10 classified ads that launched legendary rock bands!

Oct 24, 2016 · 5 min read
Original advert placed by Roxy Music

Hey we wanted to share with you some of the most famous classified adverts placed by music bands before and after they were famous.

1. Roxy Music: This is the original advert from 1971 put in the Melody Maker for a ‘Perfect Guitarist’ (reply to ‘Roxy’). Twenty guitarists applied for the job which was eventually given to Phil O’List. The really interesting thing about this advert is that the guitarist Phil Manzanera actually applied for the job but was turned down and ended up working with the band as a roadie.

However, apparently O’List had an argument with the drummer, quit and as Manzanera had been very enterprising and during his time working as the roadie had learned all of Roxy’s songs (he got the job).

The crazy thing is that Manzanera was listed as one of the main influences needed for the next band’s advert. Just imagine what might have happened (or not happened) if he hadn’t offered to work for Roxy Music as a roadie. Musical history may well have been altered.

The original advert by Duran Duran

2.Duran Duran: This is the original advert by Duran Duran placed in the Melody Maker for a new Lead Rhythm Guitarist. Of course it was Andy Taylor that answered the advert and music history was made. As you can see from the advert one of the main influences for interested applicants was that they liked Manzanera (see above).

Andy Taylor and Simon Le Bon were actually the last members to join the band. Luckily for Taylor his favourite guitarist happened to be Gary Moore. It also happened to be John Taylor’s favourite axe man.

3.PIL (Public Image Limited): John Lydon’s Band (after The Sex Pistols)
The same advert for a drummer for ‘PIL’ (Public Image Ltd). This is the advert in a full spread.
4. Kiss: This is the original advert placed by Kiss in the Village Voice (1972): “Lead guitarist wanted with flash and ability. Album out shortly. No time wasters please.”

When the guitarist Ace ‘The Spaceman’ Frehley decided to leave the band the remaining members placed another advert in Billboard Magazine in 1982 (see below). Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are over six foot tall (and more with heels) so they wanted any new member to be around the same height.

The second advert by Kiss from 1982 (this was hard to find)

5.Spice Girls Advert: This is the original advert that the five spice girls replied to back in 1994.

The original advert which the Spice Girls replied to

The original group line-up included Melanie Chisholm (Mel C — ‘Sporty Spice’), Melanie Brown (Mel B — ‘Scary Spice’), Victoria Adams (‘Posh Spice’), Geri Halliwell (‘Ginger Spice’) and Michelle Stephenson (who was sacked and later replaced by Emma Bunton (‘Baby Spice’).

The Spice Girls were originally managed by Chris Herbert and Bob Herbert. However, they made a fatal mistake and never made the five girls sign a contract. Frustrated by their lack of progress the five girls managed to convince the Herbert’s allow the band to perform a showcase of their ‘talent’ in front of leading figures in the music scene.

Encouraged by the response they received after their showcase performance they secretly approached one of the producers who had been at their showcase performance (Eliot Kennedy) and to cut a long story short they were finally introduced to the music mogul Simon Fuller and the rest they say is history. But how gutted would you be if you were Chris and Bob Herbert and hadn’t got the girls to sign a contract! They must have lost out on millions considering their first single ‘wannabe’ sold 4 million copies.

The advert that started The Monkees

6.The Monkees:

This is the original advert placed in the Trade Papers in 1965 that started the Monkees (Mike, Micky, Davy and Peter).

The Monkees went onto sell over 75 million records and the band are still working 50 years after they were first formed. Not bad for a tiny ad placed in a Trade Paper.

Here are a few other adverts placed by bands looking for new members. Unfortunately although we searched for ages we couldn’t find the original adverts.

7: Motley Crue: Mick Mars placed an advert in the Southern California’s ‘Recycler’ Magazine saying Loud, rude, and aggressive guitarist available”. Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee saw the ad, watched him play and bingo he was in the band.

8. Metallica: Back in 1981 drummer Lars Ulrich placed an advert in The Recycler saying “Drummer looking for other metal musicians to jam with Tygers of Pan Tang, Diamond Head, and Iron Maiden.” Although only two people responded to the ad, one of them was singer and guitarist James Hetfield and they went on to form one of the most success bands of all time.

9. Guns N’Roses: The Recycler Music Paper was used again when Guns N’Roses were looking for a a new bass player (it was the original drummer Steven Adler that placed the ad stating Bass player needed for band influenced by Aerosmith, Alice Cooper. Call Slash“. Duff McKagan responded to the advert and ended up meeting Slash because ‘he sounded call on the phone’. They named the band Road Crew but split up before re-forming with Axl Rose as the singer and then changing their name to Guns N’Roses.

10. Bruce Springsteen (and the E-Street Band): After placing an advert in The Village Voice in 1974 looking for a new drummer with part of the advert saying “no junior Ginger Bakers” Max Weinberg replied, auditioned and got the job.

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