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Everything posted by Mandoist

  1. Tell ya what's "serious" -- that's a 'serious' down-blouse shot.Wish I'd had those. Lo and behold, I only turned out to be a lowly sideman for 40 years.
  2. Playing, performing, and listening to the Present is best appreciated once we are learned of music Past. Players -- know your history. It's a solid foundation for music Present, which no musician should be without.
  3. The term "competition" applies more aptly to agents and record labels. Musicians, on the other hand, surely will benefit from observing what you call 'competition' as an opportunity to learn from those currently better at their craft than yourself. An incentive to learn, learn, learn... and 'play' harder... not to mention playing well with others!My 2-cents.
  4. I am 63 yrs old, started playing instruments a age 8, and worked professionally for over 30 years as a sideman; semi-retired now. My age has not changed my musical tastes, nor preferences for what I play. I am still open to anything, as long as it is someone physically playing the music and not a DJ or 'synthetic' music. I have never appreciated layered studio recordings, although I definitely appreciate the technology and those who know how to use it. My ears (and heart) need as much of a 'live' recorded sound as possible out of a studio product. If nothing else, the core "band" recording the foundation of any given track at the same time. It gives 'life' and 'air' to the final product. My ears are sensitive to MP3 -- I despise MP3, regardless of its format. At the same time, I realized years ago that I am far more fastidious about audio quality than average listeners. Therefor very meticulous about fidelity and its original source. Since most of my musical career involved acoustic music I prefer those recordings to be analog-to-digital, or at the very least, DAD. My sound systems have always been top-shelf. I love the 'air being pushed through speakers' and could not live without that phenomenon. Headphones do excite me when they are actually "headphones" (high end products) and NOT EARBUDS! As a former studio weasel who dabbled with engineering & producing peoples' live and studio recordings, I am offended by the Earbud Generation. They have absolutely no clue, and cannot possibly appreciate, what the original music sounds like. Even high-end earbuds do not do an artist's music justice. There is no substitute for the Ambient Sound of a room. Technology can be both beautiful and ugly at the same time. As for "isolationism"... there seems to be many contributors to this issue; from the brain-washing effects of commercial radio, TV, and other mediums, to the dumbing-down of specific technologies and methodologies used to deliver music to the end-user. Human beings are easy to 'train' -- and that has never been more obvious than in the entire spectrum of the music industry. An excellent example of "training humans" is when the Clear Channel Network bought literally every major radio market in the USA in the 90s, and proceeded to treat the radio listening audience like Pavlov's Dogs. And it worked. They basically spoon-fed listeners their repetitive hand-picked song lists until the listener's brains decided this is what they 'liked' and they proceeded to go out and purchase it in the form of hard-copy products and concert tickets.If musicians, on all levels, are becoming isolated, it is likely the musician his or her self to blame. I believe it is a choice. For myself and, I believe, most artists... there is nothing more gratifying than getting it right with a group of players; be it vocal harmony or playing as a fine-tuned unit. Isolationism be damned! I've never been a 'follower' in life, especially my musical life. That could also be a factor in my unbiased personal choices and having never fallen into Musical Isolationism? Great topic. Thanks for the 'Think'.
  5. I wrote a lengthy message just now. I encourage the Moderators to post my letter. It is Truth, and it is an important factor in Gibson's current state of affairs. Everything I wrote can be, and has been in the past, substantiated. It's a hard Truth in some ways, but that's a part of life. In the end, i suspect my information will not appear as it does not reflect well on CEP Henry J. so be it. Moderators -- please 'man-up' and post my letter.
  6. Author, Mr. Jarrett, obviously has a place in his heart for this historic company. However there is much amiss about this version of the Gibson guitar Company, although I do get his point about not "kicking" such an entity while it is down. Intentionally or unintentionally, I believe Mr. Jarrett has missed a major issue regarding the Gibson Company's woes. That being the CEO. Perhaps author Jarrett is not comfortable entering that territory? However I have nothing to lose since I am semi-retired from the music business. So here's what I know first-hand... You can 'thank' CEO Henry Juszkiewicz for 99% of Gibson's woes. When he took over the company (1986?) his 2 partners were the brains behind bringing Gibson's quality and integrity back from its downward spiral. Since then, ol' Henry has proven his aggressive, obnoxious, unilateral actions and politically in-your-face behavior to be detrimental to the company's evolution. So much so that he seemingly thought he could do as he pleased in turning a blind eye to Federal regulations re: exotic rainforest woods and more. Ultimately, he got caught in his web of deceit. In addition, Henry J. has over-invested and made terrible unilateral decisions regarding electronic technologies in recent years... and losing millions of the Gibson Guitar Company's dollars and investors in the process. I have wished for his removal for the past 15 years. However he is so obstinate and self-serving that even his creditors in recent months have not been able to convince Henry to leave. My love for the Gibson quality brand has never waned. I have several worthy, talented and dedicated-to-the-craft colleagues who have been employed at Gibson for decades. They are some of the world's best luthiers and repair men and women. My personal focus is on their acoustic instruments. I have owned one of the relatively few F5 mandolins from the 1922 - 24 Lloyd Loar period since 1986. I trust no one but a couple of the folks at Gibson to work on it... and they have. It is an outstanding workforce which maintains Gibson's mark of excellence behind the scenes. Author Jarrett mentioned the Gibson motto from the WWII era: "Only A Gibson Is Good Enough". Ironically, placing the decal of the 'banner' logo and motto was the brainchild of one of the female employees on the production line. She placed that banner logo on the guitar peheads which only appeared during the WWII period. She was one of many housewives-turned-luthiers/repair persons in the Kalamazoo, MI area who collectively carried the Gibson company on their backs during those war years. These women may even have saved the company financially by keeping production lines in limited operation at that time in our history, when the men were called to action overseas. The guitars they made are now most often referred to as the "Banner Guitar". An exhaustive study of these women's unheralded work and more was published several years ago -- a fantastic, in-depth book: THE KALAMZOO GALS: A Story Of Extraordinary Women and Gibson's Banner Guitars of World War Two" by John Thomas. Not so unintentionally, the part these women played in Gibson's history is noticeably absent from literally every Gibson history book ever published to date. Not a flattering reflection of the Gibson Company's 'Boys Club'. Other than that slight on the 'Kalamazoo Gals', I have no negative feelings about the Gibson brand, nor its Heart & Soul (the employees on the ground). But I despise CEO Henry J for his consistent blaming of others, for his nastiness and defiance shown toward his closest business colleagues and stockholders, his Holier Than Thou attitude while speaking in public and in private. Until the company finds a way to rid itself of this negative force, I shudder to think what the future holds for this iconic 118 year old American institution. My hope is that the Gibson Guitar & Music Company will rise above this financial mess and persevere, somehow, and in spite of its "leader".
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