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Harold Bronson

Harold Bronson

Harold Bronson was indoctrinated into rock criticism by his first editor at the UCLA Daily Bruin, John Mendelssohn. Bronson learned his craft, and was soon able to forgo his box boy duties at the local market by earning the same pocket change writing for Rolling Stone, The Los Angeles Times, L. A. Free Press, Rock Magazine and others. He not only enjoyed access to L.A.’s music scene, but the camaraderie of his fellow rock writers. He played music at UCLA with Mark Leviton (and subsequent noted author) Jon Kellerman in the retro-punk band Mogan David and His Winos, as well as becoming good friends with Steve Rosen and John Tobler.

Joining Richard Foos at the Rhino Records store, and drawing upon his experience with the Winos, whose 1973’s Savage Young Winos was among the first truly independently released rock albums of the 1970s, he started the Rhino Records label in the store’s back room. Success wasn’t instant, but through the years Rhino created the standard for reissues, and was awarded label of the year (2000-2002) by the record retailers organization NARM. Bronson and Foos subsequently left the label, which is now part of the Warner Music Group.

Bronson, who had taken quite a few film classes as part of his major, established Rhino Films (a separate company), and has produced a handful of films, most notably Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, and Why Do Fools Fall in Love (the story of the first teen star, Frankie Lymon). Daydream Believers, a tv movie on the Monkees, was based, in part, on Bronson’s book Hey, Hey, We’re the Monkees, about which Michael Nesmith said "it best captures the Monkees Zeitgeist." Bronson's memoir, The Rhino Records Story, was published in hardcover in October 2013.

37 articles

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The Animals, Jeff Beck, Donovan, Herman's Hermits, Mickie Most, The Yardbirds: Call Mickie Most 'The Hitmaker'

Interview by Harold Bronson, Rolling Stone, 21 December 1972

Mickey Mouse? What can I say about him? When making an album with the band laying down a track in the studio, Mickey is always ...

Argent Again

Interview by Harold Bronson, Phonograph Record, August 1971

WITH THE SUCCESS of the Beatles came countless other English rock groups, among them the Zombies. This combo employed a very satisfying Beatle-ish approach that ...

Badfinger: Woo, Liverpool Accents

Profile and Interview by Harold Bronson, Rolling Stone, 10 June 1971

LOS ANGELES – Badfinger started out five years ago as the Ivys, who soft-rocked around small clubs in London and recorded about 100 of their ...

The Beatles, The Beau Brummels, The Byrds, The Sir Douglas Quintet, The Turtles: America's Beatles

Retrospective by Harold Bronson, Rock's Backpages, April 2017

THIS YEAR THERE have been more events to celebrate the rock music of the 1960s than in any previous one, and it's still only April. ...

The Bee Gees: Cucumber Castle (Atco SD 33-327)

Review by Harold Bronson, UCLA Daily Bruin, 11 May 1970

THE NEW Bee Gees' album, Cucumber Castle (Atco SD 33-327), offers an interesting collection of the familiar string embellished ballads we've come to expect from ...

Black Sabbath: The Wit & Wisdom of Ozzy Osbourne or For the Best Coke Call Black Sabbath

Report and Interview by Harold Bronson, UCLA Daily Bruin, 30 June 1972

"FOR THE BEST COKE, just ring three-eight-nine-oh-nine-eight, only one hundred dollars!" exclaimed a very stoned Ozzy Osbourne as he grinned stupidly from behind a microphone ...

Blondie, Rick Derringer, Suzi Quatro, Smokie: Mike Chapman: Producer

Interview by Harold Bronson, New York Rocker, September 1978

PRODUCER MIKE Chapman, once removed from his baronial digs in the hillier regions of Beverly Hills and ensconced in the recording studio, sheds his bemused ...

Blue Swede: Grunting a Feeling

Report and Interview by Harold Bronson, Rolling Stone, 4 July 1974

LOS ANGELES – Oohka Chucka! Oohka Oohka Oohka Chucka! – a jungle war cry gives way suddenly to a hardy, supper-club crooner romanticizing an old ...

Colin Blunstone, Good Habit: Civic Hall, Guildford, England

Live Review by Harold Bronson, Phonograph Record, October 1972

IT WAS MIDNIGHT, and as my nose was dripping, I was freezing on the last train to London. Colin Blunstone, ex-lead vocalist of the Zombies, ...

Canned Heat: One More River To Cross

Review by Harold Bronson, Rolling Stone, 28 February 1974

ONE WOULD EXPECT that with its new label, Atlantic, and rejuvenated line-up (which includes Bob Hite, vocals; Henry Vestine, guitar; Fito de la Pareda, drums; ...

The Dave Clark Five: Dave Clark's Miscalculation

Retrospective by Harold Bronson, Rock's Backpages, March 2014

THE fiftieth anniversary of the Beatles' debut in America has occasioned a number of other anniversary TV specials linked to the British Invasion. With a ...

Flo & Eddie, Frank Zappa, The Turtles: Howard Kaylan: Mother Was A Turtle

Interview by Harold Bronson, Rolling Stone, 16 September 1971

LOS ANGELES – Working in the Turtles, working in the Mothers, it's all the same, Harold Kaylan says. But he has undergone a transition nevertheless. ...

Focus: How to Make It Without Playing Top 40

Interview by Harold Bronson, Rolling Stone, 24 May 1973

LOS ANGELES – "'Hocus Pocus' was done as a parody of rock," said Thijs van Leer, founder of Focus, commenting on his group's hit record. ...

The Guess Who: Guess Who: They Don't Know What We Look Like

Interview by Harold Bronson, UCLA Daily Bruin, 30 April 1971

"Rolling Stone is a biased paper.""They're full of shit.""Erroneous information." ...

Herman's Hermits: So What's Wrong With Herman's Hermits?

Retrospective and Interview by Harold Bronson, Zoo World, 27 September 1973

CRINKLED NOSES and pained "ooohs" accompany ninety-five percent of the responses I receive when I tell people I like Herman's Hermits. But how can I ...

Herman's Hermits: Miss Brown, You've Got A Lovely Mother

Profile by Harold Bronson, UCLA Daily Bruin, 6 January 1972

I HAVE ENOUGH TROUBLE explaining my affection for the Kinks and Small Faces to my super-heavy Santana/Led Zeppelin affected friends without having to explain my ...

The Hollies: No Room For Solo Stars

Profile and Interview by Harold Bronson, Rolling Stone, 18 January 1973

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – The Hollies, one of the original British invaders of the 1960s, are at yet another crossroads. Allan Clarke – one of ...

Nicky Hopkins

Interview by Harold Bronson, Zoo World, 25 October 1973

ALTHOUGH NICKY Hopkins' bouts with more than casual illness are no secret, the British pianist has one of the more prolific careers as a session ...

Hot Chocolate: Cicero Park (Big Tree)

Review by Harold Bronson, Phonograph Record, January 1975

AS EVERYONE KNOWS, soul music is in now more than ever, but in the frenzy of cheerful accolades and mountainous monies embracing Barry White and ...

Iron Butterfly: Butterfly Break Out of the Iron Cocoon

Interview by Harold Bronson, Melody Maker, 9 January 1971

LOS ANGELES — It was a nervous experience for Iron Butterfly when, late last year, they found out things weren't quite right. Their music had ...

Elton John: What do Bowie, Elton, and Mantovani have in common?

Interview by Harold Bronson, Music World, 1 June 1973

I DON'T KNOW why so many of the stars take up residence at Hollywood's Chauteau Marmont Hotel on the Sunset Strip. Perhaps it's because of ...

Alvin Lee and Mylon Lefevre: They'd Rather Do It Themselves

Interview by Harold Bronson, Zoo World, 14 February 1974

LOS ANGELES – Alvin Lee, hyperactive on-stage, doesn't race around the familiar public relations office bumping into desks and chairs with incessantly twitching fingers. Ten ...

Mance Lipscomb: Portrait of a Texas Bluesman

Profile and Interview by Harold Bronson, Music World, February 1973

MANCE LIPSCOMB is one of those bluesmen who has been promulgated by the blues revival. It's really too bad that his status is not one ...

Manfred Mann: An Exploration Of The Four Chapters Of Manfred Mann

Overview by Harold Bronson, Phonograph Record, November 1971

PREFACEMANFRED MANN in his pendulum-like exploration of the modem music scene has at given times emerged himself in more fully committed idioms than just about ...

The Monkees: Instant Replay: Does Anyone Dare Remember The Monkees?

Interview by Harold Bronson, Coast, 1 September 1971

Here we come, Walkin' down the street.We get the funniest looksFrom everyone we meet. ...

James Taylor, Peter and Gordon: The Producers: Peter Asher

Interview by Harold Bronson, Hit Parader, 1972

HIT PARADER: From Peter and Gordon, how did you get into producing? ...

Procol Harum: On The Road with Procol Harum

Interview by Harold Bronson, UCLA Daily Bruin, 11 November 1971

"DIABOLICAL," KEITH REID whispered, resting in a chair at a San Diego nightclub that someone described as looking like a reconverted bowling alley. He was ...

Gerry Rafferty: Can I Have My Money Back?

Review by Harold Bronson, Rolling Stone, 22 November 1973

Gerry Rafferty paid his dues playing bass in countless rock bands before joining up with fellow Scot Billy Connolly in a mildly successful affair called ...

Emitt Rhodes: Mirror (Dunhill)

Review and Interview by Harold Bronson, UCLA Daily Bruin, 4 November 1971

FEBRUARY 9th was the day of the famous Los Angeles earthquake. After it was over, the damage totaled $300 million. For me the loss was ...

Spencer Davis Group: Spencer Davis

Interview by Harold Bronson, Phonograph Record, June 1971

SPENCER DAVIS was just disgusted with the whole London pop scene. He had hit records, yes, ‘Keep On Running’ and ‘Gimme Some Lovin'’ among them. ...

Bruce Springsteen & the E. Street Band: The Troubadour, Los Angeles, CA

Live Review by Harold Bronson, Cash Box, 10 August 1974

CECILIO AND Kapono, a hirsute Hawaiian duo sharing acoustic and electric guitars, opened the show. Seemingly attempting to be another Seals and Crofts, their pleasant ...

Status Quo: Whisky A Go Go, Los Angeles

Live Review by Harold Bronson, Melody Maker, 16 February 1974

LOS ANGELES – Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Rory Gallagher, and Manfred Mann's Earthband all graced the Whisky opening night to welcome Status Quo's second Los ...

Stealers Wheel: Ferguslie Park

Review by Harold Bronson, Rolling Stone, 31 January 1974

WITH FERGUSLIE PARK, Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan are back as Stealers Wheel. Considering that the duo is unencumbered by the band's former members (with ...

T. Rex: "The Mania Never Stops"

Interview by Harold Bronson, Phonograph Record, April 1972

HUMILITY HAS never been one of man's virtues. Whether warranted or not, we tend to exaggerate our credibility. What we must never forget is why ...

The Troggs: Troggs: Fond Rememberings And Frank Quotes From The World's First Punk Rockers

Retrospective and Interview by Harold Bronson, Phonograph Record, February 1973

WHATEVER HAPPENED to all those exciting, tuneful British rock acts who thrilled us during the mid-Sixties? ...

Wilderness Road: Sold For Prevention Of Disease Only (Warner Bros.)

Review by Harold Bronson, Phonograph Record, March 1973

I USED TO THINK producer Jack Richardson was pretty sharp. After all, wasn't he the one responsible for the clean sound on Guess Who albums? ...

List of genre pieces

Top 10 Hits from the '60s: Who Played on 'Em

Retrospective by Harold Bronson, Rock's Backpages, 14 January 2014

THE WRECKING CREW, a much-needed documentary about the behind-the-scenes elite crop of studio musicians who provided the instrumentation for many of the hits of the ...

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