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Richard Goldstein

PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:55 am
by Garth Cartwright
I heard him on Radio4 this morn' talking about his new memoir which focuses on him listening to and writing on 1960s r&r. He's a bit of a name dropper - "as Jim Morrison said to me..." - but as he was there interviewing the stars this is, I guess, understandable.

Thing is, I don't recall ever reading anything by him. Is he worth checking out? A quick glance at his wiki suggests he has focused on LGBT issues over recent decades (he mentioned coming out in the 70s on the radio). So: is it worth me taking a punt on his new book? As he knew Lennon I'm guessing Adam has read him at some point? ... -my-heart/

Re: Richard Goldstein

PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:54 pm
by john poole
Review by Richard Williams here - ... ck-critic/

I've not read anything by him for a long while but still have a copy of the 1970 paperback "Goldstein's Greatest Hits" an anthology of his writing from 1966/8 mostly for the Village Voice, purchased for 45p, probably from Compendium Books in Camden at a time when books about rock and pop music were still few and far between. I also bought his next book "The Poetry of Rock" although I suspect that may not have lasted so well.

Re: Richard Goldstein

PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 1:29 pm
by john poole
I’ve now read the book having been surprised to find a copy in a local library. The author claims to have previously resisted writing a memoir, but changed his mind after reading and being inspired by Patti Smith’s “Just Kids”. It’s his personal story of his life and the 60s looking back critically at himself and the times, the music and the activism - his enthusiasms and his disillusionments. At times it does seem that almost unbelievably he met everyone and was everywhere that mattered. He now considers that he was an excellent skeptic, but an uneven critic who could be both right and wrong in the same piece, recalling how he praised the Doors’ first album …. apart from the one weak cut - ‘Light My Fire’.

Janis Joplin he writes, was the “most self-conscious performer” that he’d ever met, but the one from the time who he loved and identified with - he notes how the other members of Big Brother & the Holding Co. kept a close eye and cared for her - “it was obvious and it moved me”. In contrast the other members of the Doors, he observed, had a “simmering contempt” for Jim when he was drunk. He had lost touch with Janis by the time of her death, but came down with some kind of writer’s block after hearing the news.

I think those with an interest in the period would probably find it worthwhile reading, although I’d recommend first searching out a copy of “Goldstein’s Greatest Hits” containing his original writing from 1966-8, mainly for The Village Voice. Prior to buying that book some time early in the 1970s I think I was only aware of him from his quote on the sleeve for the Velvet Underground & Nico - "a secret marriage between Bob Dylan and the Marquis de Sade"