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The Greatest Charlotte Photo Ever

Some months back, my pal Greg LaCour, who edits Charlotte magazine, sent me an email that included the photo you see above, and asked if I’d be interested in writing about the crazy two-week period in April 1972 when the Charlotte Coliseum hosted Billy Graham, pro wrestling, Elvis, and a minor-league ice-hockey championship series. My […]

posted 4 October 2022 in Articles. no comments yet

R.I.P. Coolio

Coolio died this week—just 59, way too young. Back in 1996, I spent a week traveling around the world with him for a magazine cover story: a live show in DC, multiple appearances on MTV in New York City, and memorably, a visit to a bookstore in London. The opening paragraph of the article: Coolio […]

posted 1 October 2022 in Archives, Articles. no comments yet

R.I.P. Charlie Watts

The first obituary I ever wrote for The New York Times was back in 2017: the subject was Charlie Watts, the quietly indispensable drummer for the Rolling Stones. (To the best of my knowledge, he never missed a gig in over 50 years, although there are [bizarrely] a few Stones tracks he doesn’t drum on, […]

posted 13 September 2021 in Articles. no comments yet

In Memoriam

I recently wrote two obituaries in The New York Times on two amazing musicians with very different sensibilities: Johnny Ventura and Nanci Griffith. Johnny Ventura was a mainstay of modern merengue, while Nanci Griffith was one of the great folk-music voices of recent decades. They were both grounded by their homes–the Dominican Republic and Texas, […]

posted 16 August 2021 in Articles, Outside. no comments yet

The Enormous Head and the Disco Chicken

In the latest issue of Our State, I wrote about public art in Charlotte, specifically Metalmorphosis by by David Cerny and the Firebird by Niki de Saint Phalle. I also got to quote my awesome wife Dr. Jen Sudul Edwards and my awesome friend Beth Troutman (although the magazine removed the part where she called […]

posted 16 April 2021 in Articles. no comments yet

The Great Lost Alan Moore Interview

Back in 2006, I went to Northampton to visit the greatest living Englishman, comics writer Alan Moore, author of Watchmen and From Hell. We had a fascinating three-hour conversation, on subjects including magic, Finnegans Wake, and pornography (his latest book at that moment was the erotic fantasia Lost Girls)–but when Rolling Stone bumped the article […]

posted 20 November 2020 in Articles. no comments yet

Gathering the Magic

If you pick up a copy of today’s Washington Post, you will find my first article for that fine publication, about the card game Magic: The Gathering, the player Lee Shi Tian, and what heroism means in 2020—both in card games and in what we still like to call the real world. I don’t think […]

posted 9 August 2020 in Articles. no comments yet

Alex Trebek: the Man, the Myth, the Mustache

One of the weird things about writing advance obituaries: you immerse yourself in somebody else’s life, striving to get the details right and to sum up the broad strokes of their existence. If you do that right, you’re proud of the results (and likely sympathetic to your subject)—but then you may have to wait years […]

posted 21 July 2020 in Articles. no comments yet

Please Mr. Postman

My first article for Our State magazine–the glossy monthly about the life and history of North Carolina–took me to the mountainous town of Cashiers so I could explore the history of the Grimshawes post office, a shack once reputed to be the nation’s smallest post office. I also got to spend an afternoon with a […]

posted 5 July 2020 in Articles. no comments yet

Ben Day and Aqua Net

In recent weeks, I wrote two articles for the New York Times arts section: one was about daily newspaper cartoonists grappling with how to address the pandemic in their strips, while the other was a playlist of 15 essential hair-metal videos. My thanks to the cartoonists who took the time to speak with me: Lalo […]

posted 18 May 2020 in Articles. no comments yet