Memories of the Job & Where's Dave?

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Joined: 2010-10-25
Memories of the Job & Where's Dave?

I too passed briefly through the Earth Sound factory in the 70s. I was nicknamed "ARP" because of my initials -- a cultural reference all but forgotten today.

In early summer 1977, I finished a semester as a Nassau Community College music major. I took a job at Earth Sound as a quality control technician; burning in amps on a bench, putting them through their paces, and either passing them to shipping or sending the bum units back to ISC for a board swap.

"Eddie" - the guy that ran the service & repair department - quit one day about a month into my gig, and Ops Manager Mike McGuire moved me up to service manager. I wasn't ready for it, but I had a decent couple of bench techs to help me out, and the problems were always predictable (power supply rectifiers and tube bias in the Revival line, and the driver/power transistors in the 220 and 440 modules). Although it was scary a few times when those transistors would blow on the QC bench: pure DC passed to the speakers, they'd go "cones out" and more than once we'd have a cabinet catch fire.

I had hoped to make a decent go of it as a long-term job, but academics had the stronger pull and in September it was time to head back to Nassau to finish out my little 2-year degree. Upon graduation, I went to work for Sam Ash Hempstead for a year; they did not carry the Earth line.

Some time later, I read in Newsday about an Earth cabinet shop employee who had an accident and ran a radial arm sawblade through much of his hand. That had to be an expensive settlement. And even later, I saw an ad in Guitar Player magazine for TUSC amplifiers, with a Long Island address that sounded a little too close to be anything but the successor to Earth Sound Research.

I am sorry to read about the passing of Marc Neumann, but always wanted to know whatever happened to Dave Garrett. He was the original "big guy" from Sha Na Na before he founded Earth Sound and before the band enjoyed popular appeal (during the "Bowser Years"). I actually emailed Sha Na Na through their website asking if they ever knew where he landed after Earth Sound went away. Their response: "No, we're wondering too. If you find out, let us know."

So I'm asking here: Dave, where did you go, big guy?

Alan Peterson CBT/CEA
Professor of Audio Technology
Montgomery College, Rockville MD.