"I don't want to bring in the violins, but we all came from hardship," says McCartney. "All of us except for George lost someone. I lost my mum when I was 14. John lost his mum. But Ringo had it worst. His father was gone; he was so sick they told his mum he wasn't going to live. Imagine making up your life from that, in that environment. No family, no school. He had to invent himself. We all had to come up with a shield, but Ringo came up with the strongest shield."In anticipation of the inimitable Mr. Starkey's imminent (and long-awaited) induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Rolling Stone presents Being Ringo: A Beatle's All-Starr Life.
Part of that shield was playing the fool; part of that shield was booze. It led to a lost decade of L.A./London/Monte Carlo partying where Ringo woke up many mornings wondering, "Why are the birds coughing so loudly?" But he's been sober for 26 years, and there's one essential thing that keeps Ringo young: the sticks and the drum kit.
Don't fight it. It's the year of the oral history. If there hasn't yet been an oral history on your favorite pop culture phenomenon, it won't be long. In the meantime, for your reading pleasure, how about starting with an oral history of Captain Marvel: The Series? Or perhaps you'd rather read about The Telluride Bluegrass Festival? If your taste runs more toward technology, check out an oral history of Apple design. More reading inside! [more inside]
Gay Talese's "Frank Sinatra Has A Cold" appeared in Esquire Magazine in April 1966. Sinatra had turned down interview requests from Esquire for years and refused to be interviewed for the profile. Rather than give up, Talese spent the three months following and observing the man and interviewing any members of his entourage who were willing to speak -- and the final story was published without Sinatra's cooperation or blessing. In 2003, editors pronounced it the best article the magazine had ever published. Nieman Storyboard interviewed Talese last month about the piece and has annotated it with his comments. [more inside]
The Talkhouse gets musicians to review albums, so you get articles like Hunter Hurt-Hendrix on Death Grips, Laura Jane Grace on Savages and Matthew Friedberger (Fiery Furnaces) on Vampire Weekend.
When we return, our eyes will have shrunken into tiny slots and we will forage on the ground for centipedes and other high-protein foods we can feel with our hands. A first-hand account of Rihanna's 777 tour. Day One: There may be 777 tour babies nine months from now. Stockholm (Syndrome). Cray In Paris.
Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037, a documentary by Ben Niles. "Invention for 900 Hands", a nine-part series in The New York Times. "K 2571: The Making of a Steinway Grand", an article in The Atlantic Monthly. [more inside]
I’m sitting aboard Caesar’s Chariot, Led Zeppelin’s customized Boeing 707 jet. Appropriately named after the conquering emperor who was ultimately doomed by an addiction to his own glory, this flying fortress now carries onboard an invading modern-day musical force. Steven Rosen's account of the 1977 North American tour.
The CBC Radio 3 Digital Magazine ran from November 2002 until March 2005, garnering numerous accolades in Canada and abroad with its unique blend of music, journalism, literature and photography. Here is the complete archive of 105 issues. [more inside]
Dear Everett True, NME and Q don’t love music any less than you do… a revealing blog entry on the music press. From Collapse Board, who also do an awesome song of the day.
Greil Marcus writes Real Life Top Ten for the Believer Magazine, in which he lists "anything that remotely has to do with music, a dress Bette Midler wore at an awards show or a great guitar solo in the middle of a song that otherwise wasn't very interesting." But he's been writing this column online for just about 10 years. [more inside]
Steven Wells, the ranting music journalist known as Swells during his time excoriating indie bands on the NME, has died of cancer. [more inside]
Nardwuar the Human Serviette is an interesting, abrasive and knowledgeable music journalist. Many of his interviews are on film and posted to youtube. Previously on metafilter. Warning: single link to a youtube user. [more inside]
Steven Thomas Erlewine prosecutes Sufjan Stevens A solid indictment of both Stevens and Indie Pop, from AMG's Whole Note series. Hopefully, the Arcade Fire get theirs next.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is pumping out a pile of podcasts that have covered the importance of offensive comics to Art Spiegelman, 600 bands over 54 shows, Captain America versus the American government, Amy Sedaris and geekdom, the journey of young immigrants, French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut and Harper's publisher John MacArthur discussing Europe and America perspectives since 9/11, the after life, sex with monkeys, what radio producers do, the french word "corps", Bonnie Fuller's "The Joys of Much Too Much: Go For the Big Life — The Great Career, The Perfect Guy, and Everything Else You've Ever Wanted (Even If You're Afraid You Don't Have What It Takes)", Veteran Washington reporter Helen Thomas and some other bits & bobs [Breakdown inside]
David Segal, former pop music critic for the Washington Post, reflects on his career reviewing concerts and why most concerts leave much to be desired.
Creem Magazine is back. After an 8-year hiatus, the classic rock rag that launched the career of editor/author/Springsteen-worshipper Dave Marsh, elevated Lester Bangs to rockcrit boddhisatva status, and introduced me to the Velvet Underground and the Stooges is online and ready to roll the presses once more. Will they give a much-needed kick in the ass to a moribund field of journalism, or are they a bunch of old hippies cynically cashing in on Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous vibe? Don't forget to dig the scanned covers. Boy Howdy!