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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.”