Bob Pridden

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Bob Pridden
Born 1946 (age 67–68)
Ickenham, London, England
Occupations Sound engineer
Years active 1967–present
Associated acts The Who

Bob Pridden (born 1946 in Ickenham, London) is an English sound engineer, best known for his long-standing position as principal sound engineer for the rock band The Who. He has also worked with a number of other rock musicians and with individual members of The Who on solo projects. [1]

Biography[edit]

Bob Pridden was born in 1946 in Ickenham, England, and married Lady Maria Noel, the daughter of the fifth Earl of Gainsborough. Pete Townshend of The Who is the godfather of Pridden's son Benedict.

Pridden grew up only a few miles from the west London neighbourhoods in which Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and John Entwistle lived. He became a roadie for The Who in December 1966, and was promoted to sound engineer in 1969. According to Pete Townshend in 2007, Pridden and the rest of the band "all converged just before the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. So we have worked together for 40 years."[2]

Career[edit]

Pridden is commonly credited for having created on-stage "wedge" monitors in the late '60s; previously, onstage performers had no way to hear themselves singing, so during the 1968 American tour he began placing a speaker cabinet on its side in front of the band. Pridden then requested a slanted speaker cabinet that sat on the floor and tilted upwards toward the performer. Since that time, onstage "wedge" monitors have become standard equipment at virtually every live performance of any scale worldwide.[3][4]

Pridden has worked both on stage and in the studio with many other of classic rock's major names, as well as with younger acts. He is credited on several of The Who's albums including Live at Leeds, and produced the 1973 Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert.[5] Pridden served as on stage sound engineer from The Who's 1969 tour onwards, and also for David Bowie and Paul McCartney at Live Aid in 1985.

Many of The Who's songs, especially songs from Who's Next and Quadrophenia, need to have pre-recorded tapes when performed live. Pridden once said, "I don't trust machines. Machines go wrong. My heart pounds before I press the button hoping for it to work." Daltrey also said, "Bob has had the tape recorder thrown at him many a time - especially when the thing'd break!."[6]

Pridden is unusual in the music business for having attained recognition for his technical rather than musical input. Although past sixty, he continues to tour with The Who, mixing many of their later live CD/DVD releases, and in 2006 he co-produced Roger Daltrey's vocals on The Who's album Endless Wire.[7][8]

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