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Marek "Mick" Kluczynski Print E-mail
Sunday, 22 February 2009

Marek "Mick" KluczynskiIt's with much sadness that we bring you the news that Marek (better known as Mick) Kluczynski passed away on Friday, February 6th 2009, after a short illness. He was 59. Mick was a key member of the Pink Floyd touring crew from 1972 and highly valued by the band. After many years as the production director of The BRIT Awards, Mick was looking forward to retiring after this year's BRITs.

Born in Aberdeen, Scotland on March 30th, 1949, Mick had worked with a number of Scottish bands since 1965, one of whom received an offer to record in London in 1971 as Cliff Bennett's backing band. Kluczynski accompanied them but the whole deal soon fell to pieces. One of the band members, Chris Adamson, survived by working as a Pink Floyd roadie and arranged for Kluczynski to also join their small team as part of the "Quad Squad".

The live rehearsals for Dark Side of the Moon, the Floyd's new concept piece, were initially held in January 1972 at the now-defunct Rainbow Theatre in London, and they were notable for both the first use of their new sound and light systems, and the introduction of Mick as a new team member.

"There was no formal crew, just four of us loosely employed to handle all aspects of the sound and rigging," he told interviewer Mark Cunningham in 1997, for Sound on Stage magazine. "My first job was to empty the tour manager's garage, which was full of all the old WEM PA columns and return them to Charlie Watkins, because we had just taken delivery of the latest generation of PA. The 2 by 15-inch bins had a Vitavox horn on the top and a JBL 075 bullet super tweeter -- I used to carry these things on my back up into balconies!

Mick Kluczynski - Omni, 1977
Mick Kluczynski, backstage
at the Omni, 1977

"When we played the first Earls Court show, we used our maximum number of Kelsey and Martin bins and horns. The bins were three high, with 13 at each side of the stage, and in the centre piece where there were bins missing was a column of JBL horns. On top of those, we had a row of double Vitavox horns, on the back of which were throats that we had made up, which took two ElectroVoice 1829 drivers in the same throat. ElectroVoice claimed it wouldn't work, but we got up to four in one throat. One quad section would drive two horns in one phase direction, and another quad section would drive another two in the opposite phase direction. But EV wouldn't believe it until they saw 15,000 people walk out of Earls Court at the end of the night dazed and speechless."

He recalled that his first show as a crew member, the opening night of this tour at the Brighton Dome, ended in well-documented disaster. He says, "In those days, we didn't understand how to separate power sufficiently between sound and lights. That was the only show that we had to cancel and reorganize, because we were all sharing the same power source. The Leslies on stage sounded like a cage full of monkeys, because they were sharing a common earth. It was the very first show that any band had done with a lighting rig that was powerful enough to make a difference. So we had this wonderful situation where the fans were actually inside the auditorium, and we had Bill Kelsey and Dave Martin at either side of the stage screaming at each other in front of the crowd, having an argument."

One of his favourite memories of touring with Pink Floyd in the 1970s came in Phoenix, when Roger Waters said it was impossible to drink a pint of whisky - an irresistible challenge. "A daft thing to tell a Scotsman, of course, and David Gilmour backed me up", Mick revealed to TPi Magazine in 2004.

Mick Kluczynski - TPi tribute (click to launch PDF)Later years saw Mick found his own company, MJK Productions, where he was Event Producer and Production Manager, and in 2005, he won the TPi Lifetime Contribution Award.

Roger Waters offered his own personal tribute: "I hadn't seen Mick Kluczynski for many years, but I remember him very well. He was his own man in the best possible way; he had that very dry Scots wit that brightens our days and as I recall could dead lift a thousand pounds.

"None of the band of Floydian brothers, musos, roadies, whatever, from those early days, will ever forget the 28 fried eggs. I send my heartfelt condolences to his family and close friends and offer my deep respect to the man."

Our friends over at Total Production International have paid their own, heartfelt tribute to Mick, and they wanted to share it exclusively with the Brain Damage readership. Click on the thumbnail to the right for the PDF file (which requires Adobe Acrobat to read it), which gives much detail on his life, and even reveals the nature of the 28 fried eggs that Roger refers to in his tribute.

 
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