We recently connected with Gregg Pearlman and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Gregg thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. Can you open up about a risk you’ve taken – what it was like taking that risk, why you took the risk and how it turned out?
I was given many shares of stock as I was growing up which was invested for my future. Once I turned 22 – I felt the best investment I could make would be in myself. So – my stock money was used towards my education to be a Record Producer. I enrolled into a Recording Engineer school in Los Angeles and moved to the world’s entertainment capitol. The school also taught Live Sound Reinforcement. Opportunities in the Live field grew through a relationship I had with my Live Instructor and before I knew it – I was running Monitors (stage sound) at the largest night club in LA – Wolf & Rissmiller’s Country Club. Wolf & Rissmiller were one of the most prominent concert promoters in Southern California. They would use our 1500 seater to rehearse and debut their tours. I ran stage sound for: Tammy Wynette, Joe Walsh, Hughes-Thrall Band, Lee Michaels, Jessie Colin Young, Iron Butterfly, The Dinosaurs (ex-Quicksilver, Jefferson Airplane, Kozmic Blues Band, Grateful Dead), Alvin Lee, Smokey Robinson & The Ventures.
My career spring boarded from there: going on tour with Maynard Ferguson, Paul Anka, Oingo Boingo, Air Supply. Working one offs mixing FOH for Stevie Wonder, Monitors for Fleetwood Mac’s “Seven Wonders” video, loaded in and set up U2’s ‘Rooftop Concert’ in downtown L.A., mixing the Main Stage at the ’87 L.A. Street Scene on the steps on City Hall w/UB40, Edgar Winter, Melanie & Production Directed “Hands Across America’ stage set up & sound mix with Kenny Rogers & Lee Greenwood on the side of Interstate 10 with half the stage in New Mexico and the other half in Texas.
Once back in Dallas – I have mixed: Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, The Monkees, Johnny Winter, Leon Russell, Jon Bon Jovi, Point Blank, Monte Montgomery, Savoy Brown, Frank Marino, Howard Jones, Thomas Dolby, George Lynch, Mike Patton, Adrian Belew, Al Di Meola, Soul Survivors, Rick Derringer, Maren Morris, Stratoblasters, Jeff Goldblum & Buddy Miles, Provided 2 track board tapes from live mix for official CD release; Los Lonely Boys, Greg Whitfield & Andy Timmons. Worked with: INXS, Steve Martin, Paul Simon, Edie Brickell, Chrissie Hynde & Kidd Rock.
Gregg, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I have loved music ever since I witnessed the greatest band ever assembled “The Beatles’ on Ed Sullivan (like everyone else from my generation). Since that night observing how good this music made me feel and how much fun this band was having performing it – I knew at 6 years of age I had to be in the entertainment business. I took piano lessons when i was 6 and 7, started playing guitar at 8. I was performing at ‘talent’ shows’ in grade school and was in a ‘Kombo’ during my pre-teens. I continued playing guitar growing up, but never felt talented enough to go professional. Wasn’t until I turned 22 that I realized my ears and my mouth was all the talent needed to succeed. Like everything in life – success about relationships. My relationship with a top Disc Jockey in Dallas during the 70s taught me I was just as knowledgeable and savvy as any other celebrity. My relationship with my teacher at sound Engineering School showed I had the talent to mix sound & I could hang with any of these guys.
Through all of my experiences – I have discovered the true key to life is doing what you love professionally and you will never WORK a day in your life. Life is too short not to be having fun. Success is about building relationships and relationships are about following through and building trust. I have always treated others the same as I would want to be treated by them.
Have you ever had to pivot?
Throughout my career in the Music Business and Performing Arts – I have maintained a side career in sales & management. This has provided another income source when opportunities dried up in Entertainment from time to time. I have managed Retail Jewelry Stores, Sales Manager for an Invitation Company, Diamond Wholesaler & opened my own CD Store beginning as a Retail outlet and becoming one of the first 25 CD Mail Order sites on the Internet during the early 90s.
I am a firm believer that my success derives from my ability to talk with people, figure out their needs & delivering those needs These skills are developed from working ‘Customer Service’ jobs.
Is there mission driving your creative journey?
I think the most important mission driving my creative journey is – you can never go back and do it again. You have to live with your actions. So – don’t ‘half ass’ your work. I record everything I mix live so I can listen my mix to see what I could have done to make it better.
Review your work and explore ways for improvement.
- Website: www.diamondsnd.com
Gregg Pearlman @Winspear Opera House running sound for The Dallas Opera 2014.