- FEBRUARY 2013 -

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Hither to the very end...

where David Gold, cofounder of Gold Star Recording Studios, holds forth on the history of recording and his role in mastering Neil Young albums.

Another Fein Mess
AF Stone’s Monthly
February 2013

LA Drivers

I saw a tow truck on Sunset at rush hour. A black car in the curb lane was crushed by a red SUV pushed into its drivers side. A textbook case of a middle-laner making a right.

I’d’ve taken a picture, but it’s not news.

People know I’m not from L.A. because I make right turns from the right lane. Of course, I’ve lived here 40 years and have acquired an ‘ L.A.’ approach to u-turns and speed limits, and carry the vestigial fear of ticketing when a pedestrian steps into a crosswalk.

But turning right from the right lane exposes my alien roots. In L.A. not everyone, just 80% of drivers, think that their cars are made of sausage and turn left to arc right around corners like a sports car in a Tex Avery cartoon.

They have a fear of curbs. No matter that curbs are rounded and you can turn inches away from them BECAUSE THEY’RE DESIGNED TO ACCOMMODATE CARS. No, they take the wide approach, swing left to turn right, and on streets with two go-ahead lanes and one curb lane, from the middle lane or half blocking it.

This phenomenon is not taught in driving schools. I’ve checked. It’s amazing that there aren’t more fist-fights over this. It’s because everyone in L.A. is on drugs but me.

‘Round Town

Jan 7 -- Ronnie Mack’s final Barn Dance at Jack’s Sugar Shack was held with much joy and sadness. Packed to the rafters, we all said goodbye to Ronnie ... till we see him again.

0074 Ronnie beams at the Collins Kids, in December.

Jan 8 -- Our 26th or 27th or 28th annual Elvis Birthday Bash was a super glorious room-levitating joy. The happiness that pervades these shows is loosely based on Elvis but mostly on camaraderie. Some Elvis songs stray far and some hew close, but nobody else had as much fun that night as we did. It was joyful rollicking often hilarious time. Elvis would have loved it. If you weren’t there, you should been.

Sid Straw

Justin Curtis Dragnon

Julie Christensen

Mr./Ms Show Business Troy Walker

Ray Camp slaps that barely-strung bass.

He lifts the whole thing overhead - and it disassembles.

Ronnie Mack holds the headless bass, Ray remonstrates

The Vargas Family

Joe Finkle rocks.


Jan 16 Went with Diane to see Jim Dawson talk about his new book about Bunker Hill 1 at Stories Book Store.

Jan 17 - We went to Amoeba Records for a short free show by Yo La Tengo. I’ll be back Feb. 13 to see Eric Burdon.

Jan 20 We went to Viva to see Jimmy Angel, but stayed only for the Bloody Brains. Also missed the Neumans and Ian Whitcomb.

Bloody Brains, at Viva

Ronnie Mack, Ian Whitcomb, Jimmy Angel.

Jan 26 -- A grand time was had by a packed house in Santa Ana as the Blasters, Phil Alvin, Dave Alvin, X and the Knitters mix-and-matched alongside Los Lobos and the California Feetwarmers at a benefit show to pay the hospital in Valencia, Spain, that saved Phil Alvin’s life. I wasn’t there but all reports say the show and atmosphere was spectacular. The $20 tkt. sold quickly and scalped high.

While they frolicked in Santa Ana, I was at the Chuck E. Weiss show at the Piano Bar.

1 Not the one in Boston, or the guy who recorded “Hide and Go Seek.” A historic hilly area of downtown L.C. mowed down by city developers in the 60s.


I get a kick out of crits’ favorites. Some are mine, too, but I would never do like they did with, say, Shelby Lynne, chronically citing her series of “critically praised,” i.e. unsuccessful, releases and predicting that her newest “is expected” to be her breakthrough. Insert another artist name and see the template ... Have you seen the Geico (?) tv ad with some drunk old lady bursting into “Two Tickets To Paradise in front of a classroom? Turns out it was Eddie Money ... I can’t dislodge from my head the end of the Ronnie Graham cut, “Harry The Hipster Gibbon,” on the ‘How to be Terribly, Terribly Funny’ album on Riverside, where he sings, to the tune of ‘Stormy Weather,’ “Can’t go on, all my Nembutals 2 are gone, Leonard Feather” ... In the 9-hour Monty Python docu we learn that George Harrison supplied $4 million to make “Life of Brian” (or was it “Holy Grail”) and George says “Well, I had to mortgage my house.” Was he being funny? Or did he mean “One of my twelve houses”? ... After I saw the Collins Kids 1993 ‘comeback’ I recalled a brother/sister duo I saw at my very first rock show in the 50s. That crewcut kid bouncing around with a doubleneck guitar IN A COWBOY SUIT really put me off. I was 10 or 11. I didn’t want to see teens. Teenhood is a passage, not a goal ... A description under a pic of Jimi Hendrix in 1967 onstage at the Hollywood Bowl facing the reflecting pool points out that the kidiots who dove into the water to demonstrate their freedom endangered Hendrix’s electronics and very life with their splashing. Some kid (on FB where everyone’s a teenager) remarked, “Well why was there a pool if no one could swim in it?” The 1967 fools’ behavior literally short-circuited his appearance ... My daughter’s teacher had a picture of Willie Nelson in her classroom. When I met her she told me that she and her husband were Spread-heads. I paused, and she said “Widespread Panic. We go to all their shows.” I bought a double-CD of their live show but didn’t like it. Lots of soloing. However, when I saw some good band on ACL and waited to see their name, it was Widespread Panic. But to the first point, I have recently surpassed the teacher in love for Willie Nelson. Always thought he was fine, good, but now I have 250 of his songs and want more. Every time one comes up on the iPod I swoon ... On a 1964 4 Jack Benny Show, he shared a joke with Nat King Cole and hugged him, then drew him closer so their heads touched. That was a fine gesture by Benny, considering network tv’s cancellation of Cole’s 1957 tv show. Advertisers then got southern backlash for showing a black man on equal footing with whites ....

2 Nembutal was a downer 3. Graham was a Poker Party guest. I saw him speak at a memorial for Roger Price, inventor of Droodles and Mad Libs, and chased him down. (Price also published Grump, a marvelous magazine to which I subscribed mid-1960s. When that folded I was sent an unrequested subscription to The Independent, a sheet put out by Lyle Stuart, who published lefty journals, and scored one bestseller with “The Sensuous Woman.”)

3 Maybe it was a favorite of Gibson. In the late 70s he wrote in the Village Voice about getting heroin for Charlie Parker in NYC. I tried to book Harry into Club Lingerie in the mid-1980s, but he, living near San Diego, wrote that he was deaf. Not sad enough, within a year he took his life.

4 It was Cole’s last tv appearance.

Ten little-known album favorites of mine

In honor of the 100 Most Influential Albums book:

1. “Fraser & Debolt”
2. “Plug Me Into Something” - Henry Gross
3. Lost Gonzo Band - (2) on MCA
4. “All I Want To Do In Life” - Jack Clement -
5. “Tasty” - Good Rats
6. “Jack Bonus”
7. “12 Sides of John D. Loudermilk”
8. “Rest Home For Children” - Paul Hampton
9. “Freeze” - Junie
10. “Are You On Something?” - Ray D’Ariano

Little Things 5

* I was at the 76 station gas pump and after inserting the credit card the screen said “Want a receipt?” ‘Deed I did, and now I’ll buy only 76. The Shell gas pump lets you finish, THEN asks about a receipt, and makes you/me wait.

* I got in early on yahoo and aol for email. But when you opened yahoo it demanded your full addy, i.e.
so-and-so @yahoo.com. AOL 6 just asked for so-and-so, not the aol.com, which is a given. So I never used yahoo.

5 Good song by Bobby Goldsboro. Saw him play at a high school gym in 1963 or so, but while he was singing a fight broke out and everyone ran to watch it. He was a member of Roy Orbison’s band.

6 When I asked a guy who retched at the mention of AOL what was exactly the problem, he recalled their takeover of Warner Bros. Record, which ruined both. OK, so Yahoo is a kindly goodhearted corporation? All our associations and subscriptions today are deals with devils.

R&R hall of babies

Randall Roberts, in the 12-12-12 LATimes, spits doctrine. Rock crits, by a pact, dislike Rush. Rush was voted into the R&R Hall of Fame, but their induction, RR notes, “will be forever marked with an asterisk.”

Meaning? Their fans rallied them in because the R&RHOF weakened and allowed PEOPLE to vote.

Brahmins like Roberts, well, they know rock & roll. And to prove it, he relayed the opening lyrics to Randy Newman’s “I Think It’s Gonna Rain Today.” I like that song. I have it on a Judy Collins album. But only in Opposite World does it qualify as ROCK & ROLL and Rush not.

He then writes that other inductions are “less contentious.” No, what is contentious is what makes Randall Roberts and his lockstep confreres, whose accomplishments in the field of rock & roll are literally out of sight, think they have a right to snear at anyone, anyone at all, who makes music.

Speaking of real rock & roll, on February 17, Johnny Whiteside’s Messaround series at Viva Cantina in Burbank will feature Freddy Cannon backed up by the Gears. It’s no Leonard Cohen show, but it will rock some.

The non-life of (some) writers

At noon, when I walked into the bar where I’d left my camera (at a music event) the previous night, I was shocked to see men sitting and drinking. Do people drink during the day? I had no idea.

In the 80s I built a Sears metal storage unit on my friend’s property. When my writer friend Shmeltzer heard about this he came over to help because wanted to experience work. He had never used a screwdriver. When he was 39 he called me and asked how to buy a shirt.

These Are The Times Of L.A.

Late January. Amy Kaufman and Chris Lee and Kenneth Turan and others rewrite last year’s (or was it 2011’s? 1999’s?) exciting celebrity-spotting news at the Sundance festival where people are flogging movies and newspaper writer-vacationers assay them. Non-news, tired news, space that could be used for L.A. news ... OK, I parse too much, but Frank Shyong’s 1-20 report about a girl’s 1977 Marin County slaying trod a cliched path when he described her as a “pretty blonde girl” with a “bubbly, upbeat personality.” This devalues the deaths of plain friendless brunettes ... “California Briefings” is the paper’s murder and mayhem site. The Dec 10 “briefing” contained: officer kills teen in Moreno Valley, plane crashes in San Diego, lightning hits plane, 1480 drunk drivers arrested, comedian held for narcotics possession. Goddam police notes! We aim low ... TWO New York reporters fill a half page - the only news of The Nation - about subway deaths in NY. New York news, the way New Yorkers like it. ... “Have you ever had the (so-and-so) sandwich at the new Storefront Deli in Los Feliz?” asks Jonathan Gold 12-29. How could anyone “ever” had one when the place just opened? At least he didn’t use “we,” this time ... Dec 30 “Briefings” in toto: Adult, 5 kids killed in Mississippi, Woman dies in arson fire in Illinois, Youths charged in North Carolina murder, two officers who were shot in New Jersey released, Snow buries northeast. Mayhem, murder.... The NYTimes business section prints facts, interviews, investigations. Ours announces, 1-17, that Dunkin’ Donuts will open stores in CA and illustrates it with a quarter-page color picture of donuts. In case you’ve never seen a donut. Another “business” section article, 1-10, David Undercoffler AGAIN tells us that rich people will buy expensive cars at a sale in Arizona. The last sale like that, 6 months ago, covered extensively, took place in Monterey ... Paloma Esquivel went Jan 16 to the reopening of the Aurora, Colorado slaughter theater. Why? Well, to tell us that “In one aisle, a young man comforted a young woman as she cried.” What’s news about that? Maudlin piffle that could be prewritten. News would be people cheering the killer, someone opening fire again. Dog bites man is not news ... I’ve always thought soldiers, workers on skyscrapers, cops were brave. Acting never seemed to be in that league, at least not until I read the subhed on Meredith Blake’s paean to actress Laura Dern who “has been fearless in embracing roles that explore the complexities of the human spirit.” Other actors embrace baboon spirits, ghost spirits. Wait, if she “acts” human what does that say ... Are you as excited as I am about reinvestigating Natalie Wood’s death? Really, that little? What about whether Beyonce lip-synched? Linsdsay Lohan’s court appearances? A football player with an imaginary girlfriend. Tripe, tripe, tripe ... Jan 13. Yes, the flu is sweeping the nation, and that includes New York! Tina Susman gives us a tally of its effect on our favorite city ... Jan 9 it takes two, David Zahniser and Kate Linthicum, to cover the TMZ-generated story that the L.A. mayor met Charlie Sheen when both were in Baja California. Really? Is this what we pay to read? What twits want to read this “story”? In the Late News section, also apparently the garbage section ... Jan 7 California Briefings: woman set on fire, actor arrested for DUI, Motorcyclist shot by cops dies, shooting suspect held in Oregon. Great stuff, proud paper ... Shame on the headline writer on a story about a lecture by Sally Field: “Yes, they really like her.” Cliche of a cliche, so old it has whiskers. (Yeah, I know.)

The no journalism

I never read the LA Weekly as I am not alternative, I am central. But in December, waiting for someone, I perused “Victim Hunts Down Hit-And-Run Driver.”

The hitee was a ‘bicycle lobbyist.’ He described a car coming fast behind and throwing him 50 feet, so who can fault the cyclist? The guilt was clear.

But wait a minute. The victim is an organizer of Midnight Ridazz (...) and founded Wolfgang Pack, a bunch whose “approach to traffic laws” is “somewhat cavalier.”

Now I’m wondering, was he simply minding his own business when he got hit, or exercising some real of imaginary right? Those Midnight ... I can’t say it, congregate righteously at intersections and tie up traffic for ten minutes proudly insisting “We are special. Bend to our will.”

I’m just saying the guy’s record isn’t clean, and Hillel Aron 7 wasn’t an investigator, he was an advocate.

He writes that people searched for the miscreant in “trendy downtown bars including the Edison and the Standard.” Why did the writer mention those two? All but those are known as robbers’ roosts? If you name two, name them all. To single them out is a name drop. And trendy means superficial.

House stuff

Our house has no grass, a paved patio in back. My daughter in grade school begged for a trampoline. The realtor told us the house insurance would be canceled if we got one.

Not long after that we went to a kid’s birthday party, but the birthday boy was at the hospital after breaking his arm on his birthday gift, a trampoline ...


- Computer history docu on PBS, narrator uses “jury-rigged” to describe the first home models, NOT the nonexistent jerry-rigged (things are jerrybuilt)...

- Mathematics expert Charles Wheeler, CSPAN, 1-20-13, said that while something’s dismissal “may seem fortuitous,” it turned out to be significant. He used it properly as coincidental, denying it augured benefit, then turned.

The Museums of Marketing Mistakes:
a shoppers guide

First there was Bargain Circus, in the 1970s. It sold only things that the marketplace rejected. A row of airplane seats. Off-branded merch like General Motors cheese, Nabisco lamps. One day I saw a man holding nine salamis and asked what was up. He said, with a thick accent, “They are two dollars each! They sell for twenty dollars in Lithuania, and you can’t get them.” It was a bazaar in either spelling, always an adventure.

Then came the 99 Cent Store. Mostly cheaply made stuff (often no different from name brands), back-from-the-dead brands (Ipana toothpaste) and normally-pricey stuff like organic salad that’s about to go bad. Occasionally there are unexpected things, but for the most part you get a limited selection of stuff marked up fairly from its cost.

Big Lots, far less invasive (few outlets) has oddities galore, stuff that never made its target stores: local potato chips from Philadelphia, the Spanish movie “Volver,” LARGE mini-wheats (they were originally thus, then shrank), recently outmoded electronics and unsuccessful luxury lines from mid-range manufacturers. If you like something there, grab it - you’ll never see it again.

Typical L.A. drugstore. The sushi bar at Walgreens at Sunset & Vine.


Sudden shot

I experienced love-shock the other day.

I have been looking at my old tv shows to select highlights.
On one from late 1991, I was sitting on a couch holding Baby Jessie, born in July. She was climbing all over me, pulling my hair, goggling at the sight of the Sprague Brothers.

That baby! Though seated, I felt my knees buckle. I haven’t seen that squirmy baby in 20 years. It was a joy-punch to the gut. I can’t say I miss that kid since I’ve loved every minute of her life, but boy, the sense of ‘aww’ hit like a hammer.

Oh (Big) Brother

On Facebook, a friend wrote that she played Peggy Lee’s “Is That All There Is” whenever a new lover depantsed. In solace I wrote “Sometimes it’s in the eye of the beholder.”

Incredibly, as I pressed “Post” FB instantly blocked it calling it “inappropriate.” I looked for a key licentious word, saw none, and wondered if someone was at a desk watching my words as they were struck. How could it be automatically rejected? Others comments ran.

Stuff my dopey tv says

“The legendary true story of the Alamo!”

“Wind gusts up to 60 mph or more.” (The gusts will definitely be of some speed.)

In an actual biography on HIST, the channel that eschews history for alligator chasers, bargain hunters, pawn shops, : “Mrs. Custer died in 1933, just four days short of her 91st birthday.” Gosh, if only she’d made 91. What is with this false pathos? It’s rampant!!!!! ...

My New York, briefly

I went in 1955 with my parents. Standing in line for the tv show Treasure Hunt, Jaye P. Morgan 8 patted me on the head - well, on my Davy Crockett coonskin cap 9. Went again in 1964 for the Worlds Fair, with parents.

Christmas 1964 I went to Passaic NJ and stayed with relatives. In NY I saw a matinee of ‘Funny Girl’ in the cheapest seat, which was literally behind a pole. I heard about a Murray The K show in Brooklyn and demanded my cousin drive us there. He had never heard of Murray, nor been to Brooklyn, but I forced him and found it instinctively.
Saw Little Anthony, Nashville Teens, Chuck Jackson, a bunch of others. Great fun.

In 1967 I was booked on a flight from NY to Cologne, Germany, to join a college-student Europe tour, and had a day in NY on my own. I knew nothing. Went to Greenwich Village and saw the Fugs at the Cafe Wha.

I went to a diner and had a hamburger and a Coke. It was 90 cents. I left a dime, which even then I knew that was too little. As I got halfway down the block the waiter came running after me with the dime saying “Take this back. You need it more than me.” It wasn’t generosity, it was payback.

8 Only years later did I realize that was a pseudonym.

9 Needed it. Had a crewcut. It was cold.

NY games

New York magazine was great in the 70s. So was the Village Voice. I subscribed to both without any special affinity for NY. In 1980 both pubs seemed to go to pot and I canceled.

But NY had a word game at the end of each issue. 10
Typical motifs:

- Remove one letter to alter an expression.
Ruth is stranger than fiction.

-Add one letter to alter an expression:
The Buick stops here.

I had two entries that I never sent in.

Change one letter to alter an expression:
- The three days of the condom.

Run movie titles together:
Absence of Malice/M/Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.

Finally they’re in ‘print.’ 11

Mid 70s LA came up with a copy publication, New West. It was awful. The contest entries were disgracefully lame.

11 I went to an Apple Store for an old-persons (well, that’s who showed up) class in using the iPhone 5.

I read a paperback book till the session started.

A person asked what it was and I said “a P-book.”

The silent treatment

Life magazine in the early 60s ran an article about a professor who despaired of all the rock & roll on the campus lunch room jukebox and had a silent record made so he could get 3 minutes of silence for a dime.

Could be the world’s rarest record!

- 57 -


Mark On The Move -
Mark Leviton
I’ve knew of the avant-garde priestess Meredith Monk but never attended one of her multimedia performances until she came to UCLA’s Freud Playhouse in mid-January.   Her 9-piece ensemble presented “On Behalf of Nature,” the 75-minute answer to her question: “How would one create an ecological art work that didn’t make more waste in the world?”  She was also inspired by poet Gary Snyder’s essay “Writers and the War Against Nature,” in which Snyder argues that part of the artist’s role is to be a “spokesperson for non-human entities communicating to the human realm through dance or song.”
Everyone on stage did double or triple-duty; the 5 singers (including the sprightly 70-year-old Monk) danced, and the small on-stage group of Bohdan Hilash (wind instruments), John Hollenbeck (percussion) and Allison Sniffin (keyboards, violin, French horn) often left their musical posts to sing and move with the others.  The lighting (Elaine Buckholtz) and sound design (Jody Eiff) were an integral part of the piece, which was a flowing amalgam of dramatic theatre, choreography, video and music.  The activity was abstract, although strongly suggestive.  Monk wasn’t directly preaching, but rather providing signposts and images for contemplation.  At one point I thought I was seeing a couple perched on a hilltop watching a series of sunsets, at another it seemed to me that hanging globes were swung on cords to indicate planetary fragility.   Some dances were for the ensemble, and resembled helixes.  In other sequences, a solitary figure used gesture, facial expression and wordless singing to convey joy, impatience or puzzlement.  Even the costumes had a message: the program notes indicated designer Oshhio Yabara created new clothes from old garments supplied by each performer, embodying something about their personal history.  I certainly can’t say I understood the whole thing, but it was quite an unusual experience and has stayed with me.
I heard another artist for the first time this month, the British singer Sarah Joyce, who performs under the nom-de-stage Rumer.  Her 2010 album “Seasons of My Soul” caught my attention with her emotional songs and Karen Carpenter-esque voice.  I especially liked her tune “Aretha,” which uses her admiration for The Queen of Soul as a springboard (“Momma she’d notice but she’s always crying/I’ve got no one to confide in, Aretha/No one but you”). The B-sides of the “Aretha” U.K. single, “Warmth of the Sun” and “Come Saturday Morning,” are also fantastic, and pointed toward her second album “Boys Don’t Cry” from 2012, which is all seventies-era songs written by highly-emotional men (including Jimmy Webb’s “P.F. Sloan,” Todd Rundgren’s “Be Nice to Me,” Ronnie Lane’s “Just For a Moment” and “Home Thoughts From Abroad” by Clifford T. Ward).
One look at her personal bio reveals an especially difficult and tumultuous life for someone still in her early thirties, but I was still unprepared for how nervous and introverted she appeared on stage at The Hotel Café.  In England she’s played big and prestigious venues like the Royal Albert Hall, and sung with a full orchestral behind her, but at this small Hollywood venue she had only a single piano accompanist, and spent considerable time looking down at her set list, stumbling through her introductions, and singing without a strong connection to the audience.  Rumer reminded me of Sandy Denny both physically and vocally, showing a distressing lack of confidence while she sang pretty much flawlessly.  About mid-way in her 50-minute set, after several tunes from her first album, she began to improve, and was absolutely mesmerizing with Laura Nyro’s undeservedly obscure “American Dove” (which Rumer has not recorded yet) and Christopher Cross’ “Sailing” (ditto). 
At the end, she brought up audience member Stephen Bishop (whose “Same Old Tears On a New Background” she’d recorded on “Boys Don’t Cry”) for a loose and fun duet on “It Might Be You,” the song Stephen sang in the film “Tootsie” (and on the 1983 Academy Awards show if memory serves).  I spoke to Stephen before the show and he revealed that he’s been writing songs with Rumer for her next project.  Excellent!  Maybe he’ll be what the doctor ordered for her self-esteem.

-- Mark Leviton
(Mark’s sixties-themed radio show Pet Sounds can be heard alternate Wednesdays 10pm-Midnight PST on KVMR-FM 89.5 in the Sacramento area and streaming at www.kvmr.org )


Dave Gold --

Though Thomas A Edison may have been a great inventor, he was probably was more an entrepreneur and businessman. He had the intelligence hire a group of craftsman and engineers to work in his lab.

Whether the inventions that evolved were his alone or a conglomeration of his ideas and their expertise, we will never know. He and his lab did however make the first audio recording on a cylinder covered with tinfoil and called it the phonograph. Phono (talk), graph (write). It however was not a practical method for mass production or reproducing music for sale to the masses. Reproductions would have to be copied or engraved on a one tone basis from the original.

Enter an immigrant from Europe by the name of Emil Berliner who invented the Gramophone, or Phonograph as we know it today. Among his other inventions was the microphone used in the telephone up to recent years. But what made his phonograph superior to Edison?s? First it was flat. Once cut or engraved it could be electroformed, a method of electroplating to the original creating a mold or negative of the original in metal. This in turn could be used to press into a plastic substance and create a playable copy. It was now possible to mass produce recordings for sale. However even this method was not enough because the plate, as this device was called, would wear out or be damaged and to go back to the original recording was not always possible.

The remedy was the following. The original recording would be positive, as in a photo. The first electroforming would be a negative called the "master" The master would then be coated and subjected to electroforming again to produce when separated what we call a "mother". It of course would be positive, so we would again use the process to make what we call a "stamper", which would be used to make the final product, a playable recording . The advantage would be that the "master" could be used to make many "mothers" Which in turn could be used to make even many more "stampers". It would also allow record companies to send "mothers" to record producing plants world wide.

During the seventies when I was mastering Neil Young’s recordings for Warner Bros., Neil and his producer David Briggs insisted that they wanted his recordings to be as close to the master recordings that I made as possible. This would require that I would make a master for every plant that would press his records. This was great for Gold Star Recording Studios, but an astronomical job for me. I would come into the studio at 2 am and produce masters until 10 am when the regular crew arrived, thus allowing some one else to use the room for other customers.

What is further interesting is that each of the masters I produced required me to make equalizing steps and level changes along the way because they, David and Neil did not want to make another tape generation of the original master tape.

Now I am not a machine, so no mater how careful I was, no master was quite the same and since each master I made carried a different number inscribed next to the label area, to a collector recordings from different places would be slightly different. All carried my initials in the runoff groove area "dg".

What started as a cylinder, and went to Berliner’s flat disk, ended up with Neil Young’s records going to the first concept of staying as close to the original as possible, or was it really?

David Gold is a member of the Hollywood Sapphire Group, an association of recording masterers.

Dave Gold sorts out microphone connectors for the Paladins’ Thomas Yearsley, who checks his phone. Jan 29 2013 at Uncle Bernie’s Deli in Tarzana.

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