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Thread: Rip mike mclean

  1. #1

    Rip mike mclean

    I heard from my brother that Mike passed last November. Apparently he fell at home and died in the hospital.
    If anyone was more responsible for the "Motown Sound" it had to be Mike. The guy was a total electronic genius that could lose me in one of his long, but incredibly interesting, dissertations on one piece of gear or another We were good friends during my days at Motown and kept in occasional touch through the following years. Ironically, he was on my mind the last few months and was planning on calling him sometime soon. Rest in peace Mike, I'll always smile whenever you cross my mind.

  2. #2
    As you say Ralph, his role at Motown was very important and his contribution will be remembered by fans.

  3. #3
    Sad news, Ralph, as well as a nice tribute. Thanks for relaying.

  4. #4
    I loved loved LOVED his posts from the early days of this forum. He was the one who could answer most of the technical questions about the early days at Motown. IMO he loved and respected Berry Gordy and did not like it when people on the forum put down Berry. If I recall, he thought that classical music was the best, but he thought very highly of the Motown Sound and he worked extremely hard to get the best sound possible out of the early equipment. Mike had an acerbic and biting wit and did not suffer fools on the forum. He was invaluable to Motown and his contributions cannot be overlooked.

  5. #5
    Yes, Mike was just as crucial to the development & success of the Motown Sound as the artists, writers, producers , Funk brothers ect. I also enjoyed his posts in the early days of the forum. Rest In Peace & thanks for your contributions to the greatest music of our time.

  6. #6
    A unique one of a kind character... We met through early SD where he would display his infamous and even entertaining highly fueled late night rants, and the next morning treating you like his best friend in the world. He challenged me to let him buy me lunch at his favorite San Fernando Valley Bar BQ, and we spent several hours going over the articles about his engineering feats and his numerous accomplishments during his Motown years, and involved us with all of his life's up's and down's... As the years passed, he'd send me e-mails with jokes and articles about his engineering legacy from several industry magazines... After he moved to North Carolina, he also stayed in touch, although not so much the past few years... Sorry to hear of his passing... He's probably busy now constructing an other world sound studio with $1,500 worth of spare parts...RIP Mike...

  7. #7
    I'm very sorry to hear this Ralph.

    The strange thing was, I was only thinking a few days ago how much I missed him on this forum, and was going to ask Ralph if he had heard anything from him lately and if he had his email address so I could contact him.

    [[Only last night I was reading an interview he did back in 1997 with Audio Magazine and his old Motown colleague, D.W. Fostle).

    I always found his posts so fascinating, and he often made me chuckle! There was just something about the way he wrote that made it feel like he was talking to you personally, with an open, honest, and pragmatic way about his time at Motown, that I never seem to get from anyone of the other major players in the company history. For me, he was the ultimate 'fly on the wall'.

    His posts taught me so much about Motown, and took a way that rose tinted thinking that can cloud any ardent fan of this historic company, hammering home the problems and challenges he and his department faced of managing the technical aspects of the studio, as the company expanded and grew through the 60s.

    I really wish I had met him in person, but I'm pleased that he took the time to post on this site, and converse with me occasionally.

    He will be missed!


    Last edited by bradburger; 02-18-2021 at 09:28 PM.

  8. #8
    I'm truly sorry that Mike McLean has passed on. His role as an engineer during the Glory days of Motown played an important part in "The Sound Of Young America". Sorry for your loss Ralph & RIP to Mike McLean.

  9. #9
    I remember Mike telling me that he spent an entire night listening to the Rolling Stones "Let It Bleed" album because he was totally knocked out with the sound quality of the album.

  10. #10
    May He Rest in Peace.

  11. #11
    Sorry to hear this,i remember mike from the early days,r.i.p.

  12. #12
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    Sorry to hear this sad news. I knew Mike when we worked together at Hanna Barbera, I worked at Hanna Barbera Feature Animation, and Turner Feature Animation, and met him when I need copies of the sound recordings to match some animation scenes on which I was working. Of course, we had a lot in common, including working at Motown. When I heard his name, I thought, "can this guy be the same person?" Sure enough, he was! I had no idea that Mike had left Motown by then. He was as knowledgeable about sound recording as anyone could be. He was a great resource for learning how things went down at Motown during the early years. I really appreciate all his interesting posts on this forum, especially in our early days, 2001-2007.


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Ralph Terrana

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