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Go-Set

The Australian music magazine Go-Set was launched in February 1966 by Phillip Frazer, a quietly spoken, blonde 19-year-old who had previously edited the Monash University paper, Lot’s Wife. The title was an amalgam of the catchwords “go-go” and “jet set”.

The first issue of the 24-page tabloid carried a photo on the cover of Welsh singing star Tom Jones, and featured inside were Australian artists The Groop, Pat Carroll and Ken Sparkes, some surfing news, a spread on Mod fashions, and something called ‘Dance About’.

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Other regular features included ‘Leslie Pixie’ (a personal problem column), sections on jazz, country and blues, gossipy ‘news’ columns from a number of radio DJ’s, “Barberisms” with Tony (“someday”) Barber, and a ‘motoring’ section (with Maurice Bramson).

Four years later, Frazer’s paper had gone full-colour and was selling 65,000 copies a week, and had offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and London, with a paid staff of 23, a monthly glossy offshoot called Gas, and over $1,000 a week in advertising revenue from record companies alone.

From the very beginning, Go-Set tapped the thriving dance and discotheque circuit as an advertising market. The paper rapidly developed a reputation as music’s media bible. It created its own promotional events with sponsors like Pepsi Cola and ran its own televised pop awards.

Go-Set eventually folded in 1975 in a very different spirit from the one in which it was born.

In late 1971, Phillip Frazer visited the US and met Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner. He suggested to Wenner that he should start an Australian version of the magazine and Wenner agreed. Rolling Stone Australia was born.

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