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Jeff Tamarkin

Jeff Tamarkin

For more than two and a half decades, Jeff Tamarkin has been a prolific music and popular culture journalist and historian. For 15 years he was Editor of Goldmine, the "bible" of record/CD collectors. Prior to that, he served as the first Editor of CMJ (College Media Journal) and as Editor of Relix. He was also the first Editor of Grateful Dead Comix, editor of Global Rhythm, has written for dozens of publications, including Boston Phoenix, Playbill, East Bay Express, Sing Out!, New York Daily News, Billboard, Pulse, Creem, Mojo, Newsday, Tracks and ICE, and has contributed to the Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music and the All-Music Guide.

Jeff has written liner notes for more than 75 CDs, by such artists as the Beach Boys, Tom Jones, Jefferson Airplane, J. Geils Band, Chubby Checker, Merle Haggard, Dean Martin and many others. Jeff has also served on the Nominating Committee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and as a consultant to the Grammys. He has worked closely on projects with Bobby McFerrin, Anoushka Shankar, Zakir Hussain and others. In the course of his work he has interviewed hundreds of artists within all genres of music, ranging from Roy Orbison to Kiss, Ringo Starr, B.B. King, Yoko Ono, Elvis Costello, Nancy Sinatra, Brian Wilson, Chick Corea, Frank Zappa, Jerry Garcia, Dave Brubeck, Iggy Pop, Ray Davies, R.E.M. and many others. As a consultant to the Music Club CD label, he assisted in releasing over 180 reissues and compilations, in styles ranging from rock to jazz, country, world music and pop. His first full-length book, Got a Revolution! The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane (Atria Books), was published in June 2003.

The first biography of this legendary San Francisco band, it was written with the cooperation of all of the band members and placed the Airplane into the context of their times, the volatile 1960s. Got a Revolution! was named one of the best books of 2003 by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Boston Phoenix, and received rave reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, Austin Chronicle, New York Daily News, The Onion, Uncut and many others.

Jeff is currently the Associate Editor of JazzTimes. He lives in Hoboken, NJ, with his wife, the novelist and book columnist Caroline Leavitt, and their son, Max.

Jeff Tamarkin online

List of articles in the library by artist

The Animals

Interview by Jeff Tamarkin, Goldmine, October 1983

Goldmine: What was the impetus behind this reunion album and tour? The last time the original group was together was for the 1977 album, Before ...

Joan Armatrading: Into The Blues (429 Records)

Review by Jeff Tamarkin, AllMusic.com, 2007

RECORDING Into The Blues, writes Joan Armatrading on the back sleeve of her first-ever blues album, "has given me so much pleasure," and that pleasure ...

The Band: Life Is A Carnival

Essay by Jeff Tamarkin, Goldmine, July 1991

THE QUINTET KNOWN as the Band never did get back together in that same, familiar aggregation. To this day, however, there is a band called ...

Al Kooper, Blood Sweat & Tears: Al Kooper: The Adventures Of Kooperman

Retrospective and Interview by Jeff Tamarkin, Goldmine, February 1994

THE COVER of Rekooperation, Al Kooper's new album, his first in 12 years, is divided into 16 postage stamp-sized photographic portraits of the artist as ...

Pat Boone: Boone In The USA

Profile and Interview by Jeff Tamarkin, Goldmine, February 1991

LET'S PLAY the numbers game. According to Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1986, Pat Boone is the fifth highest-ranking artist in the history of the ...

Manu Chao: Manu, That’s Who

Interview by Jeff Tamarkin, Harp, September 2007

"THERE IS only one thing I still don’t understand," Manu Chao says the day after his triumphant Bonnaroo set and not long after an equally ...

Ry Cooder: His Name is Cooder

Interview by Jeff Tamarkin, Harp, March 2007

WHEN RY Cooder received a doctored photo in the mail, of a red cat in the guise of Leadbelly, he knew he had found a ...

J. Geils Band: Exclusive Interview with Peter Wolf

Interview by Jeff Tamarkin, Goldmine, October 1983

1967 has gone down in history as the Summer of Love, not as the year for great white R&B bands forming. But it was during ...

Georgia Satellites: Fire The Retro Rockets

Interview by Jeff Tamarkin, Creem, April 1987

"CREEM WAS always my favorite magazine when I was a kid," Rick Richards is saying, dreams of Boy Howdy running through his mind. "I remember ...

Buddy Guy: Can't Quit The Blues **** ½

Review by Jeff Tamarkin, AllMusic.com, 2006

LEGEND STATUS CAME LATE to Buddy Guy, so it shouldn't be surprising that this is the first box set devoted to the blues giant's work. ...

Bill Haley & His Comets: The Decca Years And More

Review by Jeff Tamarkin, Goldmine, April 1991

TO A CONTEMPORARY listener already mystified by '50s rock 'n' roll. Bill Haley might be the greatest mystery of all. Elvis's success is easy to ...

Jefferson Airplane: The Summer Of Haight

Retrospective and Interview by Jeff Tamarkin, MOJO, April 2003

In January 1967, Jefferson Airplane were all set for take-off. But within months their dream was crumbling. Jeff Tamarkin on the destructive undercurrent to the ...

Jefferson Airplane's Joey Covington

Retrospective and Interview by Jeff Tamarkin, Goldmine, December 1995

BORN IN EAST Conemaugh, Pennsylvania, Covington moved to Los Angeles, where he played in a band called Tsong before meeting the Airplane's male lead singer, ...

Jefferson Airplane: The End Of The Beginning: Jefferson Airplane at Altamont

Book Excerpt by Jeff Tamarkin, Helter Skelter Books, Summer 2003

THE VIOLENCE AT Altamont had begun before the Airplane even arrived, when a number of Hell’s Angels, who had been amassing near the stage, wantonly ...

Jefferson Airplane: The Jefferson Airplane Chronicles: Marty Balin

Interview by Jeff Tamarkin, Relix, April 1993

READING THE following interview, one might get a sense that there are two Marty Balins. ...

Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape, Skip Spence : Skip Spence and the Sad Saga of Moby Grape

Book Excerpt by Jeff Tamarkin, 'Got a Revolution', 2003

IN THE SUMMER of 1965, Jefferson Airplane decided to dismiss their first drummer, Jerry Peloquin. That's when a golden boy named Alexander "Skip" Spence came ...

Greg Kihn: Reckihning & Rolling

Interview by Jeff Tamarkin, Creem, November 1984

EVEN IF YOU'VE never heard Greg Kihn's music, you probably know who he is – he's the character who comes up with dumb puns on ...

KT Tunstall: Tiger Suit (Virgin) **½

Review by Jeff Tamarkin, Boston Phoenix, The, September 2010

THE KT TUNSTALL of Tiger Suit is tougher, louder, and more electronically endowed than the KT Tunstall of its poppy predecessor, 2007's Drastic Fantastic, and ...

The Long Ryders: Long Ryders: Bye Bye Byrdie

Interview by Jeff Tamarkin, Creem, October 1987

LET'S JUST GET this part out of the way, since it's gonna come up anyway and maybe you're one of the ones who got pissed ...

The Long Ryders: Long Ryders: Don't Call Us Country-Rock

Profile and Interview by Jeff Tamarkin, Billboard, January 1984

L.A. Band Following in Burrito Brothers' Footsteps ...

Darlene Love, The Righteous Brothers: Bill Medley and Darlene Love: Righteous Brother and Sister

Retrospective and Interview by Jeff Tamarkin, Goldmine, March 1994

THERE'S A point during Darlene Love's one-woman show, Portrait Of A Singer, where she's talking about singing background vocals on the Righteous Brothers' 1966 #1 ...

Yoko Ono: Scream And Scream Again

Live Review by Jeff Tamarkin, Creem, September 1986

Yoko Ono: Beacon Theater, New York, May 22, 1986 ...

Yoko Ono: The Outsider Peeks Inside

Profile and Interview by Jeff Tamarkin, Global Rhythm, January 2004

THE WOMAN'S clothing is being snipped from her body. Systematically, one by one, 200 scissors-wielding strangers – and the woman's son – silently have a ...

The Pogues: Aye, Laddie — We're Off To The Isle…

Live Review by Jeff Tamarkin, Creem, June 1986

The Pogues: The World, New York NY ...

The Ramones: Things Get Exciting Again for Ramones

Profile and Interview by Jeff Tamarkin, Billboard, November 1984

'Too Tough To Die' After 10 Years ...

The Residents: Eyeball To Eyeball

Live Review by Jeff Tamarkin, Creem, June 1986

The Residents: The Ritz, New York, Jan. 16, 1986 ...

Diana Ross: I Love You **

Review by Jeff Tamarkin, AllMusic.com, 2007

IN WHAT MIGHT BE the least inspired album of her career, iconic diva Diana Ross sleepwalks through a mish-mash of seemingly randomly chosen love songs, ...

The Scorpions: Scorpions: Around the World

Interview by Jeff Tamarkin, Circus, November 1985

IT TOOK THE Scorpions more than a dozen years to do it, but there now remains no doubt that the Hannover, West Germany-based rockers have ...

The Scorpions: From Europe To Video Domination

Interview by Jeff Tamarkin, Circus, August 1985

AFTER SPENDING virtually all of 1984 on the road, rocking fans on four continents, you'd think Scorpions needed a break. So they did, and they ...

Brian Setzer: Stray Cats No More

Interview by Jeff Tamarkin, Creem, June 1986

BRIAN SETZER has been keeping a mental list. Everyone he's spoken to lately seems to think his first post-Stray Cats album, The Knife Feels Like ...

The Skatalites: On The Right Track *** ½

Review by Jeff Tamarkin, AllMusic.com, 2007

THE SKATALITES' lineup on this new recording, cut in Australia in 2006 during their first tour there, consists of just two original members of the ...

P. F. Sloan: P.F. Sloan

Interview by Jeff Tamarkin, Harp, September 2006

PF SLOAN was a 19-year-old bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders when he wrote the protest classic 'Eve of Destruction' back in ...

Taylor Swift: Taylor Swift (Big Machine) **** ½

Review by Jeff Tamarkin, AllMusic.com, 2006

ALL OF 16 when she recorded this debut album, country-pop singer Taylor Swift's considerably strong voice straddles that precarious edge that both suggests experience far ...

List of genre pieces

Dick Clark: The Beat Goes On

Interview by Jeff Tamarkin, Goldmine, December 1990

THE MOST AMAZING thing about Dick Clark is not that "America's Oldest Living Teenager" still fits that role at age 61. It's not that he's ...

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