The More Things Stay the Same

(Note: Before you start reading this month's missive, please take a few moments and cue up David Bowie's "Changes" on the media player of your choice. It's OK, we'll wait... Ready? "Bowie sings, "Still don't know what I was waiting for...: And we can begin...)

Sometimes it is all any of us can do just to stay straight with all of the changes of the typical life in the early 21st Century.

No, really. I can’t be the only one who some days feels like he is standing in the center of a whirlwind from which the only escape is certain death. I can’t be.

And I am not even just talking about the greater scary world out there. No, even just in our little industry. Just today two pieces of news that illustrate what I am talking about. 1) The entire TC Group is up for sale and they plan on the sale being complete by Spring. That means they probably already have a buyer. And with the way things are moving that could be another audio company (I can think of a couple off the top of my head…) or maybe even a venture capital firm. Hell, it happened to A&H and D&B and Blue in the last, what? Year? And 2) Peavey is going to start manufacturing outside of the U.S. That means almost with 100% certainty, China. If ever there was an audio/MI company I never thought I would hear that about it was Peavey.

And hang on to your backwards-facing baseball caps, brothers and sisters. Cuz the pace of change is NOT going to slow down. Those of you who are devotees—like me—of the writings of Ray Kurzweil are already hip to the whole idea of exponential change. For the rest of you what that means is that, not only do things continue to change, but the actual rate of change gets faster and faster. And the rate at which it gets faster also increases. We are rapidly reaching the point where you may wake up one morning and the world may be unrecognizable from what it was just a year earlier.

In some ways that is exhilarating and in others it is just flat terrifying. Linda and I have talked often about how hard it must have been for her parents to relate to the world of our daughter. That whole rate of change thing. But the world they knew had more in common with the world of their great-great grandparents than it did with the world of their granddaughter. And, as I type this, Linda’s mom is living her final weeks. More change…

For me? In the space of just a decade and a half, I have gone from a local newspaper guy to the editor of a glossy national magazine for musicians to the editor of a respected trade mag for the audio biz to a totally indie guy trying to keep it all together and the lights on and working a couple of different part time jobs in addition to what I do with and Hell, we just redesigned our patent-pending eZIne format two months ago and we are tearing it apart and starting over. Because the tools for creating them have changed that much in that short a period.

So in the midst of all of that…

This whole Facebook Throwback Thursday thing… I don’t generally participate, but I have stumbled across a few old pics that I posted. Me at age 18 playing in a band wearing (God help me) a white satin kimono sorta thing. Hey, it was the ‘70s. STFU. Found a video of me playing at the Playboy Jazz Festival’s event in Pasadena back in 2002. More than 100 lbs heavier than iI am today and still drinking. It would be another three years before I started to trudge the road of happy destiny.

And a comment on that video made me think a bit. From Jim Brumbach. Who noted that he was not surprised to hear me singing the song “Vehicle.” And I stopped to think that even amongst all of the change some things have remained the same. I am still married to the love of my life. (26 years. Wow.) I still wear the same blue pimp suit for gigs. (Obviously it has been tailored a bit for my smaller frame.) I still play the same guitar. In fact I am playing it in that kimono pic as well. I have had that beast now for 36 years. And I still do a bunch of the same songs when I play gigs.

As the world goes rushing past in an ever increasing blur, sometimes it is those little touchstones that help us make sense of it all. At least, that is how it works for me…