I started reading when I was 3. I say that not to evoke any particular reaction in the reader, but just to make clear the fact that I’ve been reading for a lot of years—nearly 59, now.
For over half of those years— thirty-one and a half, to be sorta-exact— John Atkinson has been at the helm of Stereophile magazine.
Think about that for a moment: that’s as many issues as there are days in a year, each and every one of which required scrambling for content, had last-minute crises of some sort (’cause there are always last-minute crises), required assuaging existential angst of one writer or another, all the while wrangling with some sort of corporate hierarchy.
The stack of 49 issues of Stereophile from the ’80s and ’90s (shown below) constitutes less than one-seventh of the number of issues that have come out during John’s reign. And this stack alone is over 15,000 pages.
Yikes. It makes me tired just to consider it.
As I suppose is obvious—and quoting my own Leebens’ Law of Life, here— things change. If we look down the masthead of S’phile ’93, we see a number of once-familiar names that are now MIA. At least from Stereophile.
Corey Greenberg? The one-time bad boy of high-end audio left S’phile to edit Audio right before its demise (coincidence?? That’s mean…) , then went on to a Gadget Guy stint on the Today Show, where his most influential piece was, oddly enough, about wet shaving?!? That was a good while ago. Where is he now? Dunno. I suspect that he’d make an annoying 50-something.
Ken Kessler? Pretty much Mr. Audio for mainstream media in the UK, and more importantly, the Watch Guy for a zillion outlets in the UK and America. In North America, he occasionally writes for Copper and for SoundStage!-–and you might catch him zipping through CES, as seen in the surreal pic from the Venetian, below.
Lewis Lipnick? Everybody’s favorite audiophile reviewer/bassoonist may be out of audio reviewing, but is still bassoonist and contrabassonist at the National Symphony.
Sam Tellig? The Audio Cheapskate turned Sam’s Space has retired from writing, although he periodically berates his old friend/nemesis Roy Hall, and I periodically try to persuade him to get back into the game. He also regales me with unprintable anecdotes.
Martin Colloms? These days, Martin edits the subscription-only HiFi Critic in the UK, and periodically pops out a new edition of his massive reference work, High Performance Loudspeakers. He assures me that the 7th Edition is coming…soon.
Steven Stone?: Former Boulderite turned Denverite Steven is busier than ever with TAS, Audiophile Review, Home Theater Review, diving, picking, recording—he’s a busy guy, for sure.
John Crabbe, Alvin Gold, Igor Kipnis? Sadly, all three of these august authorities have passed on—and likely a number more on the masthead, of which I’m unaware.
Robert Deutsch? The ever affable Bob is still writing for Stereophile, thankfully…
…as is Editor John Atkinson. Thirty-one and a half years on, going on 400 issues, Lord knows how many pages, much less words—John keeps going.
And we’re grateful for it.