|MEET BOB COHEN
Skeletons In The Closet
Bob was born a bohemian in spirit, a pragmatic and innovative inventor by nature. Kind of a cross between Woody Allen and Benjamin Franklin.
Here is one dude who was in precisely
the right place at exactly the right time --
San Francisco during them Swingin' Psychedelic Sixties.
He simply turned weak p.a. systems into mighty Sound Reinforcement, and became a Founding Father of the Flower Children in the process.
That's why you will find him listed today in Forbes and in the Haight-Ashbury Hall of Fame.
Flowers In The Hair
He created the first High Noise Environment, building the sound system at Bill Grahm's Filmore Autotorim. Then Bob join forces with Chet Helms to create The Family Dog, producing dance concerts at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco.
He built sound systems and psychedelic light machines for concerts and Love-Ins. He engineered live broadcasts and designed mixing consoles for America's original Underground FM stations.
Basically, you'd have to say Bob personally rewired the circuits of the Music Revolution.
These adventures are documented in Summer of Love, a book by San Francisco Chronicle reporter Joel Selvin, and in a motion picture screenplay by Bob's old soundman and lightshow sidekick.
Thunder In The Brain
Those were the days amplification dominated all music -- bigger amps and bigger speakers for bigger shows. That is when the communications problems began. And that is why Clear-Com was born....
...because the Musicians couldn't hear themselves sing. Worse than deaf musicians, the Stage Manager couldn't be heard by the sound or lighting crew. So Bob built some of the earliest stage monitors to help the performers, and tinkered with headphones for the crews.
In a loft workshop, in a clawfoot bathtub filled with photographic acid, Bob etched his first intercom circuit boards. He adapted big-muff broadcaster's headsets with a new kind of noise-cancelling microphone developed from experiments with The Grateful Dead.
Meat On The Bones
That's right -- you enjoy crystal-clear intercom communications with Clear-Com today because The Grateful Dead pushed their amps to "11" on the audio Richter Scale!
Because noise is so darned noisy, not only will you find Clear-Com the predominant system of choice in today's broadcast studios, concert halls and theatres, but Bob's boxes have infiltrated factories, plants, construction sites, shipyards, amusement parks, military installations, and on NASA'a launchpads -- everywhere noise pollution impacts on productivity.
Bob Cohen built all this himself.
In August, 1998, he sold it all.
And what about Bob, now that he is retired from the intercom business?
You can eMail Bob and ask about Hippie History. Communications Technologies. Or steam engines!
|Copyright © 1999 Lumiere Productions, Inc.|