John Lennon Remembered

It’s hard to believe 40 years have passed since John Lennon was fatally shot outside his home on Manhattan’s Upper West Side on this very day. I remember that day well because my older brother, a big The Beatles/Lennon fan, wouldn’t get out of bed and refused to go to school. (My mother wisely let it be.)

We at S&V are marking the anniversary of John’s December 1980 passing with a review of the new John Lennon box set Gimme Some Truth: The Ultimate Remixes — Deluxe Edition and The Making of John Lennon’s Gimme Some Truth: The Ultimate Mixes by a new contributor, Matt Hurwitz, on the production of tracks that were remixed in stereo, 5.1, and Atmos. Hurwitz has extensive experience writing about music and film for publications including Mix, Variety, American Cinematographer, and Cinefex. More relevant for this issue, he was editor-in-chief of Good Day Sunshine, a print magazine dedicated exclusively to The Beatles. As fellow Beatlemaniacs, we’re happy to welcome him aboard our Yellow Submarine.

Virtual Realities

IRL (IN REAL LIFE), according to, that definitive lexicon of terms alien to folks who don’t spend their entire life on the internet, is an acronym “often used in internet chat rooms to let people know you are talking about something in the real world and not in the internet world.” Recently, I got a strong reminder of the value of RL (Real Life) as opposed to IRL. The occasion was CEDIA Expo Virtual 2020, the online version of the home theater and custom installation tech tradeshow that Sound & Vision attends and reports on each September.

I had mentioned S&V’s plan to cover the online expo in my October print column, and also that readers could look forward to a show report. But as it turned out, there wasn’t a whole lot going on at CEDIA Expo Virtual 2020. Many manufacturers who typically exhibit at CEDIA Expo IRL were nowhere to be seen in the digital exhibit halls. Of the companies that did attend, most didn’t have new products to announce. (You can read coverage of news that did emerge from the show at here.) One possible reason is that the Covid-19 pandemic has slowed new product development, and manufacturers didn’t have anything new in the pipeline. But another, equally plausible, explanation is that companies weren’t particularly juiced about introducing new products at an online tradeshow.

Not that CEDIA Expo Virtual 2020 was a total wash. Some companies adapted well to the format and provided informative video presentations, both live and pre-recorded. For example, Sony, a company that did have new products to announce, live-streamed a “digital event” featuring a comprehensive overview of the company’s A/V product lineup, all of it delivered by a pair of presenters who displayed a remarkable ability to rattle off model numbers and specs from the top of their respective heads.

In the weeks following CEDIA Expo, I “attended” virtual product rollouts by Google and Apple that for me set a high bar for the format. While I wasn’t particularly interested in the $100 smart speakers either company was pitching (the iPhone 12 Pro with its high-resolution Dolby Vision-compatible display was much more compelling), I found I enjoyed being whisked through the sophisticated 3D virtual environments both created for their online product showcases.

Will virtual events become the future norm? Artists are beginning to deliver online music performances, and I’m not talking about informal Instagram Live streams relayed from a pandemic retreat, but full-scale virtual reality concerts. (See Mike Mettler’s latest Stream On post to get up to speed with the developing VR and AR concert scene.) Bottom line: Tradeshows like the upcoming virtual CES 2021 and other events are going to have to up the high-tech ante to make online attendance compelling. There’s high value in humans interacting IRL. Replacing that model is going to be ATO (A Tall Order).

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