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Old 05-20-2018, 01:17 PM
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05-20-2018 12:03 PM
Hello and welcome back to Saturday at Lodi for our third report from the GSPF 2018.

After breakfast back at the hotel I ran into Ron Chan and Gordon Hasse in the lobby who asked if I was going to the swap meet?  Oh yes, the swap meet, guess I’d better hurry up and get to the show venue.  By the time I got there the swap meet was in full swing.

The Swap Meet began at 10am on SaturdayWith the strong sunlight, the swap meet was held in a shaded areaLots of pinball and gaming parts under coverComplete machines tooAnd everything in betweenI then dived into the main show halls to see how it compared to last time I saw it during the set up.  Up to this point I hadn’t had the chance to play any games and this didn’t change much as went around taking pictures and talking to people.

Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle had arrived and was proving to be very popularThis set of recent releases was in great demand tooSome older titlesGottlieb cornerAlthough it was busy, there were always games available to playMore fun in the show hallsThe Marco Specialties stand was hard to missThere were plenty of Guardians of the Galaxy availableMeanwhile these four Jersey Jack games also had queues to play themBut the biggest queue was for Pirates of the CaribbeanNot to be outdone, American Pinball’s Houdini was also drawing a healthy crowdIf you didn’t want to wait, there were plenty of alternatives to playThe middle of the three show hallsThe furthest of the three hallsThe pin-golf tournament seemed to be very popularAnother score is recorded on the score cardThat’s clear enoughPin-golf tickets were available here at the PPM standA Kids Tournament was taking place next to the PPM boothLots of prizes for the competitorsIlluminated backbox display casesThis app and hardware combo gives you remote access to your pinball’s menusThe Guardians of the Galaxy illuminated topper alongside the WOZ topperThe back of this video pinball obviously needs quite a few fans, but at least you can have fun with them by displaying animated messagesPinball and picture framing at The Flipper Room in ConcordMost of my day was spent in the Jefferson Hall working on the Pinball University talks and driving the audio/video kit while photographing the speakers, recording them, and trying to write parts of this report in any remaining time.

Me working on the audio and videoBefore the programme began, it was time for some lunch from Sparky Malmberg’s epic BBQ party out in the camping area.

Sparky working the BBQThis is an annual tradition from the Pin-A-Go-Go days and has grown steadily over the years.  Our little group got in early so we could hurry back to set up the Pin-U talks.

Great BBQ sidesWho’s going to be the one to ruin this work of art by taking a cupcake?The first Pinball University talk of the day brought Gordon Hasse and Larry Zartarian to the stage in the Jackson Hall.  They were talking about the use of music within pinball.

Gordon Hasse & Larry ZartarianLarry began by talking about the Pacific Pinball Museum, their collection, their aims and some of the games which related to the topic of this talk.

Gordon had a presentation showing how the popular cultural references of the time have been incorporated into pinball themes, sounds, music and artwork throughout pinball’s history, using the ideas already seeded in their minds.

The duo were then joined on the video screen by David Thiel who has composed music and create sounds for many pinball and video games.  He spoke about how the technology used to generate pinball music has developed ever since electronic sounds replaced bells and chimes.  He also showed how he created some of the music for the Alien pinball game. the audio of this seminar here

The next talk was also by Gordon Hasse who this time looked at pinball’s “Golden Age” in the mid-1950s, and the year 1954 in particular.

Gordon HasseAfter detailing pinball’s development from the bagatelle parlour games in France through the creation of coin-operated US models, the introduction of flippers, and the adoption of popular themes to the point where pinball became part of that pop-culture.

Gordon then talked about the themes, the artists and the designers of those games in the post-war “Golden Age”.

Audio of this talk is coming soon.

The third talk of the day came from Butch Peel from Jersey Jack Pinball.

Butch PeelButch talked about his role at JJP and how he was recruited by Jack Guarnieri after seeing Butch’s passion for the game. Jack was supposed to join Butch on the stage but a family emergency meant he was unable to attend.

Then Butch turned his attention to JJP’s latest game, Pirates of the Caribbean.  He showed numerous drawings and layouts, talked about the game’s many features, and gave a detailed breakdown of the ruleset.

Then I joined Butch to ask him about how the games are developed across multiple locations, how the parts needed are specified, ordered and then inspected, and how the company interacts with social media, amongst other topics.

Audio of this talk is coming soon.

The final Pin-U talk of the day came from Stern Pinball’s Art Director, Greg Freres.

Greg FreresGreg talked the audience through his life in art, starting with his early influences from comic books and his artist mother, through his schooling and into first job creating point-of-purchase advertising and right up to his current job at Stern Pinball.

He also looked at the artwork from other pinball artists through the years, the effect their creative styles had on him and speculated on the contemporary designs which influenced their work.

Audio of this talk is coming soon.

In between working on the Pin-U audio and video I was able to sneak out and shoot a video walk-through of the Lodi Grape Festival show halls.  If you would like to join me, check out my Twenty-Eight Minute Tour video.

I’ll be returning to the show on Sunday for one final report and to bring you the last four Pin-U talks.  See you there.

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