As most devoted Glenn Gould fans know, his chair was an object upon which Glenn placed a great deal of importance. Many people may not know that there was another item that Glenn became very attached to. This was a plain hand-made metal toolbox. It became a fixture at recording sessions for Glenn when working in Toronto.
The origin of this modest metal box is simply that Lorne Tulk (Glenn’s long-time sound technician and friend) had made it in shop class in high school. Lorne had kept his school project and has always used it as a tool box. As they worked together Glenn grew very attached to the box, and soon it became a necessity for it to be present during any recording session. It would be placed in the Green Room where all of the recording equipment was housed. Lorne recalls, “the box became a good luck charm for Glenn. One day Glenn proposed that he would give me whatever I wanted for it”. Lorne did not want to give up his trusty box and so refused Glenn’s offer. Lorne then made a deal that Glenn could borrow the box whenever he needed it. “Even if I wasn’t present for a recording session, the box had to be there. Sometimes I would bring it down to Eaton Auditorium, and other times Ray Roberts (Glenn’s assistant) would come to pick it up”. Lorne also recalls “if the box wasn’t at a recording session, it wouldn’t have surprised me if Glenn would have cancelled the session”.
The importance of this rather modest metal toolbox cannot be discounted, for it helped Glenn to feel secure about the work he was about to undertake. This high school shop project of Lorne’s was witness to some of the finest classical music ever recorded.
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