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The Old Soundman: Witty Phrases Designed To Tame A “Rack Monster”

Dissuading a misguided band member from breaking the sound crew's backs...

Dear OSM:

I’ve read your articles with great amusement, and have always admired your witty yet direct prose.

Go to the head of the class – flattery wins, every time!

I hope you can help me with a small predicament. I’m the monitor engineer for a reasonably successful rock band that uses in-ear monitoring systems…

If you’re working, that’s always good, compared to the alternative.

…and I’m fortunate enough to be able to carry my own console and a small complement of outboard gear: a quad gate, two compressors and two reverbs.

Sounds to me like you’ve got everything you need!

I’m quite happy with this equipment, as it’s all of good quality, and with it, I’m able to keep the mixes consistent and the band happy.

That’s the name of the game. But I get the feeling you’re going to tell me everything is not quite as copacetic as it seems.

I don’t need any more gear…

Nobody needs any more gear! The universe is perfectly balanced, right now! Everything is exactly as it should be!

…but one band member thinks I do.

Oh, and if he wrecks the precarious equilibrium that exists at this very moment, and destroys humanity’s hope for world peace, he doesn’t care as long as he gets his new toys! Nice guy! I can see why you killed him and buried him in the cold, cold ground.

Despite the fact that he’s quite happy with the mix I’m giving him, he seems to want me to have what would end up being a 24-rack-space monstrosity, full of comps, gates, mic pres and whiz-bang digital “thingies.”

And, he wants you to carry this balanced on your head like someone from a primitive civilization, right?

I’m not an old soundman yet…

Be grateful for that, my friend! Do you have any idea of what my feet feel like at the end of a show day? Believe me, you want to postpone those terrifying sensations as long as you can.

…but I’m no longer thrilled with the prospect of wrestling yet another piece of gear in and out of a bus bay or trailer.

Amen, brother! That’s what the stagehand kids are for, with their tattoos and their shaved heads. Last week, one of them was bragging about meeting Bridget the Midget – you know who she is, right? Maybe it’s better if you don’t!

I have what I need and am quite happy with it. Perhaps you could recommend some witty phrases that will help me dissuade this person from further damaging my back, or the backs of our stagehands.

Thank you,

Wow, witty phrases! Hmmm… here are some you can use on Mr. Smarty:

“I stick my neck out for nobody.” – Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca

“You’re not too smart. I like that in a man.” – Kathleen Turner to William Hurt in Body Heat

“What we have here is a failure to communicate.” – Strother Martin in Cool Hand Luke

“Klaatu barada nikto.” – Patricia Neal to Gort The Robot in The Day The Earth Stood Still

“Fat man, you shoot a great game of pool.” – Paul Newman to Jackie Gleason in The Hustler

And here’s one that seems particularly applicable to your current situation: “Until you do right by me, everything you think about is going to crumble.” – Whoopi Goldberg in The Color Purple

I’ll try to think of some others, but I hope these will tide you over for now, Less!

Luv –
The Old Soundman

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

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