I can still vividly recall the day in 1978 when Mix founders David Schwartz and Penny Jacob trudged up the stairs next to my office and into the unfinished attic of the Oakland house that was the headquarters of BAM magazine (where I was an editor) for The Meeting. BAM had published Mix‘s first couple of studio directories, which were modest successes, and were set to put out others, when David and Penny announced that they were leaving the BAM fold and going solo. First Paul leaves The Beatles, then this — the ’70s was a cruel decade. Anyway, there was a heated and frank exchange of views, clearly audible in my office, and in the end David and Penny had their freedom and their magazine. I remember thinking, “Aw, let ’em have it! A tabloid magazine about recording? It’ll never last!”
Needless to say, this prognostication — coming from one who predicted that Flock of Seagulls would be the Next Big Thing, who invested in the Pet Rock company after the craze was over, and who finally finished Macarena lessons last month — was just another ignominious embarrassment in a lifetime full of them. In what can only be deemed an ironic twist, a few years later I signed on as Mix‘s first managing editor, and I’ve been here ever since, as Mix has grown and evolved into the biggest magazine of its kind in the world. My only regret now is that I didn’t work with Mix during the era immediately after the separation from BAM, when their office was adjacent to a Winchell’s donut shop.
In a business where we live issue to issue, year-in and year-out, a quarter-century goes by in a big blur — the triumphs and frustrations, the hot scoops and missed opportunities, the endless stream of wonderful and weird co-workers, owners, clients, competitors…they all helped shape what Mix became, in both obvious and undetectable ways.
It’s been a great ride (most of the time), and I know I speak for everyone at Mix past and present when I say it’s been a true privilege to serve our industry, which is every bit as vibrant, creative and exciting today as it was when David and Penny first came to BAM with that gleam in their eyes.
So enjoy this slice of readable birthday cake! And be careful as you pop that champagne cork!