What Why Who

GreilMarcus.net is a WordPress blog showcasing some of the archived writings of critic Greil Marcus, pulled from as many sources as possible (magazines, newspapers, liner notes, books, fanzines, websites, podcasts, etc.) and posted in a more or less random fashion. This blog was created by Scott Woods with Greil Marcus’s knowledge and assistance.

If you would like to share your feedback about the site, please contact admin@greilmarcus.net. Unwanted solicitations and press releases will not be forwarded or responded to.

Special thanks to Chris Bourke, Andrew Hamlin, Randy Laumann, Erik Nelson, and Derick Schilling for invaluable proofreading contributions and/or voluminous printed matter.

Thanks also to Phil Dellio, Dave Rubin, Devin McKinney, Robert Hull, Tom Hull, Ihsan Amanatullah, Ann Douglas, Michael Goldberg, David Lasky, Michaelangelo Matos, Perry Meisel, Vic Perry, Jeff Pike, Joy Press, Simon Reynolds, and of course Greil Marcus.

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19 thoughts on “What Why Who

  1. I am addicted to this wonderful site. Everyday I look forward to more hidden gems I forgot about or did not even know about. What a brilliant treasure grove!

  2. Listening to you on Bob Edwards, reminded me of the time when my friend said, “we got to see them all when they come to town”. “They are killing themselves, they won’t be around for long”. You have 10 years on me in age, this statement was made in the early 70’s after the deaths of Hendrix & Joplin. My friend that made it has been dead now for years from selfdestructive indujenses.

  3. Hi,
    I am wondering is there a way to contact Greil directly ?
    I have a project I think he would be quite interested in.

    Thank you,

  4. I just caught Greil’s excellent talk on “Last Kind Words Blues” by Geeshie Wiley at the AWP Conference in Minneapolis. Had to run soon afterward, but if I’d been able to stay would have asked Greil what he thinks of David Johansen’s cover (with the Harry Smiths on the Shaker CD) of the song, which seems very faithful in its details and essence. Wondering also in general, I guess, whether Greil has ever written about the two Johansen/Harry Smiths records.

  5. A silly, grandiloquent amateur musician who takes his own irrelevant work much too seriously, may ask himself how to get his unpromoted, unsollicited, unsigned album reviewed by Mr Marcus, and wind up here. Please give the poor bastard and his kind some sound advice to stick to their dayjobs. Thank you very much.

  6. I just want to congratulate Greil on his [imminent] birthday. We sell your books in Amsterdam, thanks for all your insight and wisdom. – A bookseller at the American Book Center in Amsterdam.

  7. I helped found the Velvet Illusions, whom you wrote some drivel about. You seem to be among the gullible and lazy who took it for the truth when you heard that Patty Hearst’s boyfriend, Steven Weed, had something to do with our band. Our Steve Weed, from Yakima, WA, was about 16 years old when Ms. Hearst was kidnapped. Absolutely no connection. But thanks for helping us sell a few more records.

    By the way, judging by how much we are collected/played/written about world-wide, I would say we WERE cool and we ARE cool. We surviving members are still playing. Still creating. Still making fans. Check out the FB Page, “Velvet Illusions Fans”.

  8. I decided yesterday that it was time for the 5th or 6th re-read of one of my all-time favourite books, Norma Jean the Termite Queen I was delighted to discover GM’s wonderful review, and this site, which will no doubt give me much reading pleasure in the weeks to come! Thanks!

  9. Nice to hear from you, thanks for the comment. I loved Greil’s review of this (a book, I confess, I’d never heard of before), enough so that it makes me want to read it, but it seems quite hard to find. I will keep searching.

  10. Several copies of Norma Jean (including the original 1976 Bantam paperback from the review, and a 1983 reissue) are available for a few bucks through Advanced Book Exchange, a worldwide network of used-book sellers: abebooks.com.

  11. hi. was reading the book *altamont* by joel selvin and greil’s name came up. made me think back. in 1981 greil reviewed my band the adolescents in *new west* magazine. titled *us & them* it has remained my favorite written piece about my music. i was a child when it was published. not only did it legitimize my band in the eyes of my grandparents, it also inspired me to read more books about music and influenced my decision to further my education. please be so kind as to share this if possible. i am indebted and grateful. i went into education after receiving my master’s degree. the review opened my eyes to the endless possibilities available when merging world literature with rock and roll.

  12. Greil, long time follower. For years I have wondered what the meaning of the lyrics are to Tears of Rage and listening to Big Pink this morning I decided to take action. Maybe you know? Especially the first stanza. Any guidance appreciated. You (or anyone with knowledge)
    can contact me at jkragen@prodigy.net. Thanks. Jules

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