Friday, March 02, 2007

Transfigured Night

Many years ago, in the pre-digital age, I had a college radio show which I called Transfigured Night, because it ran from 10:30 P.M. to 1:00 A.M. with a midnight 15-minute break for news. After the news I would read a "bedtime story," usually something horrific and nightmarish.

There were no compact discs back then. We used vinyl almost exclusively with 8-track cartridges for public-service-announcements and what-not.

Yes, you're probably laughing now.

I was designated as a "classical" jock but since we were non-formatted I could spin anything, anything that I felt the need to put over the airwaves. I'd segue Webern with Anthony Braxton with the Buzzcocks with Dunstable all in a 20-minute span. Golden days, those.

Anyways, I was hanging around the radio station one day when Paul, the jock on board, had some minimal question about the phonograph cartridges we had, so we decided that we would call the company to express our concerns.

"Grado and company, how can I direct your call?" said the voice on the phone.

"I'd like to speak to the company director Mr. Grado, please," I said.

Grado Labs.

I expected a blow-off.

"I'm sorry," said the phone person. "Mr. Grado isn't in the office right now. He's on the factory floor. I'll page him for you."

In seconds I was speaking to Grado himself, who answered all of our questions about the phono cartridges we were using.

That's why I have Grado headphones and not something like the Bose things that get heavy advertising. I'm a Bose fan and I love their products (I've used their 301's) but now I have Martin-Logans and Grados.

It was a highlight to just make a phone call and speak to The Man Himself. Does this often happen?


Eli Blake said...

All I know about that (not having been in the market for speakers anytime in-- well, if I said you'd know how old and married-with-children I am) is that since I hear Bose advertised all the time in right-wing talk radio, I probably wouldn't buy it. Sort of an 'anti-sponsor' kind of thing (though not rising to the level of a formal boycott-- if I was really convinced it was clearly the superior product for the money I might still buy it.) But when my kids are old enough that they want all that electronic stuff for their birthday (we are coming up on that now, in the pre-teen years) if I have a choice between Bose and something else, I'm going to remember Limbaugh plugging Bose and choose the something else.

james said...

I've NEVER been able to talk to "the man" of any company. How cool.

Even cooler is that you can play whatever you want. That's sweet.