Fred Vogler at the Los Angeles Bruce Jackson memorial event
by Mel Lambert | content-creators.com
During the moving memorial on April 9 for the late Bruce Jackson, some 100-plus family, friends and colleagues paid tribute to the popular and much-missed technologist and live-sound engineer, who died on January 29 when the private aircraft he was piloting crashed in Death Valley. Co-hosted at The Village Studios in West Los Angeles by Fred Vogler from Sonitus and John La Grou from Millennia, the celebration of Jackson’s life included extracts from the Australian Tribute held on February 25 at the Sidney Opera House, and a recorded message from Bruce Springsteen, who described his long-time friend as “a very warm and loving person.”
Vogler and La Grou recalled Jackson’s experience with Clair Bros. while mixing stage monitors for Elvis Presley in the Seventies, and also designing audio electronics for the firm. For a decade, Jackson toured as Bruce Springsteen’s band engineer, using Clair systems. An Australian business interest in Fairlight introduced Jackson to digital audio, leading to his co-founding Apogee Electronics, and then a joint venture with Clair that resulted in the Contour loudspeaker management system. Subsequently, Dolby Laboratories acquired the technology and formed Dolby Lake with Jackson as VP; in 2009, the brand was acquired by Lab.gruppen.
John La Grou
Jackson also toured regularly with Barbra Streisand, and served as her sound designer from 1993 to 2007, receiving an Emmy Award for the Barbra: The Concert television special. The engineer also worked on sound design for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, and served as audio director for the opening and closing ceremonies. He repeated that role in Doha, Qatar, during the 2006 Asian Games, and in Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Attendees at The Village included a broad cross-section of members of the local pro-audio community, including Michael McDonald and Mark Gander from JBL Professional; scoring mixer Bobby Hernandez; Richard McIlvery from USC; engineer/producer Ed Cherney; mixer/engineer David Reitzas; Village CEO Jeff Greenberg; and Jackson’s former wife, Betty Bennett with current husband Bob Clearmountain from Apogee Electronics.
For this writer, Bruce Jackson was an inspiration to our industry and a man capable of great patience and understanding. He will be sorely missed by friends and family alike.