It was one of those legendarily inscribed, oxymoronically genius moments of extreme inebriated clarity and in full-blown Li’l Rascals fashion we, that is me and a bunch of other singers, had decided to do the heretofore unimaginable: we were going to start a magazine for vocalists. It’d be great and all of the gathered vocalists in attendance nodded sagely at the overdue-ness of a magazine that focused on the unsung singer, the poor beleaguered near-musician, oft-ridiculed (“first to start talking, last to stop talking, and never around to carry equipment” —Ron Isa), under-appreciated SINGER.
Ooo . . . this was a good one and we stood around congratulating ourselves for great insight until one oddly perceptive young wag spoke up and, with a nod to the God of Buzz Kill, said “There are no magazines specifically for vocalists because doing vocals doesn’t require much outside of a willingness to forego the social restraints connected to public exhibitions and shame. Moreover, have you ever seen a singer open his wallet for anything?”
Cue the wah-wah-wah sound effect and flash forward to now where, with the benefit of hindsight and better quality booze, we can see that while the original idea might have been befouled, the instinct was dead on because while we can’t do anything for vocalists that Rolling Stone, Spin, and Vibe have not already done, we CAN talk about how some of the most important recording you’re ever going to do will be vocals.
Inarguably so, since vocals and the lyrics they live through articulate the emotional center of any recorded effort that includes them. So doing it right, doing it well, and doing it better than — and your consistent desire for the same — are all the exact reasons why you’re holding this, our July Vocal issue, in your hands.
So whether we’re launching our mic shootout marathon that will eventually corral over 240+ mics (but here includes a vocal mics’ rogue’s gallery of some of the best), or are listening raptly to CHUCK AINLAY, PAUL OROFINO, JOHN HOLBROOK, PETE MOSHAY, and BRIAN MACKEWICH talking about making vocal magic, we are in the friggin’ mix of the best VOCAL issue ever. Add to that a sneak engineering peek into the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS’ new Stadium Arcadium and our MOST HUGE Gearhead ever and you got yourself a cure for the summer doldrums, baby.
Now, did I ever tell you about that time I was singing with Exene Cervenka? Right before I got knocked unconscious? Well, you see. . . .