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From the Golden Era of Golden Era

Discussion in 'Reconnecting with Old Friends' started by Steve Walker, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. Steve Walker

    Steve Walker New Member

    I have been reading posts on this forum for a few years now as an unregistered visitor. Today, I feel like joining in. My purpose is to reconnect with people that shared the experience of the formation of Golden Era Studios. I see some posts, some several years ago, from people who remember me, and a few who are trying to remember me. Occasionally I see a post from someone who was there, but the aliases have kept their identities from me. I cared very much for many of the people of those years. Although I remember a few, I have forgotten many of your names and the chronology of events is sometimes hazy from 27 years later. I offer my brief story here to open the channel for connections .
    I arrived at the date packing plant, La Quinta, in November 1977, fresh from Clearwater, where I spent the previous two years at several posts (Qual Aide, HSDC Sup, and RPF). I had filled out a questionnaire inquiring if any staff had film-related skills or experience. I had been a musician and sound man for several years before my entry into Scn. I was whisked out of the RPF and onto a plane in single day.
    I went to work with Dan Auerbach on the bench, tweaking electronics and building the studio that was to be used to record and mix the soundtracks for the films that LRH was then writing the scripts to. I met LRH for the first time at the door of the packing plant studio as we prepared to give him a tour of the newly completed mix room.
    By the time we made the move to Gilman Hot Springs, I was involved in all aspects of audio for the films.
    Late in 1978, I was appointed RAV, Ron’s personal audio tech. I lived and worked with him as a member of the HU (Household Unit) at the secret Hemet apartment complex for over a year. I was one of 4 to 6 people to watch as LRH drove off with Annie and Pat Broeker in his customized Transvan (in which I had installed the stereo). Many of my memories of the crew and events of that time are vivid. During that time, I assisted Ron in mixing sound from the day’s shoot as well as dozens of his lecture tapes from the ‘50’s. (Later, after his departure, I was to mix over 150 of such lectures in the reservoir studio at Gold, and edit them alongside Paul Davis, from Durbin, S.A. If those edited mixes have been scrapped, it is a crime, as Paul and I did some amazing cleanup on those original recordings.)
    After LRH left the scene, I lived and worked at Gilman, where I assisted in the production of 11 of the original training films. (Does anyone still have the 1 ounce silver coin commemorating 10 films completed?) Some of my buddies were Bob Mithoff, Gary Lew, Wack (a kiwi and all around great guy! He had a brother we called Wick.), a guy named Randy, and Paul D. There were others. We spent months working in the reservoir, usually 16+ hours a day, mixing, copying, calibrating gear (and cleaning, for gods’ sake. We had white gloves by the Messengers every so often.)
    In 1980 I married the studio Purchaser, Lynne Lee. This was viewed by the messengers as a bad choice for my career. I’ll always remember the late evening meeting that I was called to with Shelly Barnett (soon to be Miscavige) at the pool, beseeching me not to marry Lynne, that a nice Messenger would be a better idea.
    During this time I had become a friend, and confidant, to David Mayo. I say confidant because we secretly shared our views on the insanity that was everywhere apparent there. I was a party to many conversations with others that, although we sought only to improve our conditions and make the movie productions go smoother, would be viewed by the Messengers as treasonous. I was increasingly under surveillance in 1981.
    When a slight disagreement arose between myself and LRH regarding a technical procedure (it was on the “Doll Movie”, I don’t remember which TR it was.), the trap was sprung. Basically, I was accused of thinking LRH was fallible, and RPFed. I spent about 6 weeks cleaning the grounds until I was finally Fitness Boarded in Feb, 1982. The process was personally overseen by Miscavige. I will never know if Ron actually wanted me gone; by then DM had complete control over the comm lines to and from him. My wife requested a fitness board and left with me on Valentine’s Day.
    We landed in another California city. I kept in touch with David Mayo and his organization in Montecito (AAC) for a couple of years. Somewhere there are some photos of a group of us escapees outside AAC, smiling and cutting up. I’d love to hear from anyone who was there.
    Lynne and I were together until 1996 and have three children. We are still good friends. I am remarried. I am still an audio guy. I have a thriving business providing live event sound and studio and live recording.
    Of course I have opinions about my experiences, about LRH, the Tech, many of the players, etc. I might even share them, if asked. I prefer to have a ‘big picture’ view of how all of this fits into the evolution of planet Earth. It’s not about me, but how I am in the world has been profoundly changed. I kept an appointment made long ago and am responsible for how I use the knowledge gained.
    If you were there, I welcome contact.
  2. AnonKat

    AnonKat Crusader

  3. Ogsonofgroo

    Ogsonofgroo Crusader

    A hearty :welcome: to you good Sir, nice you finally decided to land in this nick o' the woods Steve! :cheers:
    I am, and sure others are too, eagerly awaiting your (must be at least one or two ;) ) stories and take on the insanity you obviously wisely escaped!
    Very glad you are doing well in life and wish you and your family (families?) all the very best in the coming years!

    So nice to 'see' all these new 'faces' of late, there's a snowball, heading down a big hill to the rivers....

    :drama: & :booze: & :party: & moar :drama:

  4. Barbz

    Barbz Patron with Honors

    Did you know anything about the Great Hemet Flood back in the late 70s early 80s?

    Rumor has it that the levee was breached by security at Gold with a Bobcat to prevent Golden Era Studio from flooding.
  5. Steve Walker

    Steve Walker New Member

    levee breach

    Hi, Barbz. I did not witness it, nor did I hear from anyone who took part in it themselves, but I had it 3rd hand that an operation was underway. The year may have been 1979, I'm unsure. :unsure: I was mired in movie production and hardly ever stuck my head up enough to confirm such events. I do remember a lot of land under water, despite the levee breach conspiracy. Within feet of some of the production buildings on the south side of the highway.
  6. LongTimeGone

    LongTimeGone Silver Meritorious Patron

    Welcome Steve, it's nice to see you here.


    Were you involved with the Bill Keane movies?

    All the staff had plenty of money and they were so "professionally" done.

    Sorry but I cringe just thinking about them. :duh:

    AND of course we'd all like to hear your thoughts and stories on the Blubbard. :woohoo:

  7. skollie

    skollie Silver Meritorious Patron

    :welcome: Steve.
  8. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Gold Meritorious Patron

    I was not there and don't remember you but welcome to the board.
  9. Div6

    Div6 Crusader

    Welcome Steve! I for one would love to hear your stories a la "mixerman" from that time period. I am sure it was a challenge in VERY many ways. And also about LRH. It sounds like you had a vantage point there that could really illuminate the "post FBI raid" LRH. I understand he "strummed a guitar and played hillbilly tunes" from one description of him during this time. Was any of that ever committed to tape? I imagine Golden Era was all analog during that time...what was the "kit" like?

    And Maureen Bolstad says the out-take reel of the "Confessional TR's" film is utterly hilarious. That probably was after you left, but I'm still looking for a copy...:coolwink:

    Again, welcome to ESMB.
  10. Mystic

    Mystic Crusader

    Hi Steve. Welcome aboard!
  11. Disco

    Disco Patron

    +1 enquiring gearslutz... um, I mean recording enthusiasts want to know! :coolwink:

    I imagine if I were to convolve my own psychopathic ramblings with an impulse response from a Gold Nagra, I'd be well on my way to complete and total world domination! :happydance: :unsure: :runaway:
  12. nowout

    nowout Patron with Honors

    Hey Steve,

    Knew you well from the times you described & wondered what happened to you and Lynne all these years.

    Just saw this thread and have PMed you.
  13. Kookaburra

    Kookaburra Gold Meritorious Patron

    Welcome Steve!

    No, I don't know you, but I would love to hear about your time with LRH and what you thought of him.

    To me he seems such a dichotomy.
  14. CAll_66

    CAll_66 New Member

    We have not met but I remember Wack Allcock from the Freewinds where he was the chief engineer. I worked over a decade with him there. Really a great guy and he mentioned some stories about LRH and how he worked in Ron’s audio on the mixing boards etc. and that many circuit boards have his initials on it. After a big flap aboard the Freewinds he got demoted and almost RPF’d. Last I heard he is working as electronics technician on the Freewinds.
  15. Lurker5

    Lurker5 Gold Meritorious Patron

    Hello !

    Hello - and Welcome, Steve. :welcome: :wave:

    And you too, CAll_66 - and any other newbies that I maye missed. . .
  16. dianaclass8

    dianaclass8 Silver Meritorious Patron

    Welcome Steve, thanks for sharing your stories. Looking forward to reading you more :)

  17. CAll_66

    CAll_66 New Member

    Sad news, last I heard about Wak Allcock is that he died of cancer. Got the info from a SO member of the Freewinds.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  18. Petey C

    Petey C Silver Meritorious Patron

    Good to have you with us, Steve. If you're ready to tell more stories, we love stories here ... you're in good company.
  19. cakemaker

    cakemaker Patron Meritorious

    I've been trying to find out what happened or where the old Unimed folk ended up.
    I audited a few at the FH way back then.

  20. David Mayo

    David Mayo Patron with Honors

    Re: Golden ...

    Welcome and I'm glad our paths cross once again!