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MMD > Archives > August 2001 > 2001.08.24 > 11Prev  Next

Enjoy the Outdoor Instruments Outdoors
By Jerry F. Bacon

Jonathan Holmes writes, "I have a great worry about some of these
historic instruments..."  As I have said, before I am against this
attitude of putting these things away in a museum.  When these
instruments were built there was _no_ air conditioning.

There is a photograph of a Seeburg G sitting next to a phone booth
which was close to the front door of a business.  It had to be there
and used for ten years, at least.

There is nothing wrong with being as kind as you can, but _enjoy_ it
with or without air conditioning.  If it is restored properly it can
take some modicum of variation in both factors.

If it is raining and the humidity goes up, I do turn on the cooler,
but if it is not raining and the humidity is moderate I can't afford
it.  We both (the machine and I) just enjoy the heat.

I grew up around Wurlitzer 148a and 153 organs.  The street carnivals
brought these out in the open whatever the weather; of course they were
under the carousel, but they used them.

I have never been able to get a decent recording of a Wurlitzer 153
playing, say, "Dew Dew Dewey Day".  I got some from Pennsylvania, but
_where are the drums?_  And why is the E trumpet off in left field?

Folks, if you are going to turn anyone on to these things, do it right.
Some of these recordings are like telling the Symphony Orchestra,
"I want every third person to tune 1/4-step flat, and let's get the
bells right next to the mike; the drums go off stage entirely."

I do apologize for being outspoken about these things but I greatly
mourn for the past.  It must have been indescribable to have been in
a great city and heard every day the fabulous stuff being played every
place you went.  Now I can only enjoy it at home.  I was truly born at
the wrong time.

Sincerely, Jerry F. Bacon

 [ I wonder if the band organ performances of the past were really
 [ much different from the performances heard today.  Human nature
 [ surely hasn't changed.  A few operators, then and now, care about
 [ presenting a good performance, while the rest are content with
 [ loud mediocrity.  -- Robbie

(Message sent Fri 24 Aug 2001, 15:40:49 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Enjoy, Instruments, Outdoor, Outdoors

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