Work at Bearsville Sound became scarcer and scarcer. I got a job running the projectors at the Tinker Street Cinema, Woodstock’s little movie palace, housed in an old church. Having been a theater projectionist back in high school, I didn’t need much training to run the big old 35 millimeter arc-lamp machines. The boss there was a film buff, and when he didn’t like the new movies on offer, we ran Fellini, Chaplin, Welles, Tracy & Hepburn, Capra, Hitchcock and so on and so on. Like going to film school! I also painted posters for the theater.
Across the river, in Rhinebeck, a real revival theater called Upstate Films opened, a well-funded and scholarly venue. This place was not like film school. It was film school. I started painting posters for them and helped out with some technical stuff. I became friends with Steve Lieber, who managed Upstate Films.
One night, over dinner with Steve, I once again started in on what had become a rather tedious running rant about being broke, and the good old days when I was making records, and what happened to my life anyway. Bored by this and hoping to shut me up, Steve shoved a copy of the Sunday New York Times at me and said “Hey brain dead! Why don’t you check out the classifieds—— maybe there’s something in there for you.”
“Huh. That’s how I got that studio job in New York 4 years ago. This agency ran a classified ad in the Times, and the lady got me a job at a real studio."
“Who was that?”
“Alayne Spertell. Why she pushed me for that job I’ll never know.”
“Maybe she’s still running the ad.”
“Naa. There’s a crowd of people who want to be engineers now. The business has changed.”
And there in the classifieds section was Alayne’s ad: RECORDING ENGINEERS WANTED. And her phone number.
The next morning: "Warren! I was hoping you would call." I was stunned that she even remembered me—— after 3 years of exile.