Friday, 22 February 2013

Jon Monday

Jon Monday always had an interest in Audio/Visual technology. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1950s and 1960s he had the opportunity to put those interests into practice. Starting in the 6th grade he was a member of the camera club and ran the film projectors for school. He served in the Army as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division, with a specialty in advanced electronics and was a licensed film projectionist. 

Later, while living in Berkeley with his future wife Anna, he started a psychedelic light show company, working at local concert venues, including the Fillmore, behind some of the great bands of the San Francisco era such as Big Brother and the Holding Company (with Janis Joplin), Country Joe and the Fish, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and the Steve Miller Blues Band. During that time he also invented a two-color strobe light (alternating red and blue light) that was a hit at the concerts and was sold at local head shops. In 1970 Jon and Anna moved to Venice, California and landed a job with guitarist John Fahey’s Takoma Records – at first as the company’s only employee, and as the company grew, became its General Manager. 

Takoma was known for its innovative artists and was an early leader of independent record labels. Jon’s efforts included variously producing and engineering, as well as art direction, promotion, sales and marketing of unique and highly acclaimed albums from such artists as George Winston, Leo Kottke, John Fahey, Canned Heat and Mike Bloomfield. He also designed, built, and ran Takoma Studios, a sixteen-track recording studio that was able to record concerts from the stage of McCabes Guitar Shop located two doors away. Artists using Takoma Studios included Laudon Wainwright III, Peter Rowan, Norman Blake, Michael Bloomfield, the Chambers Brothers, and Maria Muldaur.

In 1979 John Fahey sold Takoma to a joint venture between Chrysalis Records, music business attorney Bill Coben , and producer/manager Denny Bruce. Monday was brought into the new company to continue as its General Manager. During this time albums were released by The Fabulous Thunderbirds, T-Bone Burnett, beat-era poet Charles Bukowski, Doug Sahm, and Maria Muldaur. Eventually, Chrysalis sold Takoma and brought Monday into the main company as a utility player, reporting directly to the president, holding several positions including Director of Marketing, Sales Manager of the Video Division. Responsible for marketing programs & materials and coordinating all departments’ efforts to launch and promote new albums,  working with such artists as Blondie, Pat Benetar, Jethro Tull, Billy Idol, Huey Lewis, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Toni Basil.

1 comment: