April 6, 2009 by

The Amazing and (Probably) True Story of the Graphic Equalizer of Incredible Sentimental Value


Categories: Things that Are Amazingly Awesome, Things that are too good to keep

In the summer of my sophomore year of college, I spent eight weeks traveling with a Music Ministries team from college. We were called “Frontline.”

Stop laughing; we were Christians in the ’80’s, alright? That name was cool back then. Also cool were our pastel outfits, Miami Vice white sport jackets and big hair. It wasn’t funny; it was cool. (What’s funny is that 22 years later, they are still using the name “Frontline.”)


I believe I’ve mentioned before that the eight weeks I spent on the road with those 15 other people was one of the most impacting seasons of my life, and I’ve formed lifelong friendships with those guys. Our sound guy from the tour–let’s call him “Ron”–has stayed in town, and in fact still works for the college. I see and talk with him every once in awhile.

So a couple of years ago, I acquired a complete sound system from a church in town that no longer needed it. We’ve used it for various local worship events, but haven’t needed it for awhile; so we’ve been selling off the components to fund some new projects. Yesterday, I was digging through what was left of the gear, and uncovered an old DOD 30-band graphic equalizer unit, which I had barely touched and had never used. When I picked it up and looked on the back, I found a label which read (in so many words), “Property of ‘Ron.'”

Ron? From college? This had been his EQ?

No. freaking. way.

I wondered how many times this EQ had changed hands over the years since Ron had it. And now, after however many years…it was in mine.

So I got online and emailed Ron. I told him how I had stumbled on his old EQ in my garage–just in case he was looking for it or wondered where it was.

Within a few minutes Ron had emailed back. He actually remembered buying that unit many years ago in Missouri, and selling it to a guy here in Tulsa (probably affiliated with the church that I got it from). And then he said something that floored me….

He said this unit probably went on tour with us.

No. freaking. way.

So…this EQ unit was (probably) among the gear we hauled on and off the bus every day for two months, in between wearing our Miami Vice coats?

And, 22 years later, unbeknownst to me, it has been sitting in my garage for over two years?

Needless to say…the DOD equalizer is no longer for sale.

Musician. Composer. Recovering perfectionist. Minister-in-transition. Lover of puns. Hijacker of rock song references. Questioner of the status quo. I'm not really a rebel. Just a sincere Christ-follower with a thirst for significance that gets me into trouble. My quest has taken me over the fence of institutional Christianity. Here are some of my random thoughts along the way. Read along, join in the conversation. Just be nice.

4 Responses to The Amazing and (Probably) True Story of the Graphic Equalizer of Incredible Sentimental Value

  1. Karenkool

    Hahahah–well maybe you’ll find that miami vice jacket at a yard sale one of these days. At least the Frontline team the following year got to wear black with pastel belts. Actually, I don’t remember what the guys wore. It was still the 80s though. That much I know. And we constantly blew the amp at just about every place we visited.

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