"Sure, you could do solar... it's the latest thing!"— A Home Depot employee to a customer
"Very few decisions are important enough that they can't be put off" — Robert Lee
"When history was written, the final page will say..." — George W. Bush (via John Stewart)
"I didn't know I liked the way you play guitar that much." – A prominent record executive
"Try to look at the big picture... we're all in it, and you're not!"
– Betty Bennett to a stubborn Apogee engineer
"Rasinettes make me carsick" – Lisa Loeb
"Show me a 'good looser' and I'll show you a fuckin' LOOSER!"– Bruce Allen (Bryan Adams' manager)
"What does Clearmountain know about Rock & Roll anyway... nice boy from Woodstock?!"
– Bruce Allen, one month after Bob bought a house in Woodstock, NY
"It sounds a lot more like it does now than it did ten minutes ago." – unknown A&R guy
"Could you put that up an octave just a little?" – unknown producer
"I just want the vibe of the strings to be on the tape." – unknown producer after telling the
engineer to erase the string tracks he just spent the entire day recording
"So let's run an instrumental version, and then one without any vocals." – Steve Lindsey
"Bruce just listened to all the songs on the greatest hits LP. He wants to speed them all up,
except for 'Thunder Road', which speeds up all by itself." – Jon Landau
"I've never liked backwards ideas. It always sounds like you've run out of forwards ideas."
– Gilson Lavis, former drummer with Squeeze
"Well that's the dilemma. It's supposed to be a solo and the backing vocals aren't very good,
so I'd turn up the hand claps and make it a party sort of vibe."
– Paul Westerberg in response to Bob's question "Is that a solo?"
"I make records so I can buy art." – Jimmy Iovine to Jim Kerr after
hearing lyrics to a new Simple Minds song
"And now he's flanging the VU meters" – A&R guy trying to impress an attractive
woman in the studio by showing her how much recording experience he has.
Joe Pine (60's talk show host who sported a wooden leg) –"So, with your long hair, I guess that makes you a woman."
Frank Zappa's response - "So with your wooden leg, I guess that makes you a table."
"That's not a bug, that's a feature." – Phil Cork, SSL software engineer
"Well, it's not really 'hi-fi', and not really 'lo-fi'. It's just kinda 'fi'." – Aimee Mann
"You don't actually have to be able to understand the lyrics, you've just got to feel like you could
if you wanted to" – Chuck Plotkin (Producer for Bruce Springsteen)
"I'm the perpetual optimist, unfortunately." – Ed Doyle
"What do I care about lyrics... I'm a bass player!" —John Pierce
"Why the hell would I make up a name like 'Froom'?" —Mitchell Froom, upon
being asked if 'Froom' was his real name
"What are you, going all 'Tchad Blake' on me now?" —Guitarist Val McCallum to Jonatha
Brooke upon being asked to play a really odd part
Mixer - "Is that loop stereo?"
Assistant - "Not really, not any more stereo than say... mono."
"I can't wait to hear it with a real mix instead of a douche mix." - John Kalodner
Betty Bennett (president of Apogee Electronics) - "So why didn't the trade show literature get edited?"
Greg Laney - "I guess nobody thought of it."
Betty - "OK then, who's the 'nobody' who didn't think of it?"
Richard Moakes (assistant eng. at Air Studios in 1987) - "I heard an Olivia Newton-John album
that was mixed using an 'Aural Exciter'."
Clearmountain - "Oh yeah? Did it sound good?"
Richard - "Nah, but she looked great!"
"Man, it's like working with mental hospital patients." — John Kalodner upon getting off the phone
with one of his artists.
"Don't worry, when Bob Ludwig masters it he'll do a 'something' there." — Hans Haedelt, considering what to do
about a swear word on the Darwin's Waiting Room album.
"I like it - it's girthy, but bangable." — Jason Bieler, referring to the bottom end of a mix Bob had just played him.
"Ya' know, these days kids seem to be getting younger and younger." — David Foster
"I'm going to celebrate getting my braces off with a Piña Colada and a side of chewing gum."
— Lindsay Jackson (Bob's stepson)
"Tell Bob it's not really important, but I must to speak to him NOW!" —Jeremy Stacey in a phone conversation
with Bob's assistant, David.
Stevie Kipner: "What happened to those ad-libs?"
Rob Chiarelli: "I took them out because the mix became a total train wreck there."
Stevie: "Yes, but every carriage was strategically placed."
"If you don't actually listen to it, it sounds like a hit!" —Andrew Frampton
"How do you spell 'sync'?" —a salesperson from the "Pro-Audio" section of an LA music store when asked if they carry the Aardvark Sync DA
"What's a 'Pultec'?" —a salesperson from a well-established pro-audio dealer in Los Angeles
"Give the people what they think they want, I say, and then tell them why they want it." —Richard Elen
"Get down with your old Allman Bros. records!" —Bryan Ferry, as BC achieved the perfect dual guitar solo balance on one of his new tunes.
Betty Bennett:" I'm sure Bryan Ferry doesn't play basketball."
BC: "Why not?"
BB: "Because he's British... and he wears a scarf."
"I don't want to not be important." — Irving Azoff (from an article in the New York Times business section)
"Singer/songwriters are all the same - when there's lots of words, they slow [the tempo] down. When there aren't any words, they speed up to get to where there are lots of words." — Pete Thomas (drummer from The Attractions)
"There's 'something' to everything... and that's the problem." —David Boucher, remarking about some totally absurd recording techniques he had observed.
"I don't know what it is, but it's become right." —Mitchell Froom, referring to a rather abrasive guitar part on a live Corrs track.
"I've reached a new level of flummuxed" —Roger Robindore (Apogee engineer)
"There's a way to get [your kids] to stop yelling at you — get so drunk you can't hear them." —Pete Thomas
Here's a bunch from the recent Nonpoint mix sessions:
"We don't know much about pianos." — Andy Goldman (guitarist), referring to the only piano track on the album
"Goat signs flyin' up all over the place - Bob's bringin' the metal on strong." —Hans Haedelt (MCA A&R)
"I'm ahead of my time — unfortunately, only by about ten minutes." —Elias Sorianao (lead singer)
"This no longer sucks." —Hans, upon hearing a finished mix of one of the tunes
"The 'Pan Flute' — the black hole of heaviness." —Jason Bieler (producer)
"So many strings... so many opportunities for it to go wrong." — Jon Brion, while attempting to tune a 12-string electric guitar
"I love mornings. The only thing, is that my mornings don't start getting good until about six in the evening." —Clearmountain
"My gasteds have seldom been as flabbered!" —Rupert Hine, upon hearing about a particularly shocking scandal.
"It's a band, not a fuckin' metronome." —Mick Jagger
"We have always thought we were better than we were. But now we're as good as we think we are.
Although, maybe we aren't." —Nicholaus Arson of The Hives, from a Robert Hilburn article in the L. A. Times
"There are always an unlimited number of mistakes available for us to make." —Greg Mackie
"Now, let's hear what that looks like..." —A salesperson at an AES show demonstrating an edit on a digital audio workstation
"Not that I can recall"—Michael Jackson, when asked if he was having memory problems. (From USA Today, 12/5/02)
"I think it's time we started planning our escape from the planet."—Joe Raia, from a conversation about the present state of the music/recording business.
"Now, I'm a 'bridge man' myself, but if you let me go through, and I like it, I'll use it everyday."—Bill Sheniman to a toll collector at the Lincoln Tunnel upon discovering that he had no money with him
Kevin Harp to an LAPD officer, after receiving a $200 summons in his own neighborhood for having no license plate on the front of his truck— "So are you guys doing anything about the crack dealers around here who are openly selling to kids?"
LAPD officer —"Just stay away from those people and they won't bother you."
"Hey, I'm not Jesus Christ, I can't turn water into wine. The best I can do is turn beer into urine."—Zakk Wilde
Q Magazine to Brian Wilson: "Did you ever meet Charles Manson?"
Brian Wilson: "Yes I did. He seemed like an OK guy, but he went and murdered some people, which was pretty bad."
The following quotes contributed via "email@example.com" by Michael Edell:
"He's not the same player he used to be -- but even more so." — Unknown producer referring to recording artist who'd seen better days.
"The only thing worse than kicking a dead horse is saddling one." — Unknown engineer referring to a bad mix getting worse
"No brain, no headache." —Unknown engineer referring to guitarist who accidentally swallowed his guitar pick.
"When you get to Hell will you save me a seat?" — Female vocalist to irreverent engineer
"He's not stupid. He just has emerging skills." — Diplomatic engineer referring to producer who spilled coffee on the mixing board.
"Does the noise in my head bother you?"— Highly caffenated engineer up for 36 hours.
Thank you Mr. Edell
This one's unrelated, but but I got a little chuckle when I heard it during a Sam Donaldson interview with Bob Dole
about the Bush/Gore presidential election recounts on ABC News:
Sam Donaldson - "So what do you think of all this, as a lawyer? You're a lawyer."
Bob Dole - "Not much of a lawyer. I mean, I went to law school, but..."
Sam Donaldson - "Well, enough of a lawyer for government work..."
And of course...
"The French don't have a word for 'entrepreneur'." —George W. Bush