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Books  >>  Biography

Richard Goldstein

Another Little Piece of My Heart

Richard Goldstein Another Little Piece Of My Heart My Life Of Rock And Revolution In The '60s
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Biographical note:

Richard Goldstein is one of the founders of rock criticism, beginning with his "Pope Eye" column in The Village Voice in 1966 when he was just 22. His reporting led to a long career as a commentator on culture, politics, and sexuality. His work has appeared in many newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, New York, Harpers, Artforum, The Guardian and The Nation, and he served as arts editor and then executive editor of the The Village Voice. His gay activism earned him a GLAAD award as columnist of the year. His books include the best-selling The Poetry of Rock, Reporting the Counterculture, and Homocons. He is currently an adjunct professor at Hunter College of the City University of New York where, among other classes, he teaches a course on the ‘60s.

Main description:

In 1966, at the ripe age of 22, Richard Goldstein approached The Village Voice with a novel idea. “I want to be a rock critic,” he said. “What’s that?” the editor replied.

It was a logical question, since rock criticism didn’t yet exist. In the weekly column he would produce for the Voice, Goldstein became the first person to write regularly in a major publication about the music that changed our lives. He believed deeply in the power of rock, and, long before it was acceptable, he championed the idea that this music was a serious art form. From his unique position in journalism, he saw the full arc of events that shaped culture and politics in the 1960s—and participated in them, too. He toured with Janis Joplin, spent a day at the Grateful Dead house in San Francisco, and dropped acid with Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys. He was present for Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the student uprising at Columbia, and the riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention. He was challenged to a boxing match by Norman Mailer, and took Susan Sontag to her first disco. Goldstein developed close relationships with several rock legends––Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison, to name two––and their early deaths came as a wrenching shock, fueling his disillusionment as he watched the music he loved rapidly evolve from a communal rite to a vast industry—and the sense of hope for radical social upheaval fade away.

Another Little Piece of My Heart is the intimate memoir of the writer as a young man with profound ambition. It is also a sweeping personal account of a decade that no one else could provide—a deeply moving, unparalleled document of rock and revolution in America.

Review quote:

"The most gifted journalist in the country." - Harper's Magazine

"As the first pop critic in the United States with a regular column devoted to rock, [Goldstein] presented a theory as well as a practice of pop that took neo-Freudianism, New Journalism, and Pop Art as its referents. Goldstein's music criticism was an ongoing argument against the mass culture critique, highlighting how significant, revolutionary, and thoughtful writing about mass media could be." - Devon Powers, from Writing the Record: The Village Voice and the Birth of Rock Criticism

Short description/annotation:

From the man who invented rock criticism, a splashy personal account of 60s counterculture.

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