Best Rock and Roll / Popular Music Journalist?

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Best Rock and Roll / Popular Music Journalist?

Postby maccastheman » Tue Feb 21, 2006 10:14 pm

My personal favorite is Peter Guralnick. His two-volume Elvis Presley biography, Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love, should be required reading in American Public schools. His book about Southern Soul Music, Sweet Soul Music, is excellent as well.

I met him at Graceland on the 25th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death. (I only had to drive 2 hours to get there, so I'm not that crazy, lol. ) The man just lives and breathes music.

He's also written several other excellent books about American roots music. (Feel Like Going Home, Lost Highway, Searching for Robert Johnson)

His latest is an excellent book about Sam Cooke called Dream Boogie. I'm currently reading it and losing a lot of sleep at night because I can't put it down before I go to bed.

I also like Lester Bangs a lot simply because of how irreverent he could be. The first compilation of his writings, Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung, will have you rolling out of your chair with laughter. I liked how they portrayed him in the film Almost Famous.

Those are really the only two rock journalists I can claim to be a fan of, the rest I just tolerate, lol. (And don't get me started on Jann Wenner again! :twisted: :wink: )
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Postby Paperback Writer » Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:49 am

Great points Maccastheman, agree.

I like Greil Marcus a lot, also some of Dave Marsh and Paul Williams.
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Postby Lazarus_2 » Wed Feb 22, 2006 5:26 am

Paperback Writer wrote:Great points Maccastheman, agree.

I like Greil Marcus a lot, also some of Dave Marsh and Paul Williams.


Greil Marcus is a douche in the highest degree.
After hearing of his opening line for a review of "Self Portrait", and his review of Street LEgal...
I can't trust him on anything.
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Postby theDingle » Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:18 am

WAD mtm, Gurlanick is tops. I like Bangs alright, but I think its possible that somewhere during his career with Rollingstone he's castrated an album or two that I cherished, same with Anthony DeCurtis.

As for David Marsh, PW, maybe you should read my Rollingstone Record Guide published in the 80s that he edited. I probably disagreed with him 90% of the time. Most of his incoherent drivel sounds like he was stoned on a downer. Occasionally when I agree with him I suspect it's a case of him getting it right by accident, lol. :twisted:
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Postby Paperback Writer » Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:24 am

Writing bio-epics is far different than music reviews. Hence lumping all under "journalism" puts us in the proverbial fruit-stand of comparing watermelons with kiwis. Your opinions of other's opinions is valid, but as we all know here, no opinion is granted supremecy as "right" or "correct" _ it's in the eyes/ears/feelings of the beholder.

Dingle, you may like Ritchie Unterberger's 2 books on folk-rock, "Turn, Turn, Turn," and "Eight Miles High."
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Postby EddieV » Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:00 pm

You all probably know David Fricke who writes for Rolling Stone. He is quite good at spotting new talents. He spotted the danish band The Raveonettes and made them very big the US. Check them out!!!
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Postby maccastheman » Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:17 pm

EddieV wrote:You all probably know David Fricke who writes for Rolling Stone.


David Fricke, keeper of the Ramones hairstyle!!!
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Postby theDingle » Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:32 pm

Point taken, PW. :wink:

However, Marsh brings out the rabid opinionated beast in me, lol. On the other hand, reading him is a guilty pleasure, I laugh with glee, because it reinforces to me that he is so cluelessly arrogant, a pompous idiot. Speaking of bio-epics, his Springsteen bios (not 1, but 2!!) is proof enough for me that he reserves his kudos for the over-rated.

I wouldn't doubt though that his Heart of Rock & Soul, which I haven't read, probably has some value, great idea for a book. I'll get around to that one when I see it for sale on the used book shelf though, lol.

Will check out your Unterberger tip though, thanks!
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