ROCK CRITICISM

From the late 1960s well into the 1980s I was an occasional rock critic
and journalist, publishing in Rolling Stone, Cream, Boston's Real Paper,
The Atlantic, and other magazines. I left that vocation as a full time
commitment in 1971 when I found the inner workings of the music business
unpalatable, returning to the university and a life of scholarship and
teaching. My favorites among the dozens of pieces I wrote are ones
focused on artist and musician Don Van Vliet, also known as Captain
Beefheart. Links to these articles are noted below. If I can find any
other of my pieces archived on the Web, I'll try to post them later.

"I'm not even here I just stick around for my friends --
The Odyssey of Captain Beefheart," by Langdon Winner

"In Search of America: Captain Beefheart and the Smithsonian Institute
Blues"

 

 

The Masked Marauders hoax

In 1969 while I was writing rock reviews for Rolling Stone, there appeared a wave of "super session" records, ones hurriedly recorded by money-hungry rock stars. A parody review of an non-existent record, "The Masked Marauders," written by Greil Marcus and Bruce Miroff, tried to imagine the ultimate super session and was published in Rolling Stone Magazine. Shortly thereafter a group of musicians, friends and I gathered in a garage in Berkeley to record the songs listed in the bogus review. Released in the fall of 1969, the album sold 100,000 copies to people who were either delighted or angered by its parody of rock biz pomposity. A CD of these recordings has been released (paroled?) on Rhino Handmade records, complete with extensive liner notes and interviews with members of the group.