The Making of a Joe Morello Ad

SKF NOTE: The making of an in-house ad for Modern Drummer. Here’s a nice letter from Joe Morello written to me after I had been MD‘s managing editor for one month. Joe was among the drummers I interviewed MD when I was a freelance writer. Also, one of my first goals at MD was to increase and improve MD‘s photos.

I have two memories of MD‘s in-house ads prior to my arrival: The ads were copy heavy, and the ad photos were neither compelling, nor were the photos of drummers. My idea was to switch to photos and endorsement quotes from known drummers — like Joe Morello. My ideal was a having first-class drummer photos as full-page “Who Reads Modern Drummer?” ads. Include the drummer’s name, band affiliation if needed, the drummer’s quote about MD, and MD subscription info. Period.

Eventually, MD‘s “Who Reads Modern Drummer?” ads were more photo than copy, but publisher Ron Spagnardi evenutally reduced the photo’s size and inserted more copy.

Pre-internet, still photos of drummersstill photos of drummers were like gold to aspiring drummers. Short of seeing drummers live at clinics (rare), or in concert (rarer for minor age drummers), or on t.v. (rare) – photos in magazine drum ads provided hours of study when I was growing up.





About Scott K Fish
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