Music Express: The Rise,Fall & Resurrection OF Canada’s Music Magazine by Keith Sharp

I’m sure you have noticed at times that I have mentioned the Canadian Music Magazine Music Express when writing up can-con acts as well as world wide acts.

“Music Express” was a great monthly read as they covered all the bases nationally and locally and I always looked forward to picking up a copy at the local record shops for FREE!

That’s right folk’s it was FREE! I even subscribed to it as it was cheap even for the subscription.

Keith Sharp is not only the author of this book but he was the one who started the magazine out of Calgary in the mid-’70s then called Alberta “Rock Express”.

Early interviews with guys like Randy Bachman, Gene Simmons, Dan McCafferty put Sharp on the map and from there a move to Toronto was in the cards.

Once in Toronto things began to take off as Music Express monthly interviewed all the big hitters when they rolled through Toronto.

The magazine was always a great read as they would not only feature Canuck artists/ bands but international heavy hitters at the time like Bowie, Duran Duran, Madonna etc.

One of the bands that Sharp became friendly with over the years was Iron Maiden who were always featured in its pages along with other hard rock acts like Helix, Triumph to name just but a few.

I have to add here that “Music Express” turned me onto bands like Santers, Coney Hatch and even Motley Crue who were featured back in 1981!

As the the 80’s were ending and the 90’s were looming distribution expanded into the United States, with an American edition. It was distributed through exclusive deals with various record chains.

Losing its distribution companies in the early 90’s the magazine was renamed “Impact” in 1993 and finally in 1996 then another name change to “Access”.

Music Express back in the day was a magazine I always looked forward to receiving all those years ago monthly in my mailbox as they kept me updated on the music scene not only here in Canada but throughout the world.

Better yet the magazine is online now. Click the link below and check it out.

44 thoughts on “Music Express: The Rise,Fall & Resurrection OF Canada’s Music Magazine by Keith Sharp”

  1. Keith Sharp is a solid. He was booking some great acts right up until Rona. Music Express was my Bible along with Tiger Beat and Sounds plus NME from the UK.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know where Deke but I saw this magazine before. I love the old rock magazines. Rolling Stone (before it became just advertisements), Creem, Circus, and Guitar Player magazines.

    Back then you had approachable stars…looks like a really cool story.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Keith talks about the distribution of the magazine into the states and how eventually that became a problem which I think didn’t help the magazines longevity down there

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No Max not yet. We are still in lockdown until June 2nd. From there we will see…hopefully things will chill out. I’m scheduled for my second shot on June 17th so thats good…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I just got mine yesterday…we are probably rushing it here like we normally do…the US is the most impatient place anywhere…I hope it clears soon Deke.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The days of the music magazines seem to be long gone, eh? Or largely. I used to buy Kerrang! when I was younger… the odd copy of RAW, Rolling Stone and Hit Parader when I ventured to a bigger store. Used to subscribe to Uncut, but I swear they had a cycle of featured articles on the same artists. Naturally I gave that up.

    These kind of books are great cause they offer a window to a time when the magazines weren’t just full of advertising or recycled articles. I guess we don’t need magazines now… what with the internet… and I think magazines kinda never managed to hold their ground when everyone got online.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to buy a lot of mags as well J. Hit Parader, Circus, Creem, Faces, RIP, kERRANG, Rolling Stone and of course Music Express now its just down to Rock Candy Magazine to get my fix.
      This was a great read as it gives you the backstory on running a print version.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice! I used to read a lot of rock mags, and guitar mags. They have been replaced by blogs 😉

    BTW – did you hear Alice is touring with Ace Frehley opening? Unfortunately, no shows near either of us yet. Fingers crossed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That will be a good package. The only band that has scheduled any dates in Canada is Genesis and that is Montreal and Toronto so far anyways.. thanks for dropping by.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love early Genesis with Peter Gabriel. Not crazy about Phil as a frontman. I hear he is not even playing drums on this tour. Bummer, because he was a great drummer.

        Liked by 1 person

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