Larry Fast and Synergy

My friendship with Larry Fast developed within a few weeks of my first hearing his first album, Electronic Realizations For Rock Orchestra. To this day, I can remember exactly where I was when I first heard a cut from that album being played on the radio. It was as if someone had sucked all these sounds and ideas out of my brain, and already put them down on tape for me! I almost had to pull the car off the road, it was such a moving experience. But, fortunately, I was only a few blocks from home, so made it home safely and, as soon as the cut had finished playing, immediately ran into the house and called the radio station to get all the details. If I didn't run out to get the album that night, I probably got it the next day.

From the beginning, Larry knew that the gearheads would be interested in knowing exactly what equipment was used, and how, to produce the album. So he provided a contact address on the album, and invited fans to drop a line for a copy of a FAQ file he had printed up. I was all over that, and wrote him a letter about his music, and explaining that I worked for a little company that did some electronic music products. His reply indicated that he knew about Paia and already had some of the products, although they hadn't been used on that first album. Needless to say, I was thrilled, and made a rather big deal about this to John Simonton, telling him we should do what we could to befriend this guy, as he was destined to do great things in the electronic music arena. Upon John's first listening, he totally agreed with me. And so it began.

Larry's second album quickly followed, and once again another FAQ to satisfy the rabid fans. About this time I was starting to bug him for an interview, or a more indepth write-up about his studio and techniques. He proposed that he could write articles about each album, as he had been doing with his FAQs. I would supplement that with Q & A over the phone to address typical "fan" questions. He would then send us all the new mailing list signups he was getting from month to month from the album mentions. And we would then send off the latest issue of Polyphony containing the Synergy article to all his new fans. He got his fan club mailings taken care of with little effort, and Polyphony got a ton of new subscribers from his fan base. It was a win - win proposition for all. And, lucky me got to develop a friendship with Larry that has lasted to this day.

Over the years, Larry has introduced me to Peter Gabriel, Tony Levin, Jerry Marotta, all from the Peter Gabriel band, Roger Powell from Todd's Utopia and now with Apple Computer, Richard Factor who founded Eventide, Wendy Carlos, Max Mathews, the crowd at House Of Music studios in New Jersey, jazz pianist Deodato, Disney Imagineering sound designer Russ Brower, and probably many more I have forgotten. Several of those introductions led to magazine interviews, consulting work, and offers of employment, not to mention great friendships. All those ripples of great experiences through my life, thanks to Larry!

Be sure to visit Larry's site at for ongoing information about recordings and tours.
Watch for him on tour with Tony Levin .... he always gets to do a live Synergy piece in Tony's shows!

In 1976, hobbyist computer fairs started to happen, to address the exploding interest in computer kits and microprocessor technology. Paia had attended the 1st West Coast Computer Fair in Santa Clara earlier that year. (The first computer fair ever!) The Atlantic City Computer Fair was later that year, and was the first show on the East Coast .... PRE-casino era. ;-) Larry drove over to hang out with us for a good share of the show.


Working on the final mix of the Cords album at House Of Music studios in New Jersey around 1977.

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Synergy Studios, Larry's home studio in New Jersey around 1978.

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Todd Rundgren's original Utopia video studio, Bearsville NY (next to Woodstock) in Winter 1979.

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Peter Gabriel tour at the Old Town Theater in Chicago, summer of 1980.

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updated 7/26/06