IIRC , my first "real" session was as an assistant engineer to legendary engineer Gene Eichelberger on a Guy Clark session in November of 1977 at Quadrafonic Sound Studio. Jack Clement was there, producing, and I remember being absolutely STUNNED at how incredible the whole track sounded. (Gene's famous comment to me on that day: "Push play and shut up") The Chief Engineer at CBS Studios and Belmont Music Business instructor at the time, Bob McGraw, had apparently recommended me to Gene, which is how I was hired as a staff assistant at Quad. I owe a lot to those two fine gentlemen, as well as Jim Pugh, Chief Engineer @ Woodland. Tom Knox and Tom Rountree, both Technical Engineers at Quad, were also kind and benevolent mentors to me back in those incredible days! It was the final couple of years of an ever bifurcating partnership with original owners David Briggs and Norbert Putnam, and there was never a dull moment.
I was later an Assistant Maintenance Engineer, and eventually, after Jim Pugh left, the Chief Technical Engineer at Woodland Sound Studios (1979 to 1983). I left Woodland late in 1983 to accept the position of Chief Technical Engineer at the studio (Emerald) that was being built by David Malloy and Even Stevens, two highly successful Nashville producers (eternal thanks to engineer Russ Martin for the reference that got me hired!) .
I made the transition when Dale Moore bought Emerald in 1986, ripped out the Neve 8058 and then installed a new SSL 4064E and a Tom Hidley designed control room for Jimmy Bowen, among other users. I enjoyed more than 24 years at Emerald / Masterfonics as Chief Technical Engineer and eventually VP of Technical Services, "almost continuously", until witnessing the company falter not once, or twice, but I think something more like *FOUR times*.
Sadly, as that piece of Music Row history seems to have come to an end, hardly anything was said when two of the most successful studios of the last two and a half decades closed their doors for the last time. Probably more hits were recorded, mixed and mastered at these two facilities than at any other Nashville facility during that period. (Best wishes to Tommy Dorsey and J.R. who continue forward with Masterfonics Mastering!) I have (mostly) great memories of those two facilities, and I'm sure many of the members of this group have fond recollections of those two recording industry landmarks, as well!!!
Thanks for the invitation! Hope you're doing well. That's a great biography, BTW, a really wistful history for a lot of us. I still have the camera and the lenses. I'm thinking about getting an adapter for them to use with my DVX100A. One of my camera ops had an adapter on a shoot the other day and I really loved the look. It would be interesting to see how they hold up with HD.
Gene was, is and always will be a freakin genius. One of the best engineers ever that really knows how to listen.
I recall him later at the Bennett House saying something like, 'EQ should only be used in emergency situations. Its all about where the mic is. I still use that to this day.' Brilliant!
His sight and other senses might suck right now, but his ears are still on. I love that guy!
Hey Kerry. Great too see you here and thanks for the request.
I recall the Briggs/Putnam Quad days as well and have a few stories about the place. Not as many as you I'm certain. Better not reveal those here to the 'buying public'! ;-)
What a great retrospective you've written as your "about me". I guess it helps that you have repeatedly been on the precipice of much music row history as it was happening.
My favorite...'Gene's famous comment to me on that day: "Push play and shut up"'
al the best