Coach Wooden Didn’t Like Me

Back in the mid-90’s I worked for a corporate AV company. There was a myriad of “gigs” involved. Political rallies,Fund raisers, Fashion shows, Training sessions, Video shoots,Etc.
I started to become the audio guy of the bunch. The long timer guys had moved on from audio so I was the default A1 on the crew. I found a work-order for a new and interesting assignment. A luncheon for some collegiate athletes celebrating their newfound scholarships.
The gig entailed a handful of local celebrities, giving speeches and awards. The keynote speaker was Coach John Wooden. Only, he wasn’t actually there. I had a telephone interface feeding the telephone audio into the PA system for the attendees to listen to him, and a return feed of the podium mic and an audience mic for him to hear the cues, responses,questions and applause. If you are old enough to remember Phil Donahue-when he would dart around the audience-then ask, “Is the caller there?” Pretty much the same thing. The contact for the event handed me a California phone number with instructions to call at a given time before the event to call and test both directions of the signal. Then I was to call him back at showtime for him to speak to the folks and take a few questions.
Here is a quick rundown of the conversations:
Me: [ring….ring.]
JW: ‘Hello?”
Me: “Hello, Mr. Wooden?”
JW: “Yeah?”
Me: “Hello sir, My name is Rob, I am with the production company handling tonight’s ev-[interrupted]
JW: “Yeah…”
Me: “ok, I just need to adjust the level of your phone and make sure you can hear the podium mic”
JW: “Yeah,sure”
Me: “can you count from one to ten in a steady pace so I can-”
JW: “1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10.”
Me: “o…k.” [I didn’t even have time to adjust the phone to my ear-with my shoulder and grab the gain pot to check]
Me: “ok sir, I am going to put the phone down and speak into the mic. Let me know if you hear everything to your satisfaction?”
JW: [pause] ….”What?”
[It has come to my attention that Coach Wooden wants NOTHING to do with the entire process]
Me: “I just want to make sure that you can hear the presenter/Emcee in your phone handset”
JW: ——–Silence——
Me: “Ok, 1,2,3,4,5,6…are you hearing any of this?”
JW: “What?”
Me “Are you having trouble hearing me sir?”
JW: “No, I can hear it”
Me: “[confused] Ok, is the level working for you?”
JW: “sure”
Me: “Great, I will call you back at”-CLICK-…..dial tone
The mother fucker hung up on me.
Fast forward to the given time to call him and set him up for his speech and Q&A session.
Me: [ring…rin]
JW: “Hello?”
Me: “Hello Mr Wooden” [Mind you, I am whispering since there is a presenter giving a speech in the ballroom at this point]
Me: “This is Rob again calling from Indianapolis-”
JW: “What? Who?”
Me: “-Rob, with the production-”
Me: “It is the Emcee-name omitted”
JW: “Oh, How long until I speak?”
Me: “Less than four minutes sir”
JW: “….[pause]…..ok”
Me: “I have the script, I’ll give you a ten second warning if you like?”
JW: “……pause…..”Huh? oh, sure.”
Now, let me imply the tone of his voice thru this entire process. He is very impatient and doesn’t want ANYTHING to do with me or any of this process. So,it gets close to the emcee giving him an intro, and I pick the handset back up, and whisper, “Mr. Wooden, are you ready?”
JW: “Yes, I am listening”
The Emcee then calls out his name, and the nicest, friendliest voice you can imagine comes thru the PA system. He gives his speech, answers 3-4 questions wishes all of the athletes well, and everyone claps. As they are clapping, I mute the signal, grab the headset and pick it up to thank him,
Me: “Mr. Wooden?”
JW: “Huh?”
Me: “thanks for all of your help!”
JW: [speaking over the sentence I am saying to him] “uh-huh….”
Mother Fucker Hung up On Me AGAIN.
I was tempted to stick that phone number into my pocket and call him back after a bender, let him have a piece of my irish mind.
But that would be unprofessional.

By soundguyrob

My Melissa Etheridge Story

Melissa Etheridge was on the Howard Stern Show this week. She played a new song, and her break out hit (To the general public) “Come To My Window”. I’m sorry I didn’t catch the name of the the new track, but I don’t claim to be a professional writer-nor do I have a team of interns to research and look up my data. I will say this- Both performances were spot-on. No~taking the low road-I.E.: Singers that drop to the lower octave to squeak by in an early AM performance, or a song they could nail 20 years ago and still trying to recreate the magic.

Howard and his staff were equally blown away, and asked her the question. “How do you do it all these years later?”
Her reply, “I take care of myself. I go to bed, no partying, warm up, etc”

So, I was reminded of my brush with Melissa Etheridge. I think it was 1994, maybe 1993. This was in the midst of her breakout album Yes I Am. Bob & Tom were still relatively a local radio station at this point. They may have been syndicated to a handful of regional stations. Bob & Tom would hold their annual Live Day show, a live broadcast from an Indianapolis recording studio. They would set up a band, soundcheck during the commercial breaks, and have the band play the 2-3 hits from their repertoire. I was traveling with the Push Down & Turn crew. On Thursday night we played a gig in Louisville. Which meant at 3 am we would hit the road and make the 2.25 hour drive back north to Indy to make the 6 am load in to the studio on Friday. Well, after drinking all night, the only thing to do is stay up in the van and just make a day, or night of it.

You can imagine what the six 22 year old grunge mongers probably looked, and smelled like. As Dawn broke in Indy and the heat and humidity of the Indiana summer crept up on us, we were none for the worse. So we get our shit together, park in the myriad of real tour buses flanking the parking lot, and got to work. There was a lot of waiting around. As with any “opening act” A LOT. Usually this meant more drinking. I don’t remember what happened here but I think we were sipping coffee with whiskey.

Fast forward to the lineup. There was a band called the Lemonheads, whose lead singer was dealing with his heroin addiction. This left him in a private room cuddling with his girlfriend only to be interrupted every few minutes by another lost soul trying to find the bathroom-control room-dressing room-production office. I was one of the fucktards that opened the door and interrupted his melancholy sulking to be the dodger of the dagger shot from his eyes. To refresh your memory, his named rhymed with Devin Mando.

We all knew that Melissa Etheridge was one of the most anticipated performers of the morning. We’d heard she was there but there was no sighting. About this time I decided to use the restroom. Both unisex bathrooms were occupied. So I waited. suddenly the door opens and it’s her. We locked eyes, I was stunned. #1, she’s short. (I’m 6’2-no Larry Bird by any means but I’m taller than most women so when one is 5ft 1inch they seem really short to me) #2, She had a great smile. As a 22 y.o. lad, you really take this for-granted until you get older. I just politely stepped out of her way, not sure what to say, she gave me a polite “Hello!” Ok, not a big deal but you don’t expect the door to open with a multi-platinum selling artist to come out and smile at you.

Fast forward a little bit to her performance. The control room of the studio was generally full of people all morning. Those of us that were not interested, or wanted to smoke, would sit outside and listen to the broadcast on the truck’s FM radio. Suddenly, we knew Melissa was coming on and we all gravitated to the control room. It was here when I saw her with her Ovation, a cable and a mic. No band, no back up singers. I’m usually not too enthused about a solo artist with acoustic guitar. I like drums. I like someone driving the bus. Kinda like the recording of Come To My Window. It may have been her studio drummer Mauricio Fritz Lewak, and later, her live drummer Kenny Aronoff, but I like a band with a good drummer. BUT….I can tell you, she did probably 3 songs, by herself, at 8 in the AM. That control room was full of the who’s-who of the local Indy music scene, national recording artists and the radio executives. They’ve all seen it before, but the room was stunned silence. She probably did the three “hits” from Yes I Am, or maybe 1 older song, but she NAILED them. I was instantly a fan. Her voice was absolutely perfect.

By soundguyrob

Apple Mail WAS effed up

So I am feeling a bit vindicated. I was noticing last fall a problem on 1 of my machines. I would get a phone call asking me why I haven’t done X or responded to X. Shut down my mail and restart and suddenly I have 7 new emails. When the second machine started doing it w a fresh nuke-and-pave install of Mavericks- I knew it probably wasn’t me. A couple of forum searches let me know I was not alone in my frustration. The only problem is those dickheads just complain about how useless Apple is in writing their own software. Listen nerd boy, I don’t want to use fucking Outlook on my mac. 

Anyhoos- heres the temporary fix from Cupertino until they fix it in an OS X update: 


OS X: New email messages not received until Mail is quit and reopened



For some email providers, new email messages in Mail may only appear to arrive when Mail is first opened. No new email arrives until Mail is quit and reopened.


Quitting and reopening Mail forces it to re-establish a connection to the email server. You can use these steps to receive new mail messages without quitting Mail:

  1. Choose Mailbox > Take All Accounts Offline.
  2. Choose Mailbox > Get All New Mail.

As a shortcut, you can also add the Take All Accounts Offline and Get Mail buttons to your Mail toolbar.

  1. Choose View > Customize Toolbar.
  2. Drag the Take All Accounts Offline button to the Toolbar if it is not there already.
  3. Drag the Get Mail button to the Toolbar if it is not there already.
  4. Click Done

To receive new mail messages, click the Take Offline button, then click the Check Mail button.