Posts Tagged ‘#fan’

We all try to rationalize situations we are not sure of.   We attempt to explain why things happen – or things that happen to us.  We try to understand the world around us.  When I worked at the instrument music store, I rationalized that I got the job because I was a previous customer and that I could program and understand the new digital MIDI keyboards hitting the market.  Very quickly (months, I believe) I was given my own satellite store to manage.  I opened three more chain stores in a few short years.  In reality, I probably bought more in equipment than I got paid to work there!  Almost kidding, but I understood a lot of the toys and had played with a bunch of them, but to get a room full of toys all day long and then get paid to learn all I could about them, well, I won’t get into religion here but that was heaven on Earth.  I would have done it for free.  And do you know how I rationalized being a SALES MAN? (I am pretty anti-establishment from way back………..) I tried to listen to where the customer was coming from and what they needed.  From there I would teach them what I knew about gear that would help get them to the next level.   Everyone needs to get to the next level.  That is what I am doing today.  It is what you are doing right now.

And sometimes we need to explain to ourselves why.   Why do I need to buy that new toy?  Why do they like me?  Why does the sun always shine where I am?  Why aren’t things working as I planned.  Why don’t they understand me?   What did I do right or wrong?  This has bugged me all my life and I hope it does not get to you.  Working in the music store(s) I sold gear to a lot of bands. Some people were regulars.  Always something needed, some new gear.  One of the bands told me that their sound man was on vacation and they needed someone to run sound for them.  It SEEEEEEMED logical to ask me, I knew about the mixing boards and PA systems.  But I had never run sound before ( truth in advertising alert – – – I did run sound for one other band prior to this but that is a funny story I wanted to share with you later.  So I did it once before  ….. technically  …….) What would you do?  These are good customers and by now good friends too.  If I run sound and really suck, the friendship and the work relationships are out the window.  I let them know I do not have a lot of experience but if they don’t have anyone else I would be glad to help.  They decide to go with me for the vacation gigs.  I run through the checklist a thousand times in my head.  I set the stage and house equipment up methodically, I run through the gain staging like riding a bike, I get the monitors working and run CD audio through the mains to test them.  Time to start.   Big crowd.   Lots of people and friends.  As you can imagine I am rapidly cycling through excitement, concern, confusion, fear, panic, and jazzed up one after the other.  The band starts playing and they are soooooo good I just relax.  I think even I can make these guys sound good!  I was lucky.  From what I remember the event was fine.

Their sound man decided to move onto other things and when he came back from vacation I was asked to take his place.  Again I had to rationalize;  well, they only like me cause I can get them a deal at the store. Well, they like me because I can set up the equipment pretty fast.   Well, it went over well because they are really tight and have great equipment.   You have probably done that a bunch of times as well.  It was hard for me to accept all the way down to the point of knowing that they noticed and appreciated the mix.  Their fans did too but most importantly, so did the band wives!  Never forget the power of the spouse!  So now for the first time, I am involved with a real band.  I am the regular sound guy.  The Band understands the power of the PA, and they determine that the sound guy gets equal cut…… as if he is as important to the overall sound as the individual band members were.  Amazing concept and it worked so well over the years.  I could not rationalize my way out of deserving that one; we worked as a team and the band always sounded great.

All this from knowing how to program a digital keyboard.

I have always been into helping charities and volunteering for good causes.  I entered a few tunes from a local cover band I was in (Euphoria) for yet another battle of the band contest sponsored by habitats for humanity and a local radio station.  The bands would play in Eden Park at the very-cool Seasongood Pavilion.  At first it looked like we might not even play, then the dust settled and we would go on to play last.  The other bands were interesting and pretty good.  We were hi-energy progressive rock and we played our short set really well and had a great time.  We even made the goof of mentioning the wrong radio station’s call letters!  Agh!  I thought on that alone we might get overlooked.  But they might not have heard the comment and in all modesty we were really good.  We won a trophy – some unknown band member still has it hidden safely in some underground bunker – and recording time at a recording studio!  For me, this was like candy. 

We were awarded the prize and a limited time to go into the studio.  We decided to use the recording time of three hours (yeah, kind of a tease and they probably figure you will run over and have to pay them for additional recording time) to record a band demo.  Eventually we got a list of songs we wanted to do and had some discussions on what parts of the songs to feature. 

As the time got near, it became more and more difficult to arrange schedules of the various band members (and lets NEVER forget the schedules of the family of band members!).  So I told the band guys that this weekend was it.  This is the deadline and if we do not go in a few days we will lose this opportunity altogether.  After the whining and complaints, we agreed to go that Saturday, the last day before the deadline.   

There are two reasons I bring up this story.  A couple of good lessons keep this fresh in my memory.  The following is the first; 

Sometimes you have to lie.  I knew we had another two weeks to record, but I also knew if I left it up to the band to schedule, it would never happen.  Everyone wants to do it and everyone SAYS they will, but other things always happen and conflicts crop up at the last minute, and it is too late to save the project then.  I knew how the band put things off and I did not want to miss my time at the ‘candy store’. 

The second lesson was learned by the studio recording engineer.  I will share that in the next post.  Here is a bit of the demo we did in the studio so you can get an feel for the mix.    

Journey – Separate Ways

Black Crowes – Hard to Handle

Yes – Long Distance

Yes – Changes

The Who – Can You See the Real Me?

Shooting Star – Last Chance

Queensryche – Jet City Woman

Our Bodies Move aka FOR THOSE WHO WAIT”    (c) 12/1987

 

          Lyrics Michael Kennedy

 

Music by Ric Ahlers

 

 

So many people look for love and affection

Think they’re heading in the right direction.

They go searching through the heat of the night

Alone again in the morning light.

 

I’ve seen a lot of selfish devotion

Hopelessly lost in mixed up emotion.

Opening; then closing every door

Never know what they’re looking for.

 

CHORUS:    I’ve never felt a woman feel this good before.

I’ve never listened to her whispers

Or knock upon the door.

Nothing to hide, nothing to prove,

Its love that makes our bodies move.

 

In the beginning there were many pretenders

Holding on ‘til everyone surrenders.

Strangling the love they create.

Love is For Those Who Wait.

 

CHORUS:    I’ve never felt a man feel this good before.

I’ve never listened to his whispers

Or knock upon the door.

Nothing to hide, nothing to prove,

Its love that makes our bodies move.

 

A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.

10410385_10102311618140725_6528927236090441879_n