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.