Alvin Gold – RIP

I was very sad to hear this weekend of the death of my old friend and hi-fi reviewer Alvin Gold. I first met Alvin when I was running Haymarket magazine’s Technical Consultants’ Service. Jimmy Hughes, already a contributor to the magazines and a TCS stalwart, introduced Alvin. I believe he had been a customer at Grahams where Jimmy then worked. The TCS was like a nursery for magazine writers. Alvin was no sooner contributing query replies to Hi-Fi Answers than he was writing full product reviews.

Alvin was making the transition from photographer to writer/reviewer and we often shared listening tests. Early on he kindly offered to drive my wife and I from London to the Harrogate hi-fi show in Yorkshire, picking us up in the small hours from our flat in Islington and whisking us up and back at extraordinary speed matched by a surprising skill in driving his bright yellow Alphasud.

We shared a broad interest in music from the Stones to Mahler (very much Barbirolli, very not Karajan). Alvin once managed to discover the whereabouts of a London cutout record warehouse; pretending we were record-store owners to get us access. We explained our massive purchase of Nonesuch and Vox Turabout discontinued stock to our spouses on the lines: ‘We had to buy a lot of records to make them believe we were dealers!’ The Paul Jacobs Debussy Preludes reminds me every time of that trip.

Alvin had an infectious sense of humour and a ready laugh. His presence made many a press trip both endurable and enjoyable. And though I didn’t always agree with his views I never doubted his sincerity and welcomed his open and questioning approach. Sadly our careers went separate ways in the late 1980s and I lost regular contact with Alvin. He will be both missed and fondly remembered.


2 thoughts on “Alvin Gold – RIP

  1. I missed the news of Alvin’s death, too, also having been somewhat out of things hi-fi for the last few years. We were colleagues for a relatively short while at Audiophile, and I too much enjoyed those press trips when he was present.

    We had a truly silly conversation about prawns and the true meaning of a ‘cocktail’ on one during a lunch at a restaurant outside Dublin, when I foolishly ordered a prawn cocktail as a starter. He put me off prawns for years, whether in a ‘cocktail’ or not. I’m sure our colleagues were wondering what on earth we were laughing about through what was really a rather awful meal.

    I used to bump into him at the Proms later, and he always had a ready greeting, though we hadn’t met professionally then for some years. I guessed the last time I saw him outside the RAH he wasn’t well, but he typically made light of it and seemed more concerned at seeing me hobbling around using crutches. . .(And that I was still smoking as much as ever. . .)

    He was one of those reviewers I shall always be grateful for having known, and I’m sorry he couldn’t have been with us much longer.


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