Saturday, 29 August 2009

Memory Lane


I have been taking photos for over 40 years now and I have amassed boxes full of negs, slides and prints. Unfortunately, I have always been ashamedly lax when it comes to admin. Hence the majority of the collection is in no real order! So, I am currently in the process of trying - slowly but surely - to get things in order.

I have started by trying to digitise the collection where possible, and I am getting great pleasure from re-visiting some of the pics that I haven't seen for many years.

One such pic was from a session when I was working for CBS/Arbiter in London who was responsible for the distribution of the musical instruments manufactured by CBS Inc. in California. My role was that of Promotions Managers, which was also responsible for the Sales & Marketing of the percussion lines both from America and those manufactured in the UK.

As my speciality was Percussion I was obviously very much involved in ensuring -wherever possible - that the top 'names' of the day were playing our instruments. I worked very closely with the Chairman, Ivor Arbiter who was initially an old friend and who has become a legend in the industry for a number of reasons, not least for converting Ringo Starr to Ludwig Drums from Premier in about 1962.

One of the projects I was closely involved with was working with Ivor on his latest invention at that time which was Auto-Tune Drums. Briefly he had invented a drum where the drum head (the skin -which are now plastic) could be tensioned not by the normal screws into nut boxes, but by revolving the head down onto the drum shell, just like screwing the lid on a jar. It was a very exciting time and I was fortunate to work with a heck of a lot of very good drummers at that time on the development of the line.

One of the drummers who was extremely helpful at the time was Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) and I found this old photo today, it is in a very bad condition, and I have done my best to try and make it presentable, please forgive its shoddiness.

The pic shows Ivor, who sadly passed away a few years ago, me - with a strange face, as I was suffering from Bells Palsy, which makes your face drop on one side, so you look like you may have had a stroke - and of course Carl Palmer.

Hopefully, any future pics will a lot better quality than this one. Once again my apologies for the quality but I felt it was such an important photograph recording the invention and three of the people who were so closely involved in its development.

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