This issue begins our 48th year publishing RePlay (or “Volume XLVIII No. 1” in the way magazines are still dated). Some would think printed magazines are becoming antiquated, thanks to the internet, but here we are. I think this proves there are still lots of people who like to hold the news and the photos that go with it in their hands while also having something useful to come back to when the spirit comes over them.
Our very first issue came out in time to give samples away at the October 1975 MOA Show at the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago. We also mailed issues to operating companies whose names were gleaned from the old Wurlitzer list, combined with names supplied by some buddies in the distributing business. Thanks again!
Bear in mind, this was all before the video game hit the fan and spread that good news all over the world. It wouldn’t be very long before coin-op (its current name) took over the entertainment business, or at least it did for around five years beginning in 1978 with Space Invaders.
But looking at the roster of exhibitors at that long-ago show, the only American machine makers listed that are still in the business are Rowe AMI, Rock-Ola and Valley-Dynamo. And even these have gone through ownership and/or name changes. RePlay itself has gone from photo-offset printing at facilities in Southern California to digital printing at a place in Pontiac, Ill. reached not by a messenger with an armload of pasted-up ads and news pages, but via that aforementioned internet!
Nostalgia time! Here’s a snapshot taken at our very first show booth at MOA (which the October 1975 expo was called then). That’s me, fourth from left, knocking on my then-wife and partner Tippy’s head, along with a group including first cover boy Freddie Fender, courtesy of pals at Dot Records. You might identify a young Vic McCarthy and Gus Tartol but don’t even try to identify the others!