• The Music In Me: Shameless Name-Dropping and a New Low for Hitler



    I know- Hitler is the worst human ever! I mean, he was so bad, he _______ (you fill in the blank). So what could I mean by “a new low?” I mean… how low could he go? Well, it seems he could go to twelve, maybe eleven cycles, but what would be the point in that? So today we discuss subsonics, as soon as we get there.

    If you know anyone from the old hippie days in the Bay Area, and you ask, they’ll uniformly tell you that the Summer of Love was in 1967. Some people have even trademarked or copy-written the date and set it in stone. In 1987 they celebrated the twentieth anniversary, etc. So everyone says the Summer of Love was in 1967, but the summer of love was in 1966. I know; I was there before Time magazine wrote a story about it in January, 1967, and by the summer, 300 people a day were moving into the Haight, which was when the hard drugs, the rip-offs, scuffles and other non-peaceful crimes overwhelmed the peaceful people who’d been there for the real deal, and most of them left, many for the hinterlands of northern California where they began following Mendel’s methods and developed the stronger weed we now enjoy. I remember a Stones concert in Oakland in the late Eighties when Mick went back to his dressing room for a breather and a costume change while Keith does the two songs he does every show. Mick introduced him and disappeared while Keith walked up to the mic and said, “Hello, Humboldt County!”

    Uproarious cheering ensued, as everyone knew what he meant. So now I see we are into the name-dropping portion of today’s missive. I’d been in San Francisco in 1966 for the real deal, and I was back in the Haight in June of 1967 and checking out the… uhhh… lifestyle shops for the hippies in the neighborhood and those who visited. I saw a guy in the Print Mint on Haight Street who looked like well-known folkie Dave Van Ronk, but this guy was a bit skinnier than the last time I’d seen him perform at one of the clubs in the Village. Maybe it was him, but, yeah that’s right: Van Ronk had always had a beard and this guy had a goatee, so maybe, maybe not, but I was shy back then and it wasn’t important enough to ask him.

    The next day I was in Los Angeles stopping at the Tropicana Motel, famous for its popularity with musicians. I was there to visit the folks in Spanky & Our Gang. Remember “Sunday Will Never Be The Same?” Yeah, that Spanky, so I knocked on her door and the guy who answered was the same guy I’d seen yesterday on Haight Street. He said they were out and would be back in a few hours. He was smiling and easy-going, so I told him that I’d been in the Haight yesterday and I thought I’d seen him there. He said he’d been there and he said that yes, he’d been in the Print Mint, too, and he was smiling at the coincidence. We both were, so I said that I thought he looked like… and he put his hand out to shake and interrupted me, saying, “Dave Van Ronk.” It was! So I asked, didn’t he used to have a beard, and he said he’d recently decided to shave it off, but as soon as he started shaving he remembered that he’d grown the beard in the first place because he had no chin.

    And now, except for one mention of someone horrible, we are out of the name-dropping game. Dave (he told me to call him Dave) invited me in and we chatted, during the course of which I mentioned that I’d heard that Spanky and Co. had been using one of Hitler’s old PA systems. He told me that was true, and when I looked puzzled, he said that Hitler had had these massive speaker systems built so he could address those tens of thousands of people in that spectacular outdoor theater he had Albert Speer design and build for him. These were the first such systems anywhere and Hitler had had more than one made, but Dave didn’t know anyone who knew how many of them were built. He’d been curious, and he’d asked, but no one knew. But that wasn’t the most interesting thing he told me.

    It seems that you-know-who’s scientists or engineers had told him that there were some interesting effects they could get from manipulating the sound that went out over these systems. Once the crowds were gathered, they put subsonics—very low frequencies—over the PA system, which, depending on how low they went, made the people anywhere from uncomfortable to ill at ease, to tense, to one source indicating that certain frequencies made people sick to their stomachs or crap their pants. The human ear can usually start to perceive sound at 25 Hz. But at 11 or 12 cycles, no one heard anything; nonetheless they were effective, and so without knowing why, everyone felt poorly until just before Hitler stepped up to the mic, and that’s when they’d shut off the low frequencies. Immediately the people began to feel healthy, enthusiastic, trusting and optimistic just as Hitler came into view, and so the crowd transferred it’s good will to Hitler, in effect giving him unconscious credit for making them feel good.

    I found this on the web, where there are other, similar items supporting the use of 432 cycles as opposed to 440 cycles, and one source credited this to Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, but I can’t verify it:

    Beethoven was a big fan of the 432Hz tone, He wrote pieces with the 432 Hz as a ground-tone. Because 432 Hz is the frequency that resonates the best with the human body. Spiritual people even believe it opens the chakras. But the biggest reason to use this frequency is that even when played very loud, it won’t cause hearing damage. The Stradivarius Violin is made to only play / tune on 432 Hz, if you tune it to 440 Hz it will crack.


    There are sites to explore this 440 HZ stuff, and here’s one now: LINK


    I liked the first one: LINK


    Be sure to follow the links and feel free to ignore the Illuminati stuff if you prefer.

    Reputedly, Goebbels liked to fool around with things in the 440 Hz range, but is the 11- or 12 Hz stuff true or is folk icon Dave Van Ronk a liar? I have a pal who started doing sound for punk bands, traveling with them in their vans, and now travels the world doing sound for the biggest names in rock, and when I told him about this, he already knew about it. It was open knowledge with sound guys, at least the ones that he knew. Then he told me that Hitler’s people also experimented with lighting at those rallies, using back-lighting for maybe the first time, to make Hitler appear heroic to those at the rallies. So I looked it up and yeah, I believe it’s true, and probably this group of readers at CA has more knowledge about this than most people.

    But doesn’t it make you wonder what someone might or could do today? Does anyone remember the furor caused by Vance Packard’s “The Hidden Persuaders?” back in the late 1950’s? Maybe that stuff isn’t used now, but…

    I didn’t think of it when I sat down to write this story, but now that I have: is it possible that someone running for office today does that before his or her speeches? If a candidate or advertiser knew they had this tool at their disposal, would they refuse to use it? Maybe some ad makes you feel bad when you see a first few images, or someone takes the stage and then the person or product is seen as the subsonics go away, and you start to feel great? Certainly it’s possible with personal appearances, but could a TV even reproduce sound so low? Look, there are enough conspiracies out there already, and no one needs another one, but at a time when morality has a price… what if? There, now you’ve got something else to think about.

    Now let’s forget the paranoia and have some fun with Spanky & Our Gang:





    The hidden persuaders: LINK











    Gilbert Klein has enough degrees and not enough stories. He’s been a radio talk show host, a nightclub owner, event producer, and has written two books: FAT CHANCE about the legendary KFAT radio, and FOOTBALL 101. He threatens to write one more. He spent 25 years in New York, 25 years in San Francisco, and is now purportedly retired in Baja.
















    Comments 5 Comments
    1. wgscott's Avatar
      wgscott -
      Finally: The puzzling 4/20 Hitler's Birthday and Weed connection explained in a straightforward way, albeit auto-Godwinded.
    1. esimms86's Avatar
      esimms86 -
      Quote Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
      Finally: The puzzling 4/20 Hitler's Birthday and Weed connection explained in a straightforward way, albeit auto-Godwinded.
      Bobby Hackett was a jazz cornet player perhaps best known for his work on Jackie Gleason albums. He also had a reputation as an incredibly nice guy who never had a bad word to say about anybody. This attribute was purposely put to the test when someone asked him to comment on Adolf Hitler. Hackett's response was, "He was the best in his field."

      A true story and no offense intended.
    1. NOMBEDES's Avatar
      NOMBEDES -
      Check out Reiensthal's film Triumph des Willens for a gander at the "Cathedral of Light" used as a backdrop at the Nuernberg rally. Very Pink Floyd.
    1. Gilbert Klein's Avatar
      Gilbert Klein -
      Quote Originally Posted by esimms86 View Post
      Bobby Hackett was a jazz cornet player perhaps best known for his work on Jackie Gleason albums. He also had a reputation as an incredibly nice guy who never had a bad word to say about anybody. This attribute was purposely put to the test when someone asked him to comment on Adolf Hitler. Hackett's response was, "He was the best in his field."

      A true story and no offense intended.

      Gilbert here. A couple of friends checked in. One said: Little known but true- Hitler was an accomplished whistler and was known to deliver entire Wagner themes. Then it was back to business...

      Another asked: would those be the original Heil speakers?
    1. mink70's Avatar
      mink70 -
      Maybe the least promising opening sentence to any article ever.