Hifi Pig gets up close and personal with David Jefferys, a well-known character on the international audio scene.

Name: David Jefferys

Company/Companies: Audiovend – International Business Development – working with FinkTeam, Exposure Electronics, TCI Cables. Also with Neo High End and Grahams Audio in selected markets.

Position: Owner, operator, great boss!

HP: What is your ideal day away from the office?

DJ: My office is at home, close to the smallest room in the house! Compact and not very tidy, except the desk. The question “An ideal day away from the office” has several answers. Most importantly it’s a day with my wife, Liz, of 50 years and our family. Two daughters, each has a partner and of course Granddaughter Lily! In fact weeks of lockdown as we’ve not been able to see them physically. Yes, a day in the country with them, a BBQ at home with them in the summer, or just a relaxing walk. The second is when traveling on business. I’ve always tried to fit in some free time to explore the countries and cities I visit to meet with distributors. It gives me a better feel for the country and the people and I see some glorious and bizarre sights!

HP: Best gig/concert you have attended and why?

DJ: Wow that’s tough! Only one? How much time have I got! The best has to be Abba, Wembley Stadium, 1979. I was working at AKG and we supplied all the microphones for the gig. A colleague and I helped mic up the kit, listened to the dress rehearsal and then stood in front of the left speaker stack for the concert. Absolutely stunning. I even got to speak to Agnetha! The second best was in mid 80’s. Apollo, Hammersmith. Brendan Croker And The 5 O’Clock Shadows, well that was what the billboard said on the theatre’s facade. And sure Brendan and the band were great but it was a ruse for a Dire Straits tour warm-up gig. DS came on after about 40 minutes and did the tour set after which Eric Clapton joined them to play. Excellent and all for free – thanks to by then a Tannoy connection.

HP: An artist or band you have never seen but would love to have done so?

DJ: Pink Floyd! Favourite prog band. Never got to see them. My eldest daughter, Emma, and I go to see various PF tribute bands – the best is Brit Floyd! Great band, played with passion through a stunning sound system with wonderful lights and lasers. Emma and I rock!

HP: Top five tunes of all time, what they mean to you and why?

DJ: Golly this really is a tough one and I’ve thought long and hard. Music is such a part of my life and always has been, so here’s my pick in no particular order. Dukas – The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Like all children, one of the early movies I saw was Walt Disney’s Fantasia. The depiction of imaginative cartons back by classical music really grabbed this little lad’s attention. My favourite piece from it was and is The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, with Micky Mouse as the Sorcerer’s naïve apprentice. Stunning animation to wonderful music. That Christmas I received a 10” Mono LP, Decca label, LD9174. L’Orchestre De La Société Des Concerts Du Conservatoire De Paris, conducted by Ernest Ansermet. It must have been about 1956/7, I guess. I still have the record and it gets played lovingly now and again. The “B” side is Honegger’s Pacific 231. An impressive musical journey depicting a big steam locomotive. Love it! Angie – Bert Jansch In the Sixties a few friends and I were into folk music. We often used to go to a folk club above the Cambridge Pub on Cambridge Circus in London’s West End. The room was very Victorian, high ceilinged, full of smoke (not just tobacco smoke), beer fumes and great music; it had nicotine-stained walls! I guess these days we’d call the venue intimate. The most fantastic guitar player to regularly play there was Bert Jansch, a Scottish musician who later became a founding member of Pentangle. Bert was only 3 years older than me, so early to mid-twenties. His playing captivated me, always played even better after a couple of joints. To me, Angie epitomised what Bert Jansch could to with an acoustic guitar. A friend of mine tried hard to emulate him but only got near! One Hand, One Heart from West Side Story Later in this interview I talk about my favourite movie, West Side Story. At our wedding in 1969 Liz and I chose this beautiful piece of music to be sung by the Church choir (John Keble Church, NW7) whilst we went behind the scenes to sign The Register. We recently found a reel to reel recording of our wedding which we’d not been able to play for the last 48 years! I was telling this recently to speaker designer Derek Hughes and he very kindly offered to transfer it to a CD. He had some struggles as the tape had deteriorated but like all good sound guys he worked his magic and made the transfer. Thank you very much, Derek. The Day Before You Came – Abba As I already explained above I had an Abba experience in 1979. Fantastic band, great music. As this is the last track on the last album they recorded together you could say it’s their final song. It’s sad but I like it. High Hopes – Pink Floyd Fabulous song. I often listened to this via headphones on flights as in its way it’s quite soporific. Helps me relax along with my in-flight G&T.

HP: Analogue or digital and why?

DJ: A difficult one to answer. If I’m honest I love analogue via my LP12. But for convenience, I use an Arcam CD/SACD player (SACD works well for me) and I stream from Tidal etc. HP: If you had the opportunity to dine with one person (living or dead) who would that be and why? DJ: John Simpson. A wonderful and eloquent journalist and author. Exceedingly well travelled and he’s met almost everyone. I can imagine a long dinner discussing his travels and experiences, mine are nothing compared to his, but I’m sure we’d have some comparisons to make.

HP: You are choosing the food, what would be on the menu?

DJ: Starter: Russian mushroom soup Main: Bavarian Leber und Zwiebeln mit der geheimen Zutat Äpfel, also served with fried bacon. As eaten often at the Hotel-Gasthof zur Mühle, Ismaning! Missed it this year. Dessert: My dear old Mum’s Rice Pudding. Nothing could beat it. Unfortunately, she died when I was 21.

HP: What’s your favourite tipple?

DJ: Silly question – G&T (as most in the industry are aware!) Current favourites are Sipsmiths (Chiswick), Monkey 47 (Schwarzwald, DE), Silent Pool (Albury, Guildford), Grffith Brothers (in the Buckinghamshire village of Penn Street, deep in the Chiltern Hills, my favourite country pub, The Squirrel, is also in the village. 5km from my home!),

HP: What’s your favourite book and why?

DJ: I was a far greater reader in my 40’s and 50’s than I am these days. In my 60’s I moved to travel books and historic overviews of European countries. I rarely read a book more than once. A book I recently enjoyed was New Finnish Grammar by Diego Marani. The story is simple. In WW2 a man is found on a quayside in Trieste, having been clubbed almost to death. A tag inside the seaman’s jacket he is wearing bears a Finnish name: Sampo Karjalainen. All is not as it seems and the story follows the man’s quest to find his real self after he gets sent to Helsinki. It’s fascinating and involves our sailor learning the Finnish language, even my Finnish friends tell me that’s a fiendish task if you aren’t born Finnish! I’ll cheat a little here and suggest you look at this review to find out more

HP: A film you can watch over and over and never tire of watching it?

DJ: Sad to say I’m not a big movie fan. But it will be West Side Story. I love the film, the production, the music and dancing. In the mid 60’s I was part of a huge amateur production, one of the first in the UK, in Mill Hill, London. West Side Story demands a big cast, which we had a well as large number of lighting bods etc like me. I was one of four follow spot operators, we augmented the excellent stage lighting, either spotting on the lead on the singers or doing effects. The production was done in the round in a large church hall, John Keble, NW7. We even had a scaffold staircase up to Maria’s flat! Eight performances at the Church Hall and then we toured it! Two performances in the open air underneath the then recently completed M1 bridge over Mill Hill Broadway, the area is now a bus turnaround! And then up to Westminster. Two performances at Central Hall Westminster, about 2000 seats each night. Fantastic production. Great times. I can still remember all my cue’s, sad eh? The lady who was to become my wife, Liz, some years later was in it, as a dancer, but we didn’t know each other then.

HP: If you weren’t working in the HiFi industry what would have been your dream job and why?

DJ: When I was in my teens I wanted to follow my Dad into the Met Police, but they said I was too light! Can you believe that! So I started my sales career in John Barnes, a John Lewis branch, in Finchley Road, London NW3. Of course in what was then called the Radio and TV department. I guess my dream job would have involved travel, perhaps as a very select European travel guide doing personal tours for the wealthy maybe. I love travel planning. Though not much opportunity to travel in these COVID days. The subject that most interested me at school was geography.

HP: What will your epitaph say?

DJ: Always ask for the order! How many and when?

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