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Glen Trew

Another Legend Lost: John Gozzard, founder of Rycote

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Rycote Announcement: May 2018

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of John Gozzard, who died at his home on 4th May 2018.

John founded Rycote and, whilst his name might not be familiar to many, the company he started (named after his house, “Rylands Cottage”) is recognised the world over by everyone associated with location sound.
John was passionate about sound and was a film recordist in the early 1970s, working for ATV and the BBC. At that time, newly emerging practical microphones, that were exactly what sound recordists wanted, were hampered by the heavy, cumbersome microphone suspensions and windshields available, which were typically made of metal, wire mesh and rug wool. John quickly recognised the need for something much lighter and more durable, and had the vision, determination and dedication to set about making this a reality. Using the down-to-earth ingenuity of the classic British craft-worker, he invented the plastics-based “zeppelin” windshield that is so widely recognised today.
Ever practical and endlessly innovative, the early days saw John using mundane items, such as garden netting and fabric from the local haberdashery, to bring lightweight form to his new designs. John continued to apply his ingenuity with the later development of the faux fur “Windjammer”, and the almost indestructible “Softie” windshield. John was a true pioneer and, from such humble beginnings, a brand-new industry was born.
John retired from Rycote in 1995, but the company, the evolved product, and the generic name for location-sound windshields remain as his legacy to the industry. John will be sadly missed and affectionately remembered by all of us at Rycote who knew him, and we will continue to hold dear his pioneering and practical approach, in the company that he founded.

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Wow. RIP indeed.  As someone who had to improvise a whole lot with outdoor wind coverings before the advent of the "dead rat" and softies I was REALLY happy when Rycote started selling them (having suffered with the early Rycotes and thin "windsocks" before that, as well as 100% homemade attempts at high-wind protection).  I bet every location soundie in the entire world has used if not owned one of his products.  Will be missed.

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Just now, Philip Perkins said:

... before the advent of the "dead rat" 


Or, Phil, the "Dougal" as it was known in England, named after a certain celebrity dog it resembled.


For all at Rycote, and friends and family of John, condolences. A product and a company that has been there, and supported us, through long hair and short hair. RIP


See the source image

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