Interview with Kevin Avery, re: Paul Nelson

Paul Nelson: The legendary rock writer’s life story is music book of the year… Kevin Avery in conversation with Marc Campbell at Dangerous Minds:

Marc: At one time, rock and roll critics were almost as interesting as the music and artists they wrote about. I’m thinking of Lester Bangs, Richard Meltzer, Nick Kent, Cameron Crowe, Lenny Kaye and Paul Nelson, among others. They were kind of like literary rock stars. Do you think Paul had problems dealing with the attention he was receiving as a high profile critic and was he too much of a purist to last in that environment?

Kevin Avery: I don’t think he put himself into the position where he could be the recipient of that attention. He often withdrew to his apartment, behind the safety of a closed door and a prehistoric answering machine that his friends grew to despise. Even when he did frequent the Seventies rock scene, there was something “alone” about him.

As for the second part of your question, I don’t know if I’d label him a purist. It’s difficult to call someone a purist who is equally willing to embrace the music of Bob Dylan, Bernard Herrmann, Jackson Browne, the Sex Pistols, and the Ramones. It was the fact that he wasn’t a purist that got him in trouble with the traditional folksters in the Sixties—because he championed Dylan when he plugged in and went electric.

{Be sure to click on our Paul Nelson tag for more.}

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