Men who listen N°13 “It all comes around”


By Avis Cardella

Neil Young, the Canadian singer-songwriter, once said that: ”Listening to a CD is like looking at the world through a screen window.”

This is one man’s opinion, not an indictment of a technology. But it does have something to do with JL’s story.

JL is not someone who looks at the world through a screen window. He’s a doctor who looks like a rock star who was a former world champion water skier. He lives life “full tilt” as I like to say.

It’s not surprising to hear JL explain that he listens to music because it “frees” him from stress.  It’s also not surprising to hear him add…”and because I’m frustrated that I’m not a musician.”

Perhaps not a musician but in possession of a musician’s instinct?

When he says that the only place he never felt the “need” for music was in Africa, because “the music was in the Sahara,” I immediately want to go, if only to hear what he heard.

I’m also curious to know about how JL listens today.

For one thing, like Young, he remains unconvinced the newest gadget is always the harbinger of better sound.

“I became depressed when CD’s came out,” he confesses, “I went back to turntables in 2002.”

While CD’s promised “perfect sound forever,” for JL the shiny silver discs couldn’t compete with the appeal of the LP. The distinct sound created from—a turntable, pressed vinyl, a tone arm—was what JL realized he was after.

In addition, CD’s proved a poor substitute for “the mechanical process of putting the needle in the groove, and the excitement of seeing the object turning.”

His ideal turntable has always been the EMT 927. When he told a close friend that he “dreamed” of having the rare EMT927 the friend confided that he, in fact, had two!

“The next day a truck arrived at my doorstep, two EMT’s inside,” JL recalls.

What luck! What a friend!

Meanwhile, back in 1988, sales of CD’S outpaced the sale of LP’s for the first time in history, while, at virtually the same time—the end of the Eighties—the last EMT rolled out of the factory.

The end of an era?   Maybe not.


My wife Avis has now completed the last but not least of her “men who listen” series.

I say here “the man who listens?”

Thanks JL for offering so many of us the opportunity to meet enjoy and share, freindship is the foundation of all passions.


  1. Very interesting and sad when I learnt it’s the last one. I follow JL on the net. Long live to vinyl and your blog.

  2. And thank you Avis for an entertaining, insightful look at what we do and who we are.
    If you haven’t heard JL’s rock star stories, ask him about his youthful time in San Francisco.

    Have fun at BV! I’ll miss you.

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