles’. No act is ever described as being bigger than, say, The Bay City Rollers, or Take That, or One Direction, or BTS, or whichever boy band, or girl band – for a while the Spice Girls were ‘bigger than The Beatles’, as I recall – is currently doing pretty well. Being ‘bigger than The Beatles’ is a meaningless comparison drawn by lazy commentators seeking a standard with which to measure popularity, and the only standard ever worth applying is The Beatles.

Meanwhile, statistically, dozens of acts can claim to be ‘bigger than The Beatles’. In the years since The Beatles were active as a group, everyone from Michael Jackson to Shania Twain via Pink Floyd, The Bees Gees and the Eagles, have released albums that sold many more than any single album by The Beatles. Indeed, on most lists of all-time best-selling albums to be found on the internet, The Beatles don’t even make the Top Ten. Michael Jackson’s Thriller tops the list with over 50 million sold, while The Beatles’ best-seller is their hit collection 1, languishing somewhere in the late teens in the list with sales of around 23 million.

        Similarly, attendance figures at Beatles’ concerts have been overwhelmingly surpassed by pretty much every act that’s risen to arena or stadium status in the past 50 years, not least their sixties rivals The Rolling Stones. On internet lists of highest grossing tours, The Beatles don’t even get a look in. 

        Nevertheless, as a measure of popularity, it’s The Beatles – and only The Beatles – who are used as a yardstick, which merely serves to solidify their impregnable status. It seems to me that the more acts who claim to be ‘bigger The Beatles’, the bigger The Beatles become. As I said in my interview last week: “Loads of acts have been bigger The Beatles at one time or another but at the same time none have ever really been bigger than The Beatles – or ever will be.”

        Go figure. 



Christine Perfect with her Top Female Singer award at the 1969 Melody Maker Pop Poll awards at the Waldorf Hotel in London. 
(Photo by David Cairns/Express/Hulton Archive)

Among the many books I edited for Omnibus Press was A Promoter’s Tale: Rock At The Sharp End by Geoff Docherty, who promoted rock concerts in the UK’s north eastern cities by all the big names during the late sixties and seventies. In his book Geoff describes how in November, 1969, he promoted the opening concert of a UK tour by Christine Perfect who’d recently left Chicken Shack to strike out on her own. She’d just won the Female Singer Award in Melody Maker’s Poll – and would do so again in 1970 – so he thought the Locarno in Sunderland, which held around 1,500 people, would sell out easily.

        Alas, Geoff was optimistic. Only about two dozen fans bought tickets and when Christine arrived it was his depressing duty to inform her of the situation. She was tearful when he told her about the miserable turnout. Geoff assumed she wouldn’t want to go on. 

        He was wrong. Christine did perform. She composed herself and walked out on to the stage, and as she began to play those who were there left their seats to come down to the front and, eventually, gather around her on stage while she sat and sang at the grand piano provided by the venue. The small crowd eventually all sat down on the stage while Christine played for them for over an hour, some blues, some favourites from her repertoire, an original song or two. The fans cheered her and wanted more, and she finished with her Chicken Shack tour de force, ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’.

        “She was magnificent,” wrote Geoff. “It was a brave and inspired performance. From that day on, whenever things got tough for me, her display of triumph over adversity was an example I always sought to follow.

        If I was asked to name my favourite member of Fleetwood Mac I wouldn’t hesitate. Christine McVie, of course. Stevie was a bit OTT, Lindsay seemed a bit full of himself, Mick was a bit too gangly and John a bit too shadowy. Christine was nothing like them, discreet, a team player content to stand her ground unobtrusively at stage right, usually playing a small electric piano until called upon to sing those lovely songs of hers from the Fleetwood Mac catalogue that, in my view, were largely responsible for the multi-million sales figures their albums racked up. 

        She was disarmingly modest in a quiet, decent, English way, with a sweet but slightly husky alto voice entirely lacking in ostentation. She didn’t need to over emote because her songs spoke for themselves: ‘Say You Love Me’, ‘Over My Head’, ‘Warm Ways’, ‘You Make Loving Fun’, ‘Don’t Stop’, ‘Over And Over’, ‘Think About Me’, ‘Wish You Were Here’, ‘Hold Me’, ‘Little Lies’, ‘Everywhere’ and, of course, ‘Songbird’, her delicate, understated masterpiece. Her songs, always effortlessly melodic, were outnumbered by those composed by the other members of Fleetwood Mac, but in terms of quality, song for song, her yield was superior to them all. 

        I never had much to do with Fleetwood Mac professionally, though in 1972 I was sent by Melody Maker to interview the pre-Buckingham/Nicks group at their country house, Benifold, near Borden in Hampshire. Having just released their Bare Trees LP, the group seemed to me to be in the pleasant position of not having to work too hard and were unworried about their diminishing profile in the UK. 

        Christine sipped from a mug of tea and told me she’d had her fill of slogging around Britain. “In England it means travelling by road and coming home each night in the early hours,” she said. “But in America you are staying in hotels and it doesn’t feel like such a tiring drag over there.” 

With Bob Welch and Danny Kirwan elsewhere during my visit, I spent a pleasant afternoon with Mick, John and Christine in the rehearsal space they’d created for themselves in this elegant but untidy country mansion. They all believed their future lay in America, though, of course, they weren’t to know then how utterly correct they were in this regard.

Thereafter chance delivered me elsewhere whenever Fleetwood Mac played concerts near where I lived and I never reviewed a show of theirs for MM. The renaissance brought about by the arrival of Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham occurred just as I my time on MM was drawing to a close, and I’d left the paper by the time they played Madison Square Garden in June of 1977. I was working for a music biz company in New York that summer, however, and copped free tickets so I did manage to see the Fleetwood Mac supergroup just the once. Cresting a wave, they were outrageously good and brought the house down. I also copped an invite to an aftershow party and recall seeing the five of them sat together in a swanky restaurant. Dressed and looking just like they do on the cover of Rumours, they were surrounded by well-wishers, unrecognisable from the group I met in Hampshire five years previously. With flashbulbs going off all round them, they positively glowed.

Just like Christine did at the Sunderland Locarno in 1969.