[lbo-talk] Typewriters R.I.P.

Chuck Grimes c123grimes at att.net
Thu Apr 28 04:59:51 PDT 2011

> And most of those purists insist on $10k turntable, a $2k cartridge, and
> so
> many tweaks and twists that it hardly seems worth the effort. Of course,
> there are worse addictions that the "absolute sound"; and I have to admit
> that many of the Mosaic vinyl reissues sound great when someone has the
> right gear. Mark Benett


You can get down to the ass scratching in the orchestra pit with Otto Klemper doing Beethoven, or the running conversation in the jazz set with a few hundred dollars of used AR equipment. The classic take was Miles Davis telling Rudy Van Gelder the sound engineer, "Hey, Rudy, put this on the record, all of it." It was the 1953 release of The Man I Love which also had the best version of Round Midnight. I've still got the album bought used in Iowa City in 1964.

These were glorious days for music, especially Blue Note with its emaculate cover art and adventurous sounds on the bleeding edge. Really fine stuff for a starving America... those who felt the hunger. Here's the wiki:


What Mingus is talking about against Gelder is the hard brass sound of a live performance, something he specialized in for its shock value. And it was a shock, if you only listened to recordings and then went to a performance. The hard core nasty was part of the trip. You had to re-tune your ear. But Mingus was overstating. It only took a few minutes and you got used to the difference. Art Blakey also specialized in this hard bop sound banged drums like a car accident.

Missing it all tonight... Got my vinyls under the bed, three typewriters in the closet, and what's left of an AR system looking through the window toward apartment stucco nada.

I was drawn to the desparate arts of Beethoven and Coltrane classical and jazz for precisely the same reason, their grand sense of human liberation in the offing. In the offing! In the offing?. Are we not there again? I hope so. Dreaming of liberation. Taste it, taste its beauty, hard beauty, violent beauty, maybe terrible contradictive beauty.

There was a day when books, records, typewriters and hi-fi equipment was a student life, a form of literarcy unknown today. It's not all dust. There is the Sound Well for stereo, several book stores for used hardbound like Moe's, Berkeley Typewriter, and Amoeba and Arhoolie records....a thin residue against the empire of nothing.


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