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Steve Roeser

Steve Roeser

Raised in the New York City suburb of Dumont, New Jersey, Steve Roeser's early love of rock 'n' roll was aided by constant listening to New York Top 40 radio stations WABC and WMCA. Those gave way, several years later, to NYC progressive music station WNEW-FM, and a heavy, lifelong addiction to rock music was born.

Attending college in Boston in the 1970s, Roeser broadcast his own music programs over station WRBB (Northeastern University), and began his writing career - while gaining his first backstage access - reviewing a series of summer concerts (The Beach Boys, Leon Russell, Humble Pie, The J. Geils Band, Mahavishnu Orchestra) held at the stadium used for New England Patriots football.

After putting in a brief stint as DJ at a radio station on the U.S. side of the Mexican border, Roeser turned more seriously to writing throughout the 1980s. He moved to Los Angeles in 1986 and in 1990 his first article appeared in Goldmine, where many of his interviews and articles were to be seen throughout the 1990s. Roeser is also the co-author, with Barry Goldberg, of Two Jews Blues, the story of Goldberg and his friendship with guitar great Michael Bloomfield.

"Few examples of great rock journalism have resulted from writers presuming to place themselves above the artist(s) they are covering," Roeser commented about his opportunities to speak with several of the all-time greats. "Many gifted, famous musicians, reluctant to ever grant interviews, actually have valid reason to regard an often hyper-critical press with suspicion: 'You think you can do better? Well, let's hear YOUR music!'

"Ultimately, people are only interested in reading about rock because all of us - critics definitely included - are fans of the music," Roeser said. "If you're not, why bother with it? Anyone who is a true fan of rock also firmly believes that no other category of music, bar none, can top it. Other categories of music hardly even matter that much, by way of comparison. No writer who ceases to love rock music can continue to write about it with any authority, or any passion. And passion is the key. We love it because it's in our bones."

List of articles in the library by artist

The Animals, Eric Burdon: Eric Burdon on The Animals (1990)

Interview by Steve Roeser, Rock's Backpages Audio, June 1990

Head zoo-keeper Burdon talks about the Animals, the personalities, the splits, growing up in Newcastle, and about coming up and out of the '60s R&B boom.

File format: mp3; file size: 85.7mb, interview length: 1h 33' 34" sound quality: ***

Bad Company: 'Till The Day I Die'

Retrospective and Interview by Steve Roeser, Goldmine, March 1996

THE '90S REUNION of Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, resulting so far in an album and a tour, is no doubt an invigorating development for ...

The Band, Robbie Robertson: Robbie Robertson: The Underworld of Redboy

Interview by Steve Roeser, Goldmine, August 1998

TWENTY YEARS ago, a Martin Scorsese film called The Last Waltz was released in theaters. As rock fans easily recall, this star-studded musical event – ...

The Beach Boys: Record Producer Nik Venet: 1936-1998

Obituary by Steve Roeser, Goldmine, Spring 1998

NIK VENET, an East Coast friend and mid-Fifties music scene contemporary of Bobby Darin who came to Los Angeles to become one of the key ...

Big Brother & The Holding Company: Do What You Love

Review by Steve Roeser, Goldmine, September 1998

THIS IS an album that's been a mighty long time comin', and one which you may have to attend the band's live show to readily ...

Big Brother & The Holding Company, Janis Joplin: Big Brother & The Holding Company: Do What You Love

Retrospective and Interview by Steve Roeser, Goldmine, September 1998

"All of a sudden someone threw me in this rock 'n' roll band. They threw these musicians at me, man, and the sound was coming ...

Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne: Ozzy Osbourne: The Godfather Of Metal Lands On The Good Foot

Interview by Steve Roeser, Goldmine, June 1998

Nearly 30 Years After Founding Black Sabbath, The Godfather Of Metal Lands On The Good Foot ...

Bob Dylan, Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield Blues Band: Mike Bloomfield and Bob Dylan: Two Jews Blues, Chapter XI

Book Excerpt by Steve Roeser, unpublished, 2010

Author's note: This is my writing, but the work is mine and Barry Goldberg's together. It is Barry's story of his friendship with Michael (Mike) ...

Blues Traveler: Road Warriors

Profile and Interview by Steve Roeser, Goldmine, March 1995

IT'S AN unseasonably warm Halloween weekend outside the Hollywood Palladium, as tens of thousands slowly stream by in a typical Friday night procession of Sunset ...

Gene Clark's Last Stand

Memoir by Steve Roeser, Goldmine, June 1991

GENE CLARK'S last performance took place about a mile or so from the spot where the Byrds took off from 27 years ago – Ciro's ...

Cream: Pete Brown on Cream (and more) (2001)

Interview by Steve Roeser, Rock's Backpages Audio, Spring 2001

The redoubtable Battered Ornament talks about his long writing partnership with Cream's Jack Bruce, getting into blues and poetry, and the Brit Blues boom.

File format: mp3; file size: 27mb, interview length: 29' 28" sound quality: * (phoner)

Bobby Darin: Beyond the Sea...Beyond the Music

Retrospective by Steve Roeser, Goldmine, October 1995

HE WAS born a year after Elvis, and died four years before Presley breathed his last. ...

Bo Diddley: The Note For Note Interview

Interview by Steve Roeser, Note For Note, Summer 1988

IT IS A Monday morning in March, in the coffee shop of a hotel located on Highland, near the Hollywood Bowl. ...

Bernard Fowler, The Rolling Stones: On Stoney Ground with Bernard Fowler

Interview by Steve Roeser, Goldmine, July 1998

ROCKERS CAN be free spirits and generous souls, and many of them are – often surprisingly so. Nevertheless, they can also be susceptible to feelings ...

Kim Fowley: One Man's Garbage/Another Man's Gold: Lost Treasures From The Vaults 1959-69 (Norton Records)

Review by Steve Roeser, hollywoodconcerts.com, December 2009

EVEN BEFORE KIM FOWLEY (born 1939, Hollywood, California) hosted a weekly four-hour music program on satellite radio, a lot of people already knew his name, ...

Kim Fowley: Living and Dying in L.A.

Retrospective and Interview by Steve Roeser, Goldmine, November 1993

IT'S A NAME (and yes, it's a man's name) that's been popping up around the music scene for roughly the past 35 years. And every ...

Barry Goldberg: Barry Goldberg/Soul Riot

Review by Steve Roeser, hollywoodconcerts.com, December 2009

BARRY GOLDBERG has been flying under the radar forever, the man who always seems to be there in the thick of things, quietly, unobtrusively making ...

Lionel Hampton (1983)

Interview by Steve Roeser, Rock's Backpages Audio, 1983

The hard-swinging vibraphonist takes us back to the '30s LA club scene, taking up vibes, joining Benny Goodman and discovering Dinah Washington.

File format: mp3; file size: 29mb, interview length: 31' 39" sound quality: ***

Dick Heckstall-Smith (2001)

Interview by Steve Roeser, Rock's Backpages Audio, Spring 2001

Tenor-man Heckstall-Smith takes us on a trip through the Brit blues boom with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, Alexis Korner, Graham Bond and Cyril Davis, through to Colosseum.

File format: mp3; file size: 38.7mb, interview length: 42' 18" sound quality: * (phoner)

The Isley Brothers' Marvin Isley (1991)

Interview by Steve Roeser, Rock's Backpages Audio, 1991

Second generation Isley Marvin looks back at his elder brothers' success in the late '50s, and the way he and brother Ernie and cousin Chris Jasper re-invigorated the band in the early '70s.

File format: mp3; file size: 83.8mb, interview length: 1h 31' 30" sound quality: ***

John Kay, Steppenwolf: The Long Road Of John Kay and Steppenwolf

Retrospective and Interview by Steve Roeser, Goldmine, August 1997

IT IS GETTING tougher and tougher to recall, much less try and relive, those days of the late 1960s when FM radio was new and ...

Buzz Linhart: BUZZY's buzzy (BuzzArt Enterprises Inc.)

Review by Steve Roeser, hollywoodconcerts.com, December 2009

THIS WAS Buzzy Linhart's first album, released in the late '60s, and Buzzy (with a big assist from his partner, Art Berggren) re-issued it himself ...

Meat Puppets: Swimming In A Lake Of Fire

Retrospective and Interview by Steve Roeser, Goldmine, April 1995

"Where do bad folks go when they die?They don't go to heaven where the angels flyThey go down to the lake of fire and fry ...

Moby Grape's Bob Mosley (1999)

Interview by Steve Roeser, Rock's Backpages Audio, October 1999

The early days in San Diego with the Misfits; being screwed by manager Matthew Katz; being ripped-off by Led Zeppelin; the problems with Skip Spence - the ups and downs of Bob Mosley.

File format: mp3; file size: 33.3mb; Interview length: 36' 25"; sound quality: * (phoner)

Phil Ochs: Van Dyke Parks on Phil Ochs (and the Byrds) (1997)

Interview by Steve Roeser, Rock's Backpages Audio, September 1997

VDP on his relationship with Phil Ochs, Ochs' relationship with Bob Dylan, producing Greatest Hits, and his dislike of the Byrds

File format: mp3; in 2 parts, total file sizes: 38.2mb, total interview length: 41' 41" sound quality: * (phoner)

Johnny Otis (1990)

Interview by Steve Roeser, Rock's Backpages Audio, February 1990

'50s R&B King Otis talks about the songs: 'Willie and the Hand Jive', 'Hound Dog'; the artists: Little Esther, Etta James; his son Shuggie and music education; and he rails against the ravaged black ghettos, and the lie of "integration".

File format: mp3; file size: 31.4mb, interview length: 34' 17" sound quality: ****

The Red Hot Chili Peppers: A Conversation with Anthony Kiedis

Interview by Steve Roeser, Goldmine, November 1996

THERE'S A PARTICULAR high school campus in Los Angeles, in a section of that sprawling city where the California 5 freeway cuts through an area ...

Robbie Robertson (1998)

Interview by Steve Roeser, Rock's Backpages Audio, 1998

The ex-Band man on Martin Scorsese and movie soundtracks, his Contact from the Underworld of Redboy album, Native-American politics and music, and looks back at Bo Diddley, the Dylan '74 tour and the great bluesmen.

File format: mp3; file size: 29.7mb, interview length: 32' 28" sound quality: * (phoner)

Leon Russell (1998)

Interview by Steve Roeser, Rock's Backpages Audio, Spring 1998

From the clubs of Tulsa, via Los Angeles, Phil Spector and the Shelter People, to Nashville and a return to country roots — Leon Russell remembers, well, some of it.

File format: mp3; in 2 parts, total file sizes: 52.2mb, total interview length: 58' 08" sound quality: * (phone interview)

Sonic Youth: Way Downtown Way Kool

Retrospective and Interview by Steve Roeser, Goldmine, September 1994

THERE ARE four of them, and they're definitely fab, but nobody (to our knowledge, anyway) has ever compared Sonic Youth to the Beatles. ...

Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore (1994)

Interview by Steve Roeser, Rock's Backpages Audio, July 1994

From his youth in Bethel, CT., through his early days in NYC, forming Sonic Youth, through to alt.superstardom, signing with Geffen and hanging with Nirvana and Neil Young – it's all here.

File format: mp3; file size: 73.7mb, interview length: 1h 20' 33" sound quality: ** (phoner)

Jimmy Witherspoon: 'Ain't Nobody's Business': The No Rollin' Blues of Jimmy Witherspoon

Retrospective and Interview by Steve Roeser, Goldmine, May 1996

"I'D RATHER open up a show than to close it," Jimmy Witherspoon said emphatically. "'Cause I know whoever follows me is gonna have to sing." ...

Link Wray (1997)

Interview by Steve Roeser, Rock's Backpages Audio, November 1997

The lost prophet of heavy metal remembers his early days, his legendary hit 'Rumble', being ripped-off by his own brother and keepin' on rockin'.

File format: mp3; in 2 parts, total file sizes: 47.9mb, total interview length: 52' 19" sound quality: * (phone interview)

Yes' Jon Anderson (1997)

Interview by Steve Roeser, Rock's Backpages Audio, November 1997

The ethereal Voice of Prog on life pre-Yes, the changes of personnel in the band, and the various break-ups and reformations that have taken place over the years.

File format: mp3; file size: 31.2mb, interview length: 34' 07" sound quality: * (phoner)

Warren Zevon: Left Jabs and Roundhouse Rights

Interview by Steve Roeser, Goldmine, August 1995

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE a romantic. These might be the words of wisdom for those who have ever counted themselves fans of singer/songwriter Warren Zevon, especially the ...

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