It's saturday night and I can feel from somewhere way back when, the residual desire to go out and about and not miss out. Outside my window I hear a few muscle car motors and joyous voices of my neighbors revving up to party on this warm beach evening. Yet it"s 8 pm and I am laying almost content in bed with a bottle of wine thinking about the significance of saturday nights, well content on catching up on some computing and unraveling a bloggery post. Then it dawns upon me. Tour for meÂ is nothing other than all saturday nights! Everyday for the past 70 days has been a saturday rock show evening with new and old friends. Even the days off were just showless versions of the same. It's all good and this night is closer to a school night for me, hey did I mention that I love surfing?
Thank you Gene for the photo!
Actually surfing is just one of the clear mind adventures I crave. It is all about finding something that requires so much mind focus and energy outlay that the world slips away. Years ago traffic tickets and broken body parts inspired me to give up most motorized versions, though a laid back Harley ride remains an exception. Mixing sound for rock shows, snowboarding, sex with someone I feel a true connection with and designing/building things, all fulfill a version of the 'mental dream pause' that regrounds. Yet it is important to know our limits. For me, I crave thrill and have illusions of invincibility. Big huge owie's have learned me to at least attempt moderation but some things are less malleable, for example; sound limits in venues. The question is, how close can we get without having undesirable outcomes?
I remember one show back when I was mixing Rage Against the Machine in a field and the venue told me I had a 98db A weighted limit at mix position. Bummer, especially with Rage. "Who measures, it? How is it measured?" I asked. They introduced me and and I saw the sound meter and met the human. That's the rule? No variation? 98 at mix, period? "yes, no leeway, do not go over or the band will be fined $10,000 per minute over, it is in the contract.". I pondered and looked out at the FOH setup and then asked for 6 stage hands. I had them break down mix position which was at 80 feet and moved it to 175 feet away. They had a full meltdown, but hey, it was in the contract. I was happy. The rules make it fun. I love finding the lines and seeing how far they bend.
So as far as the rules in the sheet above, ouch, they are including low end. Bummer. Getting smarter they are! "Where is the measurement mic?" Oooh on a tower to my right dead on with the main right hang. So, I just turned the right PA hang down 10 db and cranked the left PA and the side hangs up. That actually made thinings worse for noise to the neighbors but hey, I obeyed the rules. Actually everyone was really cool and they ended up letting me push it and in exchange I dropped the level of the right side hang that was the main issue with neighbors. I must admit that I enjoy the challenges. I guess my point is that it is better to embrace and navigate than throw wrenches and point fingers. Our job as soundies is to get the best we can and do the best with what we have. The whole 'bitch and moan' session is annoying at best.When people complain to me, all that comes to mind is that they want attention. Yet when someone complains, the last thing I want to do is give it to them.
But hey, it is easy to get confused. It's harder to find a simple path through complexity, so much that needs to happen, how do we connect it all?
So back in the meandering longevities. Blink at the Hollywood Palladium! The first show I ever saw the was The Clash on London Calling tour. I have done hundreds of gigs there so I know it well. Check this out, full Orgasmatron setup, K1, KUDO side hands and it was pure heaven, so fun!
And this was the closest picture I have to how it felt
Blink played Tony's first benefit 5 years ago at a bowling alley and back again. Oh, look up Ronald Burkle if you are so inspired. Multi billionaire started as a bag boy. Well, he was the one one that donated the Beverly Hills backyard space.
Since today seems to be the day for giving props to cool people, here are a few more things high on my list of cool. Flea, as you may know has a non profit music school to help kids learn music. http://www.silverlakeconservatory.com/ check it out. So all these kids show up with crap instruments as the large manufacturers have lost a bit of track in their focus to meet profit margins, the Walmart basses are just junk. Parents don't know better. Did you ever get one of those bicycles with hard tires and everything rubbed so bike riding was no fun? So Flea is now making inexpensive high quality basses so parents can buy their kids something and playable http://www.fleabass.com/ Every Bass is played before it is sold to be sure it is all good. And, to support the music school there is a Benefit every year called hullaballoo , Ben Harper is playing this year and I go nearly every year and donate my time gear. If you are in in LA it is worth the adventure.
But with every smile come a tear. And though I do well at hiding my sadness as it is often more than I can handle, like skipping stones I try and float over the things that hurt. Losing someone that has been a magic influence for nearly three decades in my life hurts more than I wish to share. If you did not know him, maybe take a look as he is a good heart well missed. Goodbye Brendon Mullen and no single web site shows his depth so I linked a Google search of his name. When I die I want to be remembered with a smile, so I swallow the sad and smile,
And on that note never forget that more than anything, safety first. Always be prepared in case something goes wrong it is wise to have a back up plan, Hence the reason I made sure I was familiar with the medical staff that travels with the Aquabats.
I feel better knowing that if something were to go awry, there are professionals ready and willing to assist.
And finally, Oh, as you may know know, though I do not hate Apple and ATT, I profoundly disagree with extortion and milking of the captives. So therefore I enjoy watching the inevitable dilution of their greedy monopolistic vectors
And feel free to disargee, but please know I practice what I preach. I share info rather that conceal, I network rather than form exclusive alliances and I strive for compatibility rather than the proprietary "must buy from me." And if I did not, you most likely would not be reading these words right now
But hey, if ya like being trapped, more power to ya.
This completes a bottle of wine and un edited bloggery post. Rock On!