The Complete Mark Pinske Interview - Day Three - Part Two

Jan 1, 2003 12:00 PM, Chris Michie


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Mix: How much did it cost?
Pinske: $880,000 we put into the studio. It has a Sony digital 24-track, of course. A lot of the stuff that I had used with Frank and all that.

Mix: Going back to Frank, how do you spend $3.5 million?
Pinske: That was a number that came out of the air that I was told that the studio cost. I think the bulk of the cost was Rudy Brewer, who designed the studio, he'd just done a studio for Captain and Tennille, or somebody like that. That was a real popular thing. And then George Augspurger also got hired to do some redesign in it. But he had all the most expensive mics, the most expensive equipment, the most expensive foundation, a floating piston underneath the control room. The whole building was done "spare no expense." So it was really quite elaborate. In fact, the studio was unbelievably elaborate for a privately owned studio. It was more like something you would see at the brand-new opening commercial studio.

Mix: It's kind of puzzling, because he'd had that Studio Z in Cucamonga that he got from Paul Buff, and then he lost that--
Pinske: Down on Cucamonga Boulevard? That wasn't really his studio. Paul Buff and Les Paul, I think, were in that. Frank did a lot of recording, and was directly involved with that.

Mix: It would seem the last thing he wanted to do was be a studio owner again. But at some point he must have figured that rather than paying Village Recorders and KenDun all this money--
Pinske: That was a lot of it. The bills were enormous. I see what you're getting at. Basically, he wanted to have complete control, and he wanted to have freedom of how much time it took for him to do something the way he wanted to do it, and do it right. Instead of always having to do it under the gun because he's getting the charge of this enormous amount of money, on a per-hour basis. Like when we remixed the "Baby Snakes" album, we did that at Complete Post Productions out there, on Burbank. We were paying 430 bucks an hour. And I basically told those guys, I engineered that whole thing by myself, while a lot of these guys played ping-pong. And I just told them, "It isn't that I don't think you have a really great facility here, it's just no place is worth 430 bucks an hour because you can't get that much done in one hour." And that's really a lot of what it was. The bills turned out to be enormous from that endeavor. But it wasn't as though Frank wasn't making money now. Like I said, the royalties that he got on an album were far above what anybody else got. And he cut some very good deals, and his manager did a good job on these tours. We played a lot of small places in America, but when we went overseas, they were all huge venues. Really very large venues.

Mix: One of the musicians on a Web site said that on one of the European tours they were basically going around the same circuit as the Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead and outselling them.
Pinske: Absolutely. We would play an 18,000-seat place and it'd be sold out. When I first went over there, on the first European trip, I think it was before we got the truck, in the fall of 1980, I think we did one European leg, when I got over there, it was like opening up a door. It really was strange, for me, because we had come from America, where we had done these little Tower Theaters, these little 3,000-seat places. And then all of a sudden we're over there playing these huge venues. As a matter of fact, the first time I walked up the plane--this is no kidding, I think YAWYI had just come out then, I think--and I walked up the plane and somebody came up to me and asked me for my autograph, and I told the person, "No, I'm not in the band, I just travel with the band." And the guy said, "Well, you're Mark Pinske, right?" And I said, "Well, yeah, I'm Mark Pinske." And he said, "Well, what kind of mic did you use on the third cut of YAWYI on Ray White's guitar?" Which happened to be "Doreen." And I thought, what the heck is this? These people had listened to the album, and they knew what they were talking about. It was kind of scary. I think that was the first time I ever signed an autograph on my life. I told him he could probably get a burger at McDonald's for it. I told him it really wasn't worth anything. But nonetheless, it was a shocker for me, because what had happened is, I realized I was in a different room all of a sudden. It's like opening up these doors and watching all these people freak out, and then when you get back to America, it was like closing the doors again. So Frank, worldwide, or in Europe in particular, was a whole other experience. The fans knew what they were talking about. They knew what they were listening to. In a lot of way it inspired me. I can't even tell you how much it inspired me, because if somebody knew the work you did, and then heard some of the stuff you did, and knew the difference, it gave you the feeling, you get this enormous feeling that it was all worth it. Every little thing you could do was worth it.

Mix: When you went to Europe, did you take your own P.A. equipment over, or did you rent it all there?
Pinske: No, no. We took our own P.A. with us. We bought lights. Frank usually didn't rent anything. We bought LSD lighting. Simon, over there in London, with LSD Lighting, we'd buy a lighting system from him, use it for the tour, and then sell it back to him at the end of the tour. So we'd buy light sets, but we took our own P.A. system.

Mix: Which was the Meyer system?
Pinske: Yeah. We bought the very first Meyer system, and took it all around Europe, I think, gee whiz, on two or three tours around Europe.

Mix: How many cabinets? These are the MSL3s, right?
Pinske: MSL3s, and four subs a side. We'd usually fly about, depending on the size of the venue--the bigger venues we would use backup, so we'd travel like 18 MSL3s per side, normally, with about four of the dual 18 subs. Then we had a center cluster as well. And we had racks and racks and racks of A and B amplifiers. But what we would do in big venues--even in the States, when we'd do something like Madison Square Garden, we would hire somebody like Clair Bros. to give us a backup, where we'd put delay towers. And then we would sync up the delay towers along with it. Now, over there, I think the first year we did Santana did a couple shows with us, we did I think Turbosound we used as backup. And they would come in, we'd have our Meyer P.A., and then we would delay lock in some backup systems on the real, real big places.

Mix: Did you have any problems getting 18 cabinets a side to combine properly? Sounds like a lot.
Pinske: No. We usually had two or three tiers. Like I said, it would vary, depending on how much backup we would use, how many we would hang. We had a special hanging grid. It is a lot. But normally we would try to arc three layers of six, or something like that. Sometimes we would just hang maybe 12 of them, depending on how wide the venue was. Sometimes we'd play in a tent, or something, obviously we wouldn't fly then, we would just stack. So it would change from venue to venue sometimes. But normally we had an elaborate flying grid that was really nice. And the Meyer stuff dispersed really well. The general setup, I think, over average, would be two banks, on bank aiming out and another bank aimed somewhat down, in a full arc, which I think was six a bank, normally, arched six at a time. And then sometimes we would hang three more off to the side, aiming sideways, depending on how far the seats would wrap around the venue. We always tried to keep it so it would screw up the stage.

Mix: What console were you using in about '81, '82.
Pinske: On the front of house? We continued to use the Midas consoles. We had a good thing going with Midas. We used the Midas consoles in the house. We even had a custom Midas, and gee whiz, there was another one we had made up for the monitors now, I'm trying to remember. It had 18 outs on it. And I had one custom Midas that was in that dumb Polaroid that I sent you. You couldn't see it very well, I apologize for those pictures, they're just Polaroids, but they made us some real nice, custom stuff, that had LEDs right next to the faders, so you could see the signal path coming in. We used a lot of Midas consoles for the house.

Mix: How was the monitor setup? Was there conventional wedges and sidefills?
Pinske: Monitoring got to be somewhat elaborate. Pretty much conventional wedges and sidefills, but Frank, like I said, would use 2 MSL3s on each side for his sidefills. [Laughs.] Not many people were using Meyers just for sidefills. But normally, wedges, and then what we did with--we got smarter as we went along. We took a lot of the system that used to be what we called the original dinosaur system that Frank owned, which is the JBL stuff, like your typical two 15s and a cabinet with a horn and a bullet tweeter, and we would lay them underneath the stage. Like for the keyboard players, they might have two of those cabinets, and they would actually have a metal grid that they stood on, and the cabinets would be underneath them, so it would fire straight up on them. And that way it wasn't always deafening everybody else that was walking around in front of them. Or the old try to [end of side.]

Mix: How did you cope with the vocal mics? Because if you had three or four of them on the front line, that must have been hard to keep the drums out of them.
Pinske: Especially with as loud as Frank liked his sidefills. It was not a picnic. The guys were real good, Ray and Ike and everybody was real good at staying on their mic. We gated them, of course, as much as we could. I used the Quad-Eight NS120 noise gates, which is film gate, by the way. And the reason I used those was because I could go down 110 dB dynamically, but they didn't work like a conventional gate, like a Valley gate, like a Keypex 2. What they did was they had an FET transistor that just turned on. So they turned on instantly at full volume. And this way they didn't ramp up. You didn't have the rise time of the ramp. You had variable capacitors, so you had kind of a curvature to the slope, so you would have a release time and a curvature, a little bit like what a Drawmer would do, but better than a Drawmer, because say you had a tom-tom, and you were gating it, there would be a contour by a selection of five different types of capacitors, and the contour would follow the decay of the sound of the drum, for instance. So you would have a release time, and even after the release time was up, the contour would follow the decay. Because of this, the leakage of something like cymbals would decay with the sound. So say you'd have a hit on the drum it goes "doooooom." Well, the gate would follow the "doom" perfectly, and the leakage would go down with it. And it would sound like there was basically no leakage there at all. And there were no gates, really, in the world that would do that. Most gates would just hold for a release, and then they would either be a steep slope that would cut off, you know like on a kick drum or something, or they would stay open too long and you would get a lot of leakage. So what I did is I bought five racks of these Quad-Eight gates, because you had the FET transistor, which gave you instant full on, and you had variable decay that was really--really catered to the instrument, or the voice, in the case of--especially, the voice could say something, it wouldn't miss the enunciation of the vowel sounds of any of the--on the microphone like you might on certain types of gates. So this was a lot of the trick to how we got such good, isolated live mics.

Mix: Were you using 57s on the front line, mainly?
Pinske: Frank would use a 57, but we ended up using some AKG mics as well, because we had an AKG endorsement. As a matter of fact, I don't know if you read about this or not, but we actually put an SM57 cartridge inside one of the AKG condenser mics. Because we tried all these condenser mics out on Frank, and then the batteries would start dead, and he didn't like the way they sounded. He said, "Man, can't I just use a 57? My voice sounds good on a 57." So we kind of stuck a 57 capsule inside of an AKG mic, so there was a couple of pictures that were in some of the magazines where he's holding the AKG mic, but he actually had a 57 element inside.

Mix: What about Ray and Ike, and whoever else was singing? They were on the AKGs?
Pinske: We using on AKGs. AKG had made a lot of really good microphones, and it wasn't hard for us to find a family of them that worked very well. With Ray and Ike, it was quite easy, because normally they didn't--they didn't usually take the mics off the stand. Like Frank was always walking around with his mic. Those guys, the mics would stay pretty stationary. We had them going on their own track of the multitrack, anyway. So when it came right down to it, later on, you could just mute the track.

Mix: There's a fairly significant different between the mix of the band on the guitar album, say, and the live albums where there's people singing all the time, not surprisingly. There's much more isolation.
Pinske: Yeah. That whole guitar album that they put together, that I did all the live recordings on, that guitar release was put together after I left. That was kind of a diff--it's kind of strange for me to listen to some of these things that were put together after I left, off of recordings that I made.

Mix: Because they're mixed very differently from how you heard them at time?
Pinske: Yeah, mixed differently, plus you don't know how much anything might have deteriorated. We still had a lot of live analog tapes. We didn't get the digital machine into the truck, I think, until the '84 tour. And the '84 tour, by the way, that's one of the reasons why the recordings from that album were significantly better than anything else we did, ever, ever in history. So if you go to--you know that one link I gave you that says, "Venues?" If you check the '84 tour on that, you'll find some interesting stuff. There's actually a link in there, too, that talks about that song I told you about that was written about me called, "Carrie, You Fool." A notation on there about when Frank was telling the audience about--I think it was August in '84, when he was telling the audience about what the song was about. He was giving them the story. It was kind of funny. He explains that the song was about Mark Pinske in there. I found that kind of funny.

Mix: It's about a girl who wants to follow the band to the next gig, and Frank sings, "You'll find another engineer?"
Pinske: Yeah. "You'll find another engineer someday." Actually, the girl named Carrie Mellon in Pittsburg. Carol Mellon was her name, and Frank introduced me to her--actually, we were at this hotel in Pittsburgh, and Frank called me down to have a drink with him, and I went down there and he was talking to the manager. So we couldn't go up to Frank's suite because the manager working the hotel couldn't go there, so he asked the girl if there might be somebody that she knew that we could just go out and have a drink with her, have a date with, you know. So she called up Carrie and said, "Oh, yeah, Frank Zappa and me and his sound man are coming over to pick you up," and Carrie just said, "Oh, yeah, sure, right. Frank Zappa, right." So we pulled up in front of her house with a limo. [Laughing.] Which was pretty funny. And we just went out and did a few things, and then Frank kind of wrote a song about this girl. [Laughs.] And the events that happened that night. Later on, she bought me a cashmere sweater. And she wanted to steal some money from this Mexican guy. She got to be kind of a little problem, later. Nonetheless--I realized then for the first time in my life that a lot of Frank's songs were actually true stories about--

Mix: Seems that way. I was going to ask you about "Luigi and the Wise Guys," which sounds like a really quite vicious attack on somebody in the crew that nobody particularly liked.
Pinske: It was, actually. He had this little--well, Tony was his name. They liked him, but the wise guys was kind of--the guys that hung around got to be known and "the wise guys," Luigi and the wise guys at the table. And Frank was always--and the same thing, he did the same thing with "Marque-son's Chicken," because he used to fly a rubber chicken over the monitor mixer. So he wrote this song called "Marque-son's Chicken." You know, when you go through all this stuff and you realize that a lot of it--to me one of the most interesting things he wrote was when he did "The Mudd Club," or the Coneheads, from "Saturday Night Live." He would write these songs about these skits, and he would get into this unbelievable descriptions of the people that were there that night or something. We even went back and played the Mudd Club. [Laughs.] There was no way to record it, it was just a little three-foot stage.

Mix: I think he's actually got some sort of 2-track recording on one of the live tracks from one of the live albums from the Mud Club.
Pinske: I remember running something through a cassette, or something. But it was just a little mixer in a bar that you had no control of. Pretty much just a live mic hanging in the room. But it wasn't anything you could do to get quality. [Laughs.] But nonetheless it wasn't always about quality. It was about the incident, right?
Mix: Mike Kenneally relates an incident in which somebody managed to pour a glass of beer from a balcony onto the front-of-house console. This is in New York, on the '88 tour. Anything like happen to you?
Pinske: I think in that article he talks about somebody yelling, "Bring back Pinske."

Mix: It does. That's exactly what he says.
Pinske: I know which one you're talking. On the original Halloween tours, there was a group of people that hung around me. I had some really good live mixes going on, in those days, with those shows. I was really dedicated, and we really had it down to a science. So there were some people that really were spoiled as far as getting some really top-quality shows as far as our sound quality was at these shows. Frank was real picky about them. That was one of the benefits of working with him so long. When you know the song so well, for instance, there was one show we did in New York, I think it was at Madison Square Garden, where we decided to not use the recording truck. Because they wanted to charge us--they wanted us to pay $5,000 per show--the union wanted us to pay $5,000 per show for the privilege of recording our own material. That was the term they used. And Frank was totally mad about it. He said, "Mark," he said, "you're going to mix the house tonight, because no way am I going to give these guys the money just because of the principle of it." He said we record every minute that he's onstage, every show that we did. We didn't necessarily need to have that show on tape, because we had plenty of other shows on tape, so he decided "you're going to mix the house" that night. And of course, for me, when I would have a chance to go back out and mix the house, it was really a gas, because I was in the truck all the time, after that. So I would get the chance to go out and mix on the Meyer system, which was like heaven on Earth for me, because originally when I started, we had this dinosaur system that really sucked. So when I had a chance to go out and do a mix on the Meyer system, I would just go out there and jazz it all up. I might do a little more pizzazz-y mix, with more effects and stuff, because I just knew where every little nuance of the songs were. And I must admit, probably the best--I had the best mixing chops in those days than I had in my whole career. So those shows were a treat, got to be kind of a treat with some of the audiences, and little local reviews would come out about them and stuff like that. So what had happened is, these people started this little thing about wanted Pinske to mix all the shows. And Frank was getting kind of tired of this whole routine, and I think Kenneally was just kind of referring back to the fact that some of those guys were still around. Get a gun and shoot 'em, or something. [Laughs.]

Mix: You didn't have any disasters like that? You never lost a mixing console in the middle of a show?
Pinske: No. We had one guy fall out of a balcony one time, but he was OK. And I also did have some disasters in the recording truck, power supply went out right before we were going to go on live on satellite one time. Or the power supply blow up on one of the multitrack machines. I had things like that happen in the recording truck, but live-wise, the biggest problem we usually had there was just--people keeping away from the console. People would set drinks on it and stuff like that. But I didn't have one actually pour into the console. That must have been Harry--was Harry doing that show?
Mix: I don't know. Was he a mixer who was doing--
Pinske: He was a friend of Marque Coy's. I think he brought him on board to do that '88 tour, because I wasn't available then. I was tied up then, at that time. I didn't go back because actually I was just--you get into moving on.

Mix: We were talking about that. After you went off with New Edition, you struck out on your own as a front-of-house guy? No, you went back to Florida and built a studio.
Pinske: Yeah. I built a studio, but I still did some front-of-house--I did all those front-of-house shows. I've always enjoyed front-of-house mixing. That's originally where I started in the first place. We had talked about that briefly the first time I talked to you. And I always enjoyed front-of-house because there's nothing like the excitement of the front of the house, especially when you think you can make a difference. So, I always felt I was a good front-of-house mixer, and it was a lot of fun for me to do, so every once in a while--it's like a musician trying to stop playing, I guess.

Mix: You play something, right?
Pinske: I played bass guitar, and a little drums. I played when I was going to college, I played in bands.

Mix: And out of that, you wound up as the guy doing the P.A. and the recording and the mixing?
Pinske: Right. Kind of the guy around town that did the recording and mixing. To put it quite bluntly, I just happened to be a lot better engineer than I ever was a musician. [Laughs.] I think somebody told me that at one time. "You really ought to just stick to--" you know how Frank put it me? I don't know if I told you this, but you know how if you're a musician, and you feel like you're getting too old to be a musician or you give it up and you feel like you're giving up some creative essence or something, you know, you've heard this a lot. And then Frank told me, he said, "Mark, look at it this way. There are far less creative engineers than there are creative musicians." So he kind of looked at me as a creative engineer, is the way he put it. I asked him if he was just trying to make me feel better. [Laughs.] But it was a kind of interesting way of putting it. He was really true. It's really true. And engineering in itself is kind of--you have a chance to be very creative, as well, if you really apply yourself. And that's what I was trying to do.

Mix: Can you read music?
Pinske: Yes. I can read. I'm not a fast reader.

Mix: But you can follow a score?
Pinske: Yeah. And I had to. You had to with Frank.

Mix: It's been reported fairly widely that "Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch" was supposedly made up of 15 different performances.
Pinske: As a matter of fact, he did that a lot, on a lot of stuff. We would have the actual sheet music out, especially with Steve Vai and a lot of those guys, and Tommy Mars, and we would go by bars, and he would say, "At Bar 128, bring in some reverb effects," or something like that. So I had to pay attention. But I'm not a--he always said that there were two best readers that ever worked for him, was Vinnie Colaiuta and Tommy Mars. Tommy Mars was pretty much known as "Hawkeye," and Vinnie, he said, could read anything you put in front of him. He would just chicken scratch something on a piece of paper, and Vinnie could just play it immediately. When he tried musicians out--there's no way I could keep up with any of those kind of guys, but I knew where we were in the pieces, and I could tell what the melody lines were, and the bass lines. Enough to know what I needed to know. Especially when we started doing a lot of the orchestration stuff, because we would go back and cut certain sections.

Mix: I was going to ask you about the assembly of the LSO sessions from the multitracks. You came back to Los Angeles with your multitracks from the LSO, right? And you recorded 24-track digital, or was it 32-track?
Pinske: No, no. We did 24-track digital. There were two 24-track digital machines waiting for us over there. And there was two analog machines, as well. They were 3M 79 machines. And what I did, is, I had them, the guys--we rented the Island mobile truck, and I had the crew put together an extra snake so we could run both the machines, in a little room, simultaneously with the digital machines, because I had never used the digital machines before, and I wasn't totally trusting them. So the deal was, we recorded on both mediums simultaneously. In other words, we rolled both tapes all the time. And in a way I kind of liked doing the two, because I had an automatic backup, in case something went wrong. So when we got back to the States, machine number 3 that Sony made--those were machines 1 and 2, and machine number 3 we rented from Sony, I think for like a grand a day or something, so we could evaluate the tapes. And after about a month or two of working with machine, we bought one. We just bought one because we fell in love with it. And that's when--up until that point, we didn't have a lot of good experiences with a lot of the digital stuff. A lot of the first digital stuff was really bad.

Mix: You had been recording some digital stuff before that?
Pinske: Oh, sure. Mick Glossop, as a matter of fact--you talked about him before--he had done a live digital recording for us, off of one of those--I forget where it was--Hammersmith, or somewhere--you see notes to of Mick Glossop's live recordings? We did some digital recording and when he came back it was on a 1510 system, which later became 1520, and then 1530, Sony. The first ones had some really--they had American converters in there. But you listen to 10 or 15 minutes of them, and Frank made the comment, saying, "It's like 8k darts in your forehead." It just had this real brittle sound, that your ears felt very fatigued after a very short time of listening to it. So we were very let down by it, so to speak. It just didn't have the warmth that most of the analog recordings had. So we had a number of experiences along the way that didn't convince us that digital was the way to go.

Mix: But this new generation of Sony machines made it?
Pinske: Yeah. The new generation Dr. Doi, they spent $2.5 million developing their own converter. The way Dr. Doi put it me was it was 400 times the resolution in these converters that they had previously in any converters. And the Sony 3324 was the introduction of those converters. Later, they took those converters and put them into the 1630 systems, and the better mastering systems that Bernie Grundman and everybody else started using. But at that point, the 3324 was the first machine they were in. And I asked Dr. Doi, who invented pulse code modulation, by the way, I asked him, I said, "If I'm looking at a TV picture,"--I was looking at a screen--I said, "how much better is this picture?" In these converters than say the converters they had previously. And he looked at me and he pointed at the TV screen, and he said, "See blade of grass growing," he said. I said, "See blade of grass growing?" He said, "Yeah, see blade of grass growing." He was just trying to tell me that there would be so much better focus, and so much better definition, that you could actually see the blade of grass growing. And I thought to myself, "If you put it that way, it's got to be a lot better." And then I realized, honestly, I realized that for the first time in my life I was dealing with a converter that basically had no side effects. You could record up to +24 dB on those machines, you know. It wasn't like a 0 dB, like the Mitsubishis. It had all the headroom in the world. You could track your drums at +18 on an average. And then you could pad down your console, and it was just unbelievable. I actually even remember telling them that at point, they should call it something other than digital, because digital already had a bad name. [Laughs.] It really is the most analog-sounding machine, digital machine, even to this day, I think. Of course a lot of people like Bob Clearmountain and everybody else are all using the 48-track now. And Barbra Streisand even. But originally, there wasn't very many people that were on board. But it really was a phenomenal breakthrough in the digital medium.

Mix: So when you came back with LSO tapes, first of all, you decided which ones you were going to mix, or did you just mix everything and see which ones were usable?
Pinske: Oh, no. We didn't mix anything. The first thing we needed to do was listen and edit. First we listened to the digital tapes, then we pulled out some of the analog tapes to compare them. It didn't take us very long, just a matter of hours, to where we just decided to put the analog tapes back in the vault because the tape hiss was driving us nuts. When you didn't have the tape hiss, there was no way that we wanted to hear some real light violin, or harp or something playing, and listen to the noise that we didn't need to listen to. And it accumulated over all 24 tracks. So then what we did, is I made a digital backup of all the tapes, like I talked to you about that I did later on as a regular, and then we took the digital backup and we razor-blade edited it. And Frank would go through the movements, and we might have 12 takes of one section, and he was looking for which piece they performed the best. And when they performed it the best, we would edit out that piece, and then tape it together to the one previous to it. And sometimes we'd go bar by bar, and sometimes we'd got movement by movement. There was a lot of edits. And we basically just assembled what Frank thought was the closest to the best performance of what he had in his head, as far as when he wrote it. But of course, you know as well as I do the nightmare there is, a true composer can almost not ever have it perfect. There's always somebody not playing. But what Frank got into is the character of the people, too. He let a viola player take a solo, for instance, and rather than play it like he wrote it, he told him to come up with his own solo, and he let him ad lib. And he loved it. That's the way Frank was. He would always use the talents of the musicians around him, and kind of somehow make them fit into the picture. That's where his true genius was, was being able to assemble things from not only the talents of the people, but the talents of the musicians and everything that was involved. He was able to assemble pieces out of the people that were all part of the puzzle. And I think that's what made some of his stuff so collectively unique.

Mix: I've got a release date here that says the first LSO album came out in June of '83. What was the reception like? Do you remember whether it got good reviews?
Pinske: It was a sad thing, because we couldn't sell it in the United States.

Mix: Why not?
Pinske: We had the contract with CBS Records. With CBS National Account--International Account--we had two different contracts with CBS, with CBS internationally and CBS domestically. And CBS International was suing CBS domestic, believe it or not. The two companies were suing each other. And they were the same company. And Frank's contract was one of them that was affected by it. So we couldn't release that album in the States when it came out. We only could release it overseas. Which dramatically affected the release of it. However, the reception of it was good. So, getting back to that, that's where Pierre Boulez heard the record, and liked it, and contacted Frank and asked him to do a piece for him or something. And that was I think one of Frank's happiest moments. We had Kent Nagano conducting that thing. The darn thing turned out pretty good. All in all. But as you know, Frank's classical taste was somewhat strange. [Laughs.] If you could have heard him explain what "Mo 'n' Herb's Vacation" was about, you would have died laughing. When he told the story--there's nobody like him telling the story. When he was trying to explain it to the orchestra that he was mad at both of them, so he did a gay scene where they're walking down the beach with one of them had their hand on the other guy's rear and stuff, and he was really trying to rub it in, so they did this kind of island feel. But it was like him explaining a cartoon. And he was trying to make it really out there, right? And when he explained it, and then you listen to the way they played it, it all kind of made sense to you. But the average person listening to it wouldn't have any idea what the hell they're doing there, you know. He just got into characterizations like that. He would characterize something. He would always go for a little bit off the left wing. You know from just the way he is. But on the other hand, he was dead serious about it. There was a difference in his--there was a whole difference in his attitude about the classical stuff, so to speak, than there was about his normal stuff. And I found that was kind of a--it's like Chapter 300, or whatever. The whole time I was with him was just fascinating. It was absolutely fascinating.

Mix: You mentioned Pierre Boulez. A year later, in January '84, the Boulez pieces were recorded. Did you have anything to do with them?
Pinske: No. There was an engineer that worked with Boulez that he wanted to do those recordings. There was no reason to fight that. It was the kind of thing where Frank was just overwhelmed to be able to do some work with him. So it wasn't something that we were going to get involved with from the technical aspects like we would normally, and make a big deal about it. So they pretty much went with what they knew.

Mix: But the album that came out had four Synclavier pieces on it, which were presumably recorded at UMRK.
Pinske: Right. Most all of the Synclavier stuff I would have recorded. I'm not so sure that wasn't a mistake.

Mix: Mixing the Synclavier--
Pinske: Mixing--yeah. You know what I mean. If you look at a lot of those albums, Frank would do that. He would throw stuff in on an album that he didn't need to throw in on an album, and it would make the album a total different kludge of things.

Mix: I actually like the Boulez album a lot. But I see your point.
Pinske: The Synclavier stuff--like "Francesco Zappa," I must admit, was fun doing. Because it was interesting. First off, it was a minstrel that played kind of happy, what do you call it? In the medieval-century type, 100 years before Frank, happy minstrel music that was totally unlike Frank's music completely. But it was kind of unique, and it was kind of fun to do, when we programmed all that stuff in the Synclavier. And then when we played it, we all had fun doing it. Even Frank got a joy out of it. But I don't think a lot of people really understood why he did it. And in fact, David Ocker, I think, brought us a piece one day on that. He said, "I got this piece from a guy named Francesco Zappa." And we thought he was pulling our leg, you know? He got it from--I think it was, the what? The Mormon library or something. They were revering it in college, and then we noticed that it wasn't copyrighted. There was no--none of it was published. It was an unpublished piece. So Frank said, "Go fine out about this guy and see what else they had." Well, they found a whole bunch of stuff in the Mormon records, but there was a lot of pieces by this guy, and none of them were published. So Frank decided that he would publish them. So we had the publishing rights on them. Well, once we had the publishing rights on them, it only made sense to try to do something with it. And then it was kind of ironic that there was this musician that lived 100 years before Frank that had a traveling group in minstrels that traveled around Italy and Germany playing music. [Laughs.] It was just too ironic, or too much of a coincidence, so we decided that we would take these pieces and program them into the Synclavier and try to do the instrumentation as true as we could to what we thought we saw there that was written.

Mix: In Frank's lifetime, a Synclavier was still viable, but it's a white elephant now, isn't it? In that NED has gone away.
Pinske: I don't know if it's a white elephant. I thing Dweezil still screws around with the one they had a little bit. But it probably is a white elephant now. It was archaic as far as how efficient sampling is now. But we really did take it to the extreme once we moved it up to the 100kHz sampling rate. We sampled every note of the Bosendorfer into the thing. And I think the low note was like 8 seconds long. Just so we could have the real piano sound on it. And we did some kind of elaborate things like that with it, that kind of made it more useful for us. Because you're right, the converters and everything else are far outdated now. It's just like talking about an old Fairlight or something.

Mix: I was just making the point that the parent company's disappeared, so there's no--
Pinske: New England Digital? Yeah, that's who it was. Yeah.

Mix: But he didn't take that on tour in the '84 tour, did he?
Pinske: No. As a matter of fact, he always thought that we could program everything into that and it would just make everything on tour a lot easier, but . . .

Mix: It didn't work out that way.
Pinske: Not really. I tried to do that with Jermaine Jackson. I went and did some sampling for Jermaine Jackson--I sampled all Jermaine Jackson's album after I left Frank, and we tried to put together all these Emulator 2s that were going to use live of all these parts of the album that somebody is supposed to be playing, but you just hold down one note. And we had this main data bank of stuff, and I did this elaborate sampling. It just--it didn't seem real. It seemed like a bunch of fake junk. Somebody just holding down a bunch of samples. So that was a short-lived thing, too, but nonetheless, the idea--the idea's been used. Let's face it. People have used samples to death since then. But Frank always wanted to stay ahead--he always had these ideas--when we originally had a semi-Broadway play put together for this "Thing-Fish," he wanted to have all the scenery done on a hologram, so the set changes would all be done with holograms. Of course, we couldn't do it. [Laughs.] In his mind, that's what he wanted.

Mix: It's interesting that he kept trying to do things that, I won't say failed, but had not really come to fruition in the past. Like he wrote several musicals "Hunchentoot" and "Thing-Fish." And he also made several films, or started. And for every one of them he must have started at least two others.
Pinske: You're right.

Mix: He didn't give up, did he?
Pinske: No, and I'm telling you, it was amazing when you were a part of that at all, if he would sit down and write some lyrics, and then 10 minutes, he would write a whole--he could write almost a whole song. It would just flow out of him. And that was one of the most genius amazing parts about it. When it came to being creative, he was never short of ideas. He always just had so many ideas. And he really was pretty much a pioneer from every way. Every aspect of it, from the way we recorded to the way he wrote songs, to the way he wanted to display something. Or the way he might want to do something, like you said, whether it's doing a musical. He always wanted to try to do something new and different and innovative. That was really the part that didn't sink in 'til a number of years later. I knew I was in the middle of all this, but I didn't know that I would look back later in my life and go, "Man. You're a really lucky person to have even been a part of this." There's very few situations in the world where you could be around somebody that has pretty much all the money he needs, and he spends all his money experimenting. And doing new things every day. And just trying things. Isn't that kind of like the ultimate? Especially for like an engineer, or a musician, to where you can just kind of experiment and write and do things, just try new things all the time. Like an artists being able to paint what he wants to paint, and write a book that he wants to write. It's kind of the ultimate from the engineering aspect. The down side of it is, of course, we had 10 racks of effects on both sides of the control room, so you had all the equipment there was in the world, you had every microphone that's ever made, the whole collection of mics from RCA DX-77s on up, so the down side of it was, if you didn't get the right sound, you'd be gone. [Laughs.] It was a little bit of pressure there. I felt like I was dancing on ice the first three years. I always felt like, gee, I got to earn my rank. You were never really totally comfortable with the fact that you could always be replaced. But somehow, I felt there was a little angel on my shoulders in some ways, because of little things that happened. Like that little incident I told you about when I was auditioning. With the noise in the mic preamp. It's ridiculous. I had some lucky breaks. Like somebody was watching over me. I made some good decisions, and fortunately, Frank tolerated me enough as a person to where we got to be good friends, and was able to last in there long enough to feel that I made a significant difference to what it was he was doing. You can't replace that. It's not like those things are available every day of your life. And I realize now how unique and how special that was. And basically, how unique and how special he was. Because it took him to make it happen. If you get in an environment like that, and you have a guy that can totally control the environment, to where you're not interrupted, you could finish your train of thought, right in the middle of creating a whole masterpiece, and nobody's going to interrupt you. The phone isn't going to ring. Nobody can get to you. You have your environment controlled. I always envied Frank for that. He was able to control the environment so that we were able to finish what it was we were doing. And there's very few artists that can do that. Right there tells you the reason why he built that studio. So he would have that controlled environment, to where he could go in there, and for the first time in his life, finish his train of thought. Go in and just not come out 'til he's damn well done with it. And once you've worked with him like that on a daily basis, you realize, gee, isn't this really a necessity for anybody that's creative? Doesn't anybody really need to have the chance to be able to be uninterrupted, and be able to be funded? And all of that. I'm afraid that the average artist doesn't really have the pleasure of that. Like you were talking about how he went and recorded at different studios. This is the exact reason why you don't. Because you run out of money, you're on a schedule. You gotta be in at 10 o'clock in the morning even though you may be sick that day. There's all these things that can make for a bad project. And all those things kind of go away when you have total--when you have the luxury, I guess, is what it is.

Mix: You recorded vocals for Johnny Guitar Watson, right?
Pinske: He did the "In France" song. And he came up a couple of times. Him and his gold teeth. He had gold plating on the dashboard of this '55 Chevy. [Laughs.] But Johnny Guitar Watson, Frank introduced me to him originally, said--he would bring this kind of people up, and he just totally admired these people, because he developed--according to Frank he developed a certain style of guitar playing, that Johnny did. And I don't know if you've ever hear any recordings or anything about when he came in and sat in live when we played down in Hollywood, at one of the theaters down there. Trying to remember the name of that theater. Johnny Guitar Watson came in, and George Duke came in. Everybody kind of came in and did a little--sat in and played some songs with the band. And Johnny just leaned over the top of the front of the stage and did this guitar, and basically stole the show. But he came up to the studio, and we recorded him. And he did these really ridiculously strange vocals on "In France" and a couple of other things.

Mix: He did "I Don't Even Care," on "Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention."
Pinske: Yeah. We put him down on a couple of things. Frank had the habit of that, too. When we had somebody like that there, we would record him on one or two or maybe three pieces. This is a lot of what happened with some of the stuff like "Sleep Dirt" and "Hunchentoot" and things like that, too. We would take these artists and put them on a number of tapes, and maybe only one of the songs we recorded him on would get on an album. And then later on, Frank would peel this other tape off and use it somewhere else. And that's kind of what happened with Johnny. Johnny actually came up for a number of sessions, and the also Frank had a big listening party when we did "Thing-Fish." He invited up everybody that was on it to come and listen to the album. And we played back out into the studio, and had a little get together. Which was kind of unique, because we had everybody from Terry and Dale Bozzio, to--that album was loaded with all kinds of star collections. Unfortunately, I really wish we still had an original version of that, because it was cleaner, it had less swear words in it, and just moved along a lot nicer. There's always those kinds of things, right? I do have a whole set of lacquers, different lacquers of original mixes we did, by the way. I got some original mixes we did of the London Symphony Orchestra, even that were never released. We must have mixed that album two or three times. I have one version of I mixed the whole thing on. And there are unique mixes like that. I always felt somehow would always get out that never did. It's almost too late, now. I appreciate your taking the time and doing this interview with me, and being so patient with my rambling.

Mix: It's a thrill for me, honestly.
Pinske: Some of the best people I had, I think I gave you a link to Bob Harris, or if you type "Mark Pinske" in at Alta Vista in quotations you'll get some interesting articles. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't. Some of them fall off. If I put my name in at Yahoo, or at Hotbox, I get totally different links than I do if I put it in--all the search links are different. It's kind of nuts. You'll get different links, and you'll find somebody talking in articles about some of the stuff that we had done. But a lot of my good friends that I've know like that, the musicians over the years, Tommy Mars, some of those guys, they keep telling me I really need to write a book. I almost don't know where to start or where to finish.

Mix: I've been reading some of the books. There's definitely a need for a good one.
Pinske: That's the thing. The reason why I never did is because I thought, "You don't need anymore half-assed books about Zappa." You would need to nail it down to the incidents that were really unique, that made a difference. I think the behind-the-scene things that happened when certain artists came in and recorded, maybe some of the methods we used, things that were talked about, and some of the real creative genius that Frank did. There was always things that we were experimenting on a daily basis, and when you ask me, for instance, about like say "Ya Hozna," my mind goes back and starts thinking about the session, and I would have never thought of that.

Mix: While you're thinking about it, a large part of the vocal is from some version of "Sofa--"
Pinske: "Sofa," uh-huh. 16-track. Right--

Mix: with George Duke singing. Did you take that 16-track and copy certain tracks off it, and then have the drums dubbed forward, or did you just fly it into some pre-existing rhythm track?
Pinske: No, no, no. We took the 16-track recording--actually, I think we bounced the whole thing over on a 24-track, and then turned it over. So we wouldn't ruin the original master. And like I said, we did that a lot. When we experimented, we would just take a backup tape. And we turned it over, and then we actually flew other vocals in. I thought about that later, after I talked to you about it. We did take some other vocals from some other songs, and put them backwards. And flew some of them in on some other tracks. And then did all kinds of different instrumentation around it.

Mix: The reason I ask is because "Sofa" is a waltz time, so that's 3/4, but the forward track that was dubbed on, is it 5/4?
Pinske: There was a totally ridiculous thing. That's why a lot of the stuff--we probably worked with two or three different multitracks at different times, and 2-tracks. And we may just take backward vocals off something, and lay it in. [Sings.] "Yaaaaa Hooooznaaa," the stuff that came in backwards. And it had nothing to do with the rhythm so much as the way it sounded. And then we would fly stuff in.

Mix: I got the impression that the tempo for the forward track was derived from the backward track.
Pinske: No, no. Not the tempo of the track. Every other vocal, or every other chorus, or every other--the sections of the vocals that we used, were laid out. And when we tracked something forward over to it, we kind of stumbled across something, much like the way we did on "Tink Walks Amok."

Mix: That has triple-tracked basses on it.
Pinske: That was a Hofner bass by the way. It was pretty interesting how we--unique sound on that thing, too. I think it was--we did this kind of stuff all the time. And the rhythm would come out as almost some kind of a mistake. And this is where Chad Wackerman came in. Chad told us, this is a statement that Chad made to me one time, he said, "You know if you make the same mistake twice, you have a groove." [Laughs.] You don't think about it. He's right. So some of this stuff would just kind of happen, and Frank would build off of a mistake that happened. And then we would try to make it make sense. You kind of derived a rhythm based off a lot of the things that you pieced together. And the things that were pieced together, which wasn't necessarily just that vocal, but it was other vocals as well. Like we might have used the first chorus of "Ya Hozna," of "Mein Sofa," and then nothing in between. And then another chorus later. Then we'd put a forward beat on there, and then drop some other vocals in there, and something forward, some things backwards, and it was kind of like we're just sitting there putting together a collage.

Mix: I was just trying to figure out whether the tempo for "Ya Hozna," which is not in 4/4, it's in 7/8 or 5/4 or something.
Pinske: I could tell you--I tell you, if I sat down and listened to it, it was the second piece we did, "Won Ton On" was actually the first experiment, and it all derived from this "No Not Now" thing. And then we kind of got carried away with it for a while, we spent a couple of days doing it, then we got away from it, then we came back to it again. And then, when we got into doing "Ya Hozna," it was a whole different thing than "Won Ton On," but if I sat down and listened to it, because we were doing two--I started wondering if we were going to live the rest of our life doing backwards pieces there for a while, because for a couple of weeks you're working in this backwards mode, you're mind kind of gets weirded out, and I got a little bit confused on "Won Ton On," and "Ya Hozna." As a matter of fact, I probably have rough mixes of it that have different pieces that got erased and got taken out. Because we would try something, and maybe not like it, and remove it and put something else in there. But if I sat down and listened to--is that on one of the YCDTOSA albums, which one is "Ya Hozna" on?
Mix: It's on "Them Or Us." It's the third track on "Them Or Us." It's right after "In France." It goes "Closer You Are," "In France," "Ya Hozna," "Sharleena," "Sinister Footwear 2," "Truck Driver Divorce," "Stevie's Spanking," "Baby Take Your Teeth Out," "Marque-son's Chicken."
Pinske: Those were, originally, now that you mention it, it was George Duke and Napoleon Murphy Brock that did the original "Sofa" piece on there. But there was something else off of those same recordings. I think they were from the Baltimore tape [end of side]

. . .since then, she just kind of started treating me different, and then things king of got sour. What was originally quite friendly turned into just an uncomfortable situation. But there was no major, huge fallout, so to speak. Except that she didn't like that. She pretty much didn't like a lot of people around Frank, and always thought that everybody was trying to rip Frank off. She had a pretty deep paranoia over a lot to things. That's why Marque's so paranoid. If you talk to Marque Coy. He can't do anything with her approval. Well, I don't need her approval. I have my own life. That's one of the reasons why I left, to tell you the truth. It was just uncomfortable. And not creative at all. Honestly. I got along with her, and I love Dweezil and Ahmet and Moon, and all of them. But I think since I left, she soured the grapes, quite a bit. She put the--she kind of stained . . . what she believed I was doing and what I wasn't doing. But when it comes right down to it, there was Frank and me in the control room. For 13 hours a day. And Bob would come in and then there was Bob and Frank. None of those people were there. They weren't there. So how can they know anything about what went on? They don't. They don't know anything. How can you explain that? You can't explain that. Or what would that have to do with any of them? It has nothing to do with any of them. They weren't a part of the creative process. All she did is try to control the marketing, try to control the sales, try to get in and take over everything, and try to be--I've heard all kinds of things about her screwing up a lot of Dweezil's stuff that Dweezil was trying to do. But Marque still works for her. And Marque and I go way back. I'm sure he told you that part.

Mix: No, he didn't. Well, he gave me the name of your band. What was is, Helix. He did say you went way back. Did he come into the picture through you, or the other way around?
Pinske: Marque-son? No, I hired him for Frank. He was a roadie in the band I played in, in Colorado. Then when I got the job for Frank, I brought him in from Colorado, and I brought Tom Ehle in, and I brought George Douglas in. They were all people that I knew from before. And I got them guys all a job. Now, George only lasted a year and left. Tom Ehle stayed with us for a long time, and Marque-son's still there, Marque Coy is still there. I brought him in to mix monitors, originally, because we needed a monitor mixer. And I thought he could handle it because he had done some road work in the past. He's quite a good engineer, Marque is. He got to be pretty good. He went out and did Cheap Trick, and some other people there for a while, but he's just kind of stayed close to the womb. He kind of had his own little world out there at Joe's Garage.

Mix: That's why I called him, and he said, "Yep. This is what I do."
Pinske: But if you want him to say anything about Frank, Gail's got him so scared, he won't--he's not going to give you a whole lot of useful stuff because he's going to have to bring her in, and if he brings her in, she'll want to control the whole article. Like she does with everything else she does. I don't know why she does that. It's stupid. It's kind of a sad thing, because in my opinion, the more publicity she--anything good that could be said at all about Frank, the more would help the archives and everything else. I don't know why she got that way, at all. I really don't. I honestly don't understand, even why she got so upset over that one little incident that we had, because there really wasn't much more to it than that. I wasn't directly involved with her on a daily basis. She was up in the house, and I was in studio. I'd lock up the studio and go home, and I'd come back and Frank and I would record. Outside of the fact that, let's face it, the studio took Frank pretty much away from the family, and so did all the touring. Which I imagine all the family members have probably have some regret for that, a little bit. Because he was doing what he wanted to do all the time. But if you built a $3.5 million studio, you'd probably use it, too. And I was just one of the engineers he had to have in order to keep it cranking all day long. And on the road, of course, she wasn't with us, ever. She never went on the road with us. So I don't know why she still wants to go back--like Jimmy Carl Black, I talked to him, and I talked to Denny Walley, the guys that did The Grandmothers? They were going to go out doing some tours, and they said that Gail had pretty much stopped them from performing and using that name, The Grandmothers. I don't know how she could even stop them from using that name, 'cause it's not the same name as the Mothers of Invention. Or why would you bother? Because anything that would help keep the legend alive, in my opinion, would be a good thing, wouldn't you think?
Mix: I think so. There's actually a band coming to San Francisco next month called "Project Object," which has, I think Ike Willis is in it, and Don Preston and some other--not that they're in it full time, but I think they're appearing with this Project Object. As you know, there's a bunch of bands out there that do Zappa material.
Pinske: Sure. I talked to Ike a couple times since then. None of us were able to find Ray White. I have a little folder I keep called the "Ex-Zappa People," and I talked to Craig, I got the note from Craig "Twister" Steward out of the blue, too. But everybody's all doing different things, now.

Mix: Yeah. It's almost ten years.
Pinske: Yeah. It's a long time done.

Mix: You said earlier that by the time you left, Frank was getting ill. But I thought his cancer wasn't diagnosed until 1990.
Pinske: No, but he did go through a case of shingles before that. I don't know if you knew about that.

Mix: I didn't, no.
Pinske: He had a case of shingles, and he got kind of ill and slowed down a little bit there. But he was going still full strong when I went and did Men at Work.

Mix: I know he smoked all his adult life. Did that show up in the equipment, or did you just have powerful fil--
Pinske: That was kind of a pain. We had a special filter system in the control room. At the back of the control room, there was three filter systems in the air conditioning that we pretty much left running all the time. And he sat back--he had a grey chair in the back, and he smoked continuously. Two-and-a-half, three packs a day. Pretty much all the time, cigarettes and coffee. He's pretty much anti drugs, but--

Mix: Made an exception for nicotine.
Pinske: [Laughs.] For nicotine and caffeine. Caffeine kept us going.

Mix: And I guess back then in the early '80s it wasn't a problem traveling on commercial flights, because you could still smoke on that. That became an issue later on.
Pinske: Yeah, I guess it did. We did most of our traveling in the States on commercial, and then we'd do Lear jets overseas, or private jets sometimes overseas. On one of our tours we did that. I'm curious, though, if you got a hold of Marque. Was he just not receptive?
Mix: No, he was cheerful, but he said he'd have to talk to Gail. So I sent him an email saying, "Here's what I want to talk about." But he hasn't got back to me.
Pinske: Maybe I shouldn't have given you that number. That might be a bad thing.

Mix: I'm sure Joe's Garage is in the book.
Pinske: I don't mean that. I just mean, I should probably call Marque and talk to him about it. And see if I could loosen that up a little bit. I know that it's strange that--because he stayed on board. See, I was there, and then they brought him in. I was probably with Frank a year and a half before we brought Marque aboard. But he's now set the record, I think, for the longest employee, I think, of the whole family.

Mix: Did you ever have a situation where somebody from the crew was sent home because they weren't cutting it on tour, because their personal habits weren't in line with the corporate policy?
Pinske: Well, yeah. Ike Willis was sent home. Yeah.

Mix: Right at the beginning of a tour, right?
Pinske: That was when we were in Berkeley, I think. He wasn't even allowed to perform that night, as a matter of fact. Frank was real upset about that. He didn't like anybody doing anything, and if he caught 'em, they were gone. Pretty much immediately. But then, obviously, he was able to bury the hatchet with Ike, because he worked with Ike later. Ike went back out on an '88 tour, didn't he?

Mix: Yeah, I think he did.
Pinske: There was a time when he was never going to let Ike Willis in, or Roy Estrada. There was all those kind of times, but then again, when they got back together, they were glad as hell to see each other. So that's just nothing more than old guys working together, I guess. Pretty much what that's all about. But I saw--there wasn't too much happening as far as the crew's concerned. If somebody in the crew got fired, they're just pretty much, "window or aisle." He would just make the jokes on stage. And that would happen that way. Fortunately, I was able to take another gig, myself. But most of the people, some of the people didn't have any choice in the matter. And there was kind of a sad situation, with Thomas Nordegg, for instance. He was probably the most loyal person to Frank of all time, and Gail made Frank fire him. That was probably the saddest day of Frank's life.

Mix: For what infraction?
Pinske: She couldn't find some receipts on some grocery bills, and she was sure that he had ripped him off or something. And I remember him being very upset about it. I remember him asking, "Are you happy now?" or something. It really upset Frank. He was probably the most trustworthy person you'd ever known in your life. Anybody who knew him, if you knew him like I knew him, or anybody else, he would never do anything like that. 'Course, three months later, they found all the receipts anyway. But there was never an apology or anything.

Mix: What was his position?
Pinske: He buried Frank's parrot. He was the liaison. He did everything for Frank. For eight or ten years, he was the one who unpacked his clothes, and took care of the family, and went out and got pizzas, and kept us all going. One of the most trustworthy people you'd ever know.

Pinski Interview Day One, Two, Three

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The Wire, a virtual press conference offering postings of the latest gear and music news, direct from the source. Visit the The Wire for the latest press postings.