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Upon graduation from Kansas State College at Pittsburg, Jeff began a career in Avionics with King Radio of Olathe, Kansas. He joined an elitist technical staff testing, measuring and modifying King Radio’s Gold Crowne Distance Measuring Equipment (DME). Two years later transferring to the company’s Lawrence, Kansas, facility where he joined the Transponder Department.

In 1976 Jeff accepted another technical position with Mooney Aircraft of Kerrville, Texas, testing pre-flight installations of Avionics equipment. While in Kerrville, he learned of a Roger McGuinn – Gene Clark (two-fifths of the ‘60s band, The Byrds) concert being performed at Willie Nelson's Austin Opry House. After negotiating with Opry House management, Jeff was allowed to meet with McGuinn and Clark concerning his portfolio of lyrics. The moment before Gene Clark was to take the stage, stage crew discovered that the connector on his acoustic guitar had broken. Equipped with a soldering iron and electronic tools, Jeff repaired the connector as the crowd was stomping and clapping for the show to begin. Willie Nelson’s sound crew, witnessing this backstage event, offered Jeff a job. And a new career set forth.

While at The Opry House he began learning sound reinforcement from “Weird Harold” and lighting techniques from “Cosmic Carl”. The production experience with artists such as Wille Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jerry Jeff Walker, Muddy Waters, Bonnie Raitt and Tom Waits was both valuable and enjoyable.

In 1977 Jeff accepted an invitation from his pal, Roy Pahlman, to test the waters of Los Angeles’ music industry. He learned a great deal about audio technology from Roy and Wade Williams, then owner of the world’s largest remote recording facility. Wade had recorded Elvis Presley’s last tour and was recording audio for television specials on the Sunset-Gower Hollywood Sound Stage. By the following year, Jeff held the position of Electronic Maintenance Engineer in Capitol Records’ Engineering Department, directed and managed by the highly respected Richard Blinn.

While at Capitol, Richmond supervised the operation of Sub-Master Duplication Equipment. He played a significant role in the transition of 8-track duplication to cassette tape. Approximately 3 years later, Jeff Richmond was offered the position of Assistant Chief Engineer at the world-renowned recording studio, The Village Recorder in West Los Angeles. Under the mentorship of Chief Engineer, Alan Goulding and Studio Manager, Joel Fein, Jeff gained invaluable experience and knowledge of the recording studio environment. State-of-the-Art recording equipment, including the first “flying fader” mixing console was The Village’s reputation, and walls and walls of Gold Records recorded there by such artists as Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan & Supertramp just to name a few.

“It was an exciting and exhilarating era in my life. I realized a personal goal in publishing a poetry/art book while working at the Village and my ex-wife became Bob Hope’s personal secretary. My daughter on top of it all was attending pre-school just a few doors down from Leon Russell’s Paradise Studios. (chuckles) We had become emerged.”

The year 1982 also found Jeff involved with Jim Morrison’s sister and brother-in-law pursuing a film project about the late singer of the 60s rock group, The Doors. Jeff was the Director and Executive Editor for a pilot film for the project, Poéte Somnolant. While completing the pilot at UCLA’s Film School, Jeff applied for and duly accepted the position of Senior Electronics Technician.

“24 years later I look back on a fulfilling, challenging and enjoyable career in the university environment. When I first began work in the Music Department, there were no computers. They had not one cassette machine in any of the classrooms and video was something the marching band used. The Recording Studio was absolutely bare bones and embarrassing.”

After rebuilding the studio several times, it is now digital and producing extraordinary live recordings. And the classrooms are catching up to speed allowing professors to use and teach multi-media tools. His oldest friend and cohort, Tom Withey, said, “I’ve witnessed people asking Jeff what he does at UCLA. It’s amusing when he tries to sum it up."

"Stage managing for the enormous classes in the Auditorium and Theater. On-call troubleshooting pretty much 24/7. Supervising the Recording Studio. Recording concerts and recitals. In charge of the Dubbing Operation and Labs. Installing and designing installations in the studios, labs and classrooms. Researching and purchasing equipment. Establishing good vendors. Live sound and Video Production. Stuff like that.’ By the time he’s done, people’s eyes are pretty wide and there’s been several ‘WOW’s’ before he’s done.”

 


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