My ears started ringing when I was a freshman in college. I knew nothing of tinnitus. All I knew was that my ears were ringing and it was driving me crazy—especially my left one. The otolaryngologist—that’s fancy talk for the ear, nose and throat doctor—introduced me to what he called “my little friend who’d be with me for life”. Tinnitus. I freaked. He said I’d learn to live with it. And I have…along with the almost 70% hearing loss in my left ear.
It happens when you start playing drums at eleven years old. Oh, and it happens when you keep company with musical cohorts who amplify their sounds. That's me...hidden behind the cymbal above--backing up Louise M. who handily won our high school talent show when I was a sophomore. My band had just finished our number...Brother Louie, a Stories cover song and a couple of us just remained on stage to back up Louise. I kid you not, my hair was almost as big as the cymbal concealing it.
I don’t begrudge Jim Marshall for my hearing loss. I loved every minute of banging my Slingerland drums amidst loud and sloppy-ass electric guitar players and Hammond organ-Leslie speaker piping keyboard fumblers. We were making music and the guitar players were more often than not, playing their riffs through a Marshall amplifier. The idea of “waiting for tubes to warm up” is something that musicians today I suppose, are clueless about.
Marshall began as a drummer and eventually became a music store owner and then ultimately, the founder of Marshall Amplification. You’ll be indifferent to the news of his death I suppose—unless you played a guitar through one of his amps—or like me, sat behind a set of drums with bilateral Marshalls rattling your noggin. Oh, but maybe not…if you've enjoyed the guitar riffs from the likes of Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page or Jimi Hendrix. Jim Marshall, the Father of Loud, passed away on April 5th. He was eighty-eight.
I’ve never owned a Porsche. Most people who know me realize that if and when I delve into that level of capriciousness and impractical car ownership, it will manifest in the guise of some pre-1989 Mercedes SL type. But I have owned a half dozen Volkswagens. Hardly a Porsche consolation, it’s a laughable attempt to connect oneself to the legacy of Ferdinand Porsche, founder of the famed marque and also designer of the original Volkswagen.
But it was grandson of Ferdinand, son of Ferry…Ferdinand Alexander Porsche who accelerated the trajectory of Porsche to its commercial success today. And the vehicle in which he navigated the climb? “Butzi” Porsche was the father of the 911.
Grandson of Ferdinand and son of Ferry Porsche; Ferdinand Alexander was also called Home this week. Jesus moved John Delorean’s ass to the cheap seats once word was in the Butzi was en route. My bias says that by the time the third generation of the founder of something Great comes along, their contributions may be questionable. There have been exceptions and I’d say Ferdinand Alexander Porsche would be one. There’s no question that the 911 became the platform for Porsche greatness—the accelerator and magnifier of the Porsche brand in all ways…design aesthetics-performance and profitability. Butzi Porsche, the Father of the 911, passed away on April 5th. He was seventy-six.
Onward. In solitude sans the Florida holiday-ing LFG. Avec ringing ears.
Oh, and enjoy the Marshall amplifier scene from Spinal Tap. It’s one-louder.