BD's Tape-Recorded Spiel For
Brother Gene's Birthday Roast,
For Playback In Absentia
(Excerpted from various sources)
Hey, Brother Gene:
I'd been thinking 'bout the project for a long time now. But I suppose it was Pop giving me his 6-string Martin that finally spurred me on to action. The project I mean is transferring, digitally-encoding, and processing audio recordings from old reel-to-reel tapes to my computer. And in particular, I want to transfer old recordings of Mom and Pop singing together and of Pop performing alone. I believe the Mom 'n' Pop reels I have are all simple home-recordings made back in the mid-to-late Nineteen-Seventies.
I've still got my two old open-reel recorders. They've been squirreled away in closets for 'bout a decade, and they weren't being used all that much for some years before being relegated to closets in the first place. So I was being uncharacteristically optimistic in hoping that at least one of them might still function after being neglected for so long. And, as I recall, they weren't completely up-to-snuff way back when I last used them. Oy!
But, hey, I dug out the old Teac A-2340R 4-channel deck first, thinking that, between it and the old Sony TC-377, the Teac had the better chances of working. Well now, the Teac's capstan roller assembly is damn-near frozen, but I can force it in and out of contact with the tape and capstan by use of brute force. So I'm hoping that it will eventually loosen up with continued use and function as designed or, at least, not break from my manhandling till after I've transferred the bulk of my tapes. But, hey, I'm thinking this machine just might do the job.
It took me a lot longer than I care to admit to figure out how to connect up to my new computer. I mean, it's a regular A/V geek's computer, fer chrissake. There's regular RCA phono inputs for audio signals right on the front of the machine, along with both composite and S-Video inputs. But I couldn't find any docs, either on the machine or online, that detailed how to route signals from those jacks into the soundcard, fer chrissake. So, finally, I was forced to use a cheesy little adapter — 2 RCA phono male plugs to 1 stereo mini-plug — and then connect through a Line-In jack on the back of the machine. Oy, again!
For testing purposes, I used a reel of tape that had been left on the Teac lo these many years. I mean, if the machine was gonna eat a tape, I figured it could munch on the one it already had mounted on it. And besides, the tape was broken — or maybe cut, I don't know — with several minutes-worth of tape already on the take-up reel and the larger remainder of tape on the feed reel.
While that audiotape seemed to have been used for testing purposes before, with so many different random recordings of "Testing, 1, 2, 3, 4" and the like, there was one short performance on it that was still intact. And, Holy Crap, that bit was recorded 21 years ago! And, Holy Crap Again, that bit was written and recorded for you, Brother Gene! Imagine that.
Anyway, I used that short recording for my first test. It wasn't the cleanest recording to begin with. And I probably treated it a tad slipshod as I performed noise-reduction, equalization, limiting, compression, and other types of electronic torture on the newly-digital signal. But the content is clear enough, it sounds okay going straight into one's ears via headphones, and it suggests that I just might yet be able to safely transfer my Mom 'n' Pop tapes. So, Hotcha!
Because my test file was for you 21 years ago, I'm sending it to you again now as a blast-from-the-past. So there!
Hope life is good for you and yours, and that the new job is a much-welcome change for both your mind and spirit.
Be well, be happy ...and, oh yeah, be sure to give my love to Little Sister Debbie.
Love 'n' stuff, Brother "Can you hear me now?" Dave
Dear Web Surfer, whether you are Brother Gene or not, I'm including this link by which you may freely access and listen to an MP3 file of the aforementioned audiotape. Run-time for the audio clip is 4-minutes-'n'-42-seconds.
Don't wanna listen? Or, wanna read along while listening? Well, following is a transcript of the recording. (Or, perhaps, you might just wanna cut straight to the wacky and dyslexic computer-generated auto-transcription version. Your call.)
Hi-Ho, Brother Dave here.
Since I can't attend the party in celebration of Brother Gene Taylor's fortieth birthday, I'm sending this testimonial.
Just for the record, the invitation that Sister Debbie sent to Ruth and me said that this was to be a, quote, "Roast Gene Taylor Event," end quote. I mention this now because I don't want my words to be misconstrued should Debbie have decided to change the party's theme at the last moment, or just in case she only sent the roast invitation to us as a practical joke.
Gene, you know I'd never say anything truly derogatory about you, ...at least not to your face.
But now that I think about it, the "fake roast" thing could be pretty funny.
Yeah, let's say that Sister Debbie sent out regular party invitations to most of the guests. But then she sent "roast" invitations to a select few.
Okay, so it's the night of the party, right? And Deb gets the "roast" people to present their testimonials first. And they don't suspect a thing.
So, Gene, they stand up and say all these terrible things about you — at your own birthday party, for chrissake!
Well, of course, you and the rest of the guests are shocked and thoroughly disgusted with them. And, maybe, even a fistfight breaks out.
Then years from now, after you've steadfastly refused to ever speak with any of those people who had insulted you on your birthday, Sister Debbie could let you in on the joke.
And she'd say, "Gotcha!"
And you'd say, "What? Really? Ah, you're just pullin' my...! You didn't, did ya? Why, you little....!"
And then you'd slap each other on the back and you'd laugh your asses off.
But, I digress....
To those of you gathered to honor Gene — or dishonor him, depending on which invitation YOU received — I want to say that I've considered him to be my closest and dearest friend for over seventeen years now.
Brother Gene has been like a... Well, yes, you guessed it, he's been like a brother to me. Not a twin brother, mind you. Gene's considerably older than me and I'm a lot more handsome.
But, then, I'm not a "people person," and Gene is. And I admire that about him.
He is quick to respond to others with understanding, sensitivity, and grace.
Let me just describe how Gene handled one particularly-awkward situation.
I don't remember if it was late afternoon or early evening, or, for that matter, whether it was late 1972 or early '73. Anyway, it was at a time when Ruth and I still could have been considered newlyweds.
We were living in Europe, in a cold-water flat, in an attic in a German gasthaus. Our front door, our only door, opened directly into the bedroom right beside the bed.
On this particular afternoon or evening, we were in the throes of making love when, suddenly, there was a knock at the door.
Coitus interruptus! It was Brother Gene and Sister Debbie!
"Just a... just a minute," we said.
Ruth and I were young Midwesterners, who had both been raised as Christian Fundamentalists — taught to shun indecent, immodest, and immoral behavior ...or, at least, to never get caught at it. And here, even though we were married, we knew we had been caught.
Gene and Deb had to have heard our thrashing around in bed, and then the screeching halt. Although I use the word "screeching" in a figurative sense here, it may have been a literal screech at the time, I don't recall.
And surely, they heard us jumping out of the bed, and throwing on our clothes, and straightening up the sheets.
We must have worked ourselves up to an almost-puritanical level of embarrassment by the time I finally unlocked the door and let them in.
Any other of our Army friends might have fumbled for an opening remark in the face of such an awkward situation, but not Brother Gene Taylor. Ever gracious and sensitive, the very first thing Gene did was ask if their arrival had inconvenienced us in any way. And I still remember his exact words. He said, and I quote, "Did we COME at the wrong time?" End quote.
And then he snickered, I think.
Hey, was that sensitivity, or what?
Well, Brother Gene, happy birthday! And happy anniversary to you and Deb, too!
And, although it's a few days late, I want to wish Little Debbie happy birthday, also. Now, if I were roasting you, Little Debbie, I'd talk about that time that you were.... [Note: The otherwise-revealing and damning testimony that could have been included here was self-censored by the narrator, by use of intentionally-unintelligible vocalizations. This sole use of obfuscation at this point in the spiel was intended to 1) avoid impugning Little Sister Debbie's character, and 2) leave open future options for monetary gain through garden-variety blackmail.]
Brother Dave, out.
Rather than just listen to the recording and transcribe it myself, I thought I'd try a free online voice-to-text service first, to see if that might be more convenient and efficient. While the experiment probably took more time and effort than it saved me, I find the results to be mildly entertaining, nonetheless. (Among its many distortions, though, it appears that the subject of same-sex marriage has been inadvertently introduced by way of online techno-mangling. And, Great God A'mighty, it's gay marriage with a man stereotypically-named Bruce, no less! Why, stuff like that is grounds for being burned at the stake here in Indiana. Oy!)
Following is the unedited text of the automated transcription:
I a year since i came to the party in celebration of brother gene taylor 's fortieth birthday soon and this testimonial just for the record the invitation that sister debbie santamaria and he said that this was to be a quote roast gene taylor and math " i mention this now because my words to be misconstrued should that be have decided to change the party 's team at the last moment and all are just same way she only sent the roast invitation to the practical welcome ... Genia know i'd never say anything truly derogatory about jeff at least not your face ... But now that i think about it to make roast and could be pretty funny jealously that does just that we send out regular party invitations to most of the guests but then she sat to a roast of nations to a select few has announced that neither party ) that gets the roast beef bowl to read their testimonials first and they don't suspect a thing ... So gene may stand up and say all these terrible about jim and jerome birthday party for christ's sake well of course you in the rest of the guests are shocked and thoroughly disgusted with them and maybe the best fight breaks out in years from now after you've steadfastly refuse to ever speak with any of those people who insult you on your birthday sister debbie could let you know on the joke and she say she ... You say why really i just call him a good one and you will and slap each other on the back you bless all but i digress ... To those of you gathered to honor jean nor dishonor and depending on which station you read to you i want to say that i considered to be the closest and dearest friend for over seventeen years now brother g. has been like out well yes you just said he's been like a brother to him and not a twin brother mind eugene is considerably older than me and i'm a lot more but i'm not a people person man's genius and i admired that about him he is quick to respond to others with understanding and sensitivity and grace let me just describe how jean handled one particularly awkward situation ... I don't member it was late afternoon or early evening or for that matter whether this late nineteenth and june or early seventy three anyway was a time when bruce and i still could have been considered newlyweds we were living in your up to slap in the bank and the germans just house our hot are only door opens directly into the bedroom right beside the bed on this particular afternoon or evening we were in the throes of making love once and only there was a knock at the door to why ... This was brother gene ss turned out they just just what you said bruce and i were young midwesterners who would buy them raises questions plus the ... Show immodest and moral behavior or at least never get caught at it and cheer even though we were married and we can call you get back to a heard a crashing sound and bad than the screeching call although i use the words screeching to a figure that since here it may have been a liberal screech at the time i don't recall ... Bad surely they heard us jumping out of the bed and throwing on a close in straightening out the sheet must work ourselves up to an almost sure to make a level of embarrassment by the time i finally locked the door and let any other of our army friends not to fumble through an opening mark in the face of such an awkward situation but not rather gene taylor ever gracious sensitive to the very first thing she did was ask if their arrival had inconvenienced us in any way but still remembers the back word he said ` ... We at the wrong time ... " yeah i snickered i think halo is that it's a good eight or why ... Well do you happy birthday and the universe and the eu and that the ... And although it's a few days later and i want to wish little debbie happy birthday all a file listing your little man he had talked about that time version of ... The on the trail of their days out
So it goes.
And so I go.
Be well, be happy.
Love 'n' sticky stuff, Brother Dave
PS: If you appreciate the Dada aspects of the automated transcription reprinted above, you might also care to see the way in which I've tortured the "Hermit Named Dave" limerick via an "automated language translation app," posted elsewhere on this site. (Sure, you can read that whole page, if you wanna. But if you're too impatient to wait for some sadistic bloodsport, all the limerick torturing begins just a little above halfway down the page.)