"I was at a party listening to Brahms being played by the great Horowitz. Suddenly there was a click. The most horrible sound man ever invented, right in the middle of the music. Somebody rushed to change records. The mood was broken."
Now, if you're anything like us, your first thought is, "Holy freaking crap, that sounds like the worst party in the history of the world. If we were there our only great idea would have been to rifle through the medicine cabinet in search of high-level painkillers." And that's why we're not in the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Peter Carl Goldmark went on to create the LP (long-playing records).
You can't underestimate how it changed the way music itself was created. No longer limited to disjointed bundles of 78s, artists could create unified artistic statements, without listeners jumping up every five minutes to change discs. The Beatles wouldn't have become THE BEATLES without the format to create Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. So what could go wrong?
We could point to the scourge of progressive rock, the only genre developed so DJs had time to leave the studio and get stoned. Yes's "Revealing Science of God," Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" and too many other tracks that last more than 15 minutes, thanks to pointless droning and endless solos, inspiring countless slurred, "No, no, you gotta hear this part coming right up!"
But the greatest indignity to Goldmark's "play lots of Brahm's uninterrupted" invention was occurring in the South Bronx, in the final years of his life. There turntable techniques like cutting and scratching were developed by a number of 70s New York DJs, notably DJ Kool Herc, Grand Wizard Theodore and Grandmaster Flash.
We can't confirm that the then 70-year-old Goldmark attended any of these parties, but you can only imagine how he would have reacted to the record scratch, the "most horrible sound man ever invented," being turned into a sound effect by guys in gold chains asking a basement full of dudes if they were ready to get the party started.