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David Kamp

David Kamp

David Kamp writes books, articles, lyrics, and humour. He is the author, most recently, of Sunny Days (Simon & Schuster, 2020), a history of the Sesame Street-Mister Rogers era of enlightened children’s television. His other books include the U.S. bestseller The United States of Arugula (Broadway Books, 2006), a chronicle of American foodways, and the Snob’s Dictionary series of humour books. A longtime contributor to Vanity Fair, he has profiled such figures as Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Sly Stone, Lucian Freud, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, John Hughes, Kerry Washington, and the Brill Building songwriters. His first outing as a lyricist for the stage, the John Leguizamo musical comedy Kiss My Aztec!, had its world premiere in 2019 at Berkeley Rep, in Berkeley, California, and is gingerly making its way east. He lives in New York City and rural Connecticut.

Photo by Sabrina A. Hamady

David Kamp online

7 articles

List of articles in the library

By date | By artist | Most recently added

Burt Bacharach, Jeff Barry, Neil Diamond, Gerry Goffin, Ellie Greenwich, Carole King, Leiber and Stoller, Barry Mann, Neil Sedaka, The Shangri-Las, Steely Dan, Cynthia Weil, Jerry Wexler: The Hit Factory: New York's Brill Building

Retrospective and Interview by David Kamp, Vanity Fair, November 2001

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I spent much of 2001 interviewing the songwriters, machers, and artists of the Brill Building era for this oral history. It was the ...

Burt Bacharach, Carole King, Brian Wilson: Pop, In The Name Of Love: Grace of My Heart

Report and Interview by David Kamp, Vanity Fair, October 1996

The soundtrack for Grace Of My Heart, Allison Anders's film a clef about the early-1960s blossoming of artists such as Burt Bacharach, Carole King, and ...

Beck: The Musical Advice Beck Took from His Kids

Interview by David Kamp, Vanity Fair, 11 October 2017

In advance of his new album, Colors, the prolific performer talks about the creative process, his recent turn toward pop, and the trend of D.I.Y. ...

Curt Boettcher, Alex Chilton, Gene Clark, Elvis Costello, Dexys Midnight Runners, Dion, Fred Neil, Jack Nitzsche, Shuggie Otis, Gram Parsons, The Stooges, Hal Willner: The Rock Snob's Dictionary: An Introduction

Book Excerpt by David Kamp, Broadway Books, February 2006

2021 AUTHOR'S NOTE: This was written in 2005 and does not entirely hold up today. (But most of it does.) ...

Johnny Cash, Rick Rubin: Johnny Cash and Rick Rubin: American Communion

Retrospective and Interview by David Kamp, Vanity Fair, October 2004

Johnny Cash thought his recording career was over. Then he met legendary producer Rick Rubin. Together, Nashville's Man in Black and the co-founder of Def ...

Sly & the Family Stone: Sly Stone's Higher Power

Profile and Interview by David Kamp, Vanity Fair, August 2007

Sly Stone vanished into rumor in the 1980s, remembered only by the great songs ('I Want to Take You Higher', 'Dance to the Music') he ...

Bruce Springsteen on 'Born To Run' (2016)

Interview by David Kamp, Rock's Backpages audio, June 2016

The Boss digs deep into the mighty 'Born To Run'; talks about his use of rock's clichéd imagery and how he added to it; about the way the song's emotional directness connects with audiences and how personal the song is for him; how the song has grown over time; how he and the E Street Band are both pre- and post-hippie worlds; how he needed to write American music; how lyrics to be singable and musical... and how long it took to write the song.

File format: mp3; file size: 22.6mb, interview length: 23' 31" sound quality: *****

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