“Jukebox: Photographs 1967 – 2023” Due Soon

Jukebox cover
Cover of Goldberg’s new book, “Jukebox: Photographs 1967 – 2023.”

My new book, “Jukebox: Photographs 1967 – 2023,” gathers together more than 50 years of photographs of musicians I’ve taken. The book, due from HoZac Records and Books (www.hozacrecords.com) in late July, is 10 inches by 9 inches with one photograph on each page (with just a couple of exceptions). There are about 250 photos in the book.

The book’s Foreword is written by acclaimed music book author Joel Selvin. There is a limited edition of 150 hard cover books; only 99 of those are left. They can be preordered now only at the HoZac Records and Books website.

The softcover version of the book can be preordered here.

Many of the photographs have never been seen including shots of Jerry Garcia at his house in Larkspur that I took when I was 17 in 1970.

The book includes photos of the Who from 1970, the Rolling Stones from 1975, Patti Smith from 1975 and 2022, Professor Longhair on stage and at his hotel room in 1977, the great director Nicholas Ray (“Rebel Without a Cause,” “Johnny Guitar”) in 1977, Townes Van Zandt in 1978, Emmylou Harris in 1978 and 2017, Bettye LaVette in 2023, the Sex Pistols at their last show in 1978, plus Debbie Harry, Crime, Tom Verlaine, John Cale, Lou Reed, the Blue Oyster Cult, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Muddy Waters, the Ramones, Tom Waits, Frank Zappa, Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Bob Dylan, Toots and the Maytals, the Meters, Neil Young, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead and many more.

Two photos of Jerry Garcia at the Dead guitarist’s house that I took in 1970.

“Good photographs are designed to make you feel like you are ‘there,’ and those are the kind of photographs Michael Goldberg takes. His live shots make you feel like part of the audience, while his audience shots make you a member of the band, basking in the adulation. His best portraits make you feel like you’ve just shared a secret with the subject. This is a wonderful overview of 50 years of great musicians from rock, blues, and folk and should be in your library right now!” said Roberta Bayley, formerly chief photographer for Punk magazine; photographer for her book, Blondie Unseen; photographer for the first Ramones album cover.

“Who knew intrepid Rolling Stone interviewer Michael Goldberg was a shutterbug? Here’s the abundant evidence – fifty years of snapping candid backstage moments and dramatic live performances from his privileged behind-the-scenes access. Who didn’t he shoot? Come for the big names – Stones, Dead, Van, The Band; stay for the beautiful faces from the distant past – Tim Buckley, Professor Longhair, Sal Valentino. An extraordinary portfolio from any shooter, let alone one we know primarily as a writer,” said Joel Selvin, author of numerous books including Hollywood Eden andThe Haight: Love, Rock, and Revolution The Photography of Jim Marshall.

The Haight Street Art Center in San Francisco will present “Jukebox: the Music Photographs of Michael Goldberg,” a selection of photographs drawn from my new book, “Jukebox: Photographs 1967 – 2023.” The show will run from July 25 through September 22, concurrent with “We Are the One: San Francisco Punk, 1970s –1980s,” which I curated, and there will be an opening party on August 2. Books will be available and I will be signing them.

The Haight Street Art Center is located at 215 Haight Street in San Francisco. More info at haightstreetart.org or call 415-363-6150.

“Wicked Game”: “…is probably my favorite rock book of all time. …”

In critic JD Stayfree’s Top Ten of 2022, he writes of my book,“Wicked Game: The True Story of Guitarist James Calvin Wilsey” (HoZac Books),” “If you have not yet read the Wilsey bio, do yourself a favor and get a copy as soon as you can. It is probably my favorite rock book of all time. Dirty story of a hard livin’ tone poet who was betrayed by his friends in the greedhead cut throat capitalist music business. …”

Earlier this year, Stayfree wrote this long gonzo review about the book. He ends that review like this: “I will be listening to those Chris Issak/James Calvin Wilsey records for the rest of my life, and I know many of my old garage band hombres will always be listening to the Avengers. I am ever so grateful that this sharp writer, Michael Goldberg put so much passion and dedication into telling Wilsey’s story–about 400 pages of highs and lows and winning and losing and heartbreak and the whole human drama. Only the lonely love Chris Isaak and James Calvin Wilsey like I do. Greatness to behold. Get the book, you’ll be glad you did.” 

 And, Americana Highways founder/editor Bill Bentley wrote of “Wicked Game”: “This is the rock & roll book to read this year. It is a thrilling, heart-breaking, mind-blowing, cautionary and in the end passionate tale of how a guitarist of infinite ability and absolutely addictive tendencies attains the highest success on the rock & roll merry-go-round, only to flame out in a desperate tale of heroin, homelessness and, in the end, suicidal escapades that killed him. Rock & roll can be the scariest game there is if the person isn’t wired for success. Failure is survivable, but for those not ready for it, success is the killer. …”

If you’re interested, the best place to get the Wilsey book, and it can make a great holiday gift, as can my newest book, “Addicted To Noise: The Music Writings of Michael Goldberg” (Backbeat Books), is from the HoZac Records and Books website. I’ve giving 25% of my royalties from each Wilsey book sold to Jimmy’s teenage son, Waylon James Wilsey.

“Michael Goldberg is a Five Star Journalist General”

In an excellent review of my new book, “Addicted to Noise: The Music Writings of Michael Goldberg” (Backbeat Books), Houston Press critic Bob Ruggiero begins, “What is the state of Music Journalism today if it can even still be called that?” He goes on suggest that back in the heyday of music journalism, it was “art, but it was also war.” And then he continues, “And if that’s the case, Michael Goldberg is a Five Star Journalist General. He’s spent more than 40 years writing about music and musicians for a wide variety of publications (in print!) like Esquire, Creem, New Musical Express, Musician, The San Francisco Chronicle, and a decade at every writer’s wet dream job, Rolling Stone (albeit a bit after the Almost Famous years…).

“In 1984, Goldberg also developed and ran the first Internet Music Magazine. Its title is shared with his new book, and pretty much sum up his life’s motto. He has collected the best of his writing in the dense, expansive, and leapfrogging anthology Addicted to Noise: The Music Writings of Michael Goldberg. …” Read this great review here.

Addicted To Noise cover

Covered in the book: Bob Dylan, Beach Boys/Brian Wilson and Dennis Wilson, Prince, Neil Young, Patti Smith, John Lee Hooker, Flipper, Frank Zappa, Crime, Townes Van Zandt, Michael Jackson, Rick James, James Brown, the Ramones, Sly Stone, George Clinton, Sex Pistols, San Francisco ’60s scene (Janis Joplin and others), Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, John Fogerty, Chris Isaak, Gil Scott-Heron, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Richard Thompson, Flamin’ Groovies, Robbie Robertson, Tom Waits, Stevie Wonder and more. Also 30+ full page photos of some of the artists.

Greil Marcus wrote the foreword.

I’m featured on “The Whatever, Buddy?! Podcast.” Among the musicians we discuss are the Ramones, the Clash, the Sex Pistols, Rick James, Michael Jackson, and much more. Please check it out here.

And at “Lew’s Book Reviews,” Lew Shiner writes, “His [Goldberg’s] forte is the extended profile, with a mixture of quotes from the artist, quotes from others, and commentary from Goldberg. … His Stevie Wonder profile is worth the price of the collection all by itself… Goldberg needs time and space to do his best work. When he has enough column inches and access to an artist for days at a time, he can come up with pieces like the one on Brian Wilson’s first solo album, where the walls come down and you really feel like you’re seeing into people’s hearts. He managed the same feat with Brian’s brother Dennis, even with the disadvantage of writing it after Dennis’s death. … Another highlight of the book is a close comparison of Dylan’s “Desolation Row” with Jack Kerouac’s DESOLATION ANGELS.” Read the entire review here.

The Whole World In a Song: An Interview with Critic Greil Marcus on Bob Dylan, His New Dylan Book, the Role of the Critic and Much More

Greil Marcus by Michael Goldberg

Greil Marcus in his office, September 16, 2022. Photograph by Michael Goldberg

By Michael Goldberg

Greil Marcus writing or talking about Bob Dylan is the holy grail. He is the leading authority on Dylan, and the best known and most respected rock critic in the U.S. (and probably the world). His first in-depth book about rock music, “Mystery Train” (the title coming from one of Elvis’ Sun Records recordings), published in 1975, established him as a leading authority on rock music, and his stature has only grown since then.

David Cantwell wrote in a December 2015 profile of Marcus published in the New Yorker, that nearly as soon as “Mystery Train” was published it was “short-listed as ‘the best’ or ‘the finest’ or ‘most compelling’ book ever written about popular music…”

After the book was first published, Frank Rich wrote in the Village Voice, “‘Mystery Train’ is determinedly and proudly in the tradition of such ground-breaking works of American cultural criticism as Leslie Fiedler’s ‘Love and Death in the American Novel,’ D.H. Lawrence’s ‘Studies in Classic American Literature’ and F.O. Matthiessen’s ‘American Renaissance’ (the first two of which Marcus draws from in his work); as his predecessors sought to understand Poe’s nightmares or the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock in terms of our most substantial national myths, so Marcus attempts to place such songs as Randy Newman’s “Sail Away,” The Band’s “Across the Great Divide,” and Elvis Presley’s early efforts for Sam Phillips at Sun Records into the same broad cultural context.”

Although “Mystery Train” might have seemed to some to be about a handful of musicians—Harmonica Frank, Robert Johnson, The Band, Sly Stone, Randy Newman and Elvis Presley—the book is about much more than that. As Marcus states in the intro, the book is “an attempt to broaden the context in which the music is heard; to deal with rock ’n’ roll not as youth culture, or counterculture, but simply as American culture. … [These musicians] share unique musical and public personalities, enough ambition to make even their failures interesting, and a lack of critical commentary extensive or committed enough to do their work justice. In their music and in their careers, they share a range and a depth that seem to crystalize naturally in visions and versions of America: its possibilities, limits, openings, traps. Their stories are hardly the whole story, but they can tell us how much the story matters.” This was the beginning of where Greil Marcus would go for the next 47 years, finding America, and so much more, within a handful of songs, sometimes a single song.

Born during the summer of 1945 in San Francisco, Marcus grew up in Menlo Park, a suburb south of the city; he attended U.C. Berkeley, where he earned an undergraduate degree in American studies. He saw Bob Dylan for the first time in 1963, when Joan Baez brought the determinedly scruffy singer/songwriter onstage at a show that took place in “a field in New Jersey.” One of the songs Dylan sang that day was “With God on Our Side” and, as Marcus told me during our interview, he was “absolutely stunned.” It was the beginning of an obsession with Dylan and his music.

 In 1968 Marcus wrote a review of an album by the Who, and, unsolicited, sent it to Rolling Stone, the rock magazine that had begun a year earlier; two weeks later it was published in the record reviews section. Soon he was on-staff and spent a year as Rolling Stone’s record reviews editor; he lost the job due to a dispute with publisher/editor-in-chief Jann Wenner over Bob Dylan’s Self Portrait; Marcus infamously began his review of the album this way: “What is this shit?”

Over the years Marcus wrote for Creem, the Village Voice, New West, Artforum, Interview, the Wire, Salon, The Believer and many other publications including the New York Times and the New Yorker. He has written 19 books and edited another six. Perhaps his most remarkable book (and a favorite of mine) is “Lipstick Traces,” which he spent nine years researching and writing; as Andy Beckett wrote in The Independent, “‘Lipstick Traces’ began as a book about the Sex Pistols; then expanded crazily back in time to Paris in 1968, Dada in 1917, the French Revolution, and ultimately to libertarian heresies in the Middle Ages. Marcus found himself writing ‘a secret history of the 20th century,’ a search for the origins and story of the nihilistic impulse that the Sex Pistols had stumbled upon.” 

Original cover of “Lipstick Traces.”

Marcus wrote a monthly column, “Real Life Rock,” for New West magazine from 1978 into 1983; that column combined an essay with a top ten at the end. Three years later, Marcus was asked to take the top ten and turn it into a 700-word column for the Village Voice, which he titled, “Real Life Rock Top Ten.” The column “had room for anything,” Marcus wrote in his introduction to “Real Life Rock,” a book that collects every column he wrote from 1986 through September 2014 (a second book, “More Real Life Rock,” was published earlier this year), “music, movies, fiction, critical theory, ads, television shows, remarks overheard waiting in line, news items, contributions from correspondents… treating the column as a forum or a good site for gossip, or the everyday conversation it has always wanted to be.”

Over time, the “Real Life Rock Top Ten” moved to Salon, The Believer, Interview, Rolling Stone and some other publications. Most recently, Marcus wrote it for The Los Angeles Review of Books, where it was published until February 2022; he was about to move it to Substack when he became ill; he has been recovering for many months and the future of the column was up in the air when I spoke to him in mid-September.

Folk Music

His most recent book, “Folk Music: A Bob Dylan Biography in Seven Songs” (Yale University Press), was published on October 1, 2022. It’s the fourth book Marcus has written about Dylan, the others being “The Old Weird America: The World of Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes,” “Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads,” and “Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus: Writings, 1968-2010.” Additionally, a third of his book “Three Songs, Three Singers, Three Nations” is devoted to Dylan’s “Ballad of Hollis Brown.” “Folk Music” is unlike any other book about Bob Dylan, and other than Dylan’s own memoir, “Chronicles,” it gets as close as may be possible to who Dylan the singer, songwriter, recording artist and performer is, and what can be found within his recorded… Continued at Rhythms Magazine.

Rock Critics/ Historians at Litquake: Greil Marcus, Ben Fong-Torres, Michael Goldberg, Sylvie Simmons, Joel Selvin, Nadine Condon and Rickey Vincent

Rock critics at Litquake

On Friday October 21, 2022, a group of rock critics and music historians will read from their recent books at a Litquake event at the Make-Out Room in San Francisco. The evening will begin at 7:30 pm and end around 10:30 and there is a $15 charge. Appearing are Greil Marcus, Michael Goldberg (that’s me), Sylvia Simmons, Ben Fong-Torres, Joel Selvin, Rickey Vincent and Nadine Condon. The authors’ books will be available. Greil Marcus will be reading from his excellent new book about Bob Dylan, “Folk Music: A Bob Dylan Biography in Seven Songs.”

The bios as they appear on the Litquake website:

Greil Marcus is an author, music journalist, and cultural critic. He is notable for producing scholarly and literary essays that place rock music in a broader framework of culture. Marcus was born in San Francisco, and earned an undergraduate degree in American Studies from UC Berkeley, where he also did graduate work in political science. He has been a rock critic and columnist for Rolling Stone (where he was the reviews editor, at $30 a week), and other publications, including CreemThe Village Voice, and Artforum. Marcus is the author of Mystery Train, Lipstick Traces, and Invisible Republic, among many others.

Ben Fong-Torres is an American rock journalist, author, and broadcaster best known for his association with Rolling Stone magazine and The San Francisco Chronicle. He has published 11 books, on subjects ranging from a history of Top 40 radio, to Gram Parsons, The Doors, Grateful Dead, The Eagles, and Little Feat, among others. He has also worked in radio since the 1970s, and is currently a DJ and program director for the online station MoonaliceRadio.com. The award-winning documentary about his life and career, Like a Rolling Stone: The Life and Times of Ben Fong-Torres (2021) is now streaming on Netflix.

Sylvie Simmons is an award-winning author and one of the foremost music journalists working today. Born in London, she moved to Los Angeles in the late ’70s to write about rock music for magazines such as SoundsCreemKerrang!, and MOJO. She is the author of acclaimed fiction and nonfiction books, including bestselling biographies of Leonard Cohen (I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen); Serge Gainsbourg (A Fistful of Gitanes); and, most recently, Debbie Harry’s Face It. She is also a singer-songwriter and recording artist; her most recent album is Blue On Blue (Compass Records, 2020). She has lived at various times in England, the United States, and France, and currently lives in San Francisco.

Writer and photographer Michael Goldberg has been interviewing and photographing musicians since he was 17. He was a senior writer at Rolling Stone magazine for a decade. His writing has appeared in EsquireNew Musical ExpressCreemDownBeatNew York RockerTrouser PressMusicianNew WestVibeNew TimesThe San Francisco Chronicle, and other publications. He has had three novels published: True Love ScarsThe Flowers Lied, and Untitled. In May 2022, Wicked Game: The True Story of Guitarist James Calvin Wilsey was published. Coming Nov. 1: Addicted To Noise: The Music Writings of Michael Goldberg.

San Francisco Chronicle pop music critic Joel Selvin started covering rock shows for the paper shortly after the end of the Civil War. His writing has appeared in a surprising number of other publications that you would think should have known better. He has written more than 20 books covering various aspects of pop music, and his newest is Sly & the Family Stone: An Oral History.

Nadine Condon worked in the local music scene from 1979-89 with the Jefferson Starship/Starship, during the era of “We Built This City.” She then promoted artists like Melissa Etheridge, Steve Miller, and John Mayall, and eventually launched the “Nadine’s Wild Weekend” annual music festival, a legendary San Francisco showcase of “135 bands, 30 shows, 20 clubs, and four nights.” She is the author of Hot Hits Cheap Demos: The Real-World Guide to Music Business Success, and her new memoir is Confessions: Stories to Rock Your Soul. The Bay Area’s “Godmother of Rock” lives in the Sonoma Valley with her husband and two rescue cats, Bret and Bart.

Dr. Rickey Vincent is an author, music scholar, radio host and educator. He is author of the award-winning Funk: The Music, the People, and the Rhythm of The One, and Party Music: The Inside Story of the Black Panthers’ Band and How Black Power Transformed Soul Music. He writes and speaks on issues of race, culture, music and politics nationwide. Since 1997 he has hosted The History of Funk on KPFA radio, two hours of the strongest, stankiest, uncut funk anywhere on the airwaves.

It should be a great evening. More info at Litquake.

Coming Soon: “Addicted To Noise: The Music Writings of Michael Goldberg”

Addicted To Noise cover

On November 1, 2022, my book, “Addicted To Noise: The Music Writings of Michael Goldberg,” will be published by Backbeat Books.

Addicted To Noise collects the best interviews, profiles and essays I’ve written during my 40-plus years as a journalist. From combative interviews with Frank Zappa and Tom Waits to essays on how Jack Kerouac influenced Bob Dylan and the lasting importance of San Francisco’s first punk rock club, as novelist Dana Spiotta wrote, “Goldberg shows us how consequential music can be.”

Contained within these pages: interviews with Sleater-Kinney, Patti Smith, Lou Reed, Flipper, John Fogerty, Neil Young and Rick James, and profiles of Robbie Robertson, John Lee Hooker, James Brown, the Clash, Prince, Michael Jackson, the Flamin’ Groovies, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Laurie Anderson, Brian Wilson, the Ramones, George Clinton, the Sex Pistols, Richard Thomson, Gil Scott-Heron, Stevie Wonder, George Clinton, Devo, San Francisco punks Crime and more. Plus short takes on Muddy Waters, Townes Van Zandt, Captain Beefheart, Professor Longhair and others. Also 50+ full page photos of some of the artists.

As Greil Marcus writes in the Foreword, “You can feel the atmosphere: someone has walked into a room with a pencil in his hand—as the words go in perhaps the first song about a music critic, not counting Chuck Berry’s aside about the writers at the rhythm reviews—and suddenly people are relaxed. … He isn’t after your secrets. He doesn’t want to ruin your career to make his. He doesn’t care what you think you need to hide. He actually is interested in why and how you make your music and what you think of it. So people open up, very quickly, and, very quickly, as a reader, you’re not reading something you’ve read before.”

The stories originally appeared in Rolling Stone, Downbeat, Esquire, New Musical Express, California magazine, Addicted To Noise, San Francisco Chronicle, Vibe, Creem, New York Rocker, and more.

You can pre-order “Addicted To Noise: The Music Writings of Michael Goldberg” at Amazon, IndieBound, Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble, or at your local bookstore.

Back cover blurbs:

“Throughout these interviews and essays, Goldberg shows us how consequential music can be. His stance is both as passionate fan and learned critic as he grapples with these artists on their own terms, capturing them at crucial moments, challenging their personas, and making the case for their work . He has written a captivating, essential, and personal history of the complications and revelations contained in the ideal of rock & roll authenticity.” – Dana Spiotta, author of “Eat the Document,” “Stone Arabia,” and “Innocents and Others”

“In Addicted to Noise, Michael Goldberg flies far above the pop/cult cliches of the rock journalist as sweaty fanboy or hyper-analytic smarty pants. The man just dug in and did the work as an informed, respectful, and engaged interviewer. It shows in this compilation of interviews and profiles. Even the wariest artists let him in—backstage, at home and deep in the midnight hour. There’s a piece for every fan’s passion, from Patti Smith to the Beach Boys or James Brown. Whether Goldberg is jousting with a twitchy Van Morrison or giving the riot grrrls of Sleater-Kinney some r-e-s-p-e-c-t, there’s a whole lotta love for the music, too. For the Goldberg and the reader, all those years “on the bus” make for one great ride.” – Gerri Hirshey, author of “Nowhere to Run: The Story of Soul Music” and “We Gotta Get Outta This Place: The True, Tough Story of Women in Rock”

“Michael Goldberg has his finger on the pulse, his foot to the beat, his hip to the rhythm, and his ears peeled for the cadences of rock & roll’s raucous jibber-jabber in an outrageously entertaining rollercoaster through several decades of pop and punk, funk and blues writing: a bright, breezy, frenetic, and often funny, frolic covering the main streets and backwoods of backstage patter, pulsating performance, and everyday posing. In his wide ranging collection of rock journalism, Goldberg provides close to an A-Z – from Laurie Anderson, Captain Beefheart, the Clash, and Bob Dylan all the way through to Brian Wilson, Neil Young, and Frank Zappa – of the last 40 years or so of the music’s mercurial journey, profiling, and interrogating many of its biggest hitters – James Brown and Tom Waits, Van Morrison and Prince –  yet giving a gallery of more esoteric movers and shakers, like Flipper and Sleater-Kinney, Devo and Townes Van Zandt, space and time. With a byline peppering numerous major newspapers, newsweeklies, and magazines of the era, Goldberg is truly a star turn in a golden age of rock reportage.” – Simon Warner, author of “Text and Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Beats and Rock Culture” and editor of “Kerouac on Record”

In Addicted to Noise, Michael Goldberg writes authoritatively and sensitively about some of music’s most fascinating and, yes, bewildering characters. He takes you right into the lives and minds of Prince, Rick James, Van Morrison, Laurie Anderson, Gil Scott-Heron, John Lee Hooker, Flipper, Sleater-Kinney and several other true originals – and teaches you almost everything you need to know about them. – Barney Hoskyns, Editorial Director, Rock’s Backpages and author of “God is in the Radio: Unbridled Enthusiasms, 1980 – 2020

“All through these pages, you can hear the people Michael Goldberg is talking to and talking about reach the same conclusion. I can trust this guy, they say.” – Greil Marcus, author of “Mystery Train,” “Lipstick Traces” and numerous others.

You can pre-order “Addicted To Noise: The Music Writings of Michael Goldberg” at Amazon, IndieBound, Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble, or at your local bookstore.

Kirkus Reviews “Wicked Game”: “… a Gritty Look at the Guitarist’s Success and Ultimate Downfall”

Kirkus review

Kirkus Reviews just ran an excellent review of my book, “Wicked Game: The True Story of Guitarist James Calvin Wilsey.”

“James Calvin Wilsey may not be a household name, but he’s certainly well known in some circles,” begins the review. “As a guitarist for Chris Isaak, he created a riff that not only helped make the song “Wicked Game” a hit, but also has gone down in history as one of the best rock song openings of all time. Yet Wilsey was a complicated man, and behind the scenes, he was dealing with a drug addiction that would ultimately lead him away from music and into a downward spiral. Music journalist Goldberg captures it all in this book, a gritty look at the guitarist’s success and ultimate downfall. Meticulously reported via hours of interviews with childhood friends, family members, fellow musicians, and the rocker himself, the volume paints a vivid portrait of all sides of Wilsey, a tormented soul who was revered by other performers. Though the author acknowledges a friendship with Wilsey, who died of organ failure at the age of 61 in 2018, Goldberg pulls no punches in his searing biography. And the author knows his subject matter. Consider his description of Silvertone, Isaak’s group that included Wilsey, as “a band that combined ’50s rockabilly with ’60s pop and ’80s punk nihilism—Elvis fronting the Beatles, only with the anxiety of Joy Division.” The book is filled with nuggets like that that show Goldberg’s knowledge of music history and Wilsey’s place in it. …”

You can read the rest of the review at Kirkus Reviews.

If you want to purchase “Wicked Game: The True Story of Guitarist James Calvin Wilsey,” you can get a copy from Book Passage or order from HoZac Books. Also, you might be able to get a copy here. 

And I’ll be doing an online reading/interview at Book Passage starting at 5:30 pm on Thursday, July 21, 2022. It’s free. Former Creem managing editor Robert Duncan, a rock critic and novelist, will interview me after I read briefly from my book.

Twisted Pulp Magazine Runs Michael Goldberg/ Wicked Game Feature

Twisted Pulp cover

The new issue (#19) of Twisted Pulp magazine includes an eight page interview with me (Michael Goldberg) about my new book, “Wicked Game: The True Story of Guitarist James Calvin Wilsey,” and my career as a writer. The feature includes cover art from my three novels, “True Love Scars,” “The Flowers Lied,” and “Untitled” (all available from Amazon), as well as the cover of “Wicked Game,” and my upcoming collection of music journalism, “Addicted To Noise: The Music Writing of Michael Goldberg” (to be published by Backbeat Books on November 1, 2022).

Twisted Pulp with ATN cover

You can get the Kindle version of Twisted Pulp here. Soon you will be able to get the print version here.

Goldberg interview

As for my latest book, “Wicked Game: The True Story of Guitarist James Calvin Wilsey,” you can get a copy from Book Passage or order from HoZac Books. Also, you might be able to get a copy here. Photo of Goldberg by Roni Hoffman.

And I’ll be doing an online reading/interview at Book Passage starting at 5:30 pm on Thursday, July 21, 2022. It’s free. Former Creem managing editor Robert Duncan, a rock critic and novelist, will interview me after I read briefly from my book.

Hit Producer Erik Jacobsen, 49ers Photog Michael Zagaris & Others Attend Goldberg Reading of Wilsey Book + Video

Former Rolling Stone Senior Writer/ Addicted To Noise founder Michael Goldberg (above, photo by Leslie Goldberg) — that’s me — read from his new book, “Wicked Game: The True Story of Guitarist James Calvin Wilsey,” at The Beat Museum in North Beach, San Francisco, on the evening of Saturday, June 18, 2022. A crowd of over 40 people attended the reading, mingling beforehand among historic Beat era artifacts including a painting by Gregory Corso and a 1949 Hudson Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady used to drive across the US and into Mexico, a journey fictionalized in “On the Road.”

A lot of great folks showed up for the reading including novelist Charlie Haas, 49ers photographer Michael Zagaris (below), former John Lee Hooker manager Mike Kapus and record producer Erik Jacobsen (above, photo by Leslie Goldberg), who produced 7 top ten hits for the Lovin’ Spoonful in the mid-60s, discovered and produced Tim Hardin and produced the Chris Isaak international top 10 hit “Wicked Game,” with Jimmy Wilsey’s haunting guitar intro.

Although I had planned to read for about 40 minutes, the audience indicated that they wanted to hear more, so I read for over an hour. You can watch a video by Michael Engle of me reading here.

Top photo of rockin’ audience by Leslie Goldberg; bottom photo by Michael Zagaris

I will be doing an online event at Book Passage on Thursday, July 21, 2022. Former Creem managing editor and music critic Robert Duncan will be questioning me about my Jimmy Wilsey book. More info here. My book on Jimmy Wilsey will be available for purchase at Book Passage online and at the Corte Madera store beginning July 4, 2022.

You can also get my book, which Bill Bentley wrote “is the rock & roll book to read this year,” at the HoZac Books website.

KPFA’s “The Hear and Now” To Feature Michael Goldberg Talking About Jimmy Wilsey

The Hear and Now

Derk Richardson will be interviewing me on his Thursday, June 16, 2022 show, which starts at 10 pm pt. He’ll be asking me about my new book, “Wicked Game: The True Story of Guitarist James Calvin Wilsey.” The show airs Thursday night but it will be archived so if you miss the original broadcast, you can listen after the fact here. It will take a few days before the show is added to the archive. During the show Richardson will be playing recordings that Jimmy played on, including at least one previously unheard recording. Be sure to check it out.

The San Francisco Chronicle published a great feature on me this week written by James Sullivan. Titled “Writer had a ringside seat at S.F. music scene through Chris Isaak’s guitarist, who died homeless,” Sullivan captures what the book is about and why I wrote it.

“’I didn’t want Jimmy to be forgotten,’ he [Goldberg] says. ‘That’s kind of what happened when he was alive.’

“Goldberg’s new book, ‘Wicked Game: The True Story of Guitarist James Calvin Wilsey,’ traces the sound innovator from his childhood, growing up in suburban St. Louis listening to his parents’ country music records, to his arrival in San Francisco to study painting at the Academy of Art College (now the Academy of Art University), just as the punk scene around the Mabuhay Gardens was sprouting. It ends tragically, with homelessness and an underreported death.

“’He was a brilliant creative person,’ Goldberg says. ‘The tone he got, the atmosphere he created was unique.'”

Read the rest of the story here.

You can get my book, which Bill Bentley wrote “is the rock & roll book to read this year,” at the HoZac Books website.

I will be doing a reading/book signing and answering questions about the book at The Beat Museum in San Francisco at 7pm on Saturday, June 18, 2022. More info here.

I will also be doing an online event at Book Passage on Thursday, July 21, 2022. Former Creem managing editor and music critic Robert Duncan will be questioning me about my Jimmy Wilsey book. More info here. My book on Jimmy Wilsey will be available for purchase at Book Passage online and at the Corte Madera store beginning July 4, 2022.