Welcome to the EA club!
No matter how hard you try, when you put a bunch of recording engineers in a room, the talk always turns to music, audio gear, artists, divas, more gear, then music war stories. Mix in a few drinks and the evening takes off! The talk turns to what happened during and after recording sessions, the good stuff. This became known as an “Engineers Anonymous” meeting.
Engineers Anonymous (EA) became a routine in the studio, in a place that has no routine, where there is never a dull moment.
The engineers’ posting their stories here are all part of the clan. They have been in the trenches with the most prominent artists in the music business. From the time you start in the music business, and until after you have moved on, these moments from the endless hours of sessions stay with you. How many days did you stay up? Did you have a deadline and didn’t sleep for a week? Did the artist decide to write and record a new song while we were mixing the last song on the record? Did someone erase track seven, not 17 (analog days)! It’s a reality; these things happen all the time.
Because of the crazy hours and crazy events, great stories come out when Engineers Anonymous gets together.
This is the music business…the lives of many techs, engineers, producers, and musicians.
Feel free to submit your story. The posts may be edited to protect the innocent, but we intend to have ALL the stories told. Write your story, press the submit button, and you’re on your way.
*We eventually will accept audio and video clips as well. The stories must live on!
Ted Nugent: Rock and Roll Redneck
1989 I was the assistant engineer on Damn Yankees first album with Ron Nevison producing. Sessions were going great except, Ted setup practice targets of bears, deer and other animals to shoot in the live room of the studio on down hours.
I was setting up vocal microphones one afternoon while the band was upstairs in the studio lounge. I went to go back into the control room to patch in the microphones and as I came around the corner an ARROW “buzzed” by my head as Ted decided to shoot some targets with his bow. I lookup up at him and before I said anything he said, “BETTER BE CAREFUL MAN”!!! No apology, no concern, as the arrow passed 12-15 inches in front of my head, just the line I will never forget, BETTER BE CAREFUL MAN
I finished patching in the mics and went to the studio manager Mark Harvey and told him what happened. Within an hour, Mark and other A&M executives we’re all in the room, not letting on that I had gone to management, they told him, the hunting bow and targets were a liability and needed to be removed from the premises.
I was glad when the project ended and to this day have “Red” Nugent on my list of assholes I do not want to work with.
This story sums it up: One of our good friends, a great engineer and a special person, Bill Dooley, at 5 AM on a Memorial Day weekend, spent all three days replacing blown power supplies on a recording console. We had an impossible situation, the Producer would not stop production, and the studio, which just opened up the day before, was not ready for clients. In the heat of this Bill asked, “Do you know where the people working on a cure for cancer are right now? They’re home with their families, enjoying the holiday weekend, or at the beach soaking up the sun, or in the backyard having a cookout. We’re making shitty music, which will save nobodies life, and they at least take time off to enjoy the holiday!”
Faders Of The Lost Art
O console my console I weep for your demise
Behold you’ve disappeared, before my very eyes
What evil plot is hatched onto my once proud house?
Must music be attached to sound of clicking mouse?
With hammer and with anvil we forged and built the tracks
Like chisels used in sculpture, the console was my axe
Raw notes raced in like fire and came out the other side
Transformed by coiled wire, they turned to butterfly
O console my console we rode the sonic wave
The faders were my tiller, it’s touch that I do crave
Now faders they lie dormant, silent and forlorn
Fades fade no longer, fades just get drawn.
One day they’ll make a movie that makes it all seem clear
Its very cinematic, I’ll play the engineer
It’s all about the eras, and how they soon depart
We’ll call the movie faders…
Faders of the Lost Art.