Study Hall

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The Old Soundman: Earplug Wearin’ Musicians & An Insolent Newbie

The Boiling point with those who wear earplugs and demand insane monitor levels.

Dear Old Soundman—

Yes, SPA1! Were your parents named SPA.09?

I’ve enjoyed reading your comments for some time now.

See, even though you have named yourself after a decadent outdoor love tub, you’re okay!

I wonder if you might give us your insight regarding musicians who use earplugs (sometimes very sophisticated earplugs,) but then require ridiculous monitor levels on stage.

There was a lack of love in these people’s lives when they were children.

I run into more problems with drummers that wear earplugs than I’d like to.


I’ll bet you do! Back in the seventies, rock musicians weren’t a bunch of soy latte sipping sissies! They turned up their big old amps and beat the heck out of their clear plastic drums, and we gave them as much side fill as we could and then they did a show, dangit!

You, like me, are probably sick of these shaven-headed suburbanites, these tame domesticated animals with their silly “tribal” tattoos, their click tracks and their carefully assembled multi-layer loops and their $10,000 kits with the 15 cymbals. Don’t even get me started on the dyed black hair!

Kick, snare, hat, Little Lord Fauntleroy! A rack, a floor, a crash and a ride, Trust Fund Jimmy!

If these kids played music that made any sense, they wouldn’t have so much trouble following each other.

The devil was working overtime when he came up with his masterpiece, the drum machine! Bands that paid their dues in the old days, that played in bars night after stinking night, they understood how to strip it down:

“She’s got legs!”

“Round and round!”

“All she wants to do is dance!”

Every one of Sheryl Crow’s big hits! Boom bap! Boom boom bap! Huey Lewis, you know what I’m saying, you were just workin’ for a livin’, and you wanted a new drug!

Stevie Ray Vaughn, much love to Stevie Ray!

But noooo! These loco children of today are forced to go along with their idiotically effete keyboardist’s asymmetrical programming. It burns me up, SPA1!

Speaking of which, check out the nerve of this little creep Rik. He really knows how to push my buttons!

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“Tap-Tap-Tap, Is This Thing On?”

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