Sometimes the internet sucks.
Dave Humrick (b. January 11, 1950) was a friend and mentor of mine. A brilliant man possessed of deep understanding and insight and a man who showed me the wonder that is the artistry and science of audio engineering (which inspired me to become an audio and mastering engineer) passed away on June 24, 2013 at the age of 63.
I am just now finding out about it after having Google’d his name.
I hadn’t seen Dave in nearly 20 years ever since I moved out of Fremont, California and went about the rest of my life. I remember the times I hung out with him at his home/recording studio, having long discussions with him about music, the industry and engineering – the latter having pumped him for as much information about that would, in turn, give me the chops to work the recording console.
Dave made audio engineering and music seem like fun. It was his passion, it was his life and it was his love (second only to his wife, Robin).
I remember once that I was at a crossroads and having a crisis of faith about being a musician. I wasn’t going anywhere with it and it wasn’t going any further so I told him that I was seriously thinking about packing it in and quitting the scene altogether for which he gave me, in return, a gentle but stern rebuke.
He told me that I couldn’t honestly do that, that it would drive me crazy 20 years down the road in my life as I wondered “what if”. He also told me that a lot of musicians, despite what you see on the TV, take years to develop their careers and that perseverance will eventually pay off. He also went on to make some great suggestions, such as getting in with as many bands as I could handle playing with and don’t be afraid to try something new.
It wasn’t so much what he said it was the way he said it – the way that correctly identified that this was a love and passion of mine that I shouldn’t give up for anything or anybody.
In short, he talked me out of making what would have been the biggest mistake of my life.
Because of Dave, I didn’t quit. I went on. I persevered and you know what? It did pay off.
I went on to become a good audio and mastering engineer with nine albums and four singles under my belt in recording, mixing and mastering.
I have production credit on one single and will have on an upcoming album.
I have my own record label.
I am, along with my songwriting partner Anthony Grace, an international recording artist having sold in the UK, Ireland, Norway and Sweden with more countries expected to follow. I did this entirely on my own terms with zero advertising and promotion mega budgets and without backing from a major label or its money.
To this end, I am in the enviable position of owning my own work.
And for all that I owe it to this one, great man who convinced me not to give up.
Dave Humrick was a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences – the Grammy people. He also got to work with some amazing artists and had wonderful (and often funny) stories to tell about them during his session work, including playing for me an interesting tape of Sly Stone (yes, that Sly Stone) jamming in the studio which Dave was on duty that night as the attendant recording engineer.
For all this I owe Dave a lot – perhaps everything.
I had hoped you would outlive us all, Dave. You were taken much too soon. I suppose now (being the staunch atheist you were) you finally have the answer to the question of if there being an afterlife.
It’s a shame you’re not around to tell us.
Thank you for all your time and your sharing of your knowledge with me. I hope that I continue to use it to great benefit.
Goodbye and may you Rest In Peace.