The Higher End
By David W. Robinson
"No, youre wrong. There are fools which he was not and then there are jesters. These are important men in the grand scheme of things."
First a phone call on an awful Monday morning; my
dear audio friend Arnis Balgavis asking me if I had any
phone numbers or contact information for Harvey
Rosenbergs family. Something had gone seriously wrong
during a trip that Gizmo had made to the Midwest, to meet
with some audio designers. I asked how bad it was; he
wasnt sure, but said that it didnt sound good. Harvey had
passed out after his arrival that was all he knew. He was
trying to track down Gizmos family; hed call back later if he
still needed help.
Then I got the first emails, asking if I had heard the
rumors going around something about Harvey Rosenberg
being dead. Had I heard anything?
Then came another email, saying that there was terrible
news; Harveys www.metagizmo.com site had published
news of Gizmos death. I hit my browser at the college in
seconds, and headed straight over.
There it was: Gizmo was dead...
I remember the first time that I spoke with Harvey,
years ago. I was in my editorial office (two revisions back),
working on something, when I got a call that started with
something like, "Where have you BEEN all my life??!!"
It turned out that Harvey had somehow or the other
run across a copy of Positive Feedback over in New York City,
and had fallen hard for it.
"Like, you guys really get it! Most audio mags dont get
it!! You guys must be smokin some great stuff up there!! And
whos this Lynn Olson??!! That guys a maniac!! I love him and
his crazy audio UFO shit!! Im working on a book youve
gotta read it. Its just like the kind of shit that you guys do!! This
is fuckin wonderful!!!"
Harvey really sounded like my kind of guy: wild,
crazy, satirical, and funny as hell. I told him to send along his
manuscript I really wanted to see it.
What I got was a box with a loose set of pages, with a
working (turned out to be the final) title, The Search for
Musical Ecstasy: Volume 1: In the Home. I flipped through
it.. .cool and crazy drawings, reminding me of my days
publishing very funky underground magazines in high
school. Wild...nuts! Mad Magazine meets Zorba the Geek! I
started reading, and in seconds was hooting and laughing
and calling a PF audiobud or two to share "some really great
stuff!" Everybody found Harvey to be bust-a-gut funny.. .and
we all laughed our asses off.
I called him back; "1 really want to publish excerpts
from your book in Positive Feedback, Harvey!"
"Really?! No shit?!"
And so I did. And ever since then, an issue of Positive
Feedback wouldnt go out without something from Gizmo a
column, a satire, a contest something. I dont think he ever
missed an opportunity to get something in...just like this
issue, which has the last column that he sent us. Even after
passing on, theres something from Gizmo here.
The years went by; Harvey and I became good friends.
Wed talk on the phone from time to time; wed vent at each
other; wed make plans; wed just shoot the breeze.
"Christ, David, you wouldnt believe what these
bastards are doing to audio! They havent got a clue! They
dont give a shit about anything but their own fuckin agendas!
And they dont GET IT! No wonder high-end audio is in such
shitty shape!!! Theres no creativity at all!!! Just a bunch of egos;
high-end audio is a bunch of old white dudes who cant dance!!!
No wonder nobody who isnt a hopeless audio geek gives a shit
And you know: he was right....
Not everyone liked Gizmo. Some hated him.
I know. I got the phone calls or letters demanding that I
get rid of "that charlatan." I got to hear from all sorts of
people who sure seemed to have some serious grudges
against Harvey. ..and since I dared to publish him repeat-
edly I was now the enabler! Didnt I know what I was
doing?! How could I possibly publish such a clown??!!
Simple. Because I liked his stuff...because he was
thoughtful and funny and wild and willing to be a jester and
take any risk to further his beloved audio. Why he bothered, I
dont know; fine audio is filled with a lot of bozos, buttheads,
strutting egos, and insufferable bores. Frankly, I wouldnt be
caught dead around any of them; neither would he. You
know who you are youre the ones who wrote vicious
letters and emails; youre the ones who cancelled advertising
(as if I cared); youre the ones who complained that he was
too outrageous; youre the ones who said that he had to be
And now he is. But not because of you.
Harvey Rosenberg was a dear friend of mine. If he
wasnt a friend of yours, then you missed the point.
Gizmos gone. But Ill never forget him.
Copyright© 2004 Meta-Gizmo.com and Dr.
Harvey "Gizmo" Rosenberg All