Following the horrific events of September 11, the Mix office received numerous e-mails detailing the impact this tragedy had on the pro audio community. We open with a letter from Bongo Bob, the backline tech for 'N Sync.
— The Editors
'N SYNC CREW MEMBER AMONG VICTIMS
“The 'N Sync family has lost someone very close to us. On Tuesday, September 11, Danny Lee was one of the passengers who lost his life while flying home mid-tour to be at his wife's side during the birth of their second child. Danny was a carpenter on our tour (he was with the Backstreet Boys for the past few months) and someone that when you saw him, always had a smile on his face, a quick joke or the latest game for your PC. He was someone who just made you feel good about being a part of the family.
“A few years back on another tour, me and a few other friends started a little thing called the BLB (back lounge boys), the place where most of us really meet for the first time, where we get to sit down after a long day's work, unwind, and tell the tales of what we have been through and where we have been. You have a few drinks, you stay up, you listen and you talk, and it's where friendships and camaraderie are formed, lifelong friends are made, and where our road families are born.
“As a symbol of the BLBs, we wore safety pins over our hearts. After a tour or two, the BLBs grew in numbers, and we all decided to keep wearing the pins as a symbol of our family.
“So I would like to ask everyone this one small favor: As a sign of our love for our road families, and a show of our love for and in remembrance of Danny, to wear a safety pin on your lanyard. Wear it and let others know what it is about when they ask, and ask them to wear one, too. They say that in the real world, there are six degrees of separation between any two people whom you pick at random. Well, in our world of touring, we know that it's more like two.”
— Bob “Bongo” Longo
[Editor's Note: A fund has been established for Danny Lee's wife and daughters, to be split between a college fund for the children and living expenses for all three. Donations should be made out to: The Daniel Lee Family Fund, c/o Tom Whitford, 731 Clifton Ave., Erie, PA 16505.]
IN MEMORY OF…
Avid Technology lost Doug Gowell, director of new market development, in the attacks on New York City's World Trade Center. Gowell was aboard one of the planes that crashed into one of the World Trade Towers. He is survived by his wife, son and daughter. David Krall, president and CEO of Avid, said, “Words simply cannot describe the grief we feel for Doug's family and all those who were close to him as a professional colleague — and a personal friend.”
Also lost was Robert Hayes, VP of sales and marketing for replication equipment supplier Netstal Machinery Inc. He, too, was aboard a plane that crashed into one of the World Trade Towers.
A STREET-LEVEL VIEW
From Steve Rosenthal, Magic Shop Recording Studio: “When I came to the studio, the area was deserted and under armed guard. I needed ID to get past the police and soldiers. Most people walking the streets were wearing masks to protect them from the dust and debris still coming from the Towers. It was like a ghost city.”
“Through it all, John Agnello was here braving the dust and the chaos, mixing his new project, 34 Satellite. I will always admire his courage and determination not to be pushed away from what he needed to do. Last night [September 14], we had a benefit show at the Living Room arranged by Jenifer Jackson for the Red Cross, and on Saturday afternoon [September 15], 20 Living Room artists came together, courtesy of Leslie Nuchow, and sang songs at all of the various important recovery and hospital sites around the city.”
THE SPIRIT OF GIVING
Musicians and Hollywood celebs gathered at Record Plant Recording Studios on Sunday, September 23, to join music producer Nile Rodgers' 9-11 New York City Disaster Relief Project. Members of Limp Bizkit and Orgy sang alongside the Pointer Sisters, Patti LaBelle, David Hasselhoff and Montel Williams, among many others, lending their voices to a new version of “We Are Family.” Parallel sessions were held in New York, and both Record Plant and Avatar Studios donated the day rate. Proceeds from the record will be donated to the American Red Cross and the NYC Firefighter's Relief Fund. “We hope that this song and this event will help to bring people together and remind them that we have to stand strong as a family,” Rodgers said in a statement.
AES SHOW POSTPONED
In an official statement released on September 12, 2001, from Roger Furness, AES executive director, the AES 111th convention has been postponed to Friday, November 30 through Monday, December 3, 2001.
Directors of AES met with Javits Center management on September 12, learning that the New York City Mayor's Office of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had taken over large portions of the center for use in coordinating emergency services for an undetermined amount of time.
“This, obviously, makes holding the event as planned impossible,” read the official statement. “However, we were able to reschedule the convention, rather than just cancel it. Most of the people who contacted us hoped that this would be the solution.”
TEC AWARDS RESCHEDULED
The Mix Foundation for Excellence in Audio has announced that the 17th Annual Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards, which honor outstanding technical and creative achievement in professional audio recording and sound production, has been rescheduled for December 1, the second night of the AES convention, at the Marriott Marquis.
BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE TELETHON
On Friday, September 21, all major broadcast networks and countless cable and radio outlets donated two hours of commercial-free air time to a star-studded telethon that raised more than $150 million for the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks. The show was produced out of Sony Music Studios in New York and CBS-TV in Los Angeles. Effanel handled the audio remote in New York, with John Harris mixing in one of the Sony rooms for the more intimate settings, and Jay Vicari of Saturday Night Live mixing the larger ensembles out of the Effanel truck; Biff Dawes of Westwood One mixed the L.A. segments.
“The day after the attack, I ran into Skip Kent on the street, and like all New Yorkers, we wished we could be doing something to help out,” said Randy Ezratty, owner of Effanel and a resident of 22nd Street. “A week-and-a-half later, we were both at Sony Music, we looked at each other and we nodded. We were doing something.
“I'm not even sure who the producer of the show was — the coalition came together so quickly,” Ezratty added. “On many of these types of shows, there are egos on both sides of the camera, but that night, it was eerie — tension was nonexistent, and the spirit was unbelievable. Our client paid us full rate, and each of us who worked that night gave 100 percent to charity. It was a special night.”