Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead

Neil Strauss, interviewed by Andrew McMillen: Firstly, I want to talk about the final chapter of the book [Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead], and the epilogue. I thought it was a very touching note to end on; it wrapped everything up nicely. It made me wonder; was that section about Paul Nelson always going to close the book? No. I don’t think any book … Continue reading Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead

Rockcritics Podcast: Paul Nelson

I’ve mentioned a few times here already Kevin Avery’s wonderful book, Everything is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson. Half a personal biography of Nelson, half a compilation of select Nelson reviews and essays, it’s one of the finest books I’ve ever read about a writer — and, needless to say, about rock criticism. Though Avery’s book is not actually in stores … Continue reading Rockcritics Podcast: Paul Nelson

More Half-formed Thoughts About Willis, Nelson, Early Eighties, Shipwrecks, Things Dying, etc.

I’ve been harping on a fair bit lately about Ellen Willis and Paul Nelson, thanks to the terrific recent books (Kevin Avery‘s Nelson bio/compilation comes out in the fall) which have revitalized, in particular, my interest in the period of time in which I first discovered rock criticism — the late ’70s and early ’80s. (Well, sort of. My brother Paul subscribed to Creem from … Continue reading More Half-formed Thoughts About Willis, Nelson, Early Eighties, Shipwrecks, Things Dying, etc.

On the Futility of Caring Too Deeply

“I think that part of what caused greater and greater problems for Paul [Nelson] is that he started thinking about his writing more and more seriously. He ended up making the mistake that a lot of us make, which is that he wanted to write about the things he cared about most deeply — and it’s exactly those things that are most resistant to our … Continue reading On the Futility of Caring Too Deeply

Willis and Nelson: anti-eclectics?

“[Willis] never stressed much about coverage while writing her Rock, Etc. column, and especially in her writing that followed; she tracked every move of the Who, Bob Dylan, the Stones, Janis, and the Velvet Underground as she blatantly ignored others.” – Nona Willis Aronowitz, introduction to Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen Willis on Rock Music “‘I get so many records,’ Paul said, ‘but I … Continue reading Willis and Nelson: anti-eclectics?

Where it all began…

The Little Sandy Review and the Birth of Rock Criticism by David Lightbourne in The New Vulgate (“articles of social, political, and psychological constitution”). Recounts in detail the story of the little ‘zine Paul Nelson and Jon Pankake started publishing in 1960, without which it’s entirely possible none of us would even be here. Some nice photos, too. Just as an aside… via TNV, also … Continue reading Where it all began…