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Articles Home » 1974 Articles » Masters Of The Airwaves - 1974 Masters Of The Airwaves
Masters Of The Airwaves - 1974 Masters Of The Airwaves

ARTIST: Masters Of The Airwaves
ALBUM: Masters Of The Airwaves
SERIAL: KE 33060
YEAR: 1974


LINEUP: Jon Flak - vocals * Jimmy Berick - 16 string steel guitar, vocals * Randy Rand - bass, acoustic guitar * David Rada - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 In It For The Thrill * 02 I Believe In God * 03 Stay Away From Mirrors * 04 Light Up The Heavens * 05 Anna King Jamaica * 06 Back in '51 * 07 Squeeze Me Positive * 08 Highway To Hell * 09 Getting Tight

These guys first came to my attention via Kerry Livgren's book 'Seeds of Change'. In that book, Livgren lists just a few of the hundreds of bands Kansas shared a stage with and lo and behold, Masters Of The Airwaves appears. Who? My interest was peaked and the hunt for this mystery band and album was on! Unfortunately, this was not an easy record to find and in the pre-Internet days it took several months to locate a copy, but it was well worth the effort. Very little information is available on the band, so I am really not sure of the how they came together or why they split up, but Autograph fans might be interested to know that Randy Schuchart (i.e Randy Rand) plays bass on the record, although I am clueless as to what happened to the other three members.

The Songs
What separates Masters Of The Airwaves from your typical early 70's hard rock album is the unique use of 12 string steel guitar/pedal steel giving the band's sound an exotic vibe especially on side one's opening 'In It For The Thrill' and 'Light Up The Heavens'. The album is a unique musical cocktail mixing Derek & The Dominoes, with Led Zeppelin's heaviness and the virtuosity of Journey circa their debut. Vocalist John Flak does his best Robert Plant imitation on 'Back in '51', the most 'Zofo' influenced track here and he has a great range overall much like David Byron on the heavier material including the last track 'Gettin' Tight'.

In Summary
Masters Of The Airwaves were unusual, although without the use of pedal steel, I believe they would have been just another major label hard rock band left forever in the dustbins of old record shops and forgotten collections in damp basements. Never on CD, fans of rock n' roll with that 'something different' will want to check this record out.

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#1 | gdazegod on September 19 2006 00:51:36
Always wanted to know a bit more about this outfit Masters Of The Airwaves. Sounds like a bit of eastern mysticism with a bus load of party drugs was had with this outfit! Just speculating of course.. Grin
#2 | Harvey Mettle on September 22 2006 16:25:44
Formed by Californian Jimmy Berick. He made tapes up in his Sacramento garage, apparently one found it's way to Michael Sunday, A&R man at Epic. Berick played a twin neck steel guitar with 32 resonating strings with a steel bar. As the Jimmy Berick Group the band signed to Epic in Nov 1973 and began playing SF clubs. (my copy bought 25 years ago came with a bio!)
#3 | gdazegod on September 22 2006 20:47:31
Thanks Harvey! Very cool. I can't even imagine what a twin neck steel guitar with 32 resonating strings would look like! Shock
#4 | vinyldinosaurus on December 08 2008 17:40:17
I just found this on vinyl for five bucks and it also came with a bio!
#5 | rkbluez on April 28 2009 11:28:20
This would be a cool one for Wounded Bird to do...pretty sure I sent Terry all the info on this cool obscure album.
#6 | super80boy on November 30 2013 22:09:37
Finally scored a copy of this vinyl LP @ Amoeba during a trip to Los Angeles. This is just a killer hard rock album that rips with creativity. Major label pressing, but I guess no fame to go with it…Shame, this album is excellent from beginning to end. This is a clear candidate for a standout reissue treatment.
#7 | Eric on December 01 2013 13:13:13
And why a proper reissue hasn't happened is a mystery...helpless
#8 | gdazegod on December 01 2013 20:52:04
Well, obviously Terry @ Wb never got around to it. Perhaps Derek (with his Atlantic/Atco contacts) could add it to his Hard Candy catalogue (a la Stepson, Diamond REO).
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