Thinking of all the shows that I mixed and the shows that I was involved in building a sound system for throughout my 30 years career as a sound engineer and the number will most definitely be in the thousands. There were days when I would start at 4 am in a venue waiting on 18-wheelers delivering a sound system to be installed, rush to mix a band in a corporate event by noon to hustle again, and push my way through afternoon traffic to mix a 4 band nigh in a club somewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area. There were also days when my time was dedicated to one event and the show must go on.
One of the most memorable events of my life is a show I did at Wente Vineyard back in the mid-90s with Olivia Newton-John. I was so excited when I got the call for the show, as I had a huge crush on her growing up. Well of course she is Sandy from Grease but to me she’s Xanadu. My anticipation was running high that day, it was a warm summer day out in the Livermore Valley, CA and once we were done building the sound system and setting up the stage, the band showed up. Musicians came on stage, we greeted them, got them comfortable and soo enough, we started sound check. Olivia Newton- John was not present yet as most single artists with hired musicians would do, artists like Kenny Rogers or Tom Jones (both played the stage at Wente Vineyard), they would only come on stage when the band members are done figuring out their instruments trading in their monitors and once we done, she showed up on stage.
I got to see her, talk to her, chat with her and discuss audio, I got to hand her the wireless microphone, and man, I was a happy kid in a candy store. She was the sweetest and most loving musician I ever met. She had that amazing smile on her face and that gave me the courage to tell Olivia Newton-John that I had a crush on her for many years. She smiled at me, held my face in her hands, and told me how sweet I am and at that moment I felt as if my life was complete.
Thank you Olivia Newton-John for the great music, for your sweet smooth vocals, and your contagious smile. You shall be remembered. R.I.P Olivia, you still are one of a kind.