As we move through life, and add a few years to our experiences, it's only natural that we start losing friends along the way. We are all merely mortal. The last several months have been brutal. We lost Memphis'Ardent Studios stalwarts John Hampton and John Fry within a week of each other in December. Renowned Seedy Underbelly Studio owner, John Kuker, had just begun renovating Minnesota's legendary Pachyderm Studio before his unfortunate passing in February. On a note closer to home for me, Bill Gladfelter, one of my best intern/assistants ever (and later to become an ATR Services employee), passed away in November last year at 35 years old. All of this leaves me with a dark cloud hovering above, no matter how well other aspects of my life may be going. I'm not getting any younger either...

But one of the saddest losses was one of the most amazing people I have ever met. Ian Patrick McLagan, known to most as "Mac," was the keyboardist for the Small Faces, Faces, the Rolling Stones (notably on "Miss You"), Bonnie Raitt, and Billy Bragg. He also led his super fun Bump Band for years in Austin, Texas. When Laura Thurmond (our trusty ad rep) and I threw the first Tape Op Party during SXSW (an event since mothballed), one of our guests was an ebullient Mac. "I love Tape Op," he exclaimed, while seemingly bouncing off the walls with some sort of magical, music-fueled energy. Over the years we'd meet up during SXSW, both of us with too many things to do at once; but he was always smiling, happy, and ready with a hilarious comment. Thanks to this magazine, I have met many of my idols and it's always a pleasure, though sometimes a bitter surprise. The music business has a way of grinding people down if they let it. To meet one of your favorite musicians, and to find out how creative and positive they still are, is very special. Everyone that met Mac along the way knew he was someone to treasure. We miss you, my friend.

We are lucky to meet, love, share, and collaborate with others along the journey that life offers us. Don't take it for granted. 

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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