The Art of being

Stereophile|July 2020

The Art of being
MY BACK PAGES
JASON DAVIS

I met Art twice, and in both instances, he was exceedingly humble and gracious with his time. The first time, I thanked him for hosting the Virtues of Vintage panel at DC’s Capital Audiofest, just moments after he was verbally accosted by an unwell man seated in front of me—something about audio journalism lingo and abstract phrases like “midrange bloom.”

Art wrote about this experience for Stereophile several times, in a show report and also, anecdotally, in Listening. Recently, actually.

After the panel, I waited for the adoring throng to subside then adoringly thanked Art for his presence, for simply being.

Sometime before, Art had written about restoring his vintage Altec Lansing speakers, the second set, the Flamencos. That article had helped me understand that this hobby—our shared passion—was not exclusive to modern, expensive products: The best among us had found something magical not in gear long forgotten but in gear long ignored by the asymptomatic passing of today’s bottom line.

I had seen Art wandering the music room halls the day before and stood starstruck when I recognized him. There was so much I wanted to ask him. I stood frozen, watching him grab pamphlets, make notes, then take a seat in the darkroom, briefly, before hastily retreating at the sound of a tired Stevie Ray Vaughan audiophile track. Audiophile kryptonite or kitten spray bottle, I don’t know, but the man bolted for another room.

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July 2020