Land of Hope and Dreams

A Celebration of Dave Marsh’s Work and Vision. “A combination of tributes, conversations, and panel discussions, this online celebration will take place over a series of three weeks this April and May. The goal is to re-create online the kind of warm, smart, and iconoclastic community that Dave Marsh has nurtured for many years.” All are invited via Zoom. Long list of featured speakers. Continue reading Land of Hope and Dreams

Louie’s back in town

Two good listens re: “Louie Louie” 1 – “Louie Louie”: The Strange Journey of the Dirtiest Song Never Written (KCRW podcast/documentary) 2 – July 2002 interview w/Dave Marsh on Speaking Freely, primarily about “LL” Incidentally, I’ve finally pulled Marsh’s “Louie Louie” book off the shelf. I hope it lives up to its provocative subtitle (The History and Mythology of the World’s Most Famous Rock ‘n … Continue reading Louie’s back in town

Was Creem a Bastion of Anti-intellectualism? Pt. II

This trashiness was linked to Detroit. In their March 1970 editorial “The Michigan Scene Today,” Barry Kramer, “Deday” LaRene, and Dave Marsh wrote: “It was rock and roll music which first drew us out of our intellectual covens and suburban shells” because “life in Detroit is profoundly anti-intellectual” since its “institutions are industrial and businesslike.” This setting, according to the editorial, gave birth to a … Continue reading Was Creem a Bastion of Anti-intellectualism? Pt. II

Was Creem a Bastion of Anti-intellectualism?

“The writers [Creem] propelled to stardom — Lester Bangs, Dave Marsh, and Nick Tosches being three of the most celebrated — explored rock with a bombast that was smart but anti-intellectual, ‘amateurist and faux lowbrow,’ positioning themselves between the studious class of New York writers and the deference that came out of San Francisco.” “If Goldstein represented the quandary of what critical practise should be … Continue reading Was Creem a Bastion of Anti-intellectualism?

From the Archives: Dave Marsh (2001)

A meaty, beaty, big, and bouncy interview with Dave Marsh

By Scott Woods (February 2001)

I recently called rock critic Dave Marsh — one of the founders of Creem (and more recently, Rock and Rap Confidential), former editor at Rolling Stone, author of a dozen or so bestselling rock tomes (including The Heart of Rock and Soul, his personal run-down of the 1,001 greatest singles of all-time), and the man who first paired (in print, anyway) the words “punk” and “rock” — at his home in Connecticut to find out why he bothers to still do what he does, to pin him down on his “disco perplex,” to bend his ear on Napster, Springsteen, anything else I could think of. I’d planned on chatting for less than an hour, but we went on for double that (and I’m sure we could’ve doubled that). During the interview, I was serenaded with all sorts of kooky records playing in the background, from O-Town to Vitamin C to some girlie-country thing to what sounded like a cheap Woody Guthrie imitation (unless it was actually Guthrie; highly possible given the no-fi acoustics of my phone receiver).

–  –  –   –  –  –  –  –  –   –  –  –  –  –   –  –  –  –  –  –   –  –  –  –  –   –  –  –  –  –  –   –  –

Scott:   As one of the few people who’s consistently written rock criticism for over 30 years, I’m curious to know what your primary motivation to continue to write about it is.

Dave:   I guess if that was a question you thought of very much you wouldn’t…I mean, there was never a…

Scott:   I guess what I’m getting at is…

Dave:   I don’t mean it’s not a good question, I don’t have a good answer. [laughs] Tell me what you were getting at.

Scott:   I guess that when you look at old issues of Creem and that sort of thing–or if you read some of the other interviews on this site–there just seems to be a lot of people from that period [the early ’70s] who don’t seem to be doing it any more.

Dave:   Some of them are dead, so I guess the first reason is I’m still alive. [laughs] You know? And the second reason is, what’s there to do that’s better? I don’t know–my lack of need for responsibility is very helpful here.

Continue reading “From the Archives: Dave Marsh (2001)”

Secret Agent Men

Devo’s Paradox: Why some art can’t be appreciated in its own time. By Noel Murray, AV Club. Nearly a year old, this piece, but just discovered today. Akron’s spud boys vs. four seventies rock critics–Christgau, Bangs, Dave Marsh, and Tom Carson–none of whom reserve too many kind words for the band (though of the four, only Marsh seems to out and out despise them). Clearly, … Continue reading Secret Agent Men

Carola Dibbell on Fiction and Music Writing

An interview with Carola Dibbell at Black Clock: BLACK CLOCK: You wrote rock criticism on and off for thirty years and have spoken before about the leakage between fiction and music writing. Can you explain what you mean by that? What role has music played in your fiction? CAROLA DIBBELL: In the early seventies, I was surprised and impressed by the rock writing in Dave … Continue reading Carola Dibbell on Fiction and Music Writing