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.
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.