Wednesday, March 24, 2010

RIP Mark "Big Ferb" Ferber, Hollywood Bowl Production Supervisor

If you ever went backstage at the Hollywood Bowl, you probably had some kind of run-in with Big Ferb. Even if you just saw a show at the Bowl, you were still familiar with Mark. To millions of concert goers, Mark Ferber was the voice of the Bowl:

"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Hollywood Bowl."

When I was a kid, I spent my summers hanging around the Hollywood Bowl, where my Dad, Frank Supak, was the head soundman. Mark was the go-to guy for just about anything you needed, especially our comp tickets. He was the perfect guy to hold crew tickets, because you could see him from anywhere (he must've been 6'6"). We called him Big Ferb, like Big Bird, because I remember when Sesame Street did a show at the Bowl, Mark and Big Bird were about the same size.

He leaves a big tuxedo to fill.

Mark's LA Times obituary says he died from injuries sustained in a fall. I don't know the details yet, but it is the off season, so the fall was probably not a result of his running around backstage.

"I'm a detail man," Ferber said at the time. "I run around backstage and make sure everything goes correctly."

He was no stranger to tragedy: his first wife, Elaine Welton Hill, died of cancer in 1999. He was survived by his second wife, Suzanne Friedline Ferber, and his son Daniel, 5... I just choked up thinking that Daniel will never get to really appreciate his Dad, or see him at work--so comfortable doing what he did.

It was like Mark actually enjoyed every moment of his 45 years at the Bowl, even the bad ones, like when an airplane would inevitably fly over during a quiet passage in a symphony. He took everything in stride, and it is a real shame that his son won't learn from one of the coolest heads the business has ever known.


Hilary said...

A few years back, I worked at the preschool that Mark's son, Daniel, attended. I was one of his teachers, and Mark would often drop Daniel off in the morning. It was a joy to watch him interact with his son. He was so gentle, so patient, and so loving with Daniel. Never a harsh word, just encouragement and the pride that he felt from being a dad. I'm sure his presence will be missed, and my thoughts are with his family.

DB said...

Mark was a client who became a friend. I can remember many warm days and evenings at the Bowl with Mark over the years - I suspect a good deal of the memory of that warmth was from Mark's inherent warm spirit. My heart is very heavy to hear of his passing - I can't think of anyone with such enthusiasm for life or work. He will be hugely missed.

bartman818 said...

I was- long time personal friend of mark I even talked to him everyday I even saw him in the hospital before he died and miss him to this day