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Tom Nolan

Tom Nolan

Tom Nolan wrote for Cheetah, the LA Times and Rolling Stone in the '60s. He has subsequently written for the Wall Street Journal and been a contributing editor to California and Los Angeles magazines. Nolan's acclaimed biography of crime writer Ross MacDonald was published by Scribner in 1999, and Three Chords for Beauty's Sake: The Life of Artie Shaw by Norton in 2010. He lives in Glendale, Los Angeles.

Tom Nolan interviewed about Ross MacDonald

Buy Tom Nolan's Artie Shaw biography

List of articles in the library by artist

Joan Baez: Diamonds and Rust

Review by Tom Nolan, Rolling Stone, July 1975

LISTENING to this Joan Baez album – her first self-declaredly apolitical, decidedly commercial album since the days of folk rock – it is possible to ...

The Band, Bob Dylan: Bob Dylan/The Band: Before The Flood (Asylum)

Review by Tom Nolan, Rolling Stone, August 1974

THROUGHOUT BOB DYLAN'S performances on this in-concert album there is evident an effort to match the material – nearly all from much earlier in his ...

Maggie Bell: Suicide Sal

Review by Tom Nolan, Phonograph Record, May 1975

WHILE NOT A debut album, Suicide Sal is the LP that signals Maggie Bell's arrival as the fine, powerful singer we had been touted to ...

The Carpenters: Up From Downey

Profile and Interview by Tom Nolan, Rolling Stone, July 1974

KAREN CARPENTER, the solo singing half of a brother and sister musical duo that has sold over 25 million records world-wide, has classic "good looks" ...

The Carpenters, Neil Sedaka: Neil Sedaka: Second Stairway To Heaven

Report and Interview by Tom Nolan, Rolling Stone, December 1975

AWAY FROM the Vegas casino clatter, inside the Riviera Hotel's now empty Versailles Room, onstage, seated at a piano is a petite, energetic man who ...

Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Golliwogs: The Golliwogs: Pre-Creedence

Review by Tom Nolan, Phonograph Record, April 1975

BLUESY ROCKIN' quartet from El Cerrito makes debut with this derivative but infectious disc of baker's-dozen-plus-one tunes. Opener, ‘Don't Tell Me No Lies’, will appeal ...

The Doors, Tim Hardin: Tim Hardin: Hobnobbin' With The Superstars

Report by Tom Nolan, Rolling Stone, April 1969

LOS ANGELES – The Chateau Marmont is one of the nicest places and reasons to stay in Los Angles. It retains the charm of old ...

The Eagles: California Dreamin’

Interview by Tom Nolan, Phonograph Record, June 1975

"I WANT TO SLEEP with you in some chocolate tonight," Glenn Frey sings in impromptu addition to the lyric of ‘Peaceful Easy Feelin’, and the ...

John Entwistle: John Entwhistle: Whistle Rymes

Review by Tom Nolan, Rolling Stone, December 1972

"Thank you Mother Nature/ For the way you got things planned/ Don't ever change a thing/ I'm happy as I am." ...

The Faces, The Rolling Stones: Faces Break Up – Wood a Stone?

Report by Tom Nolan, Rolling Stone, January 1976

LOS ANGELES – After a six-year association, Rod Stewart is leaving the Faces. The news was revealed at a London press conference called by Stewart ...

The Faces, Rod Stewart: Rod Stewart Faces the American Dream

Report and Interview by Tom Nolan, Rolling Stone, November 1975

BY SUNDOWN the 55,000 people packed into the Los Angeles Angels' Anaheim Stadium for this "sunshine festival" have stolidly endured six hours of a rather ...

Andy Fairweather Lowe: Andy Fairweather Low: Spider Jiving

Review by Tom Nolan, Rolling Stone, January 1975

ANDY FAIRWEATHER LOW has one of the quirkiest and most distinctive voices in recent pop memory, and from the first bar of this topnotch debut ...

Nils Lofgren: Back It Up!

Review by Tom Nolan, Phonograph Record, January 1976

AFTER FOUR ALBUMS with Grin, guest-work with Crazy Horse and Neil Young, and one solo album, Nils Lofgren – creator of a body of songs ...

Loggins & Messina: There's Gold In The Middle Of The Road

Interview by Tom Nolan, Rolling Stone, February 1975

THE RUSTIC HOUSE on Round Valley Drive in the hills of the San Fernando Valley is in one of those pockets of geography that provides ...

Taj Mahal

Interview by Tom Nolan, Rolling Stone, January 1969

"WHAT I'M AFRAID of," says Taj Mahal, watching the sun set on Sunset, "are these closet fascists, the guy workin' unloadin' trucks scared to death ...

Manassas: Stephen Stills and Manassas: Down The Road

Review by Tom Nolan, Rolling Stone, June 1973

THE PACKAGING of a person's pain is a sticky subject for criticism. It feels uncouth to suggest the suffering should be more graceful. ...

Terry Melcher: Surf's Up! Terry Melcher's Nightmare Is Over

Interview by Tom Nolan, Rolling Stone, May 1974

LOS ANGELES – Terry Melcher, a consistent professional, has participated in scores of hits with artists as diverse as Frankie Laine and the Byrds. Seven ...

Terry Melcher: A Beach Veteran Looks Back

Interview by Tom Nolan, Phonograph Record, September 1974

ONE OF THE most influential and talented Californians to prosper during the '60s sun-speed-surf period in pop was Terry Melcher. As producer and (teamed with ...

Bette Midler: Bette Midler (Atlantic)

Review by Tom Nolan, Creem, April 1974

ALL THIS diverse material – old Broadway show tunes, a Phil Spector classic, a Wardell Gray jazz novelty, soul songs, Dylan – you can almost ...

Joni Mitchell: Miles Of Aisles

Review by Tom Nolan, Phonograph Record, January 1975

THE TWO MOST annoying things (to me) about Joni Mitchell in the early years of her career were her songs, which often seemed impersonal, shallow ...

Van Morrison: Hard Nose The Highway

Review by Tom Nolan, Phonograph Record, October 1973

THE TEMPTATION is simply to quote huge chunks of lyrics, but allow me instead the indulgence of a passage from Kierkegaard, cited by A. Alvarez ...

Randy Newman: Good Old Boys

Review by Tom Nolan, Phonograph Record, November 1974

RANDY NEWMAN'S new record is all about the South, a concept album of sorts which stops short of operatic unity but which does exist in ...

Harry Nilsson: A Little Touch Of Schmilsson In The Night

Review by Tom Nolan, Phonograph Record, September 1973

HERE IS AN IDEA whose time should never have come. Harry Nilsson's newest album, produced by Derek Taylor and arranged by Gordon Jenkins, is a ...

Phil Ochs: God Help The Troubadour

Profile and Interview by Tom Nolan, Rolling Stone, May 1971

Who was that foolThrew the basket in the pool? ...

The Osmonds: The Family Plan Of The Latter-Day Osmonds

Profile and Interview by Tom Nolan, Rolling Stone, March 1976

The Wizards who Live in the Land of OsWorship their God and Obey the LawsWear Ice Cream Suits without Bulges or FlawsAnd Smile with the ...

The Pretty Things: Savage Eye

Review by Tom Nolan, Phonograph Record, March 1976

NOT AS, NOT AT all as, not nearly as, doesn't even come close to being anything at all as good as their last one, Silk ...

John Prine: Common Sense

Review by Tom Nolan, Phonograph Record, May 1975

FLESHED OUT WITH such guest performers as Jackson Browne, J.D. Souther, Glenn Frey and Steve Goodman, Common Sense comes on like Prine's ultimate supersession production; ...

Leon Redbone: On The Track

Review by Tom Nolan, Rolling Stone, December 1975

LEON REDBONE, according to the record jacket of his first album, is not to be confused or associated with the Epic recording artists Redbone. Hardly. ...

Linda Ronstadt: The Linda Ronstadt Coverup!

Interview by Tom Nolan, Phonograph Record, November 1974

IN 1970 DAN Wakefield, who had just published his first novel, Going All the Way (a heartbreakingly hilarious chronicle of America's dismal sex life in ...

Carly Simon: Attitude Dancing

Interview by Tom Nolan, Phonograph Record, May 1975

THE HOUSE WAS set back behind a stone wall, at the end of a cul-de-sac off Coldwater Canyon between Beverly Hills and the San Fernando ...

Sly & The Family Stone: Sly Stone: Small Talk (Epic)

Review by Tom Nolan, Phonograph Record, August 1974

THIS RECORD IS more to be appreciated in the mind than enjoyed by the ears – at least when this particular mind and set of ...

The Souther-Hillman-Furay Band: The Souther-Hillman-Furay Band

Review by Tom Nolan, Phonograph Record, July 1974

"HERE I GO AGAIN," Richie Furay sings the opening words of this album, "it's all right." Certainly, especially when the singer is good ol' Richie ...

Spring: Spring

Review by Tom Nolan, Rolling Stone, August 1972

SPRING IS MARILYN and Diane Rovell who, as the Honeys, recorded such 45s as 'Surfin' Down the Swanee River', and urged: "Push 'em back! Push ...

Cat Stevens: Buddha And The Chocolate Box

Review by Tom Nolan, Phonograph Record, May 1974

ON THE COVER of Cat Stevens' new album is a Japanese buddha of the Heian Period. On the back is a koan or parable depicted ...

Rick Wakeman: The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table

Review by Tom Nolan, Phonograph Record, May 1975

I ONCE VAGUELY planned a toney essay, to be modeled on Susan Sontag's ground-breaker, on the grotesque changes rung on the concept of Camp once ...

List of genre pieces

Groupies: A Story Of Our Times

Special Feature by Tom Nolan, Cheetah, December 1967

The March of Time's issue about teen-age girls is worth seeing in the sense that one might examine with interest a slide of cancer tissue. ...

Underground Radio

Overview by Tom Nolan, Cheetah, November 1967

"AAAWRIGHT, bay-aay-he-baay!" ...

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