Dave Marsh on Chet Flippo

One thing that has gotten lost, I suppose (though I know I have a copy — just not where the fuck it is) is Chet’s masters (if I remember right) dissertation for UT. It was allegedly a history of Rolling Stone but it was really the first expansive history of the rock music press ever written, and has a lot of really fundamental things in it. (I’m pretty sure that I first talked to Chet when he interviewed me about Creem for it.) It was a sturdy little story, like all of his, and took the topic as far as it could be taken in ’71 or ’73 or whenever it was. Popular Music and Society ran pretty much the whole of it over three consecutive issues — be about $25 per issue if you could find ‘em, which you couldn’t. Turns out Chet continued writing for that little academic publication until the late ’70s, which had to be, as much about loyalty as opportunity to talk about things he couldn’t write for anyone else. (That is, he could have sold his “reappraisal” of Willie Nelson and Austin for actual money. Those were the days — you could pass up a payday once in a while, though that was in my view a pretty big expression of loyalty.)

– Dave Marsh eulogizes Chet Flippo. (And fills in the gaps somewhat about Flippo’s early dissertation on rock criticism, which will hopefully see the light of a new day again.)

2 thoughts on “Dave Marsh on Chet Flippo

  1. I’d read somewhere years ago that Chet Flippo had arrived at Rolling Stone after a hitch in the Navy, which left the lasting image in the caverns of my mind of a guy in a white sailor suit toiling away in Jann’s newsroom. Looks like my ship had already sailed, if Flippo actually sported the more prosaic raiments of an Elvis fan.

  2. Fond memories of Chet in Boot Camp January 1966 Company 20. Followed his work after he wrote the Hank Williams story.

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