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Bruce Pollock

Bruce Pollock

Veteran journalist, lyricist, novelist, humorist, essayist, columnist, editor, music historian and record producer, Bruce Pollock has written for such publications as The New York Times, Saturday Review, TV Guide, Entertainment Weekly, Musician, Family Weekly, USA Today, Playboy, The Gannett Westchester Newspapers, and the Village Voice. He is the author of seven books on music, including Working Musicians, The Rock Song Index, Hipper Than Our Kids, and In Their Own Words, as well as three novels. He is the former founding Editor in Chief of GUITAR: For The Practicing Musician and was the Editor of 17 Volumes of Popular Music: An Annotated Index of American Popular Songs (1983-1999). He is currently a compilation producer at a major label in NYC and at work on another novel, as well as several new books on music.

Bruce Pollock's 'Working Musicians'

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List of articles in the library by artist

10,000 Maniacs: Rock & Roll Acid Test: 10,000 Maniacs

Interview by Bruce Pollock, Guitar, May 1988

TURNING POINTS in the history of rock 'n' roll are moments frozen into the souls of those who witness them. Up in the Northeast Tundra ...

Linda Creed, Thom Bell: Philly’s Lyric Queen: Linda Creed

Book Excerpt by Bruce Pollock, 'In Their Own Words' (Collier Books), 1975

IN THE ‘70S THE most popular form of music is, once again, R&B, also known as Soul. Emanating primarily from Philadelphia, it is a laid-back ...

Felice and Boudleaux Bryant

Book Excerpt by Bruce Pollock, 'In Their Own Words' (Collier Books), 1975

THIS HUSBAND-AND-WIFE country songwriting team have been at it for more than twenty-five years, proving the old adage, the family that plays together, stays together. ...

Harry Chapin

Book Excerpt by Bruce Pollock, 'In Their Own Words' (Collier Books), 1975

HARRY CHAPIN IS probably the most novelistic of our songwriters. Using techniques most often found in prose, he has created a series of story songs, ...

Leonard Cohen: The Obscure Case of Leonard Cohen and The Mysterious Mr. M.

Interview by Bruce Pollock, After Dark, February 1977

AS I HUSTLED up Sixth Avenue toward the Algonquin Hotel for an interview with Columbia recording artist Leonard Cohen, writer of such heavyweight literary pop ...

Danny and Dusty: Danny & Dusty: The Lost Weekend

Review by Bruce Pollock, Wilson Library Bulletin, November 1985

WHILE 'JO-ANN', recorded by the Playmates in 1958, still stands as my all-time favorite rock and roll single, a girl and a song (and a ...

Dr. John: A Modern Musketeer

Report and Interview by Bruce Pollock, Sounds, October 1973

ON THE broadwalk at Asbury Park, New Jersey, you can hear the black waters of the Atlantic rippling against the rotted sides of the pier ...

Gerry Goffin

Book Excerpt by Bruce Pollock, 'In Their Own Words' (Collier Books) , 1975

ALONG WITH HIS first wife, composer Carole King, Gerry Goffin has been responsible for some of the most memorable and enduring music of the early ...

Grateful Dead, Robert Hunter: Robert Hunter

Book Excerpt by Bruce Pollock, 'In Their Own Words' (Collier Books), 1975

ROBERT HUNTER is the resident lyricist for the Grateful Dead, rock eminences of the San Francisco scene. An underground poet with a solo album, Tales ...

Richie Havens: Middle Of The Dirt Road

Interview by Bruce Pollock, Guitar, Fall 1990

IT'S A VOICE you remember, possessing in its cavernous reaches the smoky essence of an age. ...

Bob Mould, Husker Du: Off the Underground Wall: Husker Du's Bob Mould

Interview by Bruce Pollock, Guitar, July 1987

IN A ROCK 'N' ROLL world seemingly littered with spandex sheep, Bob Mould is a definite character, from his solid, Midwestern farmboy semi-crew and lumpen ...

The Kingston Trio

Book Excerpt by Bruce Pollock, from the book 'When Rock Was Young', 1981

IN THE PARKING LOT of the high school, the ageing greasers stood by their late model gas guzzlers, trading sips of blackberry brandy washed down ...

Leo Kottke: Of Ice Fields, Breath Mints & Corn Flakes: Leo Kottke

Interview by Bruce Pollock, Guitar, October 1989

TRYING TO COME up with enticing copy about Leo Kottke, is a little like writing an ad for Kellogg's Corn Flakes. There's something about ...

John Sebastian, The Lovin' Spoonful: John Sebastian

Book Excerpt by Bruce Pollock, 'In Their Own Words' (Collier Books), 1975

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to describe the feeling, being away from the Village for the first time, living in San Francisco in the summer of 1965, ...

Melanie Safka

Book Excerpt by Bruce Pollock, 'In Their Own Words' (Collier Books), 1975

MELANIE EMERGED on the music scene, a tiny figure in the rain at Woodstock in 1969, alone onstage with her guitar and her songs. She ...

The Monkees: Peter Tork: The Monkees and After

Interview by Bruce Pollock, When The Music Mattered, 1982

IT WAS PROBABLY late 1966 or early 1967 when word first began to circulate through the Village. "You know the Monkees, that plastic-fantastic pop ...

Randy Newman

Book Excerpt by Bruce Pollock, In Their Own Words (Collier Books), 1975

SLOWLY BUT SURELY, almost against his will, Randy Newman has become a legend in his own time although not too many people know it, or ...

Laura Nyro

Retrospective and Interview by Bruce Pollock, brucepollock.com, December 2011

ONE OF THE MOST enigmatic and evocative and emotionally intense songwriters ever to hit the Top 40, Laura Nyro's career survived numerous dips and bends. ...

Phil Ochs

Book Excerpt by Bruce Pollock, 'In Their Own Words' (Collier Books), 1975

FOR A LONG PERIOD of time in Greenwich Village, Phil Ochs served as a sort of town crier. Each month at the Sunday Songwriters Workshop ...

Melvin Van Peebles

Book Excerpt by Bruce Pollock, 'In Their Own Words' (Collier Books), 1975

THE FIRST MAJOR black lyricist who comes to mind, circa 1955, is Chuck Berry. To many, Berry is rock 'n' roll. His lyrics, however, spoke ...

Doc Pomus

Book Excerpt by Bruce Pollock, 'In Their Own Words' (Collier Books), 1975

DOC POMUS (with Mort Shuman), Jerry Leiber (with Mike Stoller), Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, and a handful of others were the seminal figures during the ...

John Prine

Book Excerpt by Bruce Pollock, 'In Their Own Words' (Collier Books), 1975

ALTHOUGH AT FIRST he may sound like an early incarnation of Bob Dylan, lyrically John Prine has a voice all his own. Fusing his country ...

Lou Reed Does Not Want Anyone To Know How He Writes His Songs

Interview by Bruce Pollock, Modern Hi-Fi and Music, 1975

LOU REED THINKS he's gone as deep as he wants to go for his own mental health. If he got any deeper, he'd wind up ...

Tim Rice

Book Excerpt by Bruce Pollock, 'In Their Own Words' (Collier Books), 1975

FIRST TOM SANKEY brought The Golden Screw to off-off Broadway. Then, summarizing rapidly, Al Carmines applied his lyric touch to the outrageous Home Movies and ...

Keith Richards, The Rolling Stones: Keith Richards Shares His Songwriting Secrets

Interview by Bruce Pollock, Guitar for the Practicing Musician, July 1986

LIKE A POLITICIAN ON THE PODIUM, whistle-stopping across the boondocks on a flatbed, Keith Richards has his share of timeless bromides, comfortable answers his tongue ...

Buffy Sainte-Marie

Book Excerpt by Bruce Pollock, 'In Their Own Words' (Collier Books), 1975

BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE came to prominence during the folk era, hoisted to underground approval on the virtue of her classic ‘Universal Soldier’ and her first album ...

Paul Simon

Interview by Bruce Pollock, Playboy, 1980

PLAYBOY: Did Mrs. Garfunkel ever think of you as a bad influence on her son? ...

Bruce Springsteen: The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle (Columbia)

Review by Bruce Pollock, New York Times, December 1973

WHEN BRUCE Springsteen's first Columbia album, Greetings From Asbury Park, came out almost a year ago, it was met with the most extravagant and outrageous ...

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 ...

Andrea True Connection: True Blue: Andrea True Connection

Report and Interview by Bruce Pollock, Viva, 1977

BACK IN THE prepubescent days of sex/rock, when I was but a novice covering the amateur porn scene like a groping middle finger, I rode ...

Loudon Wainwright III: Loudon Wainwright

Book Excerpt by Bruce Pollock, 'In Their Own Words' (Collier Books), 1975

ANOTHER OF THE new breed of songwriters – sharp, witty, terse, incisive – Loudon Wainwright III arrived on the Greenwich Village scene just as it ...

XTC: The X-Factor: Andy Partridge

Interview by Bruce Pollock, Guitar, January 1986

"WE CALL IT BILLY Bolts or Billy Bolt Upright. I just sort of sit up and become this person Billy Bolt. You lust get into ...

Frank Zappa

Book Excerpt by Bruce Pollock, 'In Their Own Words', 1975

ALTHOUGH PRIMARILY considered a composer, Frank Zappa's lyrics reflect his unique approach to rock 'n' roll almost as well as his music does. Combining a ...

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