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Lenny Kaye

Lenny Kaye

A living legend, both as a writer and as a musician/producer, Kaye wrote widely in the ’60s for FUSION, ROLLING STONE, CRAWDADDY and other publications. He is co-author with David Dalton of Rock 100, and partnered the late Waylon Jennings on the latter's autobiography. Kaye compiled the seminal Nuggets anthology of garage punk and has long been the guitarist in Patti Smith’s band.

List of articles in the library by artist

Eric Andersen: Blue River

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, August 1972

ERIC ANDERSEN is not one who has been graced with the best of luck. ...

Baby Huey: The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, April 1971

BABY HUEY never made it; not really. At his peak, when he was the stellar attraction of a rhythm and blues circuit that stretched from ...

Bamboo, Bread: Bread: Bread (Elektra) Bamboo Bamboo (Elektra)

Review by Lenny Kaye, Fusion, October 1969

RELEASED TOGETHER, utilizing similar cover formats and nearly identical one-word names beginning with the letter "B": Elektra must have intended these two albums to be ...

The Band

Book Excerpt by David Dalton, Lenny Kaye, Rock 100, Cooper Square Books (reissue), 1999

THE BAND was once described as the only group who could warm up the crowd for Abraham Lincoln. When they first appeared late in 1968, ...

The Band: Moondog Matinee

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, January 1974

UNDER NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES this would be a fairly disappointing album for the Band, coming as it does on the year-old heels of a live set ...

The Beach Boys

Book Excerpt by David Dalton, Lenny Kaye, Rock 100, 1977

IN THE BEGINNING... WERE THE BEACH BOYS. Under the avalanche of the English Invasion, the Psychedelic Apocalypse, supersonic guitars and flash, it is almost forgotten ...

The Beach Boys

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

IN THE BEGINNING... WERE THE BEACH BOYS. Under the avalanche of the English Invasion, the Psychedelic Apocalypse, supersonic guitars and flash, it is almost forgotten ...

The Beatles, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, MC5, Pink Floyd: The Top 10 Psychedelic Moments in Rock

Comment by Lenny Kaye, Harp, May 2005

Mind expansion. The walls are breathing. Herewith, a personal list of a trip into the whirlpool of creation. ...

Beck, Bogert and Appice: Beck Bogert and Appice: Live (Epic Japanese import)

Review by Lenny Kaye, Hit Parader, January 1975

JEFF BECK was recently seen, alive and well, at the Columbia Records convention in Los Angeles. It provided a good sign for Beck-watchers, the first ...

Beck, Bogert and Appice: The Felt Forum, NY

Live Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, May 1973

JEFF BECK HAS had his ups and downs over the past several years, not the least of which was a disastrous appearance last summer on ...

Booker T & The MGs, Cream, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Paul McCartney: Hey, Mr. Bassman

Overview by Lenny Kaye, Fusion, September 1969

THE ELECTRIC revolution that helped to spawn rock and roll also helped to popularize a whole new set of instruments to take along on its ...

David Bowie: Freak Out In A Moonage Daydream

Report and Interview by Lenny Kaye, Cavalier, January 1973

AYLESBURY, ENGLAND. He is, as he had planned, magnificent. The stage appears impeccably struck, lights arranged to catch the finer angles of his face, making ...

David Bowie: O'Keefe Auditorium, Toronto

Live Review by Lenny Kaye, Disc and Music Echo, June 1974

THE POWER of the image took precedence as David Bowie opened the first leg of his North American tour with a string of Canadian dates. ...

David Bowie: Radio City Music Hall, New York NY

Live Review by Lenny Kaye, Disc and Music Echo, November 1974

THE DAVID Bowie Minstrel Show shuffled into Radio City Music Hall last week for a stay of five days, in what had to be the ...

David Bowie: Rock 100: David Bowie

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

HE IS, AS HE HAD PLANNED, MAGNIFICENT. The stage appears impeccably struck, lights arranged to catch the finer angles of his face, making him seem ...

Chet Baker: The Heartbreaking Beauty Of Chet Baker

Retrospective by Lenny Kaye, Wondering Sound, November 2012

IT'S AUTUMN IN NEW YORK, and as I always do at this time of year, I pull Chet Baker from the shelf.  ...

Jimmy Cliff et al: The Harder They Come

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, April 1973

THE REGGAE GROUNDSWELL that cups Jamaica's potential as a pop force has been heralded for many moons now, yet despite several breech-opening successes from a ...

Joe Cocker: Madison Square Garden, New York NY

Live Review by Lenny Kaye, New Musical Express, March 1972

Cocker On Stage – A Big Let-Down. A Disillusioned Lenny Kaye Reports New York Opening ...

Sam Cooke: Soul and Inspiration

Retrospective by Lenny Kaye, Wondering Sound, August 2010

Possessed of a purity of voice and an unerring sense of pop metaphysics, the incomparable Sam Cooke was a singer of soul and inspiration who ...

Alice Cooper: Muscle Of Love

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, January 1974

The Alice Cooper phenomenon, which began with the chart entry of "I'm Eighteen," rose to diabolical heights with Killer and School's Out and extravaganzaed in ...

Cream: Rock 100: Cream

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

CREAM WAS THE FIRST OF A NEW SPECIES – the high-voltage superblues group. By channeling their "amplified heat" through traditional blues, they created a clean, ...

Creedence Clearwater Revival: Rock 100: Creedence Clearwater Revival

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

PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC WAS PEAKING AND rock was undergoing a period of exhaustion in 1968 when Creedence Clearwater Revival arrived out of nowhere with their "lean, ...

Crosby Stills Nash & Young: CSNY: Flying Freely

Report and Interview by Lenny Kaye, Circus, March 1970

THORNTON WILDER once wrote a book called The Bridge at San Luis Rey, where he followed back the lives of the victims of a bridge ...

Delaney & Bonnie Homecoming Knocks 'Em Dead

Report and Interview by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, March 1970

NEW YORK – They weren't welcomed at the airport by hordes of screaming, pushing teenagers. They didn't receive a standing ovation at the Fillmore East ...

Rick Derringer: All-American Boy

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, December 1973

THE OLD LITANY of the man with the cigar ("C'mere kid I'm gone make you a star") has been recited so often that it might ...

Detroit: Detroit

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, December 1971

HAVE NO FEAR. Mitch Ryder is back. and for those whose last recollection of him centers around a grotesquely Las Vegas type of showboat soul ...

Bob Dylan: Rock 100: Bob Dylan

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

"I SEE THINGS OTHER PEOPLE DON'T," Dylan once said about himself. "I dissolve myself into situations where I am invisible." Dylan's progress has been a ...

Fanny: Charity Ball

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, October 1971

WELL, LET'S SEE...first there was Goldie and the Gingerbreads and the UFO's. Then Cake, who were merely New York's answer to the Ronettes, and the ...

The Flock: The Flock (Columbia)

Review by Lenny Kaye, Fusion, October 1969

THE FLOCK is a fairly decent horned and guitared conglomerate from Chicago whose blues-based and otherwise eclectic first album is nice in an unobtrusive sort ...

Aretha Franklin: Rock 100: Aretha Franklin

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

IN 1972 WHEN ARETHA FRANKLIN RECORDED Amazing Grace, her first gospel album in 14 years, at the New Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, it was ...

Ed Sanders, The Fugs: Ed Sanders: Beer Cans on the Moon

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, October 1972

It could be that I’ve been spending too much time lost within the darkened pages of The Family lately, but more than anything else, this ...

J. Geils Band: The J. Geils Band: The Morning After (Atlantic)

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, November 1971

Call ‘em the best new band of 1971, if you will, ‘cause that’s what they are, and here’s the goods to prove it: The Morning ...

Grand Funk Railroad: Live Album

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, January 1971

"IT'S GOOD... ’cause, like, their music is getting better and better all the time, it’s like, you know, what people want to hear." ...

Grand Funk Railroad: We're an American Band

Retrospective by Lenny Kaye, History of Rock, The, 1983

If there was any group that polarised rock opinion, it was the blunt, effective power trio, Grand Funk railroad. Bypassing the ruling elite of 'progressive' ...

Grand Funk Railroad: To Live Outside the Law You Must Be Honest

Report by Lenny Kaye, Creem, June 1971

Mark, Don, Mel, and Terry at Shea: Give Peace a Chance, Love Conquers All, Get Funked ...

Grateful Dead: Live Dead

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, February 1970

Live Dead explains why the Dead are one of the best performing bands in America, why their music touches on ground that most other groups ...

Grateful Dead: The Grateful Dead

Book Excerpt by Lenny Kaye, David Dalton, Rock 100, 1977

THE GRATEFUL DEAD ARE A LIVING HIPPIE monument, lysergic storm troopers who have carried "the Message" across continents and psychic thresholds, oblivious of all laws ...

Grateful Dead: The Grateful Dead on Long Island

Live Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, April 1973

IT HAD TO HAPPEN: even the Dead have gone glitter. Resplendently suave in Nudie-type sequined suits, the group appeared on the stage of this comfortably-sized ...

Grateful Dead: The Grateful Dead: Grateful Dead (Warners)

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, November 1971

To avoid any possible disappointments for those who once had visions of saving the world through the music on Anthem of the Sun and any ...

Grateful Dead: The Grateful Dead: The Year of The Dead

Report by Lenny Kaye, Fusion, November 1969

THE GRATEFUL Dead are on the way up. But whether it be from a growing musical acumen on the part of their audience, a starring ...

Al Green

Book Excerpt by Lenny Kaye, David Dalton, Rock 100, 1977

FINDING AN UNDISCOVERED TONE ON THE soul scale in the early seventies was almost like inventing a new color, but Al Green scanned the high ...

The Guess Who: The Best of The Guess Who

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, June 1971

THE GUESS WHO, despite their good intentions, have never seemed like natural candidates for superstardom. With a collective personality that could be described as lumpy ...

John Hammond: I'm Satisfied

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, June 1972

THE QUESTION OF whether a white man can sing the deltoid blues has long been answered by John Hammond in the only way possible: that ...

Jimi Hendrix

Book Excerpt by David Dalton, Lenny Kaye, Rock 100, 1977

THIS IS NEWARK, THE NIGHT AFTER MARTIN Luther King's assassination. Jimi Hendrix is playing the Symphony Theatre to a crowd of white, modishly dressed hippies. ...

Jimi Hendrix: The Cry Of Love

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, April 1971

MAYBE IT’S JUST my imagination, but the Jimi Hendrix section of my local record bin seems to have been growing at an astonishing pace lately. ...

Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks: Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks (Epic)

Review by Lenny Kaye, Fusion, November 1969

DAN HICKS is an ex-Chariatan, a founding father of the group which (among other things) helped to bring a stately Victorian air to early Haight-Ashbury. ...

Husker Du: Hüsker Dü: Candy Apple Grey (Warner Bros.)

Review by Lenny Kaye, Spin, July 1986

DÜ BE DÜ BE DÜ, as new next-door label-mate Hoboken Frank likes to say. The Hüskers have joined forces with the true hard corp(oration), a ...

Janis Ian, New York Dolls, The Shangri-Las, Vanilla Fudge: You Can't Make Heroes Out Of Guys In Black Leather Jackets, They Told George 'Shadow' Morton. He Did...

Interview by Lenny Kaye, Melody Maker, March 1974

Part two of the Shadow Morton story by Lenny Kaye ...

Katy Perry: Prism

Review by Lenny Kaye, Wondering Sound, October 2013

TO MY EARS AND HEART, there is nothing more rousing than a well-crafted single, whatever its source. And whenever Katy Perry's Queen-of-the-Jungle anthem 'Roar' swings ...

Led Zeppelin

Book Excerpt by David Dalton, Lenny Kaye, Rock 100, 1977

ON MAY 5, 1973, A CAPACITY CROWD OF 56,800 paid $309,000 to watch Led Zeppelin perform for nearly three hours in a Tampa, Florida, football ...

Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin IV

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, December 1971

IT MIGHT SEEM a bit incongruous to say that Led Zeppelin — a band never particularly known for its tendency to understate matters — has ...

Little Anthony & the Imperials: Little Anthony and the Imperials: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Review by Lenny Kaye, Fusion, November 1969

LITTLE ANTHONY AND the Imperials. Ah, just saying the name is a high, bringing back all those battered End records of 'Tears On My Pillow', ...

Lothar and the Hand People: Lothar and the Hand People (Capitol)

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, May 1969

THERE WAS a strange New York scene a few years ago, when much the same sort of thing was taking place across a continent in ...

Love: Arthur Lee interviewed

Interview by Lenny Kaye, Jazz & Pop, 1970

Where to start? There are five albums, four years, and a whole lot of people that have been in Love. Why don't we just start ...

MC5: High Time

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, September 1971

IT SEEMS almost too perfectly ironic that now, at a time in their career when most people have written them off as either dead or ...

Paul McCartney: Red Rose Speedway

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, July 1973

WHEN PAUL MCCARTNEY's television special was aired several weeks ago, one of the ostensible aims was to provide a semi-biographical glimpse of the inner man, ...

Joni Mitchell: Rock 100: Joni Mitchell

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

I was born in Fort Macleod, Alberta, in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies – an area of extreme temperatures and mirages. When I was ...

Van Morrison

Book Excerpt by David Dalton, Lenny Kaye, Rock 100, 1977

ON THE WALL OF HIS NORTHERN CALIFORNIA home, a note announces to friends and visitors that "Van Morrison the person only sometimes has anything to ...

Graham Nash: Songs for Beginners

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, July 1971

IF YOU ACCEPT Graham Nash on his own terms, which is simply as a nice guy who somehow wound up a musician, then you probably ...

New York Dolls: Standing in the Shadow of Rock: Shadow Morton, Pt. 1

Interview by Lenny Kaye, Melody Maker, March 1974

"I don’t consider myself a good producer. I’m one of the best." Shadow Morton, producer of the New York Dolls, talks to Lenny Kaye. ...

Gilbert O'Sullivan: Avery Fisher Hall, NYC

Live Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, October 1973

"TO GILBERT," READ the note attached to a plastic baby elephant presented by a squealing child fan in the front rows: "I think you're cute." ...

Iggy Pop, The Stooges: Iggy Pop: Raw Power

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, May 1973

THE IG. Nobody does it better, nobody does it worse, nobody does it, period. Others tiptoe around the edges, make little running starts and half-hearted ...

Elvis Presley: Rock 100: Elvis Presley

Retrospective by David Dalton, Lenny Kaye, Rock 100, 1977

"THAT'S FINE, MAN," CHORTLES SAM Phillips over the studio intercom at 760 Union Avenue, Memphis. "Hell, that's different. That's a pop song now." ...

Quicksilver Messenger Service: Quicksilver Does A Quickchange

Retrospective and Interview by Lenny Kaye, Circus, March 1970

ON THE NEW Year's Eve separating 1968 and its successor, the Quicksilver Messenger Service played a farewell concert at Fillmore West. Looking back at the ...

The Rascals: Five Years Of The Rascals

Retrospective by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, June 1971

I KNOW THIS may be sound a little overboard, but there once was a time when the Young Rascals were the greatest rock & roll ...

The Rascals: See

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, March 1970

SOMETIMES ONE wonders if the (Young) Rascals wouldn't be better off just making hit singles. ...

Otis Redding

Book Excerpt by Lenny Kaye, David Dalton, Rock 100, 1977

"I FIRST MET HIM IN 1962," SAYS STEVE Cropper who co-wrote two of Otis's hits, 'Fa, Fa, Fa, Fa, Fa' and 'Dock Of The Bay', ...

Lou Reed

Interview by Lenny Kaye, New Musical Express, January 1976

HIS HAIR IS short, coloured black and closely cropped, though not unnaturally so. He wears a red T-shirt and his body, which has fluctuated from ...

The Rolling Stones

Book Excerpt by David Dalton, Lenny Kaye, Rock 100, 1977

THEY HAVE PARTICIPATED IN AND provoked the transformation of the morals and manners of their generation so effectively that to future social historians the Rolling ...

The Rolling Stones: Exile On Main St. (Rolling Stones)

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, July 1972

THERE ARE SONGS that are better, there are songs that are worse, there are songs that'll become your favourites and others you'll probably lift the ...

The Ronettes Return to the Stage: Teenage Girls Forever

Profile and Interview by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, March 1973

FABIEN IS nervous. Not quite shaking in his boots, but enough so that his timing is off, lost in phrases that go nowhere despite the ...

Santana: Santana (Columbia CS 9781)

Review by Lenny Kaye, Fusion, November 1969

THERE ARE guitar bands. There are vocal bands. There are organ bands, horn bands, sometimes stray combinations of all of the above. ...

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band: Alex Harvey: There Ain't Nothin' Like a Gang-Bang

Interview by Lenny Kaye, Creem, March 1975

"...rock and roll takes a certain amount of ignorance." ...

Sha Na Na: Sha-Na-Na: Sha-Na-Na (Buddah)

Review by Lenny Kaye, Fusion, November 1969

SHA-NA-NA has a cute stage show. They come out, dressed fit to kill in an assortment of gold lamé, black pants, white socks, t-shirts, etc., ...

Slade: Slayed?

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, March 1973

ON THEIR HOME continent, Slade are virtually indestructible: singles launched like tank mortars into the Euro-Top Ten at selected intervals, live appearances turned to massive ...

Sly & The Family Stone: Rock 100: Sly and the Family Stone

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

JIMI HENDRIX WAS THE FIRST BLACK TO PLAY acid rock, but he remained a black musician playing to white audiences; he did not get played ...

The Stooges: The Stooges (Elektra)

Review by Lenny Kaye, Fusion, September 1969

I WAS ONCE thinking of doing a piece on Blue Cheer where I wanted to show, through all sorts of diagrams and convoluted logic, that ...

Three Dog Night: Seven Separate Fools

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, September 1972

ACCORDING TO AN ever-increasing pile of Levinson-Ross press releases at my right elbow, this has been quite a summer for Three Dog Night. Their heralded ...

T. Rex: Bolan Coming Up From The Bottom

Report and Interview by Lenny Kaye, Disc and Music Echo, October 1974

AH, YES, the garden state of New Jersey. MARC BOLAN is being raised on a five-pointed star, framed in light bulbs, crucified to the wings ...

Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground

Book Excerpt by Lenny Kaye, David Dalton, Rock 100, 1977

OBVERSE, REVERSE, INVERSE, PERVERSE. A whiplash girl-child waits in the dark, splintered in blue fragments, pinpricks of white heat. The Velvet Underground cauterized their time, ...

Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground: Loaded

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, December 1970

LOU REED HAS always steadfastly maintained that the Velvet Underground were just another Long Island rock 'n' roll band. But in the past he really ...

Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground: Peel Slowly And See

Review by Lenny Kaye, MOJO, October 1995

The brief, brilliant life of The Velvet Underground, from jug-band rags to hypercool chronicles – experiments, cast-offs, fights and all – on five CDs. Immortal, ...

Loudon Wainwright III: A Tale of Loudon Wainwright III

Interview by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, April 1971

NEW YORK – The word was out, carried by the wind and a few strategic newspaper clippings, and everybody, everybody was making it on down ...

The Who

Book Excerpt by David Dalton, Lenny Kaye, Rock 100, 1977

THE TEEN DREAM LIES AT THE CORE OF rock & roll and no group has explored, projected and interpreted the turbulent substances of teenage craniums ...

The Who: Quadrophenia

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, December 1973

Quadrophenia is the Who at their most symmetrical, their most cinematic, ultimately their most maddening. Captained by Pete Townshend, they have put together a beautifully ...

Stevie Wonder: Innervisions

Review by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, September 1973

THE GREENING OF MOTOWN continues apace, with performers who once flourished under the company's autocratic guidelines (the Four Tops, Gladys Knight) seeking success elsewhere while ...

The Yardbirds: Having a Rave-Up With The Yardbirds

Retrospective by Lenny Kaye, Guitar World, September 1981

CLAPTON, BECK and Page: a holy trinity whose rippling lead lines and powerful slashing chords have provided a world on instruction for countless aspiring players. ...

The Young Rascals: Five years of the Rascals

Profile by Lenny Kaye, Rolling Stone, June 1971

I KNOW THIS may sound a little overboard, but there once was a time when the Young Rascals were the greatest rock & roll band ...

Frank Zappa: Rock 100: Frank Zappa

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

"There is no undertaking more challenging, no responsibility more awesome than being a Mother."– RICHARD M. NIXON ...

List of genre pieces

Carry That Weight: Music In The ‘60s

Overview by Lenny Kaye, Fusion, January 1970

THE WAY IT WORKS is that someone picks up the torch and carries it for a while, and when they get tired, or irrelevant, or ...

Four on the Floor: The Motown Sound

Book Excerpt by Lenny Kaye, David Dalton, Rock 100, 1977

IT WAS EVER MORE THAN A RECORD LABEL. At its zenith, during a span that dominated most (if not all) of the sixties, the hit ...

New York: Positively 4th Street

Retrospective by Lenny Kaye, History of Rock, The, 1982

The music that came out of New York's melting pot ...

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 ...

The Pedal Steel Guitar

Retrospective by Lenny Kaye, History of Rock, The, 1983

Pedal steel power from country pickers ...

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