Heartbreakers Soundman

It was the fall of 1978 and I had just finished working on the road in Europe for Iggy Pop. (This was the Iggy tour with the Sales brothers on bass and drums.) I was back at Max's doing house sound and thankful to be working when not on the road, a luxury not many engineers have. This night was part of a three nighter of farewell gigs for the Heartbreakers and I was at the helm. Walter brought along another sound engineer thinking I wasn't going to be there because I had been on the road and had not made a real commitment to the Heartbreakers because they weren't working very much at all.

In comes this person, who will remain nameless for the fact that I don't want to insult them, who I always thought of them as a very nice person as long as there wasn't a mixing desk in between us. He did the sound check and it was horrendous with Johnny and Walter cursing and complaining about everything. Remember, this was going to be recorded for the 'Live at Max's' album which didn't sound too great anyway but at least it was recorded well. Things finally went from push to shove and I won. As they say "the show must go on" but it doesn't have to sound like shit.

I mixed those two shows and two more the next night and all went well. At that point I cemented myself as the Heartbreaker's engineer from that night on. And to that other engineer; I'll always love and respect you as a person and an engineer even if you couldn't mix the Heartbreakers and you did beat me out for the Patti Smith job in Europe.

By the way, the drummer on these gigs was Ty Styx, his first and last, to be followed by Tony Machine and then the return of Jerry Nolan

Bobby Belfiore (retired soundman)

Johnny Thunders Cyber Lounge: www.thunders.ca
Managed by Chris Ridpath: chris@thunders.ca
Modified: May 7, 2001