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The Old Soundman: Salary & Benefits

Do you really enjoy coiling up XLR cables? Because you're going to have to, about a million of them over time...

What’s wrong with this Steve guy? Here he has a lifestyle that 80 percent of humanity cannot even dream of achieving, and he wants to throw it all away. To be a soundman?

He needs immediate assistance, won’t you help?

For just $3.95 a month, I will send you color photos of Steve receiving many electroshock treatments, and having unfortunate and very serious side effects from various pharmaceutical medications. Thank you for calling 1-800-osm-4luv.

Oh, his letter…

Dear Old Soundman –

I have been asked to be the “sound dude” (or “concert operations manager” as I prefer to call it)…

…that’s kind of funny, but also kind of silly. Don’t get me wrong, when I was a young pup like you, titles meant a lot to me, too…

…for a local band, since once upon a time I was a “roadie” for the likes of Brooks & Dunn, Randy Travis, Sammy Kershaw, and others.

Hey, what’s Randy Travis really like? Why’d he marry that older gal, anyway? I’m sorry, do you have an audio-related question, or are you just here to drop names?

However, I did not work as a sound tech (I was a “lighting/video dude”). I guess the band thinks that I would just automatically know live audio because I’ve been to a lot of concerts.

Aren’t people great? Like maybe I should be a cop, because I have gotten so many traffic tickets. Maybe I should be a cow because I have consumed so much milk. Mooooooo! You’re probably too young to have heard the old saying – if my grandmother had wheels, she’d be a truck!

I know the basics of mixing live audio…

…as do I, Stevo, as do I. See? We’re really buddies, total brethren, hail fellows well met, workers of the world unite, we don’t need no stinking line arrays!

…but would like to acquire a serious working knowledge of pro sound…

…as would I, Steverino, as would I! Did you ever see the old clip of Steve Allen interviewing Lenny Bruce? That rocked! Oh, what are you babbling about?

…and perhaps pursue a career in the field. (The telecom company I work for is bankrupt, and my job as a video tech is getting boring.) Oh wisest of the wise – where do I start?


Dude, if you have got a salary and benefits, do not, I repeat not, walk away from it!! You must not be a parent. See, me, with the wife and the Young Soundman, I don’t have the option of spitting in the face of my salary, and running away to join the rock circus all over again.

I do have to admit that you get some points for addressing me as the wisest of the wise. The Old Soundwoman has a few other terms she uses to describe me, “wiseass” probably being the only one that can be used on a family website.

Here’s the big question, Stevie boy – do you really enjoy coiling up XLR cables? Because you’re going to have to, about a million of them over time.

The shows are a bitch, and then you coil cables. You would have to be clinically insane to choose a lifestyle like that. I know I was!

Here, just bite down on this rubber block, and let me smear a little conductive paste onto your temples—this won’t hurt a bit!

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The Old Soundman

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