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The Day the Music Died

I drove down to Monroe, North Carolina, and spent a bittersweet day at Holloway’s Music Center–a musical-instrument store that, after 106 years of ownership by the same family, is turning off the lights. (They hope that if they liquidate enough stock, they’ll find somebody who wants to buy the business.) The air conditioning was busted, […]

posted 12 June 2018 in Articles, Outside. no comments yet

Sittin’ on the Dock of the Ballet

Hello! In case you missed them, I wanted to call your attention to two pieces I wrote for The New York Times in recent months. The first one was on the 50th anniversary of Otis Redding’s “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.” I spoke with an extraordinarily cool range of people for the article: […]

posted 4 April 2018 in Outside. no comments yet

R.I.P. Tom Petty

Tom Petty died three weeks ago, and I’m still not used to a world without him. I interviewed him just once (for the first Mudcrutch album, about ten years ago)–he was gracious and professional and insisted that I stick around to listen to rehearsal rather than be ejected into the afternoon rush hour of the […]

posted 24 October 2017 in Outside. no comments yet

The Rocking Dead

I wrote an article for the New York Times about Jeff Jampol, who manages musicians including Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, and Rick James–as I put it, “the performers that the music business calls legacy acts and that the general public refers to as dead people.” If you’re interested in that niche of the show-business ecosystem, […]

posted 24 June 2016 in Articles, Outside. no comments yet

We’re Putting It on Wax

Because I had never recapped a TV show before, I tried it for The New York Times with the first season of Vinyl, HBO’s lavish reconstruction of the early-1970s music business. The series had a promising but flawed beginning (with a two-hour pilot directed by Martin Scorsese), then it gradually got worse, then it perked […]

posted 9 May 2016 in Outside. no comments yet

Hi, We’re the Replacements

A few favorite artists I missed on seeing live when I was younger and probably won’t ever get to now: Talking Heads, Hüsker Dü, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. (Okay, that last one definitely isn’t happening, because he’s dead.) The Replacements would have been high on that wish list, except I caught the reunion tour at […]

posted 25 March 2016 in Outside. 1 comment

Rolling in the Deep: 12/2/15

I took some time off from Rolling Stone because I was working on a slew of books, but in recent months, I’ve had a few pieces appear on the RS website. I wrote up the memoirs by Carly Simon (who proved to be an impressive prose stylist) and Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen (who didn’t), […]

posted 2 December 2015 in Outside. no comments yet

Woo-Hoo

If you are a fan of Blur–is it okay to start digging them now if you never connected with them in the past quarter-century? Sure, why not?–you might want to check out my recent article about the band in the pages of The New York Times. It ran on the front page of the Weekend […]

posted 3 November 2015 in Outside. no comments yet

Buried Treasure

I got this crazy idea some months back: I would read every record review printed by Rolling Stone in the 1970s and compile a list of the albums that had gotten rave reviews but were now obscure or forgotten. (It was inspired by a similar feature they did last year for the 60s–but the magazine […]

posted 13 August 2015 in Outside. no comments yet

Rolling in the Deep: 1/16/15

I’ve been busy lately–busy enough that I haven’t been telling you what I’ve been working on. But if you’d like to catch up on my recent writing for Rolling Stone, then I have links galore. For the print magazine, I wrote about Bill Murray (!), interviewed the Duplass Brothers (again), met Meghan Trainor (print version […]

posted 16 January 2015 in Outside. no comments yet