Rudy Van Gelder Yelled at Me Today

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Madlove, May 31, 2014.

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  1. Madlove

    Madlove Hare Hunter Field Thread Starter

    Location:
    Upstate NY
    On my way to the WFMU record show today in Manhattan, I did something I've been meaning to do for a while. I took a short detour before the George Washington Bridge and went to see Rudy Van Gelder's studio located at 445 Sylvan Avenue, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. To me, this recording studio is hallowed ground, considering all the beautiful music made there. I pulled in the driveway, and parked. Despite Rudy's cantankerous reputation, I took the shot, and rang the doorbell. The building's exterior looks really cool, mid-century modern, with a detached garage. It was 6pm, so I didn't think anyone would actually be there. A woman opened the door, wearing what appeared to be nurse clothes. She asked if I was there "for the car." I told her no, that I was just a fan, and that I'd love to say hello to Rudy, if he was around. She was very nice and said she'd go ask him. She returned in a few minutes and said that Rudy did not want to see anyone. She mentioned he's in a wheel chair. As I thanked her, I couldn't help but peer over her shoulder into the main recording room, with the coned wood ceiling. I said "wow" and she agreed, saying it was beautiful. Then, suddenly, over the intercom by the door, I hear a strong voice yelling "Catrina! Catrina! I don't want to see anyone!" Catrina says out loud "this is the guy I told you about..." Then voice yells "Close the door!" Catrina says sorry, I thanked her again then said into the intercom, "Hi Rudy, thank you for all the great work you did here." He apparently was listening to our conversation. In retrospect, it seems like it was the perfect Rudy Van Gelder moment.
     
  2. Hamhead

    Hamhead The Bear From Delaware

    At least you got to hear his voice and see the studio.
    I wanted to go there once just to stand in the middle of the studio and breathe the air for 10 seconds, shake his hand, and split, but I was advised not to do it by my friend Herb Holland who used to work for Prestige and went to many RVG sessions in the 60's. Herb told me "Rudy doesn't have a sense of humor and can be quite grouchy to outsiders" so I didn't. You wonder whats going to happen to the studio when RVG departs the earth.
     
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  3. Frippwire

    Frippwire Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Dearborn, MI USA
    Nice story. I'm glad you took the shot too.
     
    Madlove likes this.
  4. Archtop

    Archtop Soft Agitation: Dead Crimson Cow. Amon.

    Hallowed ground indeed. You took a shot, and while it didn't get repaid in full, you got a glimpse of history. So, good on yer.
     
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  5. robertawillisjr

    robertawillisjr Music Lover

    Location:
    Hampton, VA
    I would love to see a comprehensive documentary done before Mr. Van Gelder leaves us. We have many short documentaries and a few long interviews, but I can't find anything similar to the Stax documentary. If there are any, please post them. Thanks
     
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  6. SMcFarlane

    SMcFarlane Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montreal
    Great story. I confess I don't know who he is (something I'll remedy shortly). Seeing as you know the address, you should pop him a quick note to apologize for any possible intrusion perhaps catching him at a bad time, that you got a glimpse of the studio and thank him again for his contribution to the music industry. Your note might catch him on a better day. You never know!

    EDIT: thank you wikipedia, education begins.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2014
  7. richy2times

    richy2times Active Member

    Location:
    Daleville, VA
    I have many albums that were recorded there. Awesome experience. I really thought he has been deceased for a number of years. Glad his old cantankerous self is still with us!
     
    Madlove likes this.
  8. Thurenity

    Thurenity Listening to some tunes

    You should have said you were there for the car. ;)
     
  9. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    You should have yelled back at him about the RVG remasters. ;)

    Seriously, good story. Good for you for taking a shot. You weren't creepy. Just a respectful fan who wanted to show his respect.
     
    baconbadge, trd, Fender Relic and 7 others like this.
  10. Madlove

    Madlove Hare Hunter Field Thread Starter

    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Thanks for all the nice / funny replies guys. Thurenity, that's what I said when I told my wife about it!
     
    linclink and Thurenity like this.
  11. jpmosu

    jpmosu a.k.a. Mr. Jones

    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Writing a letter is always a nice way to say thanks for the music.
     
    2xUeL, Rooster_Ties and Madlove like this.
  12. Perfect!! Getting yelled at by Rudy Van Gelder is exactly what should happen when having a Rudy Van Gelder encounter.
    A dear old friend of mine who is a guitar player got to record with Rudy. He loved the guy, like yourself, & was thrilled & amused when he plugged in his single coil pickup Jazzmaster & it began to buzz...Rudy started yelling- you can't do it justice here, as my friend does a hilarious imitation of it, but, something like- "Oh, that's beautiful, you love that buzzing don't you? Yeah, you just love that buzzing!!!, etc, %*#@! etc. "- you get the idea... ;)
     
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  13. JakeLA

    JakeLA Forum Resident

    Location:
    Venice, CA
    Great idea, go bug a 90-year-old man unannounced.
     
    Bigbudukks, e.s., cwd and 11 others like this.
  14. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    Great idea. Go bash a fellow forum member who shared an attempted respectful encounter.
     
    Man at C&A, somnar, rob303 and 13 others like this.
  15. edenofflowers

    edenofflowers A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular!

    Location:
    UK
    Posts like this make me wish there was a 'Don't Like' button.
     
    C6H12O6, Man at C&A, somnar and 18 others like this.
  16. SMcFarlane

    SMcFarlane Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montreal
    and then too many dislikes and you have to go sit in the corner! Those should be the rules! Sorry couldn't resist. I'll shut up now.
     
    Tjazz, krock2009 and Madlove like this.
  17. vanhooserd

    vanhooserd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville,TN
    I hope the nurse was young & beautiful. I'm trying to convince my wife I need a young & beautiful nurse, but no luck so far.
     
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  18. monkboughtlunch

    monkboughtlunch Senior Member

    Location:
    Kansas City
    Is Rudy retired now or is he still engineering new recordings in his studio? I suppose he could still engineer recordings if he wanted to -- even if in a wheelchair. Seems like the last RVG remasters ended 5 years or so ago. That gave him some steady work for 8 or 9 years. While his Blue Note recordings are incredible, I was never a fan of his CD remasters in the late 90s and 2000s. Too much compression and narrowing of the stereo image.
     
  19. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    Thanks for sharing a great story.
     
    linclink and Madlove like this.
  20. ruben lopez

    ruben lopez Forum Resident

    Location:
    Barcelona Spain
    +1
     
  21. Wufnpoof

    Wufnpoof Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Actually, I was thinking much the same thing, but I wasn't going to say anything. Sorry guys, but if you respect the guy, respect his privacy.

    Although, it is a great story. And you got to see the studio.
     
    4_everyman, e.s., LuLu Reed and 8 others like this.
  22. Madlove

    Madlove Hare Hunter Field Thread Starter

    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Just showing up, unannounced, could be taken as totally annoying, I know. That's why I tried to be as friendly and un-pushy as possible. I just kept thinking I should take the trip to try and see the studio before it's turned into a Bank of America or something. I suppose it's possible that Rudy lives there...there's a 2nd floor, which had the lights on. My assumption was it was a place of business, so my ringing the bell might not be too terrible. I wouldn't ring his front door bell at home.
     
  23. Madlove

    Madlove Hare Hunter Field Thread Starter

    Location:
    Upstate NY
    She was pretty! And quite nice.
     
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  24. happy2behere

    happy2behere Forum Resident

    Location:
    NY NY
    Not cool to show up at anyone's house unannounced. Call ahead first.
     
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  25. Wufnpoof

    Wufnpoof Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    No harm done really, in any case - and who knows, maybe it actually made his day, and he just has a funny way of showing it. :thumbsup:
     
    Madlove likes this.
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