Deems the Author

North American Post Listing of Deems' articles written
for the North American Post
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Penny for your Thoughts March 30, 2017
Sonics March 16, 2017
Prime Real-Estate February 16, 2017
Every Act January 19, 2017

Penny For Your Thoughts

By Deems Tsutakawa / For The North American Post Thur, Mar 30, 2017

America has been called "the land of milk and honey" and it has also been said to have streets that are "paved with gold." As a matter of fact, we do have vast quantities of milk, milk products, and honey. The precious metal called gold is abundant in Fort Knox although I've never seen a street made of it. Growing up around here, the goal for many Americans was to become a millionaire and if you did that you were considered a successful individual. It seems to me that these days a million dollars just doesn't go as far as it used to. It would be easy to spend that amount on a house with virtually nothing left over.

Speaking of the magic number one million, I read a story about a guy in Kent, Washington that has over a million pennies which is actually valued at just over ten thousand dollars. Apparently the guy just loves pennies and that quantity must weigh literally thousands of pounds. They say that there is more than one cent worth of copper in each penny so his "fortune" could be worth more than the face value. One year, while on the road playing dance music in Lewiston, Idaho, I noticed that the parking meters on the downtown streets accepted pennies; this was a pleasant surprise as I had never seen that in Seattle.

My personal superstition is to carry a lucky penny with me whenever I leave the house. Most of us grew up with the advice to carry a dime or a quarter in case you needed to make an emergency phone call. Those days are obsolete, of course, as we all now have the convenient hand held pocket device that has a clock, calendar, calculator, internet search engine, camera, computer, entertainment center, and by the way, we can make emergency calls with free long distance which used to cost an arm and a leg, if you know what I mean.


By Deems Tsutakawa / For The North American Post Thur, Mar 16, 2017

Being an avid sports fan is a big part of our lives here and around the world. It is quite amazing that we are so compelled to cheer, wear team colors, attend games, and nervously watch the home team incessantly throughout the year. Seahawks fans are far and wide from Alaska to Montana and well beyond. We are also quite knowledgeable about the players, coaches, rules, strategy, and schedule. Someone from Tumwater could have a great conversation with a fan from Spokane about Russell Wilson even though they just met. This sense of comradery and community is my favorite part of the sports nation-the excitement we share when the home team wins.

Having the Seattle Supersonics leave town in 2008 was not really like losing your girlfriend or boyfriend. If a GF wants to go then so be it. The best thing to do is move on and find another. Not so easy to do with a professional sports team. The way we lost the Sonics is more like having someone steal your car. A sports team is like a vehicle for a city and county to get to a certain place. That place being the sense of community that we grow to love together rather than a bunch of uninterested strangers that happen to be in a similar locale.

When the Sonics won the world championship in 1979, the town was unified like we had never been before. It wasn't until the Seahawks won it all in the 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII that we had that feeling again. I believe we will get another NBA team someday and I think the Seattle Mariners will also win the World Series too. I just hope it will be in my lifetime.

Prime Real-Estate

By Deems Tsutakawa / For The North American Post Thur, Feb 16, 2017

The baby boomers of my generation had the great pleasure of growing up during what I call 'The Golden Age of Records and Radio.' Although the radio became very popular well before the 1950's, it wasn't until 1958 that The Recording Industry Association of America or RIAA actually established the parameters for a Certified Gold Record. During that era the music industry was promoting and selling vinyl record albums at an astonishing rate and together with massive radio support these two media companions influenced an entire generation. There is a good movie called 'All Things Must Pass' that came out in 2015. It is the true story of the rise and fall of the legendary Tower Records. I found the movie to be a 'sound track' so to speak of the baby boomer generation.

Throughout the decades of the 60's to the 90's radio stations, records albums, cassettes, and CDS were an integral part of our culture not only in the USA but worldwide. Every generation has its heroes and idols. The radio made it possible, even mandatory for the big stars like The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and Miles Davis to come into our homes, go on our car trips, and make us buy their records.

It is interesting to note that radio stations are a lot like combination of real estate and a mom and pop store. There was a time when radio and television stations were mostly locally owned and operated. Nowadays there are just a few large corporations that own over 90% of all radio stations coast to coast. It is a very tough industry though, as most young people these days do not listen to the radio anymore. Buying an FM frequency is somewhat akin to buying property in that you won't get your money back right away but hope the value goes up incrementally over the years.

Every Act

By Deems Tsutakawa / For The North American Post Thur, Jan 19, 2017

My old friend Rick Fisher is an excellent sound engineer and businessman. We met back in 1980 when he was the manager of the legendary recording studio, Kaye-Smith, which was located in downtown Seattle on 4th Avenue. Kaye-Smith Enterprises owned several radio stations, a national concert promotion division, as well as the music and film production company here in town. When I decided to put out my first full-length album I wanted to use the best facility in the state and Kaye-Smith was it. The list of national acts that recorded there includes The Steve Miller Band, The Temptations, Tower of Power, and Heart, to name a few.

Rick Fisher also did stints as Steve Miller's stage manager and as the concert production manager at The Gorge before starting his own company called RFI CD Mastering. CD mastering is the process wherein you take the final mix of a recording and prepare it for CD manufacturing. When the artist or record company leaves the mastering studio he or she will have in their hands a master CD to send to the manufacturing plant. Besides the music, there is other basic information on the master such as song order, song length in minutes and seconds, the amount of time between songs, and set up info. Over the last decade or so RFI has mastered thousands of albums of all genres including jazz, blues, pop, grunge, country, blue grass, and symphony, to name a few.

RFI also employs another great sound technician named Ed Brooks. Ed and Rick go way back and have a great deal of respect and knowledge in the field. The last time I saw Ed Brooks at the mastering facility he mentioned something that has become a reoccurring theme amongst the various artists that have hired them. He told me that every act that comes through our door all say the same thing, "If we could just make enough dough to be able to quit our day jobs that would be great." Personally, I feel them, and hearing this makes me feel thankful for my modest career.