After finding the desk on ebay and contacting Jack, the seller, I paid him a deposit and made my travel arrangements. I left London at 0900 hours local time from Paddington
The flight was delayed by several hours due to bad sky. However eventually I was on my way
I arrived at Daytona beach and it was sort of still the same day, a very long one... But I was pretty excited to see the desk and finally meet Jack, so he came and picked me up
On the way to his place there was a crazy storm boiling up, which it seems is quite normal for Florida. I thought it was meant to be really sunny and nice all the time....
There she is! While we were going through some rudimentory tests and things his house took a direct lightning hit and it blew his power out. I will never, ever forget that moment, storms are exciting. Luckily no damage was done and I went back to the hotel
The next day Jack [on left] enlisted the help of two strong friends and we spent the day getting the console into Rick's [far right] SUV. It fitted in with less than an inch to spare! Then we went to the pub and got very drunk. Jack is a very kind and special man who is a bit of a legend having worked as a producer in Nashville for years and that's the sort of person you want to spend the evening with in a local bar. I had walked on to the set of Cheers. The MCI itself had spent most of it's life in Nashville, and had been used on many great recordings. Chris Kimsey ( Rolling Stones engineer-producer) spilled a cup of coffee into it on one occasion. According to Jack [aka Stackatrack] "I was sleeping in the front office couch when he awoke me at 3 AM saying "Stack, I believe we got a bit of a problem"...when I got to the control room the meters were all pegged and the monitors were crying quite loudly....I powered it down and called the MCI service tech@ 3:30 AM...He got it up & running in a couple hours and for the next 30 years never let me forget waking him up"
Rick took the SUV back to his garage and parked it up for the night. He had driven it into the garage with people in the front with him and it only just fitted. When we came to get it out the car had risen up and now it was wedged inside his garage. We had to let air out of the tyres to get it out
I stayed at Rick's house which was cool because he had a drum kit and studio set up in his front room, which overlooked the pool where I had a night-swim in the rain. We left For Miami that same night at 4am. Rick is a very interesting person who has a theory about Atomic Physics and how to create world peace and harmony and free energy. This is what we discussed on our epic 5 hour road trip south to Miami. All to the soundtrack of his crazy-ass tropical music! At one point he started playing harmonica solos over the top of it
Finally we get to Miami and find this really remote little office in the giant sprawling airport. The company I chose to transport this delicate item are called Dangerous Goods Of America and usually transport very dangerous stuff like explosives and chemical warfares. I left it in their capable hands
I spent the rest of the week in LA visiting Richard and family and generally checking out that scene, and then I was on my way back home, via the Grand Canyon
Eventually the MCI arrived here in London after being held up in customs for a few weeks. When it arrived we got millions of polystyrene peanuts everywhere
I kept it upstairs for a few months while Alan went through it all and I made space downstairs in studio one. There was very little that needed doing to, just as Jack had said
And here it is in place, and it is amazing and well worth all that hard work getting it over here. Thanks to Jack and everyone I met on my trip I truly hope to see you all again one day