It was this month in 1973 that a newspaper in California started publishing.

It didn’t win any Pulitzer Prizes – in fact, it didn’t really publish any articles – but it would still have a pretty big impact, especially on music.

This paper is known today as The Recycler, although in its early days it was called E-Z Buy E-Z Sell.

It was one of many publications that focused not on local news but on classified ads, people posting stuff they were trying to sell, help wanted ads, and personals.

The difference was that instead of charging people to post ads and then giving away the paper for free, this paper let people post classifieds at no charge and then make readers pay for copies.

Or at least that was the idea; most of the first issue’s 15,000 copies were given away.

Eventually the publishers got enough paying readers and advertisers to pay for the paper, which they renamed the Recycler in honor of the environmental movement of the 1970s.

And among those readers were a lot of aspiring rock stars.

Now, classified sections have long helped bands come together.

KISS put an ad in the Village Voice that read “LEAD GUITARIST WANTED with Flash and Ability,” and that’s how Ace Frehley joined the band.

Duran Duran was among the bands that found key members through Melody Maker magazine.

But the Recycler can match just about any publication with its ability to bring together future musical stars.

In 1981, a young Lars Ulrich posted this ad in the paper: “Drummer looking for other metal musicians to jam with Tygers of Pan Tang, Diamond Head, and Iron Maiden.”

A young guitarist named James Hetfield reached out and that’s where Metallica got started.

Motley Crue found lead guitarist Mick Mars after Mars sent the Recycler an ad that read “Loud, rude, and aggressive guitarist available.”

And Courtney Love used the Recycler to post this ad: “I want to start a band. My influences are Big Black, Sonic Youth, and Fleetwood Mac.”

Three months later, her band Hole was starting to make a splash in the LA alternative scene.

And there’s more. Guns ‘N’ Roses, the Dead Kennedys and the Bangles also got together in part thanks to ads in this one paper.

These days people are more likely to find their musical collaborators online, maybe through social media.

So, as far as print media goes, the Recycler may continue to be the champion of bringing bands into the world for a long, long time.

Now through October 8th at the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, there’s a new exhibit called “Love Saves the Day: The Subterranean History of American Disco.”

If you think it’s weird for a museum about a legendary folk singer to host a disco exhibit, consider this: Vicki Sue Robinson, who sang the iconic disco track “Turn The Beat Around,” apparently used to hang around with Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger as a kid, because her mom was also a folk singer.

Now that’s turning the beat around.

10 Rock Classifieds That Changed Music History (LA Weekly)

Woody Guthrie Center opens new disco exhibit (FOX 23)

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Photo by Mike Murga via Flickr/Creative Commons