BillyRadd Music

Sunday, December 30, 2012

TV Speaker/Amp Combo Cab

Anita and I found this old empty GE TV cabinet in a second-hand store in Utah for $25.  When I took it up to the cashier with some other items to purchase, she looked at me and said "$15".

I said, "But, the tag says $25".

"Well, "she said authoritatively smiling at me, "are you going to believe the tag or me?"

I plunked down a five and a ten and the deal was done.

I bought some particle board, some black paint, an Eminence 12 inch speaker, and a 250 watt Dayton PA module with amplifier/mixer and built this bad boy in about 6 hours.

Total cost was about $250, but it is one-of-a-kind.

It really screams!

Anita helped me build this Cyclops with one big mouth.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Buckminster Fuller Calling

mber, I got a copy of Bucky's Utopia or Oblivion: the prospects for humanity.  It was a d
I discovered Bucky Fuller while a film student in Los Angeles in 1970.  For a reason I can't remember, I got a copy of Bucky's Utopia or Oblivion: the prospects for humanity.  It was a difficult read with many long, spiraling sentences that frequently required rereading to uncover Bucky's comprehensive meaning, but worth every second to anyone wanting to delve into his provocative but practical theories.

Reading Bucky's book was life-changing for me.
For years after reading it, I constructed many geodesic models from plastic straw struts with cut eraser hubs, and many large functional glass terrariums.

About a  month ago, I was alerted by my daughter in Asheville, Anna, that there was a play about Bucky currently playing at the NC Stage Theater called R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe.  Watching that great play from our front-row seats re-inspired me to revisit Bucky and his extraordinary solutions for the success of all humanity.

I recently composed and recorded this song using a small part of the beginning of a phone call that R. Buckminster Fuller was attempting to make. I think it is ironic that he has to repeat his name since everyone on Spaceship Earth should know of him and his work as a futurist, poet, engineer, educator, design scientist, and inventor.

But, maybe this song (?) will catch on.

The chimes are played by Anita Gayle.  

For years after reading it, I constructed many geodesic models from plastic straw struts with cut eraser hubs, and many large functional glass terrariums. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Let Us All Unite!

Fascism is still alive in the world but cloaked in many clever disguises even in our own country. In yet another monumentally ingenious and timely music video, my young friend John Boswell cuts to the chase, reminding us we must never forget that totalitarianism is still the biggest threat to democracy we face as a species. Let us all unite against it.

I saw this video Let Us All Unite! posted on FB the other day and, to tell the truth, it touched me deeply.

The reason is that, being born in 1947, I was a post-war baby. My father, Bill Raddatz, Sr., served over two years overseas in China advising the Chinese Army in artillery fighting the Japanese, one of my uncles, Ed Jordan, died while in the Canadian Air Force on a leave flying home to Chicago from England where he was a crew member in British bombers having survived many missions to bomb Germany, while another uncle, Bill Jordan, was a cook on a ship in the Pacific that was involved in many island landings fighting against Japan. Another uncle, Harold Otterstrom, had his neck broken while in his hotel room by German spies who stole his briefcase containing US invasion plans for some island. As a result, he was not killed but spent the rest of his life until about 1965 in VA hospitals. Both my mother, Marge Raddatz, and my wife Anita's mother, Mary McGuffin, served during WW2 in munitions factories and Navy shipyards.  And, Anita's dad, Ed McGuffin, served in Burma for two years as a mechanic for the Flying Tigers behind the Japanese lines in the jungles of Burma and was shot in the leg by a sniper.

So, WW2 has a personal meaning for me even though it ended two years before I was born. The film, The Great Dictator was released in 1940, before the Pearl Harbor attack, but was a response by Charlie Chaplin, who wrote, directed and starred in the main role of a wanna-be dictator, to the tyranny of Hitler and the other totalitarian regimes of the Axis Powers already waging brutal warfare in Europe and Asia. Chaplin's film, and mainly its concluding scene that video artist John Boswell so skillfully updated with this contemporary treatment, was instrumental in educating the public of the day in the US and Europe of the dire threat to the freedom of the entire world posed by the ruthless dictatorships in Germany, Italy, and Japan.

John Boswell attended Gonzaga Prep High School in Spokane, Washington, where my youngest daughter was also enrolled. My main interaction with John was through car-pooling with John's parents when I occasionally brought him and his sister, Anna, home from school. I'm sure that John's parents, Debbie and David Boswell, are very proud of the man their son has become.

In his career as a video artist, musician and the producer of Symphony of Science, John's stated goal is mainly to bring scientific knowledge and philosophy to the public in a meaningful, enjoyable and novel way by combining science and music, two of his passions. Since 2009, he has produced 15 full-length videos which have been featured on NPR, Wired, Adult Swim, The Scientist, The Examiner, and many more outlets. His online videos have attracted over 25 million viewers resulting in the release of A Glorious Dawn on a special 7 inch 45 RPM vinyl disc (of which I am a proud owner) through Jack Whites record label, Third Man Records.

I suspect that John's motivation in promoting science, as in most of his video work, and standing against tyranny with Let Us All Unite! comes from his Catholic school experience and strong family background.  But, whatever the source of the subtextual conscience behind John's creativity, it is a very admirable attribute and, as a purveyor of public media making myself, I enthusiastically applaud all of his efforts to date. 

Although I don't believe that my work has ever risen to the level of cultural signifiicance as demonstrated by John, I realize that the meticulous work involved in creating his music and videos is an arduous personal task and recognize his individualized authorship.  But the results, especially in the case of Let Us All Unite!, carry a powerfully distilled and well-framed message for humanity that must not be forgotten.

I feel that John Boswell's music video, Let Us All Unite!, needs to be seen by as many people as possible, so please forward it to as many friends as you can.

The text of Let Us All Unite! can be found by clicking here.