and CEO, Potty Publishing Co.
It's a sad morning here at Whetstone Audio! Harvey was not only brilliant, but he had style and panache! In the audio world there is a shortage of people who have both a clue and a sense of humor. Now it has one less. My best Harvey story was at CES about four years ago. Harvey was sporting a kilt and tubes hanging off his hat. We were both a bit ripped and had just come from some butt-kissing, name badge leering party. We had a great time being obnoxious and annoying high(priced)-end(of good sound) goobers. As we were leaving to go to another gala event I told him he looked hot in his dress and that we should go get married at one of those drive-in churches. He said I wasn't his type. We both got a big laugh out of it. You see, Harvey could be a bit "over the edge" and not everyone really understood that. It's people who dig a bit deeper and look at things in a different perspective that make life interesting. Eccentric? Hell Yeah! I'll never forget him as the warm, funny, intelligent man he was. I wish I had got to know him better. I can say I'm lucky to have known him a little. I'll miss you Gizmo!
Harvey was my friend and mentor for close to 20 years. He was equal parts Joseph Campbell and P.T. Barnum; with the heart, soul and passion of Malcolm X. He was other-wordly. I loved the guy; and I'll miss him terribly. Pondering his passing, I am reminded of a posthumous analysis of Jimi Hendrix by Griel Marcus (Rolling Stone): "This is what the blues will sound like in the 30th century...on Saturn" Salute! Salute! Salute!
Art Loesch and me were visiting
Herb Reichert at the "firehouse" on
Staten Island - about 10 years ago now. Harvey showed up driving some
sort of dune buggy contraption,
having come in from Connecticut. It was
Summer, so I guess that wasn't
all bad considering the time of year...
Back in early 19 Seventy something,
my long time audio friend AL Rauchwerger
(Virtual Image) and I drove
up to Ossining NY to this place called NY
Audio Labs - where some guy
was making OTL amplifiers or something.
That's when I met Harvey. He
was doing better at audio than I, because
HE had a place in Ossining
and was actually selling what at that time were
probably the WORLDS LARGEST
AMPLIFIERS to people for actual, real money!!
For those who don't know or
recall, they were 4 chassis affairs. Separate
POWER SUPPLY and AMP chassis
- 4 required for stereo. Regulated supplies
too... BIG, HOT and expensive
for the day. I looked at an old brochure a year or so
ago, and laughed at the prices...
by today's standards they are very modest.
I know that money was worth
more then than now, but still... back then it seemed
Harvey played us the system
on the big Sound Labs that he had set up in the middle
room... I got to peek into
the back room where a couple of guys were assembling
the PC boards for the Futtermans...
It sounded pretty good I recall.
Harvey and I, for whatever
reason we didn't "click" on some level. But, he and I
met and ran into each other
at shows, and in other odd places... talked and shared some
I was there in his Connecticut
warehouse situation for his first big meeting that
turned into his "Triode Guild."
He had gotten those Westminsters and there was
a smorgasbord of amplifiers
brought in to run on them. Of course, the room is/was
colossal in size and extraordinarily
absorptive, so it was a tough road regardless
of what you put in there.
But it was a fun day of amps, people and ideas...
I tried to talk to him back
in Ossining about the amps, as I was RF savvy, having been
into ham radio then for 10
years and thought I could help him. But, we didn't make the
connection, and I was off
in another area of audio at the time myself...
Early on, he gave me and some
others assembled copies of his earliest "printing" of
his book, which actually I
treasure as he signed it and endorsed it "to the BIG BEAR,
hugs, Gizmo" ( me being the
bear guy...) and then later a bound and printed copy.
Actually, overall, a fun read
and of good spirit.
I see, to recall that Harvey
was fond of Single Malt Whiskey and Cigars - SO, today let us all
toast Dr. Gizmo with some
fine Whiskey and maybe a Habana or home rolled 'item'
and thank him for bringing
such enthusiasm to audio, a vision of transcendence that
helps to bring us all one
step closer to the Gods and to audio nirvana, and to remember
that he saved OTL amps and
the memory of George Futterman from being a mere
footnote in audio history.
Let's also remember his energy and life force that helped
to illuminate some of the best and most enjoyable parts of the search for
You know, there was something
about that guy that I really; liked.
-bear (randy bradley) bearlabs
Buy his Book
In the late 1970's Harvey used to
have this fabulous apartment on Central Park West and he would have these
fabulous free flowing parties.. It was not unusual to find the most eclectic
types of people involved in a variety of insane situations and positions..
After one of these parties, myself, Harvey and a couple of my friends went to dinner
at a restaurant on nthe Upper West Side.. Harvey came to the dinner dressed in a
white lab coat that beared a name tag "Dr Harvey Rosenberg" and he carried a doctors bag.
I sat at the table with him and I excused myself from the table and went to the payphone in the
rear of therestaurant. I called the establishment and asked them if they could page
Dr. Rosenberg-- identifying myself as being an intern at Roosevelt Hospital..
Harvey has no idea it is me until he gets on the phone and we decide to play a major
joke on everyone in the restaurant.
He picks up the phone and screams
"I don't care if she is hemorraghing to death, screw her. i am hungry." and he
hangs up and goes back to the table. I go back to the table and of course the
whole restaurant is in shock. I wait five minutes more and go back to the phone
and he is paged again.. He screams " Screw her, don't call me again-- get
someone else." Well, the place is an uproar-- a woman comes up to him and says
to his face " you ought to be ashamed of yourself-- what about the Hippocratic
Oath you took? Don't you have any sympathy--any compassion? " Harvey looks at
her and says to her " Madam, I know you. you were in the 1972 Sex Olympics.. you
were disqualified for having Lock Jaw" That is the Harvey I will always
remember-- trying to have a little harmless fun and trying to turn the world on
its edge a little bit.. He certainly did.. He had a heart of gold and a mind
that penetrated steel. I will always miss him-- why not? he was one of a kind..A
renaissance man who was also a pisser-- what a combo. Rest in peace Dr. Harvey..
I called him HA. He called me GA
(after seeing the movie The Day of the Dolphins)
I met Harvey in 1974 at Leber Katz Partners Advertising where he was
consulting the agency to help us win the Celanese account. We didn't get the
account. But I won Harvey. My life started spinning instantly. A whirlwind
romance. We ran off to Crete, Greece, living in a farmhouse with no
electricity but many chickens and goats, right on the beach. Harvey the
Sagittarius soon tired of the dry sand and longed for something more green
and lush. We took off our bikinis, put on layers of wool and flew to a
thatch-roofed cottage on an isolated hillside in Ireland.
The next November we were married at the UN Chapel, handholding
friends circling around us as we said our vows to be true while
simultaneously letting each other be free spirits. An inspirational
conundrum. Our black tie reception was held at his family's famous Dubrow's
Cafeteria in the Garment Center. The great deco room was filled with minks,
diamonds, amazing music, and my creative centerpieces made of carrots,
celery and parsley. His grandma told me later she took a few home. They were
delicious and made a great soup.
Advertising, fashion folks from Manhattan, his mom, Helen, his
dad, Henry, Phyliss, Paul, family from Brooklyn and the five towns went
through the cafeteria line for seconds and thirds of blintzes, pastrami,
Nothing with Harvey was ordinary. In the midst of the nuptial
excitement and happiness of this splendiferous occasion there was a random
murder I believe a stabbing outside Dubrow's that night.
Ours was not a marriage made in heaven. In fact we split up so many
times it was rumored we were divorced, remarried and divorced. Not one
moment was boring. Life was moving rapidly every second around Harvey. A
whirling brilliant dervish. He created the thrill of insanely fun chaos.
During our marriage we built The Economy Cream Separator Company, the
largest collection of fine fabric swatches in the world, with video shows,
silk screen designing, etc.
Harvey went on many talk shows promoting his renowned Gay Bob Doll
Who encouraged frustrated closeted gays to happily "come out" in
Stilettos, of course. He also was enthusiastically pushing his candy line
"BALLS," the candy that gives you courage. And for women "She who has
Balls will inherit the world."
These were the Annie Hall years, and I was the Shiksa from Ohio who
did have to convince my parents Harvey was not gay. They didn't quite get it.
Harvey and I did not enjoy the calm quiet waters of a gentle marriage
but he taught me so much and gave me many gifts that changed my
The essence of Harvey's new products were the heart and soul of
Harvey. He was liberated. He believed men and women had an equality of a
balance of desires, pain and misunderstandings.
A strong follower of Carl Jung, Harvey was dedicated to promoting
the development of the "Anima and Animus" in all he loved.
That was his greatest gift to me. He put me in touch with my male
side and my own ability to be powerful. Who could ask for more?
Harvey was living in Stamford, CT and I'm now in Westport. A year
ago we bumped into each other in Kinko's making color copies of our own new
product concepts and gizmos. How appropriate! We decided to have dinner
later that week. He arrived in his open sport Jeep, hand-painted by him
covered in camouflage and roses. XTSAVNATOGPS41 It had action military figures glued to the
back. A bud vase with a rose by the gear shift and a stuffed woman with a
straw hat in the passenger seat. It was a moving statement he said to
express to the males of the world not be afraid to get in touch with their
feminine side. We took my car.
He had changed so little I almost could tell no difference. He was
wearing his signature fatigues camouflage bermudas, tight black tee, cargo
jacket and clunky sensible, possibly orthopedic shoes. As a fashion
statement he wore red orthopedic sandals at 35. The light in his eye was
still all aglitter that of a wise animated child. His well-muscled, toned
body had certainly held up!
We had a wonderful dinner, tricolor pasta, tricolor conversation,
discussing our past lives and our future of possibly creating new gizmos
There is no way I can reflect on the power and life of this
One-of-a-kind, "they broke the mold" guy, and say "rest in peace."
Harvey Simply would not want that.
This extraordinary man's light was extinguished so prematurely,
it's hard to comprehend. But if I know Harvey, he was simply too impatient
to wait to experience his higher power and what was going to unfold next.
Always a futurist, I believe his curiosity was too keen to wait a moment
longer. He had to go to the next level and as usual before us.
Now I'm certain he's turning heads and hearts around in gizmo
heaven, creating his unique spin on the situation. He'll be having every man
get in touch with his feminine side and every woman working on feeling the
male power within her.
Harvey, we will see you soon, my dear friend. Get everything "gizmo
fantasy" ready for us. You were always so evolved and involved, it's only
appropriate that you precede us. We will miss you. Until then,
Your first ex-wife,
It was in the week of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame festivities about a year ago that we had a date with our dear Gizmo. Upon arriving in New York we called him and set the time and place to meet; One o'clock in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria.
Stepping out of the Towers' hallway, we encountered Gizmo already. Happily reading in one of his ever present books and making a great contrast with the crowd being clad in his full Harley-Davidson outfit. One thing we noticed immediately: his pink glasses, boots and watch were all held together with Duck Tape. After the hugging and kissing we asked Gizmo "Why the tape". As we were walking out of the hotel towards the restaurant where we would have lunch, Gizmo started telling about his latest project, raising
Ducks in order to get enough Duck Tape because this is the ultimate power Tool! "No man should go about without at least a little roll on him".
Entering the 37 East 50th Street restaurant we sure caused some strained Neck muscles with the clientele of lawyers, bankers and Wall Street Dwellers. The three of us are not what you call rankers - au contraire.
At our booth we ordered a nice bottle of French bubbles and we started discussing how to start and setup a Benelux branch of the Triode Guild, quantum mechanics and the consistency of the mud at Woodstock (and how to relive this in the listening room). Halfway during the onion crusted salmon entree, Gizmo raised his voice a little and started a monologue on how wonderful it would be if a man's penis could be used as the base of a whole set of snap-on tools. From our position at the booth we could look into the
restaurant and while Gizmo was going on, first the ladies and shortly after that the men, were lending an ear and resting the carving of their sirloins or crackling pork shanks. The nodding of the heads and the resuming of the conversations at the other tables indicated Gizmo had hit another bull's eye.
On the way back after the 3 hour lunch we walked by St. Bartholomew's church where some priests were just having a breather. Gizmo walked right up to them and introduced us. The lights in his eyes got even brighter as he said "Take care, the Rock and Roll Messiah is here and you're the one!", leaving the gathered priest with open mouth.
After another round of hugs and kisses we said good bye and watched Gizmo walk down Park Avenue towards Grand Central, now bare headed as he gave us his white Harley cap...
We miss you Gizmo, but your memory can not be taken away.
Dr. Henk "Longbeard" Boot and Marja
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
I first encountered Harvey in the early 1980s when he was with New York
Audio Labs. He was to make a presentation at Andy Singer's original midtown
store and somehow I got an invitation. As a leather jacketed roadie for punk
rock bands I was distinctly out of place in the upscale audience of Wall
Street swells and their trophy girl friends (this was during the "greed is
good" conspicuous consumption Eighties, remember). The first clue that
Harvey was a little different was that he was holding a beat up old saucepan
caked with some amber gunk. He spoke for several minutes before revealing
that the mysterious object was a pressure cooker that Julius Futterman used
for varnishing transformers. The highlight of the speech however was when
Harvey described his first experience of hearing one of Futterman's OTL
amps. "It was better than fucking!" he enthusiastically announced. Half of
the genteel audience gasped and the other half looked around for the nearest
exit. Andy Singer looked like he'd just drunk a big mouthful of sour milk.
A few years later, for a CES show Harvey put together a spec sheet for an
OTL amp that would, he claimed, reproduce the Voice of God. It was going to
produce 100,000 watts or something like that, and would be about the size of
a house. Playing along with the joke, as editor of TAS at the time Art
Dudley insisted that HP should get the first one for review. Harvey solemnly
took an order for it and even rang up a $200,000 charge receipt for a
deposit against Art's TAS American Express card. Art carried the receipt in
his wallet for years. I once asked Harvey about it and he insisted that he
would eventually deliver the amp as promised.
In 25 years of listening to hi fi systems I've heard exactly one sound that
I might have accepted as live in a blindfold test, and Harvey was
responsible for that moment. In an early issue of "Listener" I wrote about
the first meeting of the Triode Guild at Harvey's studio in Connecticut. He
had pestered Tannoy into selling him the only pair of Westminster Royales in
North America, and he invited a bunch of SE amp designers to show off their
wares via the gigantic speakers. I briefly left the room while J.C.
Morrisson hooked up an amp, then returned just as a distorted chord at about
1:02 into "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" roared out of the
speakers at more or less live volume. I froze in place in shock: for a tiny
fraction of a second I had heard a sound that I could have mistaken for the
real thing. Of course one flawless fuzzed guitar chord was a very modest
accomplishment. This was after all just a closely - miked recording of a
speaker so it didn't really have any image or room ambience, and as an
isolated sound there weren't any pacing considerations. It wasn't a very
wide bandwidth sound either, and the verisimilitude evaporated with the next
sound. Still, even with those limitations, it remains the first and so far
only time that the question "did that sound real?" has even been plausible.
Thanks for such an indelible moment, Harvey.
Rob Doorack, Senior Editor, "Listener" magazine
I can't help wishing that this was just another of Harvey's practical jokes
and that he was in the wings waiting to jump out and say"just kidding"
folks. What always impressed me about him was his great sense of humour and
his ability to laugh at himself in print. I've corresponded with Harvey in
the past,and have followed his career since I purchased his book
Understanding Tube Electronics in the early 80's. I haven't even scratched
the surface of his web site and I hope that the contents of it will some-how
be preserved for posterity. If donations are required for this you have my
E-Mail Add. please feel free to contact me. I'm going to miss his column in
Listener and Positive Feedback(if P.F. is still publishing)
Thanks Harvey for
being a Don Qixote tilting against the Windmill of the so called "hi end".
Gonna miss you Harv!
I had spent some time (3-4 hours for several days, with Jon, talking to Julius Futterman).
Julius was in failing health and he told us that we were the only
people who understood how his amp worked. He had tried to get it
manufactured by some of the large audio companies, but it was so far removed
from what they were used to producing that they all passed. Or, more
Harvey had a printed circuit consultant design and fabricate several boards
for our prototypes. It was at this point that I joined NYAL The consultant
did not realize that there was to much current for the traces to carry for
the heaters, so the first thing I did was to hard wire the heaters. As we
were putting the first one together, I realized that the plate cap
connectors that I had in my junk box were to small. So, the first plate cap
connectors were made out of strips that I cut from (used) beer cans. The
only power supply that would supply the current (we didn't have any of
Julius' amps to cannibalize) was one that I had built about 30 years before
in college using surplus salvaged WWII military parts.
It was (and still is) a 35 pound monster.
Right in the middle of all this, Julius up and dies.
Here we all are thinking that Julius is gone, what if there is some fault in
all the new circuits that I had designed (so that the amps could be
manufactured on a production line) etc. etc. Standard worries for any engineer.
It was about this time of the year (summer) when I slowly brought the output
stage up, it worked and aligned perfectly. Then the tubes for the front end
were inserted. They also align OK. Finally a little audio into it. OK,
audio out, OK. Power out at 1KHz: 75 watts. Wow! It works!
We were all congratulating each other when there was a tremendous lightning
strike nearby, BOOM!!!!!KABOOM!!!!!! Lights out and then right back on.
Harvey, completely nonplussed, says,
"Julius has just approved our new design!"
Ted Hammond The Tride Godfather
PS: I just got a note from Jim Jackson that Edison Price
passed a couple of years ago.........
Fritztronics offered and supplied Harvey to head the R&D on a run of RCA 2A3 single black plates. We gave him the original drawings, budget and access to the original electron tube manufacturing equipment. A true complete lab. His response was that he would be "to close to the flame". At first we thought this was a ploy but later we understood his sincerity.
He was a was a walking paradox. He would cheer on the Russians or China to make a copy yet given the chance he would not make his own. His strong belief in USA electron tube design was reverend, yet he would work with Indian Motorcycles?
Yet he was a true patron and a "carrier of the flame for USA electron tube design"
Hence there goes Gizmo, sad but true.
Rest in peace, we always loved you Harvey and forever will,
Stanley Fritz Johnson CEO
Fritztronics USA, Westerly RI
The Wizard of Gizmos
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All the material contained within the above articles may not be reproduced without his express permission.