ate-innovation.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Greil-Marcus-007.jpg” alt=”" width=”460″ height=”276″ />On September 14, author and music critic Simon Reynolds will do a keynote speech on the topic of Do It Yourself in pop culture, looking at the history as well as current times and even to the future. Earlier this year, the author of a.o. Rip It Up and Start Again and Retromania did an extensive interview
for a profile in The Guardian with another heavyweight in music journalism: Greil Marcus, or, as Reynolds writes: widely considered the greatest living rock writer. Marcus wrote such classics as Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music, Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century and Dead Elvis: A Chronicle of a Cultural Obsession.
The lengthy talk, Reynolds talked to Marcus during the course an entire afternoon about his entire career, has now been made available as a transcript on The Los Angeles Review of Books. Greil talks about his childhood
and his father, about how & when he started as a music writer and that his wife has 'an absolute bullshit detector'. An interesting part about his book Mystery Train: “[The book] grew out of my dropping out of graduate school in 1973 and realizing that I wasn't going to write my dissertation and deciding, “Well, I'll write a book about rock 'n' roll.” I wrote a book proposal and it wasn't a whole lot more than “I will answer all your questions about rock 'n' roll.” It was totally incoherent! But at the end of the book proposal it said that — after I had gone all over the map, and got totally lost probably — there would be a chapter consisting of five- to ten-page essays on a few performers, as a demonstration of how you could write in depth about specific performers. And of course that became the whole book, once I got the rest of the garbage out of my system. Mystery Train is a group of essays on a few performers who seemed to me linked, to be struggling with the same kind of storytelling challenge.”