The email from Woody Allen was very brief:

Dear Dr. Gizmo,

Just wrapped my latest movie and now that my favorite character actor Death is free he asked me if I would contact you. Mr. Death has been spending a lot of time in the audio business and he would like to speak with you.


Quite frankly I was very nervous, but on the other hand I thought I might gain a few points by brown nosing Death. This is the first time in a long career that I would have a chance to demonstrate the unique virtues of Alnico magnet horn speakers, and directly heated triodes to such a powerful audiophile. On Sunday evening February 28, 1999, at 6:17 PM there was a knock on my door, and when I opened it there in front of me was Death. Having some intimate experiences with him and having enjoyed his performances in Woody’s movies I wasn’t shocked that Death was at my door, but I was shocked that Death looked so much like Jerry Gladstein, the publisher of the now dead Fi Magazine. I asked Death to leave his scythe on the porch and invited him in.

My first instinct was to offer him some chicken soup because He didn’t look very healthy and sounded kind of depressed. Is it possible that Death felt guilty and wanted to talk things over?

"Dr. Gizmo, the reason I came to see you is because you may be the only one in the audio business who really understands me. I too am getting bored spending so much time "calling on" audio publications and manufacturers. Actually this is one of my favorite industries because, quite honestly I am very tired, and they make my job so easy".

I have to admit that I was complimented that Death was sharing His most intimate feelings with me, and I couldn’t help myself. I wanted to be sure that He wasn’t interested in me, so I tried to keep the therapy session lively....

"Why don’t you "call on" the right wing of the Republic party instead?"

"Dr. Gizmo, at least they are trying hard to communicate to public. They have life in them. They have passion. Most in the high end audio business are already dead...lifeless...stale...rancid.....all that I am doing is taking the bodies away. And this is just the beginning".

Then I panicked. I couldn’t keep my cool and I blurted out...

"Death, I beg you please tell me when you are going to "call me".

Death opened up his little black book, ran his bony finger down the "R" page, and said,

" May 21, 2091, at 6:04 AM".

What a relief, and with that I took out a six pack of Bud, popped some frozen pizza in the oven, turned on my latest Puff Daddy CD and Death and I danced the night away.

The next morning over bagels and cream cheese, while Death didn’t look that much better, he asked with great tenderness....

"With the shake-up, shake out, and shake and bake in audio publishing do you think you could put a good work in for me with Dave Robinson and see if he will give me a job as an associate editor?"

"But Death how would it look to the readers of PF. You are not exactly a fun guy. Look what you just did to Fi. I wouldn’t want that to happen to PF".

Then Death took out his little black book again, and opened to the "P" page and I watched his bony finger move down the page, and he smiled...

"Not to worry".

With that I called Dave Robinson and got him up to speed, and Dave agreed to speak to Death, who was very excited about speaking to his favorite audio rag publisher. After a very lively conversation that lasted about fifteen minutes, Death handed me back the phone, and I spoke to Dave.

"Well Giz, it is amazing how we mis-understand Death. The reason He was spending so much time in the audio business was to make room for new vital life to appear, and now he wants to have some fun and shake things up, so I agreed to let me start writing a small column to see what kind of response we get from our readers. We already have a bunch of strange people on our editorial staff, one more wont make a difference".

When I got off the phone Death was smoking one of my cigars, holding a 300B in his hand and asking me why I preferred a 5K impedance on my single-ended output transformers. I could tell that he was a very happy Dude. What could be more fun than being part of the PF community?



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