Friday, December 25, 2009

First Excerpt from the 'Companion Volume'

From my forthcoming "My Life in Music" book:

It was becoming plain by early 1970 that Rolling Stone had become a lifeline for me, and perhaps, as I neared the end of my journalism schooling, a possible destination. Partly with that in mind, I had written someone there about possibly writing reviews for the magazine. To my shock, Ed Ward, one of the magazine’s regular writers, who I believe was filling in at the review desk at the time, wrote back: Send in a sample. In my mind it was like Norman Mailer suggesting that I send him my unpublished novel.

So I wrote a little pan of the new Simon & Garfunkel album, Bridge Over Troubled Water, which most people, including my girlfriend, loved. I’d soured on the pair, feeling they’d gotten more and more sappy as the decade grew harder and wilder and more creative. Amazingly, Ed replied with a note saying they would publish it in an upcoming issue, I’d get paid about $15, and did I have anything else in mind?

A few weeks later, the fateful issue arrived in the mail. It was the same week we had forced my college to join hundreds of other campuses around the country in shutting down for a couple of days in the wake of the Kent State massacre. Tearing open the magazine, I was so pleased I didn’t even much mind that my byline was misspelled over my first national magazine piece: Gregg Mitchell.

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