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Wayne Robins

Wayne Robins

Wayne Robins has been writing about rock since 1969; his first paying gig was reviewing the Rolling Stones, Ike and Tina Turner, B.B. King and Terry Reid at Oakland (Calif.) Coliseum for the Berkeley Barb during a hiatus from Bard College, where Fagen and Becker would occasionally play at impromptu Trips Festivals.

After graduating from the University of Colorado in 1972, an academic career highlighted by seeing Elvis Presley perform in Denver, he somehow landed a job in his native New York City as editor/writer for CBS Records’ Playback magazine. Writing for the Village Voice, Rolling Stone, but especially Creem, he moved to Birmingham, Mich. in March, 1975 to become editor of Creem magazine, where he spent six months. Returning home to New York, he followed Robert Christgau, Dave Marsh and Tony Kornheiser as pop writer for Newsday and New York Newsday, a gig which lasted from 1975-1993.

It was then he decided he’d rather write about meatloaf than Meat Loaf, and joined the newspaper’s food department. With the closing of New York Newsday in 1995, Robins wrote food columns for the Newark Star-Ledger and the N.Y. Daily News, became the "Raising Daddy" columnist for MSNBC.com in 1998, taught journalism and received his Master’s degree as the Chen Sam/Elizabeth Arden fellow at the New York University graduate school of journalism’s Cultural Reporting and Criticism section.

He wrote a bookette, VH1’s Behind the Music: 1968 (2000), which really wasn’t bad for a work made for hire. He lives with his wife and two of his three daughters in Queens, N.Y., in an out of the way neighborhood near the Whitestone Bridge.

Wayne's Words

List of articles in the library by artist

Ace: Five-a-Side

Review by Wayne Robins, Rolling Stone, May 1975

FROM THE LOOK of its album cover, Ace is a band of five frustrated English football players who, like Rod Stewart, turned to music to ...

Aerosmith: No Fear Of Flying Aero Smith

Interview by Wayne Robins, Creem, September 1975

A SIGN OF SUCCESS: Steven Tyler is eating escargot and oysters rockefeller at a downtown Detroit seafood restaurant. ...

Amon Düül: Amon Duul II: Wolf City

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, June 1973

EVER READ German rock mags like Muziek Express or Dutch ones like Popfoto? If you do, you'll notice that besides the pictures of Alice Cooper, ...

Ashton, Gardner & Dyke: What A Bloody Long Day It's Been (Capitol)

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, July 1972

ASHTON, GARDNER & DYKE'S first album might have been the best English punk-rock album of 1970. It was a sound forged from the beer belly ...

Black Sabbath: Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath (Warner Bros.)

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, April 1974

THE QUESTION, Sabs, is where you been so long? So highly irresponsible was their disappearing act over a year ago that heavy metal almost vanished ...

Blue Oyster Cult: On Your Feet Or On Your Knees (Columbia)

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, May 1975

THE BLUE OYSTER CULT have been heavy metal's premier studio musicians. Initially, they were an image manipulated, a persona directed by their producers, Murray Krugman ...

Jackson Browne: Late for the Sky (Asylum)

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, January 1975

WHAT'S MADE Jackson Browne more acceptable than most other singer-songwriters is the likelihood that he's the Joni Mitchell for teenage boys. ...

Eric Clapton: E.C. Was Here

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, November 1975

I HAVE NEVER knelt at the altar of Eric Clapton's guitar prowess. That is, the endless arguments about who possesses the most virtuoso fingers in ...

Leonard Cohen: The Loneliness of the Long-Suffering Folkie: Leonard Cohen

Interview by Wayne Robins, Newsday, November 1992

ON HIS NEW ALBUM The Future (Columbia), Leonard Cohen views history's changing currents with more than a little bit of wariness. "Give me back the ...

The Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose: Cornelius Brothers And Sister Rose (United Artists)

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, November 1972

BASICALLY, THERE ARE two Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose (CB&SR) sounds. One is the basic, upbeat piano sound layered with tight, spiraling harmony, as in ...

Doobie Brothers: The Reward Of Facelessness

Interview by Wayne Robins, Creem, December 1975

WHO WERE THEY? Just a bunch of street people who "looked like bikers and said they wanted to be rock 'n' roll stars" – with ...

Bob Dylan: 'Love and Theft'

Review by Wayne Robins, MSNBC.com, September 2001

HOW DO YOU tell the difference between a great new Bob Dylan album and one that's more ordinary? You can't stop playing the great ones ...

Bob Dylan: 30th Anniversary Concert at Madison Square Gardens

Live Review by Wayne Robins, Newsday, October 1992

BOB DYLAN'S SONG catalogue is so varied and vital that Friday's four-hour concert at Madison Square Gardens barely got the key in the door of ...

Eminem At The Top Of His Underclass: 8 Mile

Review by Wayne Robins, waynerobins.blogspot.com, November 2002

8 MILE, Eminem's big screen debut, is middling as far as boxing movies go: Not as searing as Budd Schulberg's The Harder They Fall, and ...

Brian Eno, Roxy Music: Roxy Music: Country Life (Atlantic)/Eno: Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) (Island)

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, March 1975

WOMEN, ON Roxy Music covers, are like plants: lush vegetation, only more so. Unlike the reclining femme fatale on the cover of Stranded, who I've ...

Brian Eno, Roxy Music: Roxy Music: Country Life/Brian Eno: Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, March 1976

WOMEN, ON ROXY MUSIC covers, are like plants: lush vegetation, only more so. Unlike the reclining femme fatale on the cover of Stranded, who I've ...

Bryan Ferry: Let's Stick Together

Review by Wayne Robins, Rolling Stone, November 1976

LET'S STICK TOGETHER is the least campy of Bryan Ferry's three solo albums. Rather than do suave interpretations of oldies as diverse as ‘It's My ...

Franz Ferdinand: Franz Ferdinand

Review by Wayne Robins, Boston Phoenix, May 2004

I’M THUMBING through the March issue of Uncut, the comprehensive and entertaining British music monthly, when I hit the front of the review section and ...

Funkadelic, Parliament: Parliament/Funkadelic: Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans

Live Review by Wayne Robins, Rolling Stone, December 1976

A GOLD PYRAMID glitters onstage. Light beams, like giant mutant insect eyes, stare down at the audience. Musicians dressed for a Halloween party in some ...

The Good Rats Just Keep On Keeping On

Profile and Interview by Wayne Robins, Good Times, January 1974

YOU COULDN'T find a more classic showcase for the Good Rats than Ubie's O.T.J, in West Islip. Monday night means beer blast at Ubie's, Wednesdays ...

The Good Rats: American Band Via Long Island

Profile and Interview by Wayne Robins, Creem, April 1974

YOU COULDN'T find a more classic showcase for the Good Rats than Ubie's O.T.J. in West Islip. ...

Ian Hunter: Ian Hunter (Columbia)

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, July 1975

ON BRAIN CAPERS, the last great Mott album (containing songs like ‘Death May Be Your Santa Claus’ and ‘Sweet Angeline’), Ian Hunter was able to ...

The J.B.'s, Kool and the Gang: The J.B.'s: Doing It To Death (People); Kool & The Gang: Wild And Peaceful (D-lite)

Review by Wayne Robins, Zoo World, January 1974

IF THERE'S two movie theatres in your town, and one is showing some foreign art movie like Elvira Madigan or The Heartbreak Kid and the ...

Elton John: Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (MCA)

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, August 1975

IT WASN'T UNTIL I watched a black restaurant worker make it through his shift singing ‘Bennie and the Jets’ to himself that I began to ...

Elton John: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, January 1974

REMEMBER WHEN the Stones and Beatles were English bands? If you do then it's just barely, because both ceased being foreign bands years ago, somewhere ...

Carole King: Fantasy (A&M)

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, October 1973

SOON AFTER the enormous success of Tapestry Carole King came to be considered something of a cultural reactionary to the ‘true keepers of the rock ...

LaBelle: Phoenix

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, December 1975

SOME KEY ITEMS – a barrier breaking (‘first blacks’) performance at the Metropolitan Opera; the anthemization of ‘Lady Marmalade’; Nona Hendryx's proud lesbianism – have ...

Arthur Lee: Vindicator

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, November 1972

LIKE VAN MORRISON, Arthur Lee has been gifted with enormous catalytic power in his writing, the often innocent enunciation of a phrase capable of transforming ...

John Lennon: Walls And Bridges (Apple)

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, January 1975

WELCOME TO THE latest chapter in John Lennon's Identity Crisis. Fresh from troubles with the immigration authorites, the breakup with Yoko and public behavior reminiscent ...

Little Richard: AWOP-BOP-ALOO-MOP-ALOP-BAM-BOOM!

Profile by Wayne Robins, Newsday, June 1992

THERE'S NO QUESTION that some rock icons learned how to do what they do by watching and hearing Little Richard, from the cascading "whooo's!" on ...

Manfred Mann's Earth Band: Get Your Rocks Off

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, August 1973

MANFRED MANN'S a survivor. What that means is that no matter where you got on the bus: be it with ‘Do Wah Diddy Diddy’ in ...

Manfred Mann's Earth Band: Nightingales and Bombers

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, January 1976

HERE'S PROOF that Bruce Springsteen is 'the new Dylan': Manfred Mann has covered one of his songs Now Manfred's constructed a subplot to a career ...

Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley and The Wailers: Kaya (Island)

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, July 1978

THE FIRE HASN'T gone out, but it is on low flame and being used more for warmth than for arson. ...

Curtis Mayfield: Back To The World (Curtom)

Review by Wayne Robins, Zoo World, July 1973

WITH ALL courtesy to the self-proclaimed Black Caesar, Curtis Mayfield's Superfly was the musical equivalent to Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather. Both were nearly as ...

Miley Cyrus: Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert

Film/DVD Review by Wayne Robins, Rock's Backpages, February 2008

LAST WEEKEND J and I went to see Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: The Best of Both Worlds Concert in the local multiplex. It was ...

Joni Mitchell: Miles of Aisles (Asylum)

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, March 1975

"JONI, YOU'VE GOT more class than Mick Jagger, Richard Nixon or Gomer Pyle combined," a male Joni junkie interjects after ‘Cold Blue Steel and Sweet ...

Joni Mitchell: Jones Beach Theater, New York

Live Review by Wayne Robins, Newsday, July 1983

DURING THE COURSE of her unpredictable but resilient career, Joni Mitchell has been the dewy-eyed sophomore, the slit-eyed hipster, the clear-eyed visionary. Her songs of ...

Van Morrison: Hard Nose The Highway (Warner Bros.)

Review by Wayne Robins, Zoo World, January 1973

I KEEP HAVING this dream – wish fulfillment, for the Freudians out in Zoo World – where the mailman rings the bell, and tells me ...

New York Dolls: New York Dolls (Mercury)

Review by Wayne Robins, Zoo World, October 1973

THERE DOESN'T seem to be any argument about what the Dolls look like, since even for '73 they're a bit scary: glitter mutants escaped from ...

New York Dolls: Too Much Too Soon (Mercury)

Review by Wayne Robins, Zoo World, August 1974

TOO MUCH Too Soon is a great album by an increasingly more mature band whose only limitation seems to be their dubious association with a ...

The Osmonds: Phase Three (MGM)

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, May 1972

IT CAME AS no surprise when FAVE Magazine recently handed out its best of the year awards. Left unresolved was the question of who really ...

Billy Preston

Interview by Wayne Robins, Creem, May 1974

In Which This Jack-Of-All-Jams Remembers The Stones, Beatles, Little Richard ...

The Ramones, Talking Heads, Television: Punk Rock: Its Day Will Come

Report by Wayne Robins, Newsday, January 1976

IF YOU thought Jefferson Airplane was a weird name, let some of these drop off your tongue. Talking Heads. Tuff Darts. Ramones. Planets. Heartbreakers. Shirts. ...

Lou Reed: Rock N Roll Animal (RCA)

Review by Wayne Robins, Zoo World, April 1974

IT'S JUST like Lou Reed to follow the worst album by a major artist in 1973 (Berlin), with what might be his best album since ...

Lou Reed: Felt Theater, New York

Live Review by Wayne Robins, Village Voice, October 1974

LOU REED stepped out on the Felt Forum stage Friday night looking like something out of a Casey Donovan movie. ...

Lou Reed: Saga Of A City

Interview by Wayne Robins, Newsday, January 1989

FIVE-YEAR-OLDS take guns to school, 10-year-olds sell crack. Homelessness, Howard Beach, Joel and Hedda, Tompkins Square, Tawana, AIDS. Lou Reed didn't make this world, but ...

Caitlin Rose: On Caitlin's Rose's Own Side Now

Comment by Wayne Robins, Wayne's Words blog, May 2011

I'VE BEEN LISTENING to Caitlin Rose for nearly two months now, and have not been quite ready to let go. ...

Todd Rundgren: Todd

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, May 1974

‘Raking Turquoise Ruts Across the Velveeta Sky’ ...

Carly Simon, James Taylor: James Taylor: Gorilla (Warner Bros.)/Carly Simon: Playing Possum (Elektra)

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, September 1975

THOUGH BOTH James Taylor and Carly Simon have been frequently castigated for being sensitive rich kids, I'm surprised we've never congratulated James for transcending his ...

Simon & Garfunkel Reunite: It's Paul, But Is It Art?

Report and Interview by Wayne Robins, Rolling Stone, December 1975

NEW YORK – Comedian Richard Belzer was warming up the studio audience for NBC's Saturday Night program, October 18th. This, he was saying, was an ...

Sonic Youth: Seeking Sonic Truth On Murray Street: Sonic Youth

Comment by Wayne Robins, waynerobins.blogspot.com, September 2002

I'M AMUSED EACH day when I cross Murray Street, a miles-long, largely residential street that wends its way from downtown Flushing north through various small ...

Bruce Springsteen: Into the Future

Live Review by Wayne Robins, Newsday, April 1988

THE "TUNNEL OF LOVE" tour is not rock-and-roll business as usual, or even Springsteen business as usual. This, after all, is a show that for ...

Steely Dan: Katy Lied

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, July 1975

Slouching Toward Number One ...

Steely Dan: Hey 19: It's About Time

Profile and Interview by Wayne Robins, Los Angeles Times, March 2002

"WHAT RECORD COMPANY are we on, by the way?" Donald Fagen wants to know. "I'm not kidding." ...

Steely Dan: Walking Slow, Drinking Alone, And Moving Swiftly Through The Night…

Profile and Interview by Wayne Robins, NME, February 1974

WERE SITTING drinking Campari in the Angry Squire in Seventh Avenue on a dull sweltry Sunday night, watching the sippers and swallowers drift through a ...

Rod Stewart

Interview by Wayne Robins, Newsday, May 1993

THE PENINSULA Hotel's presidential suite is not your standard overnight business accommodation, even for Fifth Avenue. There are three bedrooms, a library, two living rooms, ...

The Temptations: Masterpiece

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, July 1973

It is 1978, and for the first time in half a decade, three consecutive Alice Cooper singles fail to reach the top fifty. Burbank has ...

John Travolta: Practice Makes Perfect

Interview by Wayne Robins, Newsday, June 1985

John Travolta has gone from the disco hunk of Saturday Night Fever to the Rolling Stone reporter of his new movie. In between, he says, ...

T. Rex: T-Rex: Tanx

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, July 1973

SONG FOR SONG, this might be Marc Bolan's strongest album. Certainly, it's the most varied, and the most musical. One instinctively look for the lyric ...

U2 Reborn in the USA

Report and Interview by Wayne Robins, Newsday, October 1988

FOR HOURS, the same shot repeats over and over on a massive screen in a high-ceilinged editing room in Studio City, just a traffic jam ...

The Wackers: Shredder

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, March 1973

THE WACKERS are like the guys you used to know, hang out with, get wrecked with and share neighborhood jokes with, who also incidentally happened ...

Amy Winehouse: A Rock Star Dead Again at 27

Comment by Wayne Robins, Rock's Backpages, July 2011

THE OTHER DAY I was listening to Amy Winehouse sing "You Know I'm No Good" on WFUV, and thought about how authentic she sounded. Not ...

Stevie Wonder: Further Fulfillingness

Interview by Wayne Robins, Melody Maker, November 1974

STEVIE WONDER had to know: should he, could he, release part two of Fulfillingness' First Finale at the end of November? ...

Link Wray: Be What You Want To

Review by Wayne Robins, Rolling Stone, May 1973

LINK WRAY, father of chicken-shack recording, is back with his second album since emerging from the dim glint of rock history. Be What You Want ...

Neil Young: Tonight's the Night (Reprise)

Review by Wayne Robins, Creem, September 1975

IF YOU THOUGHT Berlin was depressing, wait till you hear Tonight's the Night. Even the label is black. It is an album of resolute drugginess ...

List of genre pieces

Paul Wasserman, Press Agent and Friend

Obituary by Wayne Robins, waynerobins.blogspot.com, November 2007

PAUL WASSERMAN, the erudite press representative to a long roster of rock and movie stars, died in Los Angeles at age 73, according to an ...

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