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 Charlotte, North Carolina. I like caffeine, boardgames, and lists with three items.

Fifteenth Anniversary

Five years ago today I posted something long I wrote about my experiences fifteen years ago today. (I lived one block away from the World Trade Center.)

posted 11 September 2016 in Archives, Unpublished. no comments yet

Early Tao of Bill Murray Roundup

billmurrayukcoverYou may have heard I have a new book coming out later this month. It’s called The Tao of Bill Murray: Real-Life Stories of Joy, Enlightenment, and Party Crashing. The turquoise vision above you is the cover for the UK edition, which will be released two days after the US edition. It will be available at Waterstones and other fine British booksellers, or you can order it from Amazon UK. If you’re in the United States, you can buy the book (with its American cover) from Random House, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Powell’s, or your local bookstore. Perhaps you’d like to read some of the advance notices for the book before you make a decision? Let me help you out.

The LA Weekly ran a “reported review” (meaning that the reviewer got on the phone with me and included a few quotes) that concluded “invite yourself to the party, put on some music, drop some coin and buy the book.”

In a starred review, Publishers Weekly particularly liked the final third of the book, a guided tour of Bill Murray’s films, and declared “Murray’s fans are sure to savor this book and walk away with a deeper appreciation of the actor and his work.”

The good people of Kirkus Reviews said that The Tao of Bill Murray was a “fun and revealing look behind the charm and mythos of Bill Murray that will only strengthen his legend.”

And Library Journal (no link, sorry) wrote “Bill Murray the actor takes a backseat to Murray the trickster figure in this collection of notable, implausible, even inexplicable offscreen appearances. . . . A hilarious read—occasionally heartwarming, sometimes head-scratching. . . . Sure to please Murray fans.”

Would they lie to you?

posted 2 September 2016 in Buy My Stuff. no comments yet

We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful

Contra Morrissey, I am delighted to say that I am ecstatic to have a whole mess of writer friends who are kicking ass in various ways.

adhdYou may know the name of Alan Schwarz from the New York Times, where he did extraordinary work on concussions in sports (especially football) and their aftereffects, which got him on the shortlist for the Pulitzer. His new book is ADHD: Children, Doctors, Big Pharma, and the Making of an American Epidemic. It’s out on September 6th, but you can preorder it now at your favorite retailer or online purveyor. In yesterday’s NYT Book Review, it was described as “important, humane, and compellingly written.”

mamalehAlso getting love from the NYT Book Review yesterday: my pal Marjorie Ingall, whose book (out tomorrow!) is Mamaleh Knows Best: What Jewish Mothers Do to Raise Successful, Creative, Empathetic, Independent Children. Marjorie is a columnist at Tablet and the coauthor of the essential SorryWatch website, in addition to being a generally cool human being. Oh, the Times said her book was “rich” and “insightful.”

kww-01-coverGreg Pak built his rep writing a variety of comic books, including a slew of Hulk titles (he did the World War Hulk sequence and is responsible for Amadeus Cho), not to mention kick-ass runs on Storm, Action Comics, and the multiverse-hopping X-Treme X-Men. Well, he’s got a creator-owned book out now from Dark Horse called Kingsway West, and it looks like a corker: a Chinese gunslinger in a version of the Wild West that’s full of magic. Read this cool interview with Greg and then get to your local comic store!

novi_sadLast but not least is one of the coolest guys in Charlotte: Jeff Jackson, author of the haunting novel Mira Corpora (and organizer of the New Frequencies series of artistic happenings at the McColl Center). He’s got a companion novella to Mira Corpora coming out on September 21st. It’s called Novi Sad, it’s full of original art by Michael Salerno, and it’s printed on blue paper. It’s available from the Kiddiepunk press, which is printing it in limited quantities: order now.

Well, my reading list for the fall is set, I think.

posted 29 August 2016 in News. no comments yet

I’m Not Sleeping

Next week is the 31st anniversary of Live Aid–I’ve got something special planned for that day, but in anticipation of it, I’ve added my minute-by-minute breakdown of U2’s performance of “Bad” to the archives. Relive all 12 glorious minutes!

posted 6 July 2016 in Archives. 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, or if you just want to read a quote where Katy Perry’s manager coins the word “necromanagement,” dig up your Arts & Leisure section from last Friday or head over to the Times website.

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

Custard Magpie

The jury is still out (literally) on whether Led Zeppelin plagiarized elements of Spirit’s “Taurus” for “Stairway to Heaven,” and whether that Wayne’s World scene will have to be updated with a sign that says NO STAIRWAY AND/OR TAURUS. But that’s not the only time Plant and Page cheekily borrowed somebody else’s work–I wrote up a list for the Rolling Stone website on some of Zep’s most blatant pinches from other artists.

posted 23 June 2016 in Articles. no comments yet

The Tao of Bill Murray

final cover artHey everybody! My next book is all about Bill Murray and his crazy, awesome life. It’s got hundreds of stories about him enlivening movie sets, golf courses, and kickball games–many of them never told before. The Tao of Bill Murray isn’t out until September 20, but I wanted to share this excellent cover art by Derek Eads with you now. You can preorder the book from Random House, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Powell’s, or your local bookstore. If you have trouble waiting until September, just adopt “no one will ever believe you” as your personal mantra.

posted 16 May 2016 in Buy My Stuff. no comments yet

R.I.P. Darwyn Cooke, 1962-2016

hunter_comicI was very sad to hear of the passing of the hugely talented comics creator Darwyn Cooke, struck down by cancer. Every page I ever saw that was drawn by him crackled with life and wit; he was also a gifted writer who had a knack for making complicated stories come alive in far fewer pages than one would expect. His two greatest achievements were probably The New Frontier (a retelling of the origins of the DC Universe) and his adaptations of the hard-boiled novels about the professional thief Parker. Both were tales set in the 1960s, but completely different in tone, artistic approach, and palette. I was lucky enough to spend an hour on the phone with Darwyn a few years back, mostly talking about Parker (we were both huge fans of the books and of their author, the late great Donald Westlake, working under the pseudonym of Richard Stark). This was Darwyn’s answer when I asked him why Parker was a character of enduring interest:

There’s probably a couple of reasons for that. One is society’s obvious attraction to criminals, frankly. That’s old ground, we don’t have to tread over that again. I know why I love the guy. It’s because he’s set up his own way to live in this world. He’s not politically affiliated, he has no purpose outside of himself, and he’s created his own set of rules that allow him to live the kind of life he wants to live. He doesn’t bitch or complain when that goes wrong. He attends to it. He carries his own water all the time. There’s some sort of, I won’t say code of right or wrong, there’s some sort of built in sense of fairness that he operates by. And he’ll violate that now and then, so it’s fun to think of him as somebody you know, but if you knew him, he’d be a terrifying person to be around. I also think he’s maybe enjoying a little resurgence of popularity because frankly, society’s not as moral as it used to be. I think he was a far more reprehensible character in the early 60s, versus most of the popular culture that was out there. Whereas against the backdrop of today, he maybe seems like a rational human being, with common sense. What seemed heinous about him doesn’t seem quite so much anymore. Although the misogynistic aspects of the character and the books can still get people going, for sure.

posted 15 May 2016 in News. no comments yet

We’re Putting It on Wax

vinyl onesheetBecause 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 up a bit, then it belly-flopped the ending and the showrunner got fired. It’s already been picked up for season two. Free advice to the show’s new producers: cool it with the celebrity impersonations already.

My recaps were not exhaustive; happily, the Times encouraged me to worry more about making a point each week than hitting every single plot development. So they might not be your best resource for catching up, but if you’re binge-watching season one, you may enjoy them as a complement to the show.

Episode one (“Pilot”), episode two (“Yesterday No More”), episode three (“Whispered Secrets”), episode four (“The Racket”), episode five (“He in Racist Fire”), episode six (“Cyclone”), episode seven (“The King and I”), episode eight (“E.A.B.”), episode nine (“Rock and Roll Queen”), episode ten (“Alibi”).

posted 9 May 2016 in Outside. no comments yet

Hi, We’re the Replacements

trouble boys coverA 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 Coachella a couple of years back–which was pretty much everything I had hoped for. I got to extend the glory days a little longer by reviewing Bob Mehr’s totally enjoyable history of the band, Trouble Boys, for the Barnes and Noble Review: go check it out.

A favorite story from the book that didn’t make it into the review: the week after I saw them at Coachella, Paul Westerberg did most of the next show reclined on a couch onstage, saying that he was suffering from back pain. Filling in as frontman was Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, who played with the band for some gigs after that. Mehr reports that when Westerberg decided his services were no longer required, he told him, “Billie, I’m firing the whole band—but we’re going in alphabetical order.”

posted 25 March 2016 in Outside. 1 comment