Farewell, Art Dudley

In case you haven’t heard the news, we lost one of the industry’s finest writers today.

Unfortunately, Stereophile’s Art Dudley is no more. When I heard the news just a few days ago that he was having problems with cancer that had returned, I had hoped he was going to be ok and had no idea that he was having issues with cancer in the first place. But that was Art, never one to trouble you with that kind of thing. No Go Fund Me page, no posts on social media, looking for sympathy – he just carried on.

While I would love to wax poetic about what great friends Art and I were, we weren’t. We always chatted at the various shows he attended – which wasn’t many because Art hated to fly. A few years ago, I was shocked to see him at the Munich show, but he just laughed and said he had mustered up the courage to go.

That really sums up Art Dudley on one level. He was always understated and always a perfect gentleman. Along with Jonathan Halpern (of TONE Imports, no relation to us), Art and I had put on a seminar about the “Virtues of Vintage Audio” at the New York show eight or nine years ago and had a blast doing it. The room was standing room only, with attendees spilling out into the hall. If you are a Stereophile reader, you know how much Art loved Quads, SET amps, tubes, and his beloved Thorens TD-124 turntables.

After that, we had even chatted about doing a book together, but alas, we were both too damn busy. I sincerely regret not following up on that, because I’m sure I would have learned so much from him. But we always joked about it in the halls.

What made Art such a great writer – one of the best, if not the best in the world of audio reporting, was that his motivation was pure. He lived and breathed this stuff. It was in his soul. And this is what made his articles so enjoyable, whether you agreed with him or not. It always felt like you were right there in the room living it with him – a goal that all of us that write about audio should aspire to. His articles were always a near perfect balance of reporting and telling a story without making it all about him. A good friend of mine compared him to another favorite journalist from the automotive world – Peter Egan. An excellent and worthy comparison.

Even though we were never great friends, I will miss Art tremendously, and always remember him fondly. My sincere regret is that we never did get to be good friends. I think we would have had a lot of laughs together.