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Author Topic: The Last Seat In The House: The Book. Now Available  (Read 534 times)

Dan Mortensen

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The Last Seat In The House: The Book. Now Available
« on: January 30, 2020, 02:17:23 pm »

On the first page of this subform, there's a post by the late Tom Young announcing a documentary by the same name and about the same subject, i.e. a biography of sound pioneer Bill Hanley. I haven't been able to tell that the film was ever released as more than a trailer, but the book is now out and mine came two days ago.

I've read about 30 pages so far, and it's much more than a person's bio; it's more of a bio of our industry centered around one of its major participants. So far, I've learned (among many other things) that the first PA to cover 50,000 people was put together in 1919 (I think, not looking at it now) by the guys who created Magnavox, Peter Jensen and Edwin Pridham.

That's part of a timeline in the first few pages of significant moments in the development of sound reinforcement, as well listing the early people and companies who did those things. Of course, such a subjective list will leave out people and occurrences that someone else would think important, but it's still a good effort and includes info I've never seen collected in one place.

The author, John Kane, and Bill Hanley were at the last NYC AES in the audiohistory.org booth for the duration, and it was the highlight of my convention experience to talk with both, and especially Bill, for over three hours across two days. Bill was exceptionally generous with his time and seemed to enjoy questions that were outside of the usual, from someone (me) whose career started a few years after Woodstock. As those who were in or getting into the sound business back then are well aware, there were problems that were only solvable through invention, and it was fun hearing how he solved some of them.

I hope John sells a ton of these books, and remind you that if you are in the sound business as a business, looking into the history of your business and having to spend some money on that should be a business expense for you at tax time.

Just saying.

I've been reading a bunch of books about Woodstock since last year and am looking forward to what this one will say about it, and was deeply enriched hearing what Bill had to say directly last October. I'm hoping they will do a book tour and come to Seattle so our AES Section can also hear first-hand. And maybe yours, too.
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David Sturzenbecher

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Re: The Last Seat In The House: The Book. Now Available
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2020, 05:00:21 pm »

On the first page of this subform, there's a post by the late Tom Young announcing a documentary by the same name and about the same subject, i.e. a biography of sound pioneer Bill Hanley. I haven't been able to tell that the film was ever released as more than a trailer, but the book is now out and mine came two days ago.

I've read about 30 pages so far, and it's much more than a person's bio; it's more of a bio of our industry centered around one of its major participants. So far, I've learned (among many other things) that the first PA to cover 50,000 people was put together in 1919 (I think, not looking at it now) by the guys who created Magnavox, Peter Jensen and Edwin Pridham.

That's part of a timeline in the first few pages of significant moments in the development of sound reinforcement, as well listing the early people and companies who did those things. Of course, such a subjective list will leave out people and occurrences that someone else would think important, but it's still a good effort and includes info I've never seen collected in one place.

The author, John Kane, and Bill Hanley were at the last NYC AES in the audiohistory.org booth for the duration, and it was the highlight of my convention experience to talk with both, and especially Bill, for over three hours across two days. Bill was exceptionally generous with his time and seemed to enjoy questions that were outside of the usual, from someone (me) whose career started a few years after Woodstock. As those who were in or getting into the sound business back then are well aware, there were problems that were only solvable through invention, and it was fun hearing how he solved some of them.

I hope John sells a ton of these books, and remind you that if you are in the sound business as a business, looking into the history of your business and having to spend some money on that should be a business expense for you at tax time.

Just saying.

I've been reading a bunch of books about Woodstock since last year and am looking forward to what this one will say about it, and was deeply enriched hearing what Bill had to say directly last October. I'm hoping they will do a book tour and come to Seattle so our AES Section can also hear first-hand. And maybe yours, too.

If you are an AES member they have a nice interview with Bill Hanley here:
http://www.aes.org/live/?cat=Legends#cbp=./?ID=99&nowrap=true

It looks slightly dated but still plays well. Be sure to check out the other videos on that AES page.  There are some real gems.
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Chris Hindle

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Re: The Last Seat In The House: The Book. Now Available
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2020, 01:25:18 pm »

Thanks for the heads Up.
I just ordered my copy....
Chris.
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Dan Mortensen

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Re: The Last Seat In The House: The Book. Now Available
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2020, 04:59:08 pm »

If you are an AES member they have a nice interview with Bill Hanley here:
http://www.aes.org/live/?cat=Legends#cbp=./?ID=99&nowrap=true

It looks slightly dated but still plays well. Be sure to check out the other videos on that AES page.  There are some real gems.

Thanks for the reminder of that link. I think they've redone their video page so it's both easier and harder to find videos of interest.

The first eight minutes or so of that video is about the first 38 pages of the book, with fewer details about some things and more about others. I'm going to read more before watching more.

One note: the author points out repeatedly in the early part that he is not a sound engineer, and it shows. Page 38, talking about Voice of the Theaters: "They got 500Hz of passive crossover, which was fairly standard." Not really any mitigating context.

There is a little reading around the words necessary, but I'm enjoying it.
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Re: The Last Seat In The House: The Book. Now Available
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2020, 04:59:08 pm »


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