Hello. I’m Gavin Edwards, contributing editor at Rolling Stone and the author of Last Night at the Viper Room, the ’Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy series, and (with the original MTV VJs) the New York Times bestseller VJ. I live in Los Angeles. I like caffeine, boardgames, and lists with three items.
You may have missed this one: I recently compiled forty of the greatest Christmas albums of all time for the Rolling Stone website. I wanted to include albums that rewarded repeated plays, not wacky Yuletide novelties–which means that I didn’t include Bob Dylan’s Christmas in the Heart, even though I really wanted to use my “Miracle on Positively Fourth Street” joke. I enjoy all the albums on this list, and I can strongly recommend the top ten. Ella Fitzgerald’s album (my number-one selection) is a wonder, and was previously unknown to me, but the record I’d particularly like to call your attention to is our number-three choice, the Staple Singers’ 1962 album, The 25th Day of December. It’s sparely arranged–four voices doing gospel vocals, guitar, drums, and organ–and it’s jaw-droppingly great. (I don’t know why it’s such an obscurity–maybe because it was out of print for a couple of decades?) At any rate, I hope the list turns you on to some music you don’t know–and if you celebrate Christmas, I hope you have an extremely happy one. And no matter what, I wish you an amazing 2014.
posted 23 December 2013 in Articles, Outside. no comments yet
It’s the time of year when some people celebrate the holidays with loved ones, some contemplate their plans for the year to come, and some compile top-ten lists. I’m pleased to see that VJ has made a couple of year-end lists of people’s favorite music books in 2013. (There aren’t exactly ten on either list–they are not shackled by decimal convention.) Thanks to David Chiu at Brooklyn Based (“outrageous and hilarious”) and Nancy Davis Kho at Midlife Mixtape (“full of delicious insider detail”) for their kind words. Check out their lists for other music books you might enjoy–and remember that VJ makes an excellent Christmas gift.
posted 9 December 2013 in Buy My Stuff. no comments yet
The Gates was a 2005 installation by Christo and Jeanne-Claude in New York City’s Central Park. I just stumbled on this photo in my archives and it made me happy, so here it is. Have a great weekend.
posted 6 December 2013 in Photos. no comments yet
It turns out that the historic Billy Joel announcement was actually that he’s going to be doing a monthly concert at Madison Square Garden for the foreseeable future: at least four months, very possibly thirty or more. And here I was hoping that he’d reveal that Sgt. O’Leary, who at night becomes a bartender, is the same guy as John at the bar who gets Bill his drinks for free. Unleash the power of John O’Leary!
posted 5 December 2013 in Tasty Bits. no comments yet
Photographed recently from a trail at the Audobon Center in Debs Park (in the Montecito Heights district of Los Angeles). Anyone recognize what model this car is?
posted 29 November 2013 in Photos. no comments yet
Twitter can be fun.
posted 27 November 2013 in Tasty Bits. 1 comment
For your reading pleasure as we head into the long holiday weekend, I can suggest a clutch of articles by me on the Rolling Stone website in the past week. You might enjoy my rundown of the celebrity reactions to the magic of David Blaine, my report on the Live Read staging of the Tootsie screenplay at LACMA, my review of the all-star concert performing Beck’s Song Reader compositions at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, my extended Q&A with Jared Leto on topics including Dallas Buyers Club and his pink Mohawk, and my piece about the making of the excellent new interactive video for Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone.” (You’ve seen the video already, right?) That piece was pretty much instant gratification: I saw the video the day it came out, wanted to know more about it, got the director on the phone the same day, and my article ran the following morning.
posted 26 November 2013 in Outside. 1 comment
Photographed on a recent helicopter ride from Los Angeles to Bakersfield. The fields of windmills were nearby.
posted 22 November 2013 in Photos. no comments yet
Perhaps you’d like to know what I’ve been writing lately? I can’t share all of it with you, but I can tell you what’s appeared on the Rolling Stone website in the past week: More Naya Rivera (basically, all the good stuff from our conversation that didn’t fit into my flip-cover RS profile of her). More Key & Peele: a short item setting up a video clip of a sketch they did about intergalactic funk. A list of Mike Tyson pop-culture cameos. (I once talked with Flea about Tyson, whom the bassist idolized. He said that he had met him once, and that Tyson hadn’t said much–which Flea took as evidence that he was incredibly deep, although he conceded there were other reasonable interpretations.) If you read one piece, however, I would suggest my interview with M.I.A.’s supercool DJ, Venus X.
posted 19 November 2013 in Outside. no comments yet
I have been getting email requests from people who want to copies of Last Night at the Viper Room signed by me, either for themselves or for loved ones; I am happy to oblige, of course. The easiest and best way to make this happen, now that my two-city world tour has concluded, is for you to phone up the good people at Book Soup here in Los Angeles: 310-659-3110. They will be more than happy to sell you a copy of the book–before they ship it out to you, I will swing by and sign it. If you want it inscribed or otherwise personalized, please give them the necessary information on the phone. And since you’re making this phone call, you might want to order some other books, either by me (could I interest you in VJ, cowritten with the original MTV VJs?) or by any of the fine authors in this world who are not me. Book Soup is an outstanding independent bookstore, where I’ve been a happy customer for two decades; when you order a book from them, know that you’re helping keep a good bookstore in business.
I’ll be stopping by Book Soup periodically; the next time I’m doing that is at the end of this week, so call them up by Thursday the 21st if you’d like a signed copy of Last Night at the Viper Room sooner rather than later.
posted 18 November 2013 in Buy My Stuff. no comments yet