A random look at the life and times of Jim Rising recovering radio addict and newspaper columnist.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Mostly the grey part

I teach at Luzerne County Community College. Been doing it for ten years this fall. Time flies when you’re having fun. My specialty is music recording. LCCC has some great equipment and its great fun to teach this. One of the reasons its fun is that the people who take these classes really WANT to learn. They are in the class because they want to become well versed in the techniques either because they are musicians who want to understand what goes on in the studio or they are geeks like me who want to turn the knobs.
Over the past ten years I have taught a number of folks who have gone to become semi famous band members of semi famous bands which I won’t name drop here. I have to believe that my efforts helped them in some way shape or form.
Once a year LCCC busses in a load of high school kids for a “media day.” They invite in DJ’s and TV people and newspaper folks and a couple of recording studio guys like me. Brett Alexander of Saturation Acres did it last year. Name drop off.
This year was pretty typical. High school kids, for all their bravado and bluster are generally pretty shy and tough to draw out at first. I know this and though the first time I was little disconcerted I go with the flow now.
This bunch got excited when I took them in one of the studios and showed them around. I played them the old “Hesitation blues” that we have recorded on an 8 track ADAT. It fascinated them to see that I could solo out a track and they could hear just the piano or whatever. Then I showed them some effects. That really fired them up for some reason. They wanted to hear themselves thru the box so I put up a mike in tracking room and asked for a volunteer. They shoved one of their number in the room but he got terminal stage fright.
Mr. Rising to the rescue. One of the guys in the group is actually taking my class. Pretty bright kid. Told him to ride gain because I would get loud at the end. Went in and gave them a full blown version of the Morrison intro to the “Soft Parade.” When I got to “you can NOT petition the LORD thru PRAY YUH!” I backed off and belted it out of the park.
When I went back to the control room they all applauded.
I want to be known as the “grey haired far out teacher.” I have achieved some of this lofty goal.


MadDrummer said...

"I want to be known as the “grey haired far out teacher.” I have achieved some of this lofty goal."

You achieved something far MORE Jim: instilling a thirst for the spontaneous and creative in a younger generation. So many of them are either ignorant or wrong about the process (dare I say "magic") of drawing out and recording the performance.

In all likelihood they NEVER experienced such a thing and will now need to be guided about how to draw that "magic" out of a 'client'.

Having been on both sides of the glass (off and on) I still get goose bumps.


Jim Rising said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Rising said...

I had lunch with Paul Rothchild once-long story there!
I will always treasure his comments on getting a great "take" out of a largely drunken Morrison.

Oh the storys I could tell.