Lit­tle Cae­sars goal horn record­ing from The Joe

The Detroit News - - Front Page - BY GREGG KRUPA The Detroit News gkrupa@de­troit­ twit­­gkrupa

Detroit — Wings fans.

Fa­mously knowl­edge­able about the hockey they watch — just ask the play­ers, over the years -— many also have keenly de­vel­oped ears, it turns out.

And they ap­par­ently have the sort of au­dio dis­cern­ment that ranks with some of the ex­pert folks lis­ten­ing to the Detroit Sym­phony Orches­tra or at­tend­ing the Michi­gan Opera The­ater.

So it is that, once again, they are cor­rect.

The goal horn that sounded at Lit­tle Cae­sars Arena open­ing night, Oct. 5, against the Wild is not the horn from Joe Louis Arena.

It is an amped-up record­ing of the goal horn from Joe Louis Arena.

And, if you are head­ing to the on­line pe­ti­tion to de­mand the restora­tion of jus­tice, The Amer­i­can Way and, of course, the saluted, beloved, wor­shiped goal horn, know one thing: It sounded aw­ful in the new place.

Sad. Also true, ac­cord­ing the Red Wings.

Re­mem­ber the big, ro­bust, lake-freighter-blow-ya-off-theriver horn, af­ter all of those Wings’ goals at Joe Louis Arena?

Well, it sounded a bit more like the one on rich, old Un­cle Henry’s 42-foot cabin cruiser, when they brought it to the new place.

“The sim­ple truth is we wanted to bring the old horn over, and the old horn is a tiny lit­tle horn,





to be­lieve it or not,” said Tom Wil­son, pres­i­dent of Olympia En­ter­tain­ment. “It just never was go­ing to fill the vol­ume we need.”

The so-called bowl por­tions of the two build­ings are sim­ply too dif­fer­ent, he said.

“What we’ve got is, it’s prob­a­bly triple the vol­ume and to­tally dif­fer­ent acous­tics,” in Lit­tle Cae­sars Arena, Wil­son said.

“It would be more like a beep, you know? As op­posed to what we’re used to.

“So, we just made the de­ci­sion to tape the sound, which we did over the sum­mer, and mag­nify it, so it would be as close to the sound that peo­ple re­mem­ber.”

And so, at 5:20 of the sec­ond pe­riod in the 4-2 open­ing-night win against the Wild, when Martin Frk fired a shot off An­thony Man­tha’s thigh, the puck plopped to the ice and Man­tha ripped it in from point-blank range for the first Wings’ goal of all time in Lit­tle Cae­sars Arena, fans heard the am­pli­fied sound of the old goal horn, for the first time.

“You still have to han­dle the old way,” Wil­son said.

“If you want it to sound for 10 sec­onds, you’ve got to hold the but­ton down for 10 sec­onds. But it is a taped sound.”

Cel­e­bra­tion sig­nal


The Red Wings are happy with the clar­ion cel­e­bra­tion sig­nal, given the big dif­fer­ence in the two “rooms.”

“It’s prob­a­bly triple the vol­ume, you have in­side there. So to fill the space with the kind of vol­ume that you need?” Wil­son said.

“I mean ev­ery­body has dif­fer­ent ears, and there’s been a lot of peo­ple who’ve lis­tened to that horn for a long time.

“I don’t no­tice a big ence,” he said.

“I no­ticed on open­ing night, we kind of amped it up a lit­tle bit more and it was very much like the old horn to me.”

The old horn even­tu­ally will be dis­played in Lit­tle Cae­sars Arena, as the Red Wings con­tinue to roll out mem­o­ra­bilia and plan to open a mu­seum above the sou­venir shop on the big street-level con­course. But see­ing is not hear­ing. Some of the more dis­cern­ing fans al­ready long for the old sound, as if Gabriel him­self blew that ol’ horn.

“I no­ticed right way,” said John Prevost of Yp­si­lanti, as he left Lit­tle Cae­sars Arena, open­ing night. “It didn’t sound the same.”

Pre­serv­ing tra­di­tion


Un­aware of the problems, Prevost said, “I think they should bring the old horn back. I think they try to pre­serve so many tra­di­tions, the Red Wings, you know?

“And, hey, if you leave The Joe and you can take that sort of sig­na­ture piece with you? Makes a lot of sense!”

Com­ments on the on­line pe­ti­tion to re­store the old horn re­veal the ex­tent of the fans’ pas­sion, and how far-flung Red Wings’ na­tion is.

“That is the most iconic and orig­i­nal goal horn in hockey!” wrote “Kole H., North Dakota.” “With­out it, it just doesn’t have that some ef­fect.”

For “Dave K. in Mary­land” the recorded na­ture of the sound is clear.

“The new horn sounds like a record­ing of a record­ing,” he wrote. “It lacks the pres­ence of the orig­i­nal.”

David Guralnick/Detroit News

Red Wings fans cel­e­brate a goal with the recorded sound of the goal horn at Joe Louis Arena.

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