Opening Salvo

Welcome Back, My Friends…

Anyone who has been around rock music at all knows that the phrase concludes, “..to the show that never ends.

In real life, shows end, and their aftermath prompts both recovery and reflection. Shows are exhausting. I’m old.

This kvetching was prompted by RMAF, now almost two weeks gone. It’s hard to convey the amount of work involved in preparing to exhibit at a show, transporting and setting up gear, tweaking the set-up,  then actually working the show, tearing it down, following up with media, dealers, customers….

It’s even harder to explain the mania that envelopes a show-organizer long before the show, and long after. Throw in that whole Due To Circumstances Beyond Our Control thing, and it’s like running a restaurant: there are an almost-infinite number of ways for things to go wrong. I think back on my own gut-wrenching experiences at the New York show in 2012, which would have been shut down if I hadn’t had my bedraggled old Teamsters card in my wallet….

But I digress. Props to Marjorie Baumert, who overcome a lot of issues to put on another great RMAF.  I appreciate your efforts, and feel your pain.

Meanwhile, we work  to keep our own show going, here at Copper. This issue features four columns about beguiling, charismatic, and occasionally-infuriating musical performers: Larry Schenbeck writes about Liszt; Dan Schwartz writes about Linda Perry and Grace Slick; WL Woodward writes about my old hero Frank Zappa (“The present-day composer refuses to die!”); and finally, Duncan Taylor writes about the amazing vocal trio, The Lone Bellow. On the tech side of things, Richard Murison writes about transforms; Jim Smith writes about subwoofer logistics; Haden Boardman looks at direct-drive turntables; and I explore plasma loudspeakers. There’s also a photo album from RMAF and a very impressive home system. Darren Myers and Paul McGowan will both be back soon.

Thanks as always for reading, and we’ll see you again in two weeks!