“Looking back on when I was a little nappy headed boy
Then my only worry was for Christmas, what would be my toy?”
–Stevie Wonder, “I Wish”
Recently I operated the PA setup for a Girl Scout event, using borrowed equipment. It was nice gear, but it made me remember when I used to do that sort of thing – initially for friends of mine having parties, then the people in my dorm (heh… “my neighbors listen to good music – whether they want to or not”) and eventually for college events such as dances and end-of-year dinners. I never really sought out to do it professionally, but there were many times that I missed it. Some nights I do basically the same on Facebook, queueing up a bunch of songs for myself and then sharing Youtube links for all of them as they come up on rotation as well as a little blurb about the song or a line or two of the lyrics. And doing this, even though it wasn’t my music at all, reminded me that I do enjoy the science of doing the work and the fun of bringing that joy to others when they like what they hear. So not long after we got the equipment in my garage and I set it up to make sure everything was working right and I had no troubles getting connections right, Stephanie joked that I should look for stuff to do it on my own. Well after a lot of chin scratching (the beard can be itchy) and reading of spec sheets, I think I figured it out. And for just over a thousand dollars I have what would come together to be, I think, a respectable PA system with decent speakers, an amp that could drive them to their limits, cables, and a mixing board – which actually would replace the one I have in the shack and that one would move on to PA/DJ work. The only thing I didn’t plan on is a way to mix music and queue things from one song to another with proper fading and whatnot (unlike when you tell Apple Music to just play and it waits until one song is completely over before playing the next one). But that’s a matter of software.. or a second phone to play music from. I put it all in a wish list in case anyone is feeling generous. Who am I kidding, it’s so I can look at it and talk myself out of buying it.