Crazy Month! Life Returns to Normal

(Photo of me [wearing TRON crew jacket] talking to the Chinese Theater audience courtesy MouseInfo).

Power is back, heat and hot water are back, Internet it back. Life returns to normal. I actually got to listen to music on my system last night for the first time in more than a week.

It's been a crazy month! The first week was RMAF and there's much more news from there we'll be posting next. Then it was emceeing the Blues At the Crossroads Blues festival at Chad Kassem's Blue Heaven venue. That was a real blast. We'll have some pictures soon.

I returned Sunday evening only to leave again last Wednesday for two in-store appearances at Audio Advice in Raleigh and Charlotte, N.C. That included a Wednesday evening event, a three hour drive Thursday morning to Charlotte and then a three hour drive back that night. Friday I flew to L.A. for the 30th anniversary of TRON screening and party at Grauman's Chinese Theater Saturday evening.

Seeing the film on the big screen was a blast as was talking about the soundtrack production to the theater full of eager "Tronnies." The after screening party held in the theater's private ballroom was going well when I decided to go outside at 11 PM and call United Airlines about my Sunday A.M. return flight. The Hurricane was coming.

The automated system said my flight had been cancelled but there was no way to contact a human being to see if the other two flights that morning had also been cancelled. So I called home where it was 2:30AM and asked my wife to try to get through but she had no more success but she did say she didn't want to go through the storm alone so please try to get home.

The only thing to do was leave the party, drive back to my friend's home in the Santa Monica hills, quietly pack up and head for the airport and wait it out, with the hope of getting on another flight (if there was one) standby.

I parked the rental car at the airport at around 3:30 and waited on line for the ticket counter's 4:15AM opening. I was first in line. When the counter opened I used the automated kiosk and found out the flight before mine and the one after mine were both on schedule and that the earlier one had 0 standby so I became #1 standby on that 8:30AM flight.

I hadn't eaten since breakfast so before turning the car in, I went to the only opened 'restaurant', which was a McDonald's. I turned the car in, got the luggage checked in and went to the gate and waited.

The flight loaded while my name appeared as standby #1 on the screen next to the gate. After all of the regular passengers were onboard there was a nail-gnawing wait. Finally my name was called and the woman at the counter said "Will you take whatever I can get for you?"

I said "I'll sit on the toilet if that's what you give me!" But she had a window seat towards the back and I took it! Unfortunately when I got on board someone was sitting in it. She also had seat 23C! But before it became an issue, she was bumped to First Class and I not only had a seat but there was actually an empty seat between me and her husband who she left behind. Turned out he was the CEO of the company that publishes MacWorld and PCWorld magazines so we had a lot to talk about until I dozed off after imbibing the breakfast Bloody Mary he bought for me.

So I got to Newark early Sunday evening but before going home I stopped at a Fairways market to further stock up for the storm that was clearly coming but given that it was going to hit at the southern end of New Jersey I figured we'd get some wind and no big deal.

Early Monday evening the wind kicked up and began howling as I've never before heard it. Soon the power went out but we had generators waiting and soon we had the cable modem and router powered and we could watch Monday night football on the iPad. There was no way I was going to try to power the stereo with the generator!

Tuesday morning it was dark, cold and the Internet was gone. We didn't have heat or hot water or power (that returned late last night) or Internet or cable, which returned today, Sunday, almost a week later. We did have TV though throughout because I keep an antenna on the roof that my friends laugh at. I had the last laugh!

Anyway, last night I got to hear music on the big rig for the first time in weeks and it was really fun. I played the new Band of Horses album I'd picked up at Amoeba in L.A. just before the TRON party. I'll have a review up soon but the production by the great Glyn Johns is superb. The man still knows how to do it!

No more trips planned until I go to the L.A. and Orange County annual awards dinner in early December where I will be making my singing debut! Can't have a band (they are not equipped for one) so a friend has produced backing tracks for me.

Until I go west again, I will be making up for lost time here with more from RMAF, more equipment reviews and more record reviews. Stay tuned for an interview with Abbey Road's Sean Magee about the upcoming Beatles vinyl reissues are more!

deckeda's picture

Knowing that many of the Stereophile (and related) editors are based in the affected areas it's good to finally hear some news. Here in north Georgia we had unseasonably cold weather and very high winds for 3-4 days until about Tuesday. I never bothered finding out if that was the result of Sandy making her way to the NE but it "makes sense."

My neighbors don't bother making fun of the 91XG and YA 1713 atop my roof. They already don't understand my very modest LP collection.

Bigrasshopper's picture

Wow, what a roller coaster ride.  Sounds like that early morning drink did some

good.  Most of all, I'm sure we're all glad to hear that your safe, that you didn't drown

in your basement while trying to save thousands of pounds of irreplaceable vinyl.

I was beginning to worry that we might have to wait for the insurance to replace your

equiptment before the next review.  It's good to have you back!  Though other

New Yorkers were not as fortunate and my heart goes out to them.

Now, I'm getting really anxious to get the details of your EMI interview.

Jim Tavegia's picture

We were in CT when Gloria hit and 5 days with no power was no fun then.  We and our neighbors had frezzers full of food and natural gas, so we more than survived. 

I hated to think about a Caliburn under water.  I can just hear your phone call to your insurance carrier, "Yes, I did say it was a $150,000 turntable, but there is more, and then there is the record collection!" At the other end is a "thud" of an insurance adjustor passing out. 

chumlie's picture

Glad your powers on and all is well. Looking forward to Beatles vinyl review.

Rayman's picture

Worried like heck for a few days.  Glad all is well. 

Best wishes from Winnipeg, Canada.

myheroiscoltrane's picture


Glad to hear you're safe and had minimal or no flooding or damage. My heart goes out to all of the folks in jersey and NY (and the rest of the country hit by stormageddon...). I remember going 6 days w/out power in Houston after hurricane Ike when we lived down there... I got really good at foraging for ice and working outlets to charge the electronics on. This time, we got off relatively easy in pa.

jmset315's picture

Glad that you are doing fine.

See you on Dec 2, can't wait to hear your singing debut!

Synaptic's picture

Sounds pretty spectacular on vinyl - Just gave it a spin this weekend. Incindentally, I picked it up for 99 cents ( still sealed no less ) from the bargain bin at J&R the day I caught your recent seminar there. Fun to hear those distant sounds from my youth again in 'hi-fi'.

rosser's picture

Here in the DC area we were hit hard, but not like up there. We didn't even lose power, though the streets behind us did for blocks and blocks. My parents up in Princeton had a rougher time, with no power for several days and still no phone lines. Must have been nice to power up the rig! 

valhalla58's picture


Read your comments regarding Band of Horses with interest. This is not the only recent  G.J. production. He re-entered the fray with Ryan Adams "Ashes & Fire" (Pax.Am, should still be available on vinyl) late last year (producing & engineering) with (imho) vastly superior results to B.o.H. -very highly recommended (how did you miss it?). Also just released (in the U.K.) - a collaboration with his son, Ethan, is "Dead & Born & Grown" by The Staves - a trio of sisters from Watford, Hertfordshire who have garnered much acclaim for their wonderful harmonies and songwriting. This is absolutely stunning and is available on vinyl too. What's not to like????