UNLEASHED IN THE EAST
Taken form a 1970’s Press Release….. Rotosound had always exhibited in London, Frankfurt, LA, etc. and their recent visit to the Japanese Trade Fair in Tokyo only goes to prove the viability and demand for their product. James How and his eldest son Martyn and General Manager, Charles Higgs, recently attended the Tokyo Trade Fair in October (7th-10th), and were pleased to find that their efforts to export to Japan over several years had now given fruition.
In other words, as far as Japan was concerned “Rotosound” had arrived. 100 stores in Tokyo stock “Rotosound”, whilst a further 200 throughout the country also stock “Rotosound”. Their distribution is by Hosho Corporation of Tokyo. Eddie Suzuki is their Vice President and Dave Komatsu is their General Manager, and they have assured Mr. How without any shadow of doubt that “Rotosound” will remain Japan’s top selling music string.
Yamaha are very happy to associate the name of “Rotosound” as the strings they use on their best instruments. There are also many other famous Japanese manufacturers too numerous to list also using “Rotosound” strings.
Today, the James How Company employes over 100 people and is busily arranging a new strategic programme which will take it into a turnover of several million, 65% of this production is exported and new arrangements are under way for a yet more prestigious building to command the new programme.
THE BIRTH OF SUPERWOUND
Another new Company is formed involving the use of the most ingenious music string ever made in this world today, the Company is called the “Superwound Company Limited” and in this title is some of the explanation. The Superwound string is in fact SUPER wound.
The design incorporates a system whereas only the core of the string goes over the bridge, and this patented design gives today’s musician using both accoustic and electro-magnetic amplification, the possibilities of a harmonic range never before attained. To say it is the big sound is an understatement.
The string is perfectly controllable, allowing the musician to provide soft, medium and hard sound variations yet unknown. Its main feature is what the groups want today, which is a METALLIC sound and for the first time produces this type of sound which literally goes through one ear and out the other.
Stanley Clarke was one of the original endorsees for the ‘Superwound’ bass strings.
SAFETY PINS AND STRINGS
Rotosound was prominent at the start of the UK punk scene with artists like The Damned, Sex Pistols, Stranglers, Sham 69, Souixsie & the Banshees, The Buzzcocks and The Jam to name but a few.
Still dealing with Mr Gray of Eddie and The Hot Rods as we speak! He has just sent me the very lovely new ‘Sensible Gray Cells’ album !
James How was also working on future designs back then as for him there there was no limit to the music string business. The Iron Curtain has gradually been drawn aside with more and more orders for exports in these areas, and so the Company will grow. It is hard to say what the limit will be as it has taken some 20 years to become the leaders in this field.
Around this time Rotosound employed the services of an exclusive USA distributor called Meisel Music in New York,this company was successful in making Rotosound the top selling bass strings in the USA.
Quite an achievement for an imported brand. The majority of the competition are all American brands!
The UK factory based in Bexleyheath at this time was working night shifts most of the time to keep up with demand.
The USA is one of the most competitive in the world so you have to ‘sharpen your pencil’ on pricing.
This meant a lot more product was shipped at lower prices to satisfy this huge market.
Trade shows in Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles all helped to spread the word along with legendary bass players like Jaco Pastorius.