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Transcript: PSW Live Chat With Bruce Jackson, March 26, 2003

A great discussion between Bruce Jackson and the ProSoundWeb Community, moderated by Keith Clark

By PSW Staff February 4, 2011

Bruce Jackson mixing Bruce Springsteen in the mid-1980s

Moderator: Welcome everyone to tonight’s PSW Live Chat session with Bruce Jackson, coming to you live from Santa Monica, CA. Or is that a state secret? Welcome Bruce!

Bruce: Thanks Keith!

Moderator: I’ll kick things off. You seem like a really smart guy… how did you ever end up working in pro audio?

Bruce: The tough questions first… I didn’t know any better, when I was 18.

Moderator: Ah, being young and… well, being young :>)

Bruce: With my lighting and sound company, we used to do lots of live shows and I remember the excitement of being right behind the band, with my head next to the bass amp and my other ear next to the drums. That excitement has never left me.

Ron B: Was that the company that later became JANDS?

Bruce: Yes, it was the beginnings of JANDS doing shows at the local university.

Moderator: So did you start out aiming to create a large sound company, or… ?

Bruce: No, not really. We were more worried with where the money was coming from next week. It just grew and grew all by itself.

Moderator: Oh, c’mon… why do you really think the company grew so successfully? Was there one or more things you did that stand out??

Bruce: It was lots of hard work… and a really interesting world at the time. It was around the time of the Vietnam War and there was lots of R&R going on in Australia. We were doing shows in all the little sleazy clubs up and down Kings Cross. It was a great time for bands in Australia, because they could get lots of work. So the live music scene was jumping, and we were busy doing lights, sound and designing lighting and sound equipment for sale.

Tony Pybus: I find it extremely interesting looking over your career. Besides the acts you’ve worked with, I find it interesting the ideas and designs, the hot rod mentality if you will.

Bruce: The hot rod mentality really came out around the time of Apogee. We got a chance to question the state of the art, and once we would focus on any particular area, it would open up with lots of untested opportunities to make things better.

Moderator: Looping back for a moment to the early days…

P Tucci: Was there any competition for your fledgling sound company at that point?

Bruce: We started out while at University. We were building custom psychedelic lighting gear for a guy named Ellis D. Fogg. We then went out on our own and started making guitar amps, strobe lights and color organs. We literally started with $50 each, made the printed circuit boards ourselves, all the way to stuffing the printed circuit boards with components and screen printing the front panels. At the time there was no one else doing it.

Ron B: Did you finish your University education? If so, what degree did you get and how has it helped you?

Moderator: And…

P Tucci: You were studying electrical engineering at University?

Bruce: Yes… I was studying electrical engineering and only made it to first year. What I learnt did help me a lot, although in hindsight I wish I had some of the tools school would have given me. As it was, I read lots of books and magazines, and because of an intense interest in the different areas of science, I was able to teach myself everything I needed to know to achieve whatever the task at hand was.


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