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Bill Wasserzieher

Bill Wasserzieher

Bill Wasserzieher is a contributing editor at Blues Revue and the music DVD editor at Ugly Things. For 10 years (1997-2006), he wrote a monthly music column for the now-defunct ICE magazine and has contributed to The Village Voice, L.A. Weekly, L.A. View, Crawdaddy, The BOB, Rock & Roll Disc, The Jazz Review, Living Blues, Southland Blues and many other publications. Early in his career, he spent seven years as a reporter for the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain and later worked for three years at The Village Voice as a copy editor and production manager. Besides music, he writes about modern literature and film, and he has taught both subjects at the university level. He also writes occasionally about air travel and has appeared in Smithsonian Air & Space and other aviation magazines. One of his works of fiction is included in a Saturday Evening Post collection of best short stories for 2014. 

List of articles in the library by artist

Luther Allison: The Return of Luther Allison: A Prodigal Son of the Blues Comes Back to His Native Land

Profile and Interview by Bill Wasserzieher, Southland Blues, January 1996

GUITARIST LUTHER Allison, after a long apprenticeship in the clubs of Chicago's West Side, first came to national prominence with electrifying performances at the Ann ...

The Animals, Eric Burdon, War: Eric Burdon's Good Intentions (Don't Let Them be Misunderstood!)

Interview by Bill Wasserzieher, Blues Revue, May 2006

THERE'S NO ESCAPING the formative years. Just ask Eric Burdon. As an 11-year-old, he had an audience with Louis Armstrong. Three years later, he helped ...

Billy Boy Arnold: Back Where Billy Boy Arnold Belongs

Retrospective by Bill Wasserzieher, Southland Blues, December 1996

WHAT TO MAKE of one Billy Boy Arnold? First there's that nickname "Boy." Has anybody, other than John-Boy on The Waltons, ever liked being called ...

Charles Brown: Good Grief: Charles Brown's Up for a Blues Grammy, but He's Not Really Playin' the Blues

Profile and Interview by Bill Wasserzieher, Los Angeles View, February 1996

FOR A MUSICIAN with a Grammy nomination for best traditional blues album of the year, pianist/vocalist Charles Brown is quick to say he is more ...

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown: The Lion in Winter: Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown

Interview by Bill Wasserzieher, Blues Revue, January 2002

IT IS 10:15 on a Saturday morning, and I am banging on a motel room door in San Juan Capistrano, having driven down from Los ...

The Byrds: Catching Up With The Byrds' John York

Interview by Bill Wasserzieher, Full Circle, Summer 1993

A TALENTED musician who played with major American bands in the late 1960s, John York seemed to fall off the edge of the map – ...

The Byrds: The Golden Bear, Huntington Beach CA

Live Review by Bill Wasserzieher, Long Beach Press-Telegram, November 1967

TWO YEARS ago the Byrds had Top 40 hits unlike any other pop songs coming out in America. A year ago, despite the defection of ...

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 ...

The Byrds, Gram Parsons: Going Up the Country: The Byrds and Sweetheart of the Rodeo

Retrospective by Bill Wasserzieher, ICE, August 2003

THOUGH OPINIONS differ on who recorded the first country-rock album, there is no question that the Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo was the first one ...

Peter Case, The Plimsouls: The Soul of the Plimsouls

Report and Interview by Bill Wasserzieher, Bob, The, October 1995

HOW IRONIC that it took a film about an RTD bus careening through the spaghetti network of Los Angeles freeways, unable to slow below 50 ...

Bobby Charles, Shannon McNally: Shannon McNally: Small Town Talk (Sacred Sumac Music)

Review by Bill Wasserzieher, Blues Revue, Summer 2013

SHANNON MCNALLY'S new release, Small Town Talk, might more rightly be titled The Songs of Bobby Charles, a line that does appear on the album ...

Gene Clark: In Memoriam: The Byrds' Gene Clark (1944-1991)

Memoir by Bill Wasserzieher, Full Circle, September 1991

THE LAST TIME I had a conversation with Gene Clark was on a sunny Sunday afternoon in April at Aron's Record Store in Hollywood, not ...

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 ...

Steve Cropper

Interview by Bill Wasserzieher, Blues Revue, January 2001

GUITAR HEROES come cloaked in the mystique of the iconic loner. We call them guitar-slingers because they are like western heroes who ride into town ...

Fabulous Thunderbirds: My Lunch with the Blues Guys

Interview by Bill Wasserzieher, unpublished, 1997

IT'S NOT NEWS that Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds is a good harmonica player. But he also cuts it as raconteur with stories about ...

Fleetwood Mac: The Return of Jeremy Spencer

Interview by Bill Wasserzieher, Blues Revue, October 2006

This the complete interview with (ex-Fleetwood Mac) Jeremy Spencer. The edited version will be published by Blues Revue in October 2006 ...

Fleetwood Mac, Peter Green: Peter Green: The Man of the World Returns

Interview by Bill Wasserzieher, Blues Revue, July 1999

THERE IS A FILM from the late 1960s called The Hallucination Generation that purports to be, as the poster declared, the "Shocking Story of a ...

Frente!: Marvin the Album

Review by Bill Wasserzieher, Bob, The, November 1994

THE MOST VIOLENT electrical storm documented in this century occurred Oct. 31, 1989, in the vicinity of Grovers Mill, New Jersey, where more than 200 ...

Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane: Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead: Melodyland, Anaheim CA

Live Review by Bill Wasserzieher, Long Beach Press-Telegram, March 1968

San Francisco Bands Shortchange Anaheim Audience ...

Buddy Guy Brings It All Back Home

Report and Interview by Bill Wasserzieher, Blues Revue, January 2004

LEGEND HAS IT that when novelist William Faulkner, who sometimes did hack work in Hollywood, was writing the screenplay for Land of the Pharaohs, he ...

Buddy Guy: A Bluesman for All Seasons

Profile and Interview by Bill Wasserzieher, Blues Revue, January 2001

FOR THE SOUTHERN rail traveler, The City of New Orleans runs from the Crescent City on the Gulf up through the Mississippi state capitol of ...

Chris Hillman: This Byrd Has Flown: Chris Hillman comes to the Coach House

Report and Interview by Bill Wasserzieher, OC Weekly, August 1997

ROCK & ROLL HALL of Famer Chris Hillman has played in bands with religious proselytizers, trust-fund dopers and even a matricidal drummer who heard voices ...

Bert Jansch Conundrum: Thirteen Down (Fantasy/Kicking Mule)

Sleevenotes by Bill Wasserzieher, Fantasy/Kicking Mule Records, 1998

MUSIC COMMENTATOR Colin Harper once wrote that Bert Jansch, on a scale of one to 10 in terms of popular notoriety, probably would come in ...

B.B. King: Reflections

Review by Bill Wasserzieher, Blues Revue, August 2003

B.B. KING ALREADY had a career dating back 20 years - first playing to chitlin circuit audiences and then at the Fillmores and other psychedelic ...

Robert Lockwood Jr.: Remembering Robert Lockwood Jr.

Obituary by Bill Wasserzieher, Blues Revue, February 2007

WHEN ROBERT LOCKWOOD JR. passed away at age 91 on Nov. 21, the obituaries in the major daily press made much of his connection to ...

Love's Arthur Lee Stumbles at the Coach House

Live Review by Bill Wasserzieher, Jazz Review, The, May 1993

THERE IS A GROTESQUE fascination in observing someone go over the edge. How else to explain crowds gathering to watch suicidal leapers on building ledges ...

Jimbo Mathus, Squirrel Nut Zippers: Jimbo Mathus Is No Longer a Squirrel Nutter

Profile and Interview by Bill Wasserzieher, Blues Revue, October 2004

"JIMBO MATHUS is a link in what I call the 'crazy Mississippi white boy' chain of music that goes all the way back through Elvis ...

Memphis Slim, Sonny Boy Williamson: Memphis Slim & Sonny Boy Williamson: Live In Europe

Sleevenotes by Bill Wasserzieher, Reelin' in the Years/Hip-O/Experience Hendrix DVD, 2004

MEMPHIS SLIM AND Sonny Boy Williamson - even their names, their performing aliases, have a bigger-than-life aura. And though both passed away decades ago, time ...

The Monkees: Andrew Sandoval: The Monkees – The Day-to-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation (Thunder Bay Press)

Book Review by Bill Wasserzieher, Ugly Things, Summer 2005

IF SOCRATES, the George Carlin of his day, was right that "the unexamined life is not worth living," then The Monkees have nothing to worry ...

North Mississippi Allstars: Still Hollerin' 10 Years On

Interview by Bill Wasserzieher, Blues Revue, June 2007

IT'S 4:15 A.M., the desert sky is as dark as a card shark's heart, and the North Mississippi Allstars are on their way to McCarran ...

North Mississippi Allstars: The Real Deal

Interview by Bill Wasserzieher, Blues Revue, Spring 2005

EVEN GOOD BANDS play bad shows. Equipment malfunctions, guitars don't stay in tune, somebody has a cold or a hellacious hangover. Maybe the vibe is ...

Odetta: Gonna Let It Shine – A Concert for the Holidays

Press Release by Bill Wasserzieher, M.C. Records, 2005

"If only one could be sure that every 50 years a voice and a soul like Odetta's would come along, the centuries would pass so ...

Omar & the Howlers: Omar: Last of the Miss'ippi Howlers

Interview by Bill Wasserzieher, Southland Blues, December 2003

TOO BAD "road warrior" has been done to death as a descriptor for every long-haul job-wrangler on Earth because it works so well for musicians, ...

Gram Parsons: Grievous Angel: An Intimate Biography of Gram Parsons by Jessica Hundley with Polly Parsons (Thunder's Mouth Press)

Book Review by Bill Wasserzieher, Ugly Things, Summer 2006

LET'S TALK, BRIEFLY, about what constitutes a biography. From James Boswell writing in the late 1700s about Dr. Samuel Johnson to Hunter Davies in the ...

Gram Parsons: Ben Fong-Torres: Hickory Wind – The Life and Times of Gram Parsons

Book Review by Bill Wasserzieher, Rock & Roll Disc, October 1991

"LIVE FAST, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse," the classic punk credo spoken by John Derek to Humphrey Bogart in Knock on Any Door ...

Gram Parsons Dies in Desert

Report by Bill Wasserzieher, Village Voice, The, September 1973

PARK RANGERS found the half-charred body of country-rock musician Gram Parsons in a burned casket at Joshua Tree National Monument in California last Friday. ...

Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings: Roy Rogers: King of the Console (Production, That Is)

Interview by Bill Wasserzieher, Blues Revue, March 1999

IT'S NIGHT TIME and a yellow moon is up over nearby Mexico. There are perhaps 20,000 people jammed into a cordoned off section of San ...

Chris Smither: Don't It Drag On

Sleevenotes by Bill Wasserzieher, Tomato Records, 2002

WHETHER A digital stream encoded on a silver disc or deep grooves on vintage black vinyl, an album is a record of a time in ...

Texas Tornados: A Return of the Sir Douglas Quintet (+ 2)

Report and Interview by Bill Wasserzieher, unpublished, November 1990

PARAPHERNALIA FROM the psychedelic 1960s – retina-blitzing strobes, black lights, go-go dancers in body paint and big-dipper boots – all very, very retro, especially for ...

Ike Turner: Beneath All That Tarnish

Retrospective by Bill Wasserzieher, musicblitz.com, 2000

IKE TURNER – Tina’s ex-bad half – has a reputation for being the wicked prince of the blues. His former missus in her as-told-to/tell-all book, ...

Ben Vaughn: Old Cars and New Breaks: A Conversation with Ben Vaughn

Interview by Bill Wasserzieher, Bob, The, November 1997

"You have to read circumstances in life. It's like when you're doing a show and it's not happening, so you abandon the set list and ...

List of genre pieces

Another Look at the Nashville Skyline

Report by Bill Wasserzieher, Rock's Backpages, June 2009

NASHVILLE IS a town of serene churches and raucous honky tonks. ...

Clifford Antone: 1949-2006

Obituary by Bill Wasserzieher, Blues Revue, October 2006

CLIFFORD ANTONE liked to say he was "the blues in Austin." He was and then some. From 1975, when he opened his namesake club, until ...

It Don’t Matter if You’re Dead … as Long as You’re Keepin’ the Blues Alive!

Report by Bill Wasserzieher, musicblitz.com, 2000

IT’S A HOT NIGHT in Memphis, the humidity thick enough for similes about wading neck-deep through steamy water, but inside the grand old Orpheum Theatre ...

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