January 2003
WAR STORIES

Readers' adventures on the front lines of the industry

by Paul D. Lehrman

One of the best parts of moderating Mix Forums online (www.mixforums.com) is that I get to read and, most of the time, approve all of the messages submitted by site visitors. I like reading your technical questions because they keep me up-to-date about what kind of problems you're having with gear, techniques, business and a bunch of other topics. I like discussing and arguing issues like analog vs. digital and RIAA vs. everybody, because they tell me where you stand and what's important to you.

But my absolute favorite part of the gig is reading the "horror stories" you contribute about recording sessions, live shows and, yes, even church services from hell. You've told us about pompous producers getting their comeuppance, idiot clients finally (or sometimes never) realizing the error of their ways, and horrendous screwups that you admit to and laugh at now. As the great Steve Allen said, Comedy = Tragedy + Time.

We've got well over a hundred horror stories online now, and this month, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites. I've changed any identifying characteristics in the stories to protect both the innocent and the guilty, but I haven't done any serious checking on whether any of them are actually true. After all, as journalists since time immemorial have known, one should never let the facts get in the way of a good story. I'll just have to take your word for it.

The rest of this column, along with 56 more, is now available in The Insider Audio Bathroom Reader, published by Thomson Course Technology PTR.

Copyright ©2006 by Paul D. Lehrman