The images are altogether a sort of cryptic bit of modern Western iconography. That is: the amazing Mr. Please Please himself bent over one, Elvis wrapped around one, or the Sinatra of the bobby soxer heart throb era leaning all over one.
What is a microphone, Alex?
What is a microphone?
A prop, an affectation, a suggestion of something . . . else. . . entirely, depending on how you rocked it and what you were rocking. Because it needed to be but suggested (versus even being shown) to get across what was killing itself to be said definitively and, more importantly, more loudly than everybody else: therefore I am.
So through the same cool medium of exchange that packed them out for Orpheus and that now, in this day and age, had a name, a face, and a place in space, usually in some singer’s enraptured fist, the mic’s fallen heir to being accessible like no other bit of music technology has ever been accessible.
It’s where the recorded songs start.
It’s how good recorded songs shine.
And, hell yeah, we gave it its own issue.
Because it deserves it, because it makes a difference, because you can’t do without it, and if you can’t do with it well, you will do without it. Because nobody else has bothered talking to BRUCE SWEDIEN in a damn, good long while, because what AL SCHMITT, ED CHERNEY, BIL VORNDICK, et al. know many of us can’t even begin to guess at, and because what J.J. BLAIR, TIM GREEN, and JOEL HAMILTON put themselves and their mics through a dog shouldn’t even have to suffer.
This is our September. Welcome to it.
P.S. Tuba Players [EQ, Talkbox, July 2005]? Yes, yes, you can stop writing any time now. You have been heard.