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Crawdaddy: Get Off Of My Cloud!

Comment by Paul Williams, Crawdaddy!, February 1966

YOU ARE looking at tho first issue of amagazine of rock and roll criticism. Crawdaddy will feature neither pin-ups nor news-briefs; the specialty of this ...

The Bloodless Battle Of The Badge: The Press at Monterey Pop

Report by Derek Taylor, World Countdown News, July 1967

THE CLEAN YOUNG man at the window said he was from the Los Angeles Times and there was nothing in his face to say he ...

The Mothers Of Invention: Mother's Rites: Freak Out/Absolutely Free

Review by Geoffrey Cannon, Listener, The, October 1967

2012 NOTE: Here below is the second column I wrote for The Listener in late 1967. It was the first of a number I ...

Nico, Velvet Underground: Andy Warhol: A Mirror Of American Death

Essay by Geoffrey Cannon, New Society, June 1968

The Andy Warhol and Robert Kennedy shootings, and the Velvets ...

The Rolling Stones: How I Survived Beggar's Banquet

Report by Chris Welch, Melody Maker, December 1968

THAT custard pies would one day be hurled by the Rolling Stones at the gentlemen of the press was fairly inevitable. ...

Foreword to Outlaw Blues by Paul Williams

Book Excerpt by Michael Lydon, Rolling Stone, April 1969

[For the 21st-century edition of this book, Michael Lydon, a founding editor of Rolling Stone magazine and the author of Rock Folk, Boogie Lightning and ...

Nik Cohn: Pop; Paul Oliver: The Story of The Blues

Book Review by Charlie Gillett, Record Mirror, August 1969

Charlie Gillett reviews two books on music: Pop by Nik Cohn, and The Story of The Blues by Paul Oliver ...

Electric Kool-Aid: On & Off the Bus

Essay by Michael Lydon, Fusion, March 1970

The last words of Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test are "WE BLEW IT". In caps, naturally. ...

Bob Dylan: Dylan’s Tarantula

Review by David G. Walley, Zygote, 1971

TARANTULA: twenty-five year-old visions of reality/letters to himself and posterity, now here in some other form from miracle xerox. Tarantula--visions of Aretha, soul singer in ...

Music Magazines: The Real Rock ‘n’ Roll Underground

Overview by Greg Shaw, Creem, June 1971

Do you ever get so sick of the latest Leon Russell or Ten Years After album that you switch off the FM radio in disgust ...

Around The Rock Roots

Comment by Martin Hawkins, Record Mirror, July 1971

"DID YOU EVER HEAR A TENOR SAX, SWINGING LIKE A RUSTY AXE?" ...

So You Wanna Be a Rock'n'Roll Writer (Keep a Carbon!)

Guide by Charlie Gillett, Rock File 1, 1972

My favourite music magazine is called Creem. It's published in Detroit, Michigan, and every month the first thing I see is a statement next to ...

The Rock & Roll Press

Overview by Metal Mike Saunders, Rag, The, January 1972

MOST PEOPLE LISTEN to rock and roll. Yet others read about it, and some actually have the lunacy to write about it! Where there’s money ...

Nik Cohn: My Book is Rubbish but it’s the Best

Interview by Steve Turner, Beat Instrumental, May 1972

"There is only one decent book that has ever been written on pop," said Nik Cohn from beneath his wide brimmed hat, "and that's Awopbopaloobopalopbamboom ...

RockFile: Where The Writing Ends, The Memory Game Begins

Review by Mick Houghton, Let It Rock, February 1973

ROCK FILE is one of the current crop of books on music which has moved away from the more historical analysis, and deals with the ...

Bob Dylan: Left Hand of God?

Essay by Greil Marcus, Let It Rock, March 1973

IN THE NOVEMBER issue of Let It Rock, Tony White offered some rather hysterical opinions in his Dylan bootleg discography, and Tony Scaduto, author of ...

Rock Critics Rule... and other startling musical revelations!

Special Feature by J. Montague Fitzpatrick, Coast, April 1973

Or: how Lester Bangs, Dave Marsh, Chet Flippo, Nick Tosches, Robot A. Hull, Lenny Kaye, Richard Meltzer, Mike Saunders, Gene Sculatti, Ed Ward and 26 ...

Jon Landau: It’s Too Late To Stop Now

Review by Simon Frith, Let It Rock, May 1973

I FEEL UNEASY, confronting Landau. If a rock critic is a parasite, what is the critic of a rock critic? Landau is a rock critic ...

OZ: More Than Simply Another Hippy Rag

Report by Jonathon Green, International Times, May 1973

I TOLD YOU so. I've always wanted to say it, and now I can. Here, as I hack out yet another goddam obituary, I can ...

Lester Bangs: Exile in Detroit City: A Imaginary Conversation with Lester Bangs

Comment by Metal Mike Saunders, Brain Damage, June 1974

SO WE FINALLY decided it was time to come to terms with Lester Bangs... ...

How to be a Rock Critic: A Megatonic Journey

Essay by Lester Bangs, Shakin' Street Gazette, October 1974

LATELY I'VE NOTICED a new wrinkle on the American landscape: it seems as if there's a whole generation of kids, each one younger than the ...

Lester Bangs: Epistle to a Young Critic: A Letter from Lester Bangs, February 1975

Letters by Lester Bangs, unpublished, February 1975

Thirty years ago, RBP contributor Susan (then Suzan) Compo was an apprentice punkette and aspiring rock scribe living in Tustin, California. An avid reader of ...

The Rolling Stones: Robert Greenfield: A Journey through America with the Rolling Stones

Book Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, September 1975

I FEAR THIS book may be the one that could finally O.D. the reader on rock writing, particularly that flat, conscientious, detailed, post-Truman Capote style ...

Neil Young Paints It Black: Zuma

Review by Paul Nelson, Village Voice, November 1975

NOTE: ON APRIL 14, 1983, Elliot Roberts, Neil Young's manager, wrote a letter to Paul: "This is to advise you that we will co-operate with ...

Rock Dreams/Schemes: The History of Crawdaddy(!)

Retrospective by John Swenson, Crawdaddy!, March 1976

YOU ARE looking at the first issue of a magazine of rock and roll criticism. Crawdaddy! will feature neither pin-ups nor news briefs; the specialty ...

Ian Hunter: Reflections Of A Rock Star

Review by Lester Bangs, Phonograph Record, September 1976

Ian Hunter: Coping With Modern Day Rock Stardom ...

The (?) Rock Special (#4): Mark P

Profile and Interview by Jonh Ingham, Sounds, October 1976

"I may be sounding dramatic but I wanna go out and hear the sounds that I like every night, I wanna have to choose what ...

The Critics' Critic

Essay by Dave Marsh, Rolling Stone, December 1976

THERE'S BEEN nothing but grief since Newsweek (or was it the Sunday New York Times!) decided that rock critics invented Bruce Springsteen. Only a moron ...

The Critics' Critic II

Essay by Dave Marsh, Rolling Stone, January 1977

ROCK CRITICISM is now often seen in many quarters as more important than rock itself. Many critics carry this one step further by superimposing their ...

Patti Smith: Lenny Kaye: New York Nuggets

Interview by Kris Needs, ZigZag, May 1977

IN ISSUE 68 [of ZigZag], Patti Smith talked about a number of things during an account of the first half of her visit to this ...

Elvis Presley: Junk, junk food junk prose (pulpitations for all)

Book Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, October 1977

Red West, Sonny West, Dave Hebler, as told to Steve Dunleavy: Elvis – What Happened? ...

Essaying The Sound of the City: Gillett and After

Essay by Paul Yamada, Terminal Zone, Spring 1977

ANYONE WELL acquainted with the pop and R&B charts from 1948-1954 knows a few odd things about rock. ...

Bruce Springsteen: Proceedings of Discovery

Comment by Bruce Pollock, Gannett Westchester Newspapers, 1978

WE ROCK PUNDITS, critics and reviewers, Rockwells of good taste, O'Neills of moral fervor, are in reality no better than the average slob on the ...

Fanzines: Pure Pop Art For Now People

Overview by Jon Savage, Sounds, January 1978

'THEY are vital, audacious, reckless insofar as they represent an extreme view adopted in a broad popular m way, and they have a curious brave ...

The Bush Fire That Ate Bogville, Arizona

Overview by Paul Rambali, New Musical Express, April 1978

Oh-no-not-another-fanzine-survey (goes West) ...

Patti Smith: Babel (Putnam/Longman)

Review by Jeffrey Morgan, Roxy, June 1978

TEMPTING AS IT MAY BE, it would be far too easy to dismiss Patti Smith merely as a literary quack and let it go at ...

John Cooper Clarke: Just Another Ex-Gravedigger Poet Into Dada and the TV

Interview by Garry Bushell, Sounds, September 1978

GARRY BUSHELL GOES PUNK-SURREAL ...

Mick Farren: London

Live Review by Peter Silverton, Sounds, September 1978

"HELLO, MY name's Mick Farren...I wanna drink!" ...

Blast Furnace & The Heatwaves, Christopher Milk, Mick Farren, Nick Kent, Patti Smith, The Pretenders: The Pen Is Mightier As A Chord

Report by Sandy Robertson, Sounds, March 1979

...sometimes. The rock critic as musician. By Sandy Robertson ...

Punk Attack: 'The Obituary of Rock and Roll'

Book Review by Dave Marsh, Rolling Stone, June 1979

Julie Burchill and Tony Parsons: The Boy Looked at Johnny (Pluto Press) ...

John Cooper Clarke: The Bard Of Beasley Street At The Seat Of Learning

Interview by Phil Sutcliffe, Sounds, May 1980

THE OXFORD University Union porter peered at us fish-eyed. "Are you members?" he said. "Er, no - we're with the poet." ...

I Knew Emmett Grogan

Memoir by Al Aronowitz, Blacklisted Masterpieces of Al Aronowitz, The, 1981

YEAH, I KNEW Emmett Grogan, knew him well enough to've gone on a half-ass caper with him in behalf of a coke dealer who thought ...

Nick Kent, The Subterraneans: The Almost Legendary Nick Kent Story

Interview by Chris Salewicz, New Musical Express, January 1981

The modest (if a mite incestuous) tale of the celebrated NME writer who is now on the threshold of becoming a bona fide rock star ...

Bruce Springsteen: Springsteen Forged Passports To A Promised Land

Comment by Nick Kent, New Musical Express, July 1981

"What my band and I are about is a sense of responsibility. If you accept it, that makes you responsible for everything that happens. People ...

Elvis Presley: Goldman Ain't Nothin' But A Hound Dog!

Book Review by Bill Holdship, Creem, February 1982

Elvis by Albert Goldman (McGraw-Hill) ...

Lester Bangs: Ballad of a Loudhearted Man

Obituary by Nick Kent, New Musical Express, May 1982

"Lester Bangs is the rock critic's rock critic, a man gifted verbally in much the same way that James Brown is gifted as a dancer. ...

Lester Bangs, R.I.P.

Obituary by Ira Robbins, Trouser Press, August 1982

LESTER BANGS, whose writings probably influenced the style and outlook of countless rock critics, died in his New York apartment on April 30 at the ...

Steve Beresford: Everywhere Man: Steve Beresford

Profile and Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, September 1982

You name it, Beresford had done it. He'd played bass, played piano, played trumpet...he'd composed music, improvised music, organised music, he'd written about the damn ...

Davitt Sigerson: AOR? Write On! An Interview with Davitt Sigerson

Interview by Barney Hoskyns, New Musical Express, September 1984

DAVITT SIGERSON insists he isn’t smarting from the NME review which described Falling In Love Again as ‘The Worst Record I’ve Ever Heard." ...

Jack Kerouac: Hit The Road, Jack: A Man Called Kerouac

Retrospective by Biba Kopf, New Musical Express, July 1985

AMERICAN RHAPSODISTS come thick and fast, frenziedly spurtspraying words across the broad continental canvas by way of leaving traces, eager to fill in every dingly ...

Marvin Gaye: Divided Soul: The Life of Marvin Gaye by David Ritz

Review by Chris Salewicz, Time Out, July 1985

The anguished life of Marvin Gaye ended on April 1, 1984, at the home in Los Angeles he had bought for his parents, when a ...

Pet Shop Boys: The Pet Shop Boys: An ex-Smash Hits Writer and the Grandson of a Nitwit

Interview by Tom Hibbert, Smash Hits, December 1985

Doesn't sound like the ideal line-up for a successful pop duo, does it? But now that 'West End Girls' is whizzing up the charts that's ...

Garry Bushell: The Most Evil Man In Pop

Interview by Colin Irwin, Melody Maker, May 1986

Scourge of the Looney Left, creator of Oi and prime exponent of the dreaded 'Sunspeak', GARRY BUSHELL makes a clean breast of it to Prof ...

Pop Journalism: Write of Wrong?

Overview by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, May 1986

Is it pop we're disillusioned with, or pop journalism? Is Paul Morley the curse or the saviour of the scribbling classes? Frank Owen takes a ...

Jim Carroll: A Nod Of Approval: The music and poetry of Jim Carroll

Interview by Gerrie Lim, Orange County Review, June 1986

"I'VE ALWAYS CONSIDERED myself a poet first," Jim Carroll says, his slightly cracked voice resounding clearly over the phone from New York. "That's what brings ...

Rock Magazines: Why They're So Good

Overview by John Mendelsohn, Creem, July 1986

YOU KNOW WHAT'S interesting about the rock print medium nearly two-thirds of the way through the '80s? That so much of it is aimed at ...

Boy George: From Culture Club To Vulture Club

Comment by Paolo Hewitt, Don Watson, New Musical Express, July 1986

Boy George's romance with the Fleet Street scandal sheets came to an abrupt end when they turned on him in an hysterical anti-drugs campaign. But ...

Nelson George: The Death of Rhythm & Blues (Omnibus)

Review by Barney Hoskyns, Wire, The, 1987

NELSON GEORGE, self-described "B-Boy intellectual" and one of pop culture's few black writers of note, has written a book which (sort of) argues that the ...

Jon Savage: Cool and the Crazy

Interview by Richard North, Offbeat, November 1988

Richard North tackles post-punk pessimist, writer, dreamer and rebel without a cause – Jon Savage ...

The Rolling Stones: Stanley Booth: Myth and Misquotation

Essay by Greil Marcus, Threepenny Review, Fall 1988

This was originally the address at the commencement ceremonies of the Department of History, University of California at Berkeley, on 20th May 1988. Greil Marcus ...

Jimi Hendrix: Far Out

Book Review by Richard Williams, Q, December 1989

Charles Shaar Murray: Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix And Post-War Pop (Faber) ...

Jack Kerouac: The Mythmaking of Jack Kerouac: The Jack Kerouac Collection (Rhino)

Review by Tom Graves, Rock & Roll Disc, September 1990

TRUMAN CAPOTE very nearly sank Jack Kerouac’s literary reputation with five well-chosen words that exploded like cigarette loads in the public eye. ...

Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett: Crazy Diamond: Syd Barrett & the Dawn of Pink Floyd, Mike Watkinson and Pete Anderson (Omnibus Press)

Book Review by Tom Hibbert, Q, February 1991

TWO EXCELLENT ways to become a sort of "cult" rock hero: 1) Be dead; 2) Be bonkers...Actually, come to think of it, the first option ...

Rock And The Tabloids: Publish And Be Damned

Report by Tom Hibbert, Q, March 1991

The pop columnists of Britain's tabloid papers had a high old time of it in the 1980s. Then they woke up to an unpleasant lesson ...

Al Aronowitz (1991)

Interview by Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages Audio, August 1991

Hired and fired by the New York Post, having that "total phoney" Andy Warhol steal the Velvets from him, running with Dylan and, extensively, his dealings with The Band – the "blacklisted journalist" Al Aronowitz vents his not-inconsiderable spleen.

File format: mp3; in 3 parts, total file sizes: 68.7meg, total interview length: 1h 16' 43" sound quality: ***

Greg Shaw (1993)

Interview by Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages Audio, 1993

Mojo Naviagator and Bomp founder Greg Shaw on his early days in psychedelic San Francisco, L.A. Garage Punk, The Doors, Love and Los Angeles rock.

File format: mp3; in 3 parts, total file sizes: 82.6mb, total interview length: 1h 30' 07" sound quality: ***

David Bowie: Bowie Knifed: Backstage Passes: Life On The Wild Side With David Bowie by Angela Bowie with Patrick Carr

Book Review by Andy Gill, Q, April 1993

The ex-wife speaks: David Bowie was an alien, had nothing to do with his own success and was no Cherry Vanilla. ...

Morrissey, Suede: Brett Anderson & Morrissey: Suedegate

Comment by Sheryl Garratt, Face, The, May 1993

Does this magazine print deliberate lies? Well actually no, we don't ...

Elvis Presley: Elvis: The Goldman Factor

Essay by John Tobler, 'Aspects of Elvis', 1994

ELVIS PRESLEY WAS THE UNKNOWING centre of controversy in his quite short life: only being screened from the waist upwards on TV so that his ...

Lester Bangs: Rock 'n' roll as literature, literature as rock 'n' roll.

Retrospective by Barney Hoskyns, MOJO, March 1994

Whither Rock Gomorrah, the great gonzo hack's unpublished swansong? ...

Nick Kent: The Write Stuff: Nick Kent

Review by Barney Hoskyns, Vogue, June 1994

FOR ANY CALLOW, maladjusted youth growing up in the early-to-mid-‘70s with the New Musical Express as his bible, Nick Kent was unquestionably the coolest rock ...

Strange New Ways To Kill A Rock Critic

Overview by Paul Gorman, MOJO, September 1994

PREHENSILE Monkey-Tailed Skink? Screeching Weasel? PopDefect? Anus The Menace? ...

East Coast Lives: The Rockin' Chiropodist

Profile by Michael Gray, LiveWire, October 1994

IT'S IMPOSSIBLE to interview Charles White if you walk alongside him around the streets of his adopted hometown, Scarborough: too many people are greeting him ...

Marianne Faithfull Springs Eternal

Interview by Deborah Frost, BAM, October 1994

"Since AIDS, I've changed my attitude. Now I'm honored. I want to be part of the gay community and I am." ...

Elvis Presley: Love Him Tender, Love Him True

Book Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, December 1994

Peter Guralnick: Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley ...

Lester Bangs: Jook Savages

Memoir by Nick Tosches, The Nick Tosches Reader, 1995

LESTER BANGS, with whom I had drunk but whose writing I had never read, had died not long after Hellfire came out, in the spring ...

The Coal Porters, Sid Griffin: What a Long, Strange Ryde(r) It's Been: Sid Griffin

Interview by Bill Wasserzieher, Bob, The, April 1995

SID GRIFFIN emerges from the underground tube station at Piccadilly Circus, a long coat over his shoulders, collar up against the chill, and coattails adrift ...

Joy Division: Deborah Curtis: Touching From A Distance: Ian Curtis And Joy Division (Faber & Faber)

Review by Phil Sutcliffe, Q, June 1995

AS THE JOURNALIST and pop historian Jon Savage Suggests in his foreword, for one narrowly defined sub-generation, Ian Curtis's suicide was a first personal encounter ...

Joy Division: She’s Got Control

Interview by Len Brown, Q, June 1995

Fifteen years after he hanged himself in their Macclesfield kitchen, Joy Division leader Ian Curtis has been "outed" by his widow, Deborah, as an ill-tempered, ...

Leroi Jones: Blues People

Review by Tony Russell, MOJO, July 1995

WHEN BLUES PEOPLE WAS PUBLISHED in 1963, LeRoi Jones became the first black American to have written a book about the blues. It did not ...

The Gospel according to Anthony Heilbut

Profile and Interview by Barney Hoskyns, Independent, The, June 1996

From Mahalia Jackson to Death in Venice might seem a long journey. But for Anthony Heilbut, the renowned gospel expert and author of a new ...

Strolling Down Punk-Rock Lane: Legs McNeil

Profile and Interview by Ira Robbins, New York Times, The, July 1996

THE CLASS OF 1976 held a reunion in the lobby of the Gershwin Hotel late last month. While inspecting a photography exhibition documenting their youth, ...

Ray Coleman: The Man Behind the Maker

Obituary by Chris Charlesworth, Daily Telegraph, September 1996

RAY COLEMAN, who has died from cancer aged 59, played a leading role in the growth of the British music press in the Sixties and ...

Secret Knowledge: Hi Bunny, I'm Home!

Interview by Push, Muzik, September 1996

Kris Needs and Wonder. A boy from Aylesbury and a girl from Ohio. Music from the heart, some hard lessons from the street... and a ...

Pamela Des Barres: No Holds Barres

Interview by Carol Clerk, Melody Maker, December 1996

Carol Clerk reports on the latest book from groupie supreme, Pamela Des Barres ...

Trouser Press: The Story Behind The Legendary Zine

Retrospective by Ira Robbins, Perfect Sound Forever, June 1997

EDITOR’S NOTE: One of the reasons that our zine started up was because there were other music nuts before us who wanted to tell the ...

Allen Ginsberg 1926-1997

Obituary by Miles, MOJO, June 1997

ALLEN GINSBERG and I were friends for over 30 years, and even though I am his "official" biographer, it is hard to sum up so ...

Cabaret Voltaire, Psychic TV, Throbbing Gristle: William Burroughs: Ghost Of Chance

Essay by Biba Kopf, Wire, The, October 1997

"The Subliminal Kid moved in and took over bars cafes and juke boxes of the worlds cities and installed radio transmitters and microphones in each ...

The Beatles: Derek Taylor: Obituary

Obituary by Richard Williams, MOJO, November 1997

IN 1963, WHEN BRIAN EPSTEIN INVITED HIM TO HANDLE the Beatles' PR, Derek Taylor was a 31-year-old national newspaper reporter with a suit and tie. ...

Robert Palmer, 1945-1997

Obituary by Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix, The, December 1997

POPULAR MUSIC has never had a better friend than Robert Palmer, the critic and musician who died l POPULAR MUSIC has never had a better friend ...

Robert Palmer

Obituary by Michael Gray, Guardian, The, December 1997

ROBERT PALMER, THE distinguished American music journalist and blues expert, has died in New York aged 52. ...

R.E.M.: Rock Criticism and the Rocker: A Conversation With Peter Buck

Book Excerpt by Anthony DeCurtis, Rocking My Life Away, 1998

IN SEPTEMBER 1994 R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck kindly took time off from promoting R.E.M.'s Monster to do an interview with Anthony DeCurtis, who wanted an ...

Old, Jilted and Fat: Julie Burchill: I Knew I Was Right

Book Review by Fiona Russell Powell, Punch, February 1998

Julie Burchill is celebrating the publication of her autobiography, but does the book provide a realistic portrait of the venomous and personally troubled columnist? Fiona Russell ...

Kinky Friedman: God Bless John Wayne (Faber and Faber)

Review and Interview by Phil Sutcliffe, Q, 1999

Kinky Friedman is full of himself. He always was in his ’70s singing days with provocateur country & western outfit The Texas Jewboys. And now ...

Music Journalists: Why They Have To Write

Report and Interview by uncredited writer, Music Biz, 1999

MOST MUSIC industry professionals will argue that receiving press is more a matter of business than it is a desire to be in the limelight, ...

Rock 100: Um, What Was It We Wanted To Say?

Book Excerpt by Lenny Kaye, David Dalton, Cooper Square (reissue), 1999

Rock's Backpages will, over the coming weeks, be presenting selected chapters from the 1999 re-issue of Lenny Kaye and David Dalton's classic 1977 book Rock ...

Almost Famous: 1973 and all that

Essay by Charles Shaar Murray, Guardian, The, 2000

1973 AS A rock and roll annus mirabilis? Six thousand miles away from the old Rolling Stone office in San Francisco, it felt more like ...

Bill Drummond, The KLF: Bill Drummond: 45

Review by Charles Shaar Murray, Independent, The, 2000

"POP MUSIC," writes Bill Drummond, "has become like a cancer that has spread through my whole body and is now affecting my brain." Having been ...

Mojo Navigator: Memories of Mojo

Retrospective by Gene Sculatti, Scram, 2000

SAN FRANCISCO, 1966. This was a long time ago. The Grateful Dead swung hard, fast and scary, and Peter Albin's demented LSD-preacher stalked stages as ...

Whatever Happened to Paul Nelson?

Interview by Steven Ward, rockcritics.com, 2000

ROCK WRITING WAS NOT the first choice of Paul Nelson. A pioneer of rock criticism, and one of its most talented practitioners, Nelson (who cites ...

Lester Bangs: Did Lester Bangs Die In Vain?

Book Review by Ira Robbins, salon.com, April 2000

Let It Blurt: The Life and Times of Lester Bangs, America's Greatest Rock Critic By Jim DeRogatis, Broadway, 256 Pages ...

Lester Bangs: Rock 'n' Roll was the Big Bang

Retrospective by David Dalton, Gadfly, July 2000

For a long time, its shockwaves obliterated thought altogether. That was the great thing about it: it was anti-matter, it vaporized everything that wasn’t immediate, ...

Satanic Majesties' Bequest

Book Review by Charles Shaar Murray, Independent, The, July 2000

I'm a Man: Sex, Gods And Rock'n'roll by Ruth Padel (Faber & Faber, £12.99, 409pp) ...

Sniffin' Glue: The Essential Punk Accessory

Retrospective and Interview by Jon Savage, MOJO, August 2000

WHEN THE FIRST Ramones album appeared in London, during the spring of 1976, it changed everything: not only the tempo and the look of rock, ...

Bert Jansch: Bert and my Book

Comment by Colin Harper, Irish Times, The, September 2000

CURRENTLY HOT on the heels of Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix and Johnny Cash as an individualist icon of 20th Century music – name-dropped as an ...

Greil Marcus: Top Spin Service!!

Profile and Interview by Charlie Gillett, Rock's Backpages, November 2000

Charlie Gillett, broadcaster and author of The Sound of the City, regularly invites guests to play radio "ping-pong" on his Saturday night show on London ...

Melody Maker, 1926 - 2000, RIP

Obituary by Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages, December 2000

An era came to an end on 14th December when IPC Magazines announced the closure of its oldest music title, Melody Maker. ...

Lester Bangs: Jim DeRogatis: Let it Blurt: The Life and Times of Lester Bangs (Broadway Books/Bloomsbury)

Book Review by Charles Shaar Murray, Revolver, Spring 2000

WHO WAS Lester Bangs? He was a rock critic. To be more precise, he was a rock critic like Muhammad Ali was a boxer or ...

Lester Bangs: Dear Charlie... Love, Lester

Letters by Lester Bangs, unpublished, 2001

Excerpts from letters supplied by Charlie Gillett to Rock's Backspages* ...

Know Your NME!

Book Excerpt by Paul Gorman, Sanctuary Press,, 2001

Paul Gorman's In Their Own Write: Adventures in the Music Press (Sanctuary Press) is an oral history of rock journalism in Britain and America – ...

Nikki Giovanni: Whaddya Mean You've Never Heard Of… Nikki Giovanni?

Retrospective by James Maycock, MOJO, 2001

IN THE CRAZY, HEADY DAYS of the Black Power era, Nikki Giovanni was one of the few female voices to offset the rampant machismo of ...

Alternative TV: The iJamming! Chat: Mark Perry

Interview by Tony Fletcher, iJamming.net, January 2001

AS THE FIRST sentence of my mission statement makes clear, Mark Perry was a major factor in my deciding to write about music – though, ...

Almost Infamous

Report by Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages, January 2001

Anticipating the February 9 UK release of Cameron Crowe’s film Almost Famous, about a callow young scribe hitting the road with a mid-’70s rock band, ...

So, what do Q know? RBP’s 50 favourite music books

Guide by Mat Snow, Rock's Backpages, February 2001

"Genius!" trumpets the cover of this month’s Q magazine: "The 50 Best Music Books Ever Written." Naturally, we wuz hooked and forked over our three ...

In His Own Right: Ian MacDonald

Interview by Paul Gorman, unpublished, March 2001

I INTERVIEWED Ian MacDonald for my music press history In Their Own Write in March 2001. As charming, tolerant and insightful as the first-class prose ...

Confessions of a Grammy Nom

Report by Bud Scoppa, Rock's Backpages, March 2001

"I Was Robbed," A Loser Whines, Then Delivers An Acceptance Speech That Never Was ...

The Beatles: Ian MacDonald: Revolution In the Head - The Beatles' Records And The Sixties (1994, revised 1995, Pimlico)

Review and Interview by Phil Sutcliffe, Q, April 2001

IAN MACDONALD, now 52, was enraptured by The Beatles as a teenager, then generally disappointed by pop music from 1980 onwards. His attempt "to bring ...

Remembering Alan Betrock

Obituary by Andy Schwartz, Village Voice, April 2001

Alan Betrock was the passionate fanatic who founded the groundbreaking New York Rocker. Andy Schwartz, who succeeded him as the magazine’s publisher and editor, here ...

Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger: Irwin Silber of Sing Out!

Interview by Richie Unterberger, Perfect Sound Forever, July 2001

IN THE mid-1960's Irwin Silber was editor of Sing Out! magazine, the leading folk periodical in the United States. Here he talks about his personal ...

The New Rolling Stone is... The New Yorker?!

Report by Michael Goldberg, Neumu, August 2001

Who would expect to find this year's best offline writing about music in The New Yorker? ...

In Their Own Write: Adventures in the Music Press

Book Excerpt by Paul Gorman, Sanctuary Press, November 2001

Introduction ...

Lester Bangs: Remembering Lester

Book Excerpt by Paul Gorman, In Their Own Write: Adventures in the Music Press, November 2001

"Everybody's a rock critic." – Lester Bangs ...

Turning the Stone: The Adventures of Jann Wenner and Cameron Crowe in the sick, slick '70s

Book Excerpt by Paul Gorman, In Their Own Write, November 2001

In our second excerpt from In Their Own Write: Adventures in the Music Press (published this week by Sanctuary), Paul Gorman goes back to the ...

Thoughts of a Rock Critic

Comment by Michael Goldberg, Neumu, November 2001

Four decades on, rock criticism is still (though barely) alive ...

The Deviants, Mick Farren: Mick Farren on the Deviants, Fantasy Fiction and Blowing Things Up

Profile and Interview by Erik Himmelsbach, LA Weekly, November 2001

PUBLISHING MOGUL Felix Dennis was staring at the Caribbean Sea a few months ago, sucking down cocktails with fellow gazillionaires at Basil's Bar on the ...

In Memoriam: Meet Your Maker

Memoir by Chris Charlesworth, Rock's Backpages, December 2001

It is a year since IPC shut down Melody Maker, the oldest of all popular music magazines. In this affectionate memoir, former MM staffer and ...

Paul Gorman: In Their Own Write: Adventures In The Music Press

Book Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, December 2001

Perceptive, hysterical history of rock journalism — from the horses' mouths ...

The Rolling Stones: Old Gods Almost Dead

Interview by David Dalton, Gadfly, December 2001

David Dalton Talks to Stephen Davis, Author of the First Full-Dress Biography of the Rolling Stones in Twenty Years ...

Mick Farren: Devout Deviant Takes A Trip Down Memory Lane

Book Review by Charles Shaar Murray, Independent, The, December 2001

Mick Farren: Give the Anarchist a Cigarette ...

Another Badass Blue-Gum White Man: Essays Honoring STANLEY BOOTH On The Occasion Of His 60th Birthday

Essay by Kandia Crazy Horse, Rock's Backpages, January 2002

"What matters most is how well you walk through the fire." - Charles Bukowski ...

Being My Almost Absolutely True Adventures with Stanley Booth

Essay by David Dalton, Rock's Backpages, January 2002

The South, sir, is no more than the Creation viewed by a crocodile.– Rev. Sydney Smith I ADMIT I don't know what ...

The Rolling Stones: If You Want To Know Anything, Ask Stanley: A Memoir

Memoir by Tina McElroy Ansa, David Sandison, Chris Wohlwend, Rock's Backpages, January 2002

David Sandison handled PR for the Rolling Stones when Stanley Booth went on the road with them in 1969. ...

The Rolling Stones: Rolling Away the Stones: Stanley and I

Essay by Michael Lydon, Rock's Backpages, January 2002

Michael Lydon was the other reporter on the infamous Rolling Stones' 1969 tour of America. This is his recollection of meeting Stanley Booth, and the ...

The Last of the Voodoos: A Rock & Roll Retrospective

Essay by Kandia Crazy Horse, Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noire, January 2002

This essay was originally published in NYU Africanist Manthia Diawara’s Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noire [Vol.3, No.2, Spring 2001]. Since the very weird period when I wrote ...

The True Adventures of Stanley Booth

Interview by Steven Ward, rockcritics.com, January 2002

STANLEY BOOTH is one hell of a writer. The evidence is clear once you pick up his book on the world's greatest rock 'n' roll ...

Almost Unknown: How Lloyd Cole Knew My Father, the British counterpart to Almost Famous, came into being

Report by David Quantick, Rock's Backpages, March 2002

THERE ARE many differences between Britain and America – they like Hootie and the Blowfish, for example, and we like Chas and Dave; their milk ...

Nick Hornby (2002)

Interview by Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages Audio, March 2002

High Fidelity author Hornby picks his Top Ten tracks, from Bruce Springsteen's 'Thunder Road' to Steve Earle's 'Telephone Road'.

File format: mp3; file size: 54.9mb, interview length: 59' 59" sound quality: ***

Roy Hollingworth, 1949-2002

Obituary by Chris Welch, Independent, The, March 2002

Roy Hollingworth, journalist, singer, guitarist and composer: born Derby 12 April 1949; married 1999 Anthea Yeomans; died Kingston upon Thames, Surrey 9 March 2002. ...

About a Bloke: The 10 Tracks Nick Hornby Couldn't Live Without

Interview by Barney Hoskyns, Mark Pringle, Rock's Backpages, March 2002

WELCOME TO a new if occasional treat: AURAL SURVIVAL, a sit-down with a much-loved CELEBRITY FAN in order to ascertain the 10 recorded performances he ...

Give Up The Day Job!: Scribes turned Stars, Poachers Turned Gamekeepers!

Guide by Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages, April 2002

This week, a propos of nothing in particular – the new Pet Shop Boys album, perhaps? – we consider the careers of the many ...

Lester Bangs: Pills And Thrills

Retrospective by Nick Kent, Guardian, The, April 2002

ALTHOUGH HIS NAME is already starting to be listed among the ranks of the elite late 20th-century literary trailblazers, Lester Bangs – the fragile-hearted, drunken ...

What is Rock Criticism?

Comment by Michael Goldberg, Neumu, April 2002

Why do writers pursue this often-thankless "profession"? ...

And So It Began: Remembering the First Issue of Crawdaddy!

Book Excerpt by Paul Williams, 'The Crawdaddy! Book' (Hal Leonard), May 2002

THE FIRST ISSUE of the first American rock music magazine was printed on Sunday, January 30, 1966, in a basement in Brooklyn, New York, on ...

Neil Young: Bio Warfare: Why did Neil Young try to squelch Shakey?

Comment by Marc Weingarten, salon.com, May 2002

SHAKEY, A 786-PAGE biography of Neil Young that's just been published, almost wasn't. For that reason, it serves as an apt metaphor for the way ...

Muddy Waters: Robert Gordon: Can't Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters (Jonathan Cape)

Book Review by Sean O'Hagan, Observer, The, July 2002

The ONE-ROOM shack where Muddy Waters grew up originally stood on the edge of Stovall's plantation in Coahoma County in the Mississippi Delta. A few ...

Timothy White 1952-2002

Obituary by Chris Charlesworth, Guardian, The, July 2002

IN HIS POLKA-DOT bow tie, cream chinos and white buckskin shoes, Timothy White, who has died aged 50, cut a stylish figure in a profession ...

Out of His Pen: The Words of Richard Williams

Interview by Simon Warner, rockcritics.com, September 2002

IN U.S. CULTURE, the rock critic is valued, even venerated. From Lester Bangs to Dave Marsh, from Ben Fong-Torres to Greil Marcus, the voices that ...

Ginsberg's Flannel And Other Stories

Book Review by Ian Penman, Guardian, The, October 2002

In the Sixties, Barry Miles, 322pp, Jonathan Cape, £17.99 ...

Pop and the Press

Book Review by Simon Warner, Rock's Backpages, November 2002

Simon Warner peruses a fresh academic take on rock journalism ...

Birthdays of the Cool?

Essay by Simon Warner, Rock's Backpages, December 2002

Simon Warner on Dazed & Confused at 10 – and The Wire at 20! ...

Publish and be Damned: The Decline and Fall of the UK Music Press

Overview by Paul Gorman, slantmagazine.com, Summer 2002

WHAT’S UP WITH the music press? The once proud sector of the British media, created from the unholy union of the 60s underground and the ...

Penny Valentine 1943 - 2003

Obituary by Richard Williams, Guardian, The, January 2003

Richard Williams mourns "probably the first woman to write about pop music as though it really mattered". Below, some examples of what made Valentine such ...

On Lloyd Cole Knew My Father

Review by Simon Warner, Rock's Backpages, February 2003

"WHAT WOULD entice social misfits from provincial hellholes like, say, Northampton, Wigan and Exmouth to join the world of sex, drugs, travel and free records ...

Rock's Future Pages

Overview by Simon Warner, Rock's Backpages, March 2003

Why new music titles keep coming despite uncertain times. ...

Jimi Hendrix: Paul Williams On Jimi Hendrix

Interview by Mike Mettler, UniVibes, April 2003

WHO'S YOUR Daddy? Think Rolling Stone magazine invented rock criticism? Think again. ...

Hail, Hail, Rock'n'Roll Writing!

Comment by Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages, May 2003

This month, Bloomsbury – the home of rockin' Harry Potter – publishes The Sound & the Fury: A Rock's Backpages Reader, a selection of seminal ...

Ian MacDonald: The People's Music - Selected Journalism (Pimlico)

Review by Barney Hoskyns, Observer, The, July 2003

BROADLY SPEAKING there are three kinds of British rock writers: boring ones, brash ones, and genuinely bright ones. Somehow it's typical of our anti-intellectual culture ...

John Cooper Clarke: Buster Rhymes

Interview by Andy Gill, Word, The, July 2003

Punk's not dead, and neither is its poet laureate, John Cooper Clarke. ...

Phil Spector, Radiohead: Steven Wells On Rock Snobs

Column by Steven Wells, playlouder.com, August 2003

The The Stages Of Pop-Man ...

Lester Bangs: My Black Pages: Lester Bangs' Mainlines, Blood Feasts, and Bad Taste

Book Review by Don Waller, LA CityBeat, August 2003

BACK FROM THE dead and bigger than ever! As a writer – hell, more importantly, as a reader – the Editorial We wuz turnin' cataleptic ...

Ian MacDonald, 1948-2003

Obituary by Richard Williams, Guardian, The, September 2003

PROBABLY NO other critic – not even the late William Mann of The Times, with his famous mention of pandiatonic clusters – contributed more to ...

Lester Bangs: Joy And Rage Of A Dishevelled Rock Critic

Book Review by Charles Shaar Murray, Independent, The, September 2003

Mainlines, Blood Feasts And Bad Taste: A Lester Bangs Reader Lester Bangs; ed. John Morthland (Serpent's Tail; £9.99) ...

Revelations In The Head: Ian MacDonald 1948-2003

Obituary by Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages, September 2003

THE NEWS THAT Ian MacDonald has taken his own life comes as a terrible shock, both to the colleagues who knew him and to the ...

Gathering Moss: The Fossilisation of Rolling Stone

Comment by Tim Footman, Rock's Backpages, November 2003

BILLY JOEL? Billy fucking Joel??? ...

David Bowie and the Media

Retrospective by Chris Charlesworth, Rock's Backpages, 2004

A WHIFF OF hedonism lingered amid the dense fog of cigarette smoke inside the top floor suite of Detroit's luxurious Ponchartrain hotel. David Bowie sighed, ...

John Lydon: Lydon and I

Book Excerpt by Paul Wellings, 'I'm a Journalist...Get Me Out of Here!', 2004

I BLUFFED my way into journalism and am still bluffing in the PR world. If the truth were told, most journalists are bluffers to some ...

The Seventies

Retrospective by Danny Baker, Word, The, February 2004

"The Seventies' attitudes, cultures and repercussions are almost too incredible for a modern youth to imagine" By Danny Baker ...

The Beatles, Danger Mouse: More Than Words: Musings on Music Journalism — Life Goes On

Comment by Devon Powers, PopMatters, March 2004

FEBRUARY 24 WAS a banner day for the Copy Left, a loose network of computer activists, intellectuals, forward-thinking musicians and zealous fans who continue to ...

The NME Today

Report and Interview by Phil Sutcliffe, Los Angeles Times, June 2004

"IT'S OUR job to serve the lives of music fans," enthuses Conor McNicholas, editor of the NME, last survivor of the UK's once thriving weekly ...

Is Music Journalism Dead?

Comment by Devon Powers, PopMatters, June 2004

IF EVER there was a time when writing about music felt utterly pointless, that time is now. ...

The Pogues: I Remember... (Melody Maker Reminiscences)

Memoir by David Stubbs, mr-agreeable.net, July 2004

I REMEMBER a three month stint in 1986 as a trainee chartered accountant, a profession for which I was ill-suited in every respect except the ...

This Is Rebel Music: The Harvey Kubernik InnerView: Part One

Interview by Gary Pig Gold, fufkin.com, September 2004

"If there is a secret history of LA's music scene – the real dirt, the telling minutiae, the diseased spirit of the place – then ...

This Is Rebel Music: The Harvey Kubernik InnerView: Part Two

Interview by Gary Pig Gold, fufkin.com, October 2004

"THIS EXTRAORDINARY ASSEMBLAGE of interviews by journalist and record producer Harvey Kubernik is, as Brian Wilson's blurb on the back cover says, "inside stuff." It's ...

Who Put The Bomp? Why, Greg Shaw, Of Course!

Obituary by Gary Pig Gold, torpedopop.com, October 2004

ACCOLADES AND AWARDS are being tossed around far too indiscriminately these days, wouldn’t you agree? Especially within the, uh, Wonderful World of Entertainment. I mean, ...

Dave Godin: Champion of Black Music who coined the term "Northern Soul"

Obituary by Richard Williams, Guardian, The, October 2004

WHEN THE MUSICIANS and singers of the first Motown Revue – the Miracles, the Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas, "Little" Stevie Wonder and Earl Van ...

Ye Revenge Of Ye Mobbe

Overview by Caitlin Moran, Word, The, December 2004

For centuries celebrities have loomed large in our pub-time fairytales. Now electronic media has made our thirst for gossip insatiable. Well at least that's what ...

Remembering Ralph J. Gleason

Retrospective by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, December 2004

NOTE: I’ve never done a more personal piece of journalism. Ralph was a distant figure on my horizon, but his presence surrounded me; from reading ...

Hail Hail The Bangs All Here Department: Lester Bangs' Lost Letters To MAD

Memoir by Jeffrey Morgan, Fun House, 2005

EDITORIAL NOTE: For the gullible out there, this "memoir" of Morgan's may not be 100% true. It was originally published in slightly different form a ...

Bill Nelson: My Bizarre Double Life In The Pop World Of The Eighties

Memoir by Beverley Glick, beverleyglick.com, 2005

After a small ripple of public demand, I'm going to start posting a series of extracts from my unpublished memoir Hit Girl: My Bizarre Double Life ...

The Sex Pistols: Children In The Mire: A Reading Of Bangs, Marcus And The Sex Pistols, part 1

Essay by Michael Baker, Perfect Sound Forever, January 2005

"THE DOMAIN OF the theater is not psychological but plastic and physical. And it is not a question of whether the physical language of theater ...

The Sex Pistols: Children in the Mire: Bangs, Marcus, and the Sex Pistols, Part II – Polly

Essay by Michael Baker, Perfect Sound Forever, January 2005

The hot night makes us keep our bedroom windows open.Our magnolia blossoms. Life begins to happen. My hopped up husband drops his home disputes, and ...

The Beatles, Bob Dylan: An Interview With The Blacklisted Journalist Al Aronowitz

Profile and Interview by Gary Pig Gold, inmusicwetrust.com, February 2005

Gary "Pig" Gold meets the Man Who Invented the Sixties. ...

Hunter S Thompson: Rock of Rages

Comment by Andrew Mueller, Guardian, The, February 2005

FOLLOWING HUNTER S THOMPSON'S suicide, many obituarists, looking for a representative snippet of the Doctor's bug-eyed vitriol, served up the following trenchant assessment of the ...

The Beach Boys: An Interview With Dominic Priore: Good Things Come To Those Who SmiLE, part 1

Interview by Gary Pig Gold, fufkin.com, August 2005

Gary Pig Gold climbs into the Virtual Sandbox ...

Marvin Gaye: Divided Soul: The Life Of Marvin Gaye

Book Review by Terry Staunton, Record Collector, December 2005

DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY of the Trouble Man ...

The Byrds, Gene Clark: John Einarson: Mr. Tambourine Man – The Life and Legacy of the Byrds' Gene Clark by John Einarson (Backbeat)

Book Review by Bill Wasserzieher, Ugly Things, Summer 2005

GENE CLARK of the Byrds was many things - a charismatic stage presence in a '60s band that became an American icon; a gifted and ...

Neil Young: Jimmy McDonough: Shakey - Neil Young's Biography

Book Review by Craig W. Thomas, Rock's Backpages, Fall 2005

INTO MY HOLIDAY knapsack this year I tucked a biography of Lowell George that a friend had lent me, and I picked it up on ...

Allen Ginsberg: The Adventures Of The Imagination: Allen Ginsberg's Kaddish

Sleevenotes by Harvey Kubernik, Water Records, 2006

IN A PARIS CAFÉ in November 1957, Allen Ginsberg began the initial notations for Kaddish. In Ginsberg: A Biography, by longtime friend and author Barry ...

The Press Gang:: Music Journalists (AKA: Sleeping With The Enemy)

Overview by Jon Stewart, Guitarist, March 2006

Jon Stewart talks to the enemy, music journalists, and finds out what makes them tick... ...

Lester Bangs, Big Star: The Great Lig in the Sky: The Legendary Rock Writers Convention of May 1973

Retrospective and Interview by Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages, June 2006

ON MEMORIAL DAY weekend in May 1973, over a hundred of the leading rock writers of the day flew into Memphis, Tennessee, for 72 hours ...

Al Aronowitz: Bob Dylan And The Beatles: Volume One Of The Best Of The Blacklisted Journalist (1st Books Library)

Book Review by Christine Natanael, crushermagazine.com, August 2006

THIS IS A review that has been very, very hard to write. Not because the 600-page collection of columns, essays, random thoughts and photos is ...

Mad River: Just Like a Poem: Richard Brautigan and Mad River

Retrospective and Interview by David Biasotti, Richard Brautigan (ed. John F. Barber), McFarland, 2007

THOUGH THEY RECORDED two albums for Capitol Records, Mad River remains one of the least-documented and enigmatic Bay Area bands of the late '60s. ...

Read All About It: Rock Books to Live By

Book Excerpt by Barney Hoskyns, Time Out's 1000 Books To Save Your Life, 2007

YOU'D THINK I'd be able to write about rock books in my sleep. But of course the task is dreadfully daunting, "rock" now being an ...

Warren Zevon: Crystal Zevon's Story: Warren from A to Z

Interview by Fred Schruers, Los Angeles Times, May 2007

Through interviews and diaries, the musician's ex-wife chronicles the hedonistic life of one of the genre's bad boys. ...

Richard Cook (1957-2007)

Obituary by Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages, August 2007

THE DEATH of Richard Cook at the age of 49 robs us of one of the finest writers UK music journalism has produced. He was ...

Richard Cook 1957-2007: Friends and Colleagues Pay Tribute

Obituary by Various Writers, Rock's Backpages, September 2007

The great jazz and rock writer, who died on August 25, 2007, is remembered by those who worked with him at NME and Sounds. ...

Ray Topping, 1943-2008

Obituary by Mike Atherton, unpublished, 2008

RAY TOPPING, who has died aged 65, was arguably the world's foremost researcher of and authority on rock'n'roll and blues. ...

Jack White, The Raconteurs: Jacks White: Is Jack White Trying To Kill Music Journalism?

Comment by David Bennun, Guardian, The, March 2008

The new Raconteurs album is to be released without pre-publicity. Is this a gesture of fairness to the fans, or an attempt to silence the ...

The Electrified Journalist

Essay by Mark Mordue, markmordue.com, May 2008

WHEN I THINK ABOUT rock 'n' roll and my life trying to write about it, my trying to get inside rock 'n' roll through words ...

Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads? Ten Years After The Repetitive Beat Generation

Essay by Steve Redhead, Rock's Backpages, July 2008

OVER A decade ago I researched the rise and fall of a British publishing phenomenon – the so called 'cult fiction' of writers like Nicholas ...

Rock, Roll, and Me: Writing the '60s

Memoir by Jane Heil, Forum of World Cultures, July 2008

THE FIFTY or so articles I wrote for Hit Parader and other rock and country magazines are packed away on a high shelf in my apartment. I ...

Rob Partridge (1948-2008)

Special Feature by Various Writers, Rock's Backpages, December 2008

Rob Partridge was a true music man – a witty, loyal, and deeply knowledgeable fan whose loss will be felt throughout the UK ...

Flirtations with Chaos: The Life and Work of Robert Palmer

Essay by Anthony DeCurtis, 'Blues & Chaos', 2009

NOTE: This is Anthony DeCurtis' introduction to Blues & Chaos, his 2009 anthology of Bob Palmer's work. * ...

Ian Whitcomb: The Troubadour Of Lost Time

Retrospective and Interview by Kirk Silsbee, Arroyo Monthly, January 2009

POET HOLLY PRADO once observed: "A city either wants you or it doesn't." Ian Whitcomb was a history student at Dublin's Trinity College with ...

How The Fanzine Refused To Die

Report and Interview by Simon Reynolds, Guardian, The, February 2009

Blogs are the cheapest, fastest and easiest way to get your music writing out there — but that hasn't stopped a new generation of writers picking ...

Janis Ian: Society's Child (Tarcher/Penguin)

Review by Roy Trakin, Rock's Backpages, March 2009

I ADMITTEDLY hadn't thought much about Janis Ian lately, even as my good friend Andy Schwartz kept recommending this surprisingly compelling, always-candid autobiography, going so ...

Elvis Presley, John Lennon: Sympathy for the Devil – A Kind Word for Albert Goldman

Essay by Tom Graves, Rock's Backpages, April 2009

ALBERT HARRY GOLDMAN is inarguably the most controversial music biographer of the last generation. His biographies of first Elvis, then John Lennon, have been spit ...

Lester Bangs at Home

Memoir by Richard Riegel, unpublished, May 2009

NOTE: I wrote this mini-memoir for one of the neo-Creem projects of recent years, but it wasn't used. ...

Rage Against the Machine: Steven Wells, 1960-2009

Special Feature by Various Writers, Rock's Backpages, June 2009

An august bunch of RBP contributors – friends, colleagues, and plain admirers of the man – pay tribute to an inspired rent-a-gob who died bravely ...

The NME'n'Me

Memoir by John Pidgeon, Rock's Backpages, June 2009

IT'S THURSDAY, 6th July 1972. The Guardian lies on the doormat, its front page torn, as usual. I've questioned the paperboy. He says the slot's ...

Michael Jackson: Ever-So-Slightly Wacko: The Day I Interviewed Michael Jackson (via little sister Janet)

Memoir by John Pidgeon, Rock's Backpages, June 2009

IN JANUARY 1980, the gates of 4641 Hayvenhurst Avenue in Encino were open, unguarded. As I parked, an Alsatian bounded to the car and bared ...

Steve Knopper: Appetite for Self-Destruction – The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age

Book Review by Danny Goldberg, Truthdig, June 2009

STEVE KNOPPER'S Appetite for Self-Destruction is an entertaining, well-written attempt to chronicle the economic decline of record companies, but his thesis echoes conventional wisdom that ...

The Demise of Vibe and the Future of Criticism

Comment by Mark Anthony Neal, PopMatters, July 2009

THERE'S NO SMALL irony to the fact that the announcement of the folding of Vibe magazine occurred the day after the death of Michael Jackson. ...

The Magazine Explosion: UK Pop Publications in the '60s

Retrospective by Jon Savage, Observer, The, September 2009

IT'S FEBRUARY 1963. The Beatles are No 2 in the charts with 'Please Please Me' and it's time to meet the press. An anonymous reporter ...

The Thrill Of It All: The Advent of MP3 Blogs

Essay by Nick Hornby, Observer Music Monthly, September 2009

MY FIRST NOVEL, High Fidelity, was published in 1995, and shortly afterwards, I embarked upon my first American book tour. I took with me a ...

The Feelies: Rick Moody Interviews the Feelies

Interview by Steven R Rosen, blurtonline, December 2009

The celebrated novelist and Wingdale Community Singers rocker interviews his favorite band. Blurt takes notes. ...

The 1973 Let It Rock Critics Poll

Retrospective by John Pidgeon, Rock's Backpages, December 2009

THIRTY-SIX YEARS AGO, I polled contributors to and friends of Let It Rock, the monthly magazine I edited: what, I wanted to know, were their ...

Man of the World: A Rock's Backpages Tribute to Charlie Gillett, 1942-2010

Special Feature by Various Writers, Rock's Backpages, March 2010

CHARLIE GILLETT'S contributions to music are far too numerous to be listed here. Briefly, he was the author of the seminal history The Sound Of ...

Rock Journalist Carol Clerk Broke the Mould

Obituary by Caroline Sullivan, Guardian Unlimited, March 2010

Former Melody Maker news editor Carol Clerk, who died last week, was a role model for female music writers. She loved old-school rock – and ...

Lady Gaga and the New World Order

Comment by Dorian Lynskey, Guardian, The, July 2010

Lady Gaga's music videos are undoubtedly elaborate — but is there any truth to one blogger's claims that they are loaded with occult references and ...

John Storm Roberts: An Appreciation

Memoir by Don Snowden, Rock's Backpages, April 2011

I'VE ALWAYS BEEN more than a bit ambivalent about the whole concept of mentoring, at least when it applies to the music world we run ...

Charlie Haden: Paul Morley On Music: Charlie Haden

Comment by Paul Morley, Observer, The, April 2011

Amazon has made critics of us all. But how does that bode for the professional critic? ...

Led Zeppelin: Nick Kent on Led Zeppelin (2011)

Interview by Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages Audio, May 2011

Legendary NME journalist Nick Kent remembers his days in the orbit of Led Zeppelin: the many highs, and quite a few lows; Peter Grant; Zep v journalists; the sleaze and the gangsters.

File format: mp3; file size: 132.8mb, interview length: 2h 25' 03" sound quality: ****

Ellen Willis: Out Of The Vinyl Deeps – Ellen Willis on Rock Music (University of Minnesota Press)

Book Review by Evelyn McDonnell, New York Times, The, June 2011

WOODSTOCK WAS A RIP-OFF. Creedence Clearwater Revival eclipsed the Rolling Stones. Bob Dylan struggled with identity. Janis Joplin "was not so much a victim as ...

The World's Oldest Teenager: Remembering Jane Scott

Obituary by Holly Gleason, Los Angeles Times blogs, July 2011

SHE WAS LIKE Andy Warhol: iconic blond hair set in a most determined pageboy that never moved. That, and red oversized glasses. You couldn't miss ...

Paul Nelson on Neil Young

Book Excerpt by Kevin Avery, Everything is an Afterthought (Fantagraphics), November 2011

ON APRIL 14, 1983, Elliot Roberts, Neil Young's manager, wrote a letter to Paul: "This is to advise you that we will co-operate with you ...

Paul Nelson: Early Influences

Book Excerpt by Kevin Avery, Everything is an Afterthought (Fantagraphics), November 2011

MUSIC PLAYED A PART IN young Paul's life. "My aunt played piano. I remember hymns very fondly as the first music I ever heard." There ...

Kevin Avery: Everything is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson (Fantagraphics)

Book Review by Barney Hoskyns, Word, The, December 2011

NOTE: This is a slightly expanded version of the review that ran in The Word. ...

Greil Marcus: A Life In Writing

Profile and Interview by Simon Reynolds, Guardian, The, February 2012

GREIL MARCUS lives in a newly built, cedar-shingled house on the border between Oakland and Berkeley. ...

The Ghost of Roland Barthes is Suitably Perplexed: NME in the Post-Punk Era

Book Excerpt by Pat Long, Portico Books, March 2012

NOTE: In this excerpt from his History of the NME, published in the UK by Portico, Pat Long chronicles the decline of the world's top ...

A Life in Pop Writing

Memoir by Geoffrey Cannon, Rock's Backpages, April 2012

IT ALL STARTED at school when as a Bluecoat Boy I smuggled me into the local record shop in Horsham, Sussex, and my buddy told ...

Remembering Greg Shaw

Memoir by Mark Shipper, Rock's Backpages, April 2012

WELL, I CAN'T STAND IT ANYMORE. Deep in the back of my head I have this Karmic debt I owe to Greg Shaw for setting ...

Justin Bieber: Overcovering Pop: Are We There Yet?

Comment by Gene Sculatti, Rock's Backpages, June 2012

WHAT have we wrought, us guys and gals who write about pop music? ...

Music Journalism at 50

Retrospective by Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages, April 2013

MOST PEOPLE WHO KNOW ANYTHING about music journalism know that the late Frank Zappa defined it, in 1977, as "people who can't write interviewing people ...

The Future of Rock Journalism

Comment by Ryan Carse, Rock's Backpages, November 2013

FRANK ZAPPA successfully offended an entire industry in 1977 during an interview with Bruce Kirkland for the Toronto Star newspaper. He said, "Most rock journalism ...

Mick Farren: Foreword

Book Excerpt by Charles Shaar Murray, 'Elvis Died For Somebody's Sins But Not Mine', Spring 2013

MICK FARREN IS a man of many parts, an impressive number of which are still working despite the natural wear and-tear incurred by decades of ...

Bob Dylan: Oh No! Not Another Bob Dylan Book: David Kinney's The Dylanologists

Book Review by Larry Jaffee, Huffington Post, May 2014

"Sometimes it seemed that every fan in Britain had launched a fanzine…" —David Kinney, The Dylanologists ...

Bert Berns: Here Comes The Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm & Blues by Joel Selvin

Book Review by Kirk Silsbee, Downbeat, July 2014

AMERICAN POP MUSIC from the no-man's-land after The Day The Music Died (Buddy Holly's fatal 1959 plane crash) and before the arrival of the Beatles ...

Bob Dylan: In The Dylan Zone: An excerpt from True Love Scars

Book Excerpt by Michael Goldberg, 'True Love Scars' (Neumu Press), July 2014

True Love Scars is a rock 'n' roll/ coming of age novel set in the late '60s and early '70s. If you liked On The ...

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