Steve Jobs, unedited

Steve Jobs (1990)
Steve Jobs (1990)

WGBH Open Vault has posted 50 minutes of raw footage from a series called The Machine That Changed The World from 1990.

Thanks to Elizabeth Deane for the tip!

From WGBH News

With the loss of Steve Jobs, we have our own remembrance of him, in a superb WGBH interview from 1990. It’s from a series called The Machine That Changed The World. In it, Jobs talks about how that revolutionary device, the Macintosh personal computer, came to be and the particular gifts of the people who made it.

Steve Jobs: “I think the Macintosh was created by a group of people who felt that there wasn’t a strict division between science and art. Or in other words, that mathematics is really a liberal art if you look at it from a slightly different point of view. And why can’t we interject typography into computers. Why can’t we have computers talking to us in English language? And looking back, five years later, this seems like a trivial observation. But at the time it was cataclysmic in its consequences. And the battles that were fought to push this point of view out the door were very large…”

Jobs: “My observation is that the doers are the major thinkers. The people that really create the things that change this industry are both the ‘thinker-doer’ in one person. And if we really go back and we examine, did Leonardo [da Vinci] have a guy off to the side that was thinking five years out in the future what he would paint or the technology he would use to paint it? Of course not. Leonardo was the artist but he also mixed all his own paints. He also was a fairly good chemist. He knew about pigments, knew about human anatomy. And combining all of those skills together, the art and the science, the thinking and the doing, was the exceptional result.”

A. Beth DuVal Deare, 63, “Say Brother” producer

Beth Deare

The WGBH community mourns the loss of A. Beth DuVal Deare, the former producer of Say Brother (now Basic Black) and several award-winning documentaries, who died Mon, 2/21, in a fire at her home in Newton.

Beth, who was battling brain cancer at the time of her death, worked on Say Brother from 1978 to 1988, and won an Emmy Award for In the Matter of Levi Heart, a documentary about a Boston Police shooting  — one of 13 Emmys and a Peabody Award she earned during her tenure at WGBH).

“WGBH is saddened by this loss. Beth was a very talented producer and someone who helped connect WGBH with others in the community,” says VP for Communications and Government Relations Jeanne Hopkins.

My interview with Andrew Raeburn at Tanglewood

Tanglewood concerts were always an important part of music programming at WGBH.

In the summer of 1970, as Erich Leinsdorf was about to retire as Music Director of the Boston Symphony, he would conduct his final concert at Tanglewood. WGBH General Manager Hartford Gunn commissioned me to travel to Tanglewood, and record a variety of reminiscences about Leinsdorf for a commemorative album, to be presented by WGBH as a farewell gesture to Mr. Leinsdorf.

From the grounds keeper at Tanglewood to the Concert Master of the BSO, many were willing to share their thoughts about Erich Leinsdorf for this project. One of the most pleasant and informative participants was Andrew Raeburn, former program editor for the BSO, and a friend of Mr. Leinsdorf.

This week, I had the pleasure of a correspondence with Andrew who happily agreed to have this interview posted, and was kind enough to provide a photo of himself, with the maestro. The entire interview lasts five minutes.


Sadly, Andrew Raeburn passed away at the age of 77, only a few weeks after this interview was posted.

Money for Nothin’ at the CPB

Written by WGBH Vice President Lance Ozier. Performed 3/21/07 at the “Liroff Liftoff” farewell event by “Henry Becton and The Platform Agnostics”


Press play button, above, to watch video. Press CC for captions.


Money for Nothin’ at the CPB


To the tune of Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing”

Now look at David Liroff, that’s the way you do it!
He’s the guru of DTV.
That ain’t workin’, that’s the way you do it!
Now he’s up and movin’ on to CPB.

Now that ain’t workin, that’s the way you do it!
Lemme tell ya, that guy ain’t dumb!
Maybe get an office with a big wide window,
Or maybe an apartment in Washington.

Yeah, he’s the new Veep for System Development
And the Media Strategies.
He’s leavin’ Boston, but not to worry —
He’ll be our friend at CPB.

Our David Liroff, well, he never gets older.
Yeah, buddy, that’s his own hair.
Trademark suspenders over both his shoulders
And Diet Cokes stashed everywhere.

Yeah, he’s the new Veep for System Development
And the Media Strategies.
He’s got to do some audience research.
He’s gonna give us our DTV.

I shoulda learned to monitor waveforms,
I shoulda learned to work in policy,
Look at that Task Force, they’re meetin’ in Seattle,
Next month they’ll be meetin’ in Hawaii.
And he’s up there . . . What’s that?  You want a contract?
He’ll make it happen quick as 1-2-3.
That ain’t workin, that’s the way you do it!
Get your money for nothing at the CPB.

Yeah, he’s the new Veep for System Development
And the Media Strategies.
He’s got the power and a whole new outlook,
He’ll shake things up in old DC!

Now that ain’t workin, that’s the way you do it!
Just be the guru of DTV!
That ain’t workin, that’s the way you do it
Money for nothin’ at the CPB . . .
Money for nothin’ at the CPB . . .
Get your money for nothin’. . .
At the CPB . . .

Crew Training Tape – Transcript (1962)

This entry is part 7 of 12 in the series The Don Hallock Collection

From Don Hallock

This tape was shot in the temporary studio at the Boston Museum of Science. It was intended as an in-house training tool, primarily for new BU student interns. It puroprted to be a catalog of many of the most frequently perpetrated production errors portrayed in comic relief. Response at the April reunion suggested that it was at least moderately successful in the humor department.

Original sin: Title cards are off center.

Now the titles are centered, but the super is too weak so that Ginny Kassel’s credit is almost invisible….

….and so is MINE!

The dissolve to camera 2 is successful — but the floor manager is standing way off camera right. Poor Russel has to crane his neck to see his cue, and for a long moment we wonder what on earth he is looking at.

Russel begins, but with plenty of studio background noise (headset conversations and hand jewelry on pedestal rings). He is soon slowing down, speeding up and generally stumbling over his lines due to a deficit in the Teleprompter operator’s attention-span.

Crew training tape – part 1

And what’s this? Is Russel sporting a split lip? The rumor around the studio was a highly unlikely story about his having gotten into a bar room brawl. The other, more credible, explanation was that he had slipped in the snow and landed on his face.

At last, we’re in the groove. But no. There’s too much head-room, a serious light flare in the upper right corner and Russel has “gone soft” again.

Here’s the classic case of being in sharp focus — on the scenery.

Compounding the indignity of a slide badly mounted and scratched, a ghostly and enigmatic figure passess between the Cellomatic projector and the rear screen.

And….ooops! The boom operator was asleep at the wheel. Russel and George Spelvin (who was he really?) rise and nearly collide with the mic.

Crew training tape – part 2

The unkindest — and funniest — cut of all dosen’t show clearly on the tape. The sound track, however, betrays the stage manager scurrying to get out of the way as Russel and George move camera right to examine a priceless piece of sculpture. In his rush, stage manager, Steve Gilford, upsets it’s pedestal, sending the porcelain ducky crashing to the floor. As much of a hoot as this was, the spoof proved precognitive, as some years later, at the Museum of Fine Arts, a genuine, ancient, Egyptian marble statue was similarly atomized by poor Greg McDonald’s otherwise impeccable camera craftsmanship.

The inquisitorial voice of someone we think is Bill Lenz, impersonating “the director,” takes each crew member to task for their errors, and elicits explanations for, and solutions to, the mistakes.

A thoroughly humiliated Steve Gilford cops a guilty plea to every production crime from bad cueing to visible spike-marks and camera cables, going off headsets, misplacing furniture and destroying priceless objects of art. He promises better conduct in the take.

Teleprompter operator, Frank Brady, graciously accepts responsibility for rendering Russell’s script unreadable. Frank was always a sweet kid.

Crew training tape – part 3

Camera 1, Mark Stevens, catches hell for excessive headroom, jerky dollies (caused by yet another stage manager screw-up — Gilford standing on the camera cable), on-air lens-flips and shooting off the set as a result of running into the boom wheel while dollying back. More promises. (Catch the aluminum foil viewfinder shade.)

Crew training tape – part 4

The Cellomatic projectionist (who we can’t identify just now) acknowledges slides left over from other shows, a picture which probably fell on the floor and got stepped on and not stopping crew members from crossing behind the rear screen — on the air.

Crew training tape – part 5

Linda Hepler (later Linda Tucker), the switcher, comments on mis-takes (thought she was cutting in the dead-row), poor handling of the faders and not checking the title slides before the run-through.

(A touchingly youthful) Peter Hoving on camera 2 promises not to keystone the visuals, and rehearses an in-focus ZOOM.

Crew training tape – part 6

Our unnamed boom operator apologizes for locking down the boom and then relaxing on a stool. He asks for a monitor so that he can check his microphone height. And the “director” encourages better workmanship in the dress rehearsal.

Crew training tape – part 7

The closing credits bore the names of a few other friends who didn’t show up in the tape.

And finally, Russel reads from the gloomy reminiscence of Michelangelo Buonarroti. The famous renaissance artist sounds as if he may have been reflecting on a life spent in broadcasting studios. More likely, however, is that the master’s words simply put voice to Russel’s feelings about years of almost endless emotional stress, writing and performing the weekly MFA television program.

Crew training tape – part 8

The 1961 WGBH Fire

This entry is part 10 of 12 in the series The Don Hallock Collection

From Don Hallock

In the early morning hours of October 14, 1961, a raging fire at the 84 Massachusetts Avenue studios of WGBH completely destroyed the facility. WGBH FM and TV were located in the second and third floors of a three story roller former skating rink. The fire, which began in the studio-A area, quickly consumed the upper floors of the building, rendering it a total loss. These stills were excerpted from 16mm black and white news film footage shot by Boston area commercial television stations.

Here firemen enter the rear of the building from the fire escape near studio-A control and the projection room. In the background light from the fire inside can be seen through windows which had formerly been covered over when studio-A was created.

Cambridge firefighters worked through the pre-dawn hours in a vain attempt to limit the damage.

By morning the effort had had proved futile, and evolved into one of simply hosing down the charred remains.

The top of 84 Mass. had become an open shell. For the first time in the history of the station the studios were illuminated by natural light. Left: inside studio-B, showing what remained of the grid and the wall over the control room.

Inside studio_A looking toward Massachusetts Avenue. The roof had fallen in and the wall between the upstairs offices and the studio had collapsed making the Mass. Ave. windows visible from the studio floor. Norman Feather’s screening room and film library is upstairs to the right, and below it the studio control room. The FM studio is straight ahead.

Studio lights among the wreckage

Film storage racks in the screening room sagging from the intense heat.

The Baldwin concert grand piano which had been played by the likes of George Shearing and….

…carcasses of cameras 1 and 2, all in studio-A.

All through the day, station staff scavenged the building for any materials which might have been of use. Not much was.

Out on the street, a growing collection of fire and/or water damaged equipment included: A 5K studio light

Empty 1/4 inch audio tape reels from FM control, and a monitor, probably from Studio-A control.

FM engineer, Andy Ferguson, in full disaster gear adds to the salvage pile accumulating to the side of the building closest to the Charles river.

One of the studio clocks stands in mute testimony to the exact moment during the fire when the power went off — 4:40 am.

Books and files are brought out of the building.

A staff member examines the focus yoke from one of studio-B’s cameras, which were completely destroyed in the extraordinary heat generated in that smaller and more enclosed space (that’s a pedestal column lying to the left). In “B” the aluminum microphone boom was literally vaporized, and the control room windows melted into flowing rivulets of glass.

Bill “Woozy” Harris opens the camera equipment cabinet just outside studio-A control. He pulls out what’s left of a 75mm lens.

One of the cameras in studio-A, looks to the sky, while at the left, that vertical structure is the long tongue of the Fearless Panoram dolly.

Outside, in the early afternoon, a few last items are stripped from the building. The station’s call letters are removed from their place on the little balcony above the front door, and the name plaque is removed from the column to the left of the door (it is now on permanent display in the lobby of 125 Western Avenue).

Fred Barzyk lifts the big “W” into a waiting van, while Bob Moscone looks on.

Thoroughly exhausted and hollow-eyed, Dan Beach, Greg Harney and Bob Moscone look on as the last remnants of the station’s tenure at 84 Massachusetts Avenue are hauled away.

Beyond WGBH’s human resources, the only truly useful production asset to survive the fire is the partly completed Greyhound mobil unit. It will play a crucial role in the station’s future viability as a television producing organization.

A camera side-panel tacked to the door identifies WGBH’s interim location on the 4th floor of the Kendall Square Building.

The offices were secured within hours of the fire, and a phone switchboard, run as usual by inimitable Rose Buresh, had been installed by the next day.

The station’s young program manager, Bob Larsen, pores over schedules in an effort to keep the station on the air and on schedule.

And when time permitted, he’d pick up a mop and join those cleaning up the space. In the long run, WGBH missed only one day of programming.

Volunteers scrub down well used replacement office furniture.

Continuous damage control meetings take place around a long table in a back corner of the office space (that’s Greg Harney in the trench coat, second from right).

David Ives sorts through badly soaked files.

George Weiner, WGBH building maintenance custodian, now with no building to maintain, put in long hours doing the hard-core installation of new office facilities.

The station’s accountant sets up his facilities as rapidly as possible in order to keep financial operations running as smoothly as possible.

In the background, the big call letters from 84 Mass. Ave. are carefully stored as a gesture of everyone’s belief in the future.

Very soon, the shell of 84 Massachusetts Avenue is disassembled and trucked away leaving, ultimately, almost no trace of the station’s former location.

While, at high levels, wheelings and dealings between the station’s upper management and the Boston academic community result in the launching of big plans….

Trustee of the Lowell Institute Co-operative Broadcasting Council, Ralph Lowell and Hartford N. Gunn Jr., General Manager of WGBH, are interviewed by a local television reporter (probably for WBZ-TV).

Interview with Ralph Lowell

    (For those of you who’ve forgotten what 16mm double-perf sounded like, there’s a little sprocket-noise surprise in each of these clips.)

    Interviewer: Mr. Lowell, when do you expect to break ground for the new WGBH studios?

    Ralph Lowell: We’re hoping to break ground early this fall.

    Interviewer: And if the luck is with you, when do you expect to move in?

    RL: Within a year from the time that we break ground.

    Interviewer: Have you received all the money you need now to build these new studios?

    RL: As you know, the Ford Foundation offered to match a half a million dollars, and we’re within a hundred thirteen thousand dollars of our goal.

    Interviewer: And what will the building cost you when it’s through. What is the entire cost of this new structure going to be?

    RL: The building alone, itself, will approximate a million two-hundred-thousand dollars.

    Interviewer: Did any other university besides Harvard offer you space for channel two?

    RL: Oh yes, they were all of them most cooperative. Brandies and Northeastern offered us land. Boston University offered us part of one of their buildings.

    Interviewer: Well, thank you very much, sir.

    RL: Thank You.

    Interview with Hartford Gunn

    Interview with Hartford Gunn

    Interviewer: Mr. Gunn, what type of building will this be when it’s concluded?

    Hartford N. Gunn: We expect this to be a modern design, and to incorporate the best facilities that we know that are available for radio and television today.

    Interviewer: Is this going to be a multi-storied studio, or is it going to be all on one floor?

    HNG: No, its…the studio height will be about twenty to twenty-two feet….normal….height. And then the large studio will have an area which goes up to thirty feet, including a stage-house, so that scenery can be lifted off the studio floor and stored overhead.

    Interviewer: Would you say that this is going to compare favorably with any other educational channel in the United States when you’re through?

    HNG: I would think so. I would think that this might be one of the very best facilities of any educational station around the country, and probably the largest, for the moment anyway.

    Interviewer: How do you think it will compare with commercial TV stations?

    HNG: I think it will compare very favorably….larger than many of them and possibly not as large as some stations. But I think it will be an excellent facility.

    Interviewer: Are you planning to have any brand new television equipment put in that perhaps some of the stations in this area may not have?

    HNG: That’s a little hard to say. As you know, many of the stations in the area are putting in new equipment, even now. I would hope that ours would be certainly as new, and possibly there might be a few surprises. I would hope so.

    Interviewer: Right, well thank you very much, sir, and good luck to you.

    HNG: Thank you.

    And here, at 125 Western Avenue, are the first signs of WGBH’s new beginnings….

    Discovering Discovery (1956)

    From Don Hallock

    This 1956 film about the making of Mary Lela Grimes (Sherburne’s) kinescoped NET series on science for children was resurrected for the reunion. It is a show within a film, showcasing the 84 Massachusetts Avenue facility and many of our best remembered WGBH friends.

    A teleprompter mounted on the front of Frank Vento’s camera bears the film’s opening titles.

    And here is Bill Pierce announcing a dummy close for the program “Discovery,” followed by Bill Cavness narrating the opening of the film “Discovering Discovery.”

    “Discovery” director, Bob Larsen, and production assistant, Patty Hurley, are shown assembling the srcipt for the upcoming progam.

    And this is, of course, the day of the manual typewriter and the mimeograph machine.

    Mary Lela and an (as of this writing) unidentified film maker shoot and srceen nature footage for the program.

    Then, film editor, Jean Higgins, matches negative to work-print, using rewinds, a synchronizing block and the old hot-splicer.

    Graphic artist, Betty Sears, who learned the craft of producing visuals for television “on the job” with “Discovery,” generates semi-animated illustrations, which will ultimately be shot and manipulated “live” in the studio. In the days before computer graphics, these cumbersome, hand-made, cardboard devices used cutouts, sliding inserts and magnets to create the illusion of developmental movement.

    Titles, in that era, were laboriously hand printed on cards, and then either shot with a studio camera, or photographed and transformed into 35mm slides which could be transmitted through a “film chain” in the projection room. Here, station graphic artist, Ed Lovell, sets each line of the title, letter by letter, using metal type. The type is then mounted in the “hot press” and the text pressure-transferred to the card through a thermal film bearing the pigment.

    He then shoots the slide film with a still camera on an animation stand, and finally develops and mounts the slide for use in the projection room. The projectionist — in this case Bob Hall — places the slides in the slide projector which feeds into the same optical multiplexer as the 16 mm motion picture projector.

    Sets and larger visual displays were designed and built in the station’s scene shop (originally an office-sized room located between the reception room and the record library, and just across the hall from FM). Here, staging director, Peter Prodan, and assistant, Don Hallock, do the work.

    In the studio….

    ….Whitney Thompson impersonates a lighting director.

    On the left is, Bob Moscone, the real lighting director and official Prince of Darkness, with Bob Larsen, right, running a lighting check.

    Frank Vento (the station’s first full-time cameraman), is one of the program’s camera crew.

    In this clip Bill Cavness narrates a quick course in the shooting of a television program. Bob Larsen directs the show, while the voice of audio engineer, Bill Busiek, can be heard advising the boom operator to move in closer.

    Bob Larsen and switcher, Ted Steinke, execute the program.

    Bill Busiek mans the audio board, while an unidentified video engineer rides shading on the camera images.

    Mary Lela rehearses the close-ups. (Notice that 12″ lens, which would never have been used for an ECU.)

    Mary Lela takes a short break before air time.

    In this clip, Bill Cavness desrcibes the conclusion of dress rehearsal, Bob Larsen initiates the actual kinescoping and Bill Pierce announces the show’s opening.

    The End