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The Old Soundman: A Glimpse Into The Tool Bag Of A Legend

A question that provides OSM with both the chance to pontificate and provide useful information...

An individual who corresponds to the description of a fugitive known to viewers of “America’s Most Wanted” and “Cops” known only as “JR” sent in this question, which gives me a chance to pontificate — something that I very much enjoy doing.

The beautiful thing is that I can go on about stuff that my questioners are correct about, or just as well when they are off the mark. It’s all fuel for my turbine, my reactor, my photovoltaic converters.

What’s in the essential gig bag for OSM? Does he carry a duffel with anything besides a drum key, bottle of bourbon and crescent wrench?

Let’s take things in order.

I just bought two new drum keys due to guys like you making off with the last one I had. It always happens, either the drummer doesn’t have one (what’s up with that?) or his tech doesn’t.

So I lend them mine, then I go out to have a smoke, and forget to persecute the wicked to get my drum key back. I mean, they only cost a few bucks! What’s wrong with humanity?

Just a few weeks ago, I was mixing a show at someone else’s club, and the house guy told the drummer that his rack tom was resonating. But neither one of them had a frickin’ key! So I saved the day. I did it for everybody’s sake, for the sake of the show. Capisce?

Number two: It has been many years since I felt a heightened sense of excitement by hoping to be like Keith Richards clutching his stupid bottle of Jack, or Slash with the eternal Marlboro.

Sure, I smoke and drink in moderation, but it is my personal feeling that Jack Daniel’s and Jim Beam are more consistently violence-producing than heroin or crack cocaine. Oh, I’m sorry, were those companies about to buy a banner ad? Whoops…

The crescent wrench—now you’re preaching to the choir! I got my crescent, my needle nose, my clippers, my big electronics store tweezers, my soldering gun and solder, my beer bottle openers, Sharpies of different colors, fine point sharpies, my pliers, my personal nobody-else’s-loogies talkback mic.

I also have some generic wire to repair XLRs with. I have some black trick line, and some cable ties. I have some orange mountaineering line. I have a polarity tester and an XLR tester, a bag of XLR Y-cables, pin one lifts, and sex changers.

I have RCA to quarter adapters. One of your buddies stole my vise grips. Foam earplugs for sensitive friends and suffering strangers. Tweakers. Greenies. A reversible big-ass screwdriver. Flashlights.

Yes, it’s heavy, Soundman! You couldn’t handle this bag!

Extra batteries. Guitar tuner. Lanyards. One-inch gaff, two-inch gaff. AC ground lifts. Electrical tape. In-ear monitors. Mini stereo to quarter-inch stereo jacks. Orange three-banger AC combiners. A razor knife. Multimeter. Hex key sets, inches and metric. Ten-foot tape measure.

What’s the Ultimate Sound Man (USM) need to get the job done?

Hey, bro? One more time—I handle the jokes around here. I make funny. You laugh. That is the sequence, not the other way around.

I do not resemble an Ultimate Support keyboard stand. I would not mind being compared to the Ultimate Support percussion table; those things have many uses. I am not an Ultimate Support mic stand with the squeezy thing. I am also not a low profile collapsible Ultimate Support guitar stand, but those were a cool innovation, wouldn’t you agree?

Enough. Begone!

The Old Soundman

There’s simply no denying the love from The Old Soundman. Check out more from OSM here.

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