You know, if I’d taken more time to think of better questions when I interviewed Richard Meltzer back in 2000, I’d almost certainly have asked him, “Why did you open The Aesthetics of Rock with the lyrics of ‘Surfin’ Bird’?” I’ve since, and often, hypothesized about this very thing: 1) he liked the song 2) it came on the radio one evening while he was … Continue reading Surfin’ Bird
In this brief review of the Ellen Willis anthology, Brian Joseph Davis writes: “When Richard Meltzer, a one-time student of Allan Krapow, invented rock criticism as an art prank — applying the jargon of aesthetics usually reserved for the Met Opera to a review of The White Album –— he was only half joking. The serious part of his game, that pop music was a … Continue reading Meltzer’s Night at the Opera
Woah, did a little more scouring around after my last comments-reply (here), and found this: Reading L.A.: Richard Meltzer tracks down the ugly (Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times) Sample: “There’s a seen-it-all informality to the writing, and an impatient, galloping pace — Meltzer’s gift for inventing new contractions is impressive — but his task here is, well, nothing short of monumental: To take on the … Continue reading More Books About Buildings
“The whole analysis-of-music bit sort of calls for the use of a pack of words to tack onto a pack of sounds juxtaposed with another pack of words. Every creep who has ever bothered with that has to groove on how silly, in the good sense, the whole operation has to be. How do you talk about music, anyway, particularly when…” – Richard Meltzer, The … Continue reading How Do You Talk About Music, Anyway?
Who knew? The guy acted in his spare time. Someone was excellent enough to upload a clip to YouTube. Continue reading Richard Meltzer in Horror House on Highway 5
Noise Boys Richard Meltzer ( May 10th, 1945 ) & John Mendelsohn ( May 12th, 1948 ) are born, much to the future delight & scorn of musicians & editors. On May 30th 1956, Time Magazine, while trying to convey Elvis Presley’s appeal, busts it down to the lowest common denominator saying that, “his movements suggest, in a word, sex.” Jerry Lee Lewis is booed … Continue reading This Month In Rock Writing: May
Trudging along with this feature, ever so slowly…
36. Songs They Never Play on the Radio: Nico, the Last Bohemian (James Young) – Another one in the haven’t-read-it-but-would-like-to pile. From what I gather it’s a tour diary (written by the guy who played keyboards with Nico throughout the ’80s) with many episodes of wanton drug use. Truthfully, not really my idea of a good time. And yet… every review I’ve read suggests that it’s much more intelligent than my no doubt reductive encapsulation suggests.
With Vom! “I’m in Love With Your Mom.” (Who knew he was such a good dancer?) Continue reading R. Meltzer on YouTube