Grateful Dead I Have Known

By Ed McClanahan From My Vita, If You Will 1998 If you’ve got it all together, what’s that all around it? —Inscribed on my bathroom wall by Ken Kesey, who attributed it Brother Dave Gardner A bright Sunday afternoon in August 1971, just one week after Bill Graham...

Friday Night at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge

By Paul Hemphill From The Nashville Sound: Bright Lights and Country Music 1970   If You Don’t Clean Your Tab in 1968, Your Credit Is No Damn Good in 1969.   Thank You.   Tootsie.   —Notice Behind the Bar At Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Nashville,...

Something to Do with Heroes

By Larry Merchant From Ringside Seat at the Circus 1976 Paul Simon, the Simon of Simon and Garfunkel, was invited to Yankee Stadium yesterday to throw out the first ball, to see a ballgame, to revisit his childhood fantasy land, to show the youth of America that...

Frank Sinatra Jr. Is Worth Six Buddy Grecos

By Tom Junod GQ January 1994 He is a forty-nine-year-old man whose father has just yelled at him. He has worked hard for his father tonight, but something went wrong, he must have made a mistake, and now he is going to his room. He will stay there all night, if he...

Bards of the Bayou

By John Ed Bradley GQ June 1991 Tipitina’s in the warm blue fog, squatting beneath a crescent moon so sharp and clean you could shave a wild hog with it. Art Neville enters the famous New Orleans honky-tonk wearing a hipster’s suit and studded leather boots, his wife,...

Louis

By Nat Hentoff From Jazz Is 1976 Louis Armstrong, summoned by King Oliver, came up to Chicago in the summer of 1922, Buster Bailey reports that “Louis upset Chicago. All the musicians came to hear Louis. What made Louis upset Chicago so? His execution, for one thing,...

In Conversation: Rich Cohen

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader May 22, 2016 Rich Cohen writes books that are hard to put down. From Tough Jews and The Record Men to his hilarious memoir, Sweet and Low: A Family Story, to the hearty—and heartfelt—appreciation of the 1985 Chicago Bears, Cohen is...

The Dreamer Deceiver: The Reno Trial of Judas Priest

By Ivan Solotaroff The Village Voice September 4, 1990 By the banks of the Truckee River, under a nearly full moon, a tall, vaguely Hispanic-looking man with beautiful shoulder-length black hair, a foot-long beard, and a plump, perfectly relaxed body comes over to...

Furry’s Blues

By Stanley Booth Playboy April 1970 “By now there must be in the world a million guitar virtuosos; but there are very few real blues players. The reason for this is that the blues—not the form but the blues—demands such dedication. This dedication lies beyond...

The Power and the Glory

By Nelson George The Village Voice May 8, 1984 March 1983—In the motel’s living room two women in their late thirties, wearing much too much makeup, and clothes too tight covering too much flesh, hovered over a hot plate, concerned that everything would taste right...

Who Killed Jaco Pastorius?

By Pat Jordan GQ April 1988 He was just another bum bleeding to death in an alleyway at four o’clock in the morning. He lay motionless on the concrete, as if sleeping, his tangled shoulder-length hair ringed by a halo of blood. He lay there peacefully for a while, in...

Lady Day

By Nat Hentoff From Jazz Is 1974 Dizzy Gillespie’s big band, at Birdland in New York. Coming down the stairs I heard a crackling, stunning trumpet cadenza, brilliant in content as well as in its reckless virtuosity. And yet it wasn’t Dizzy. I looked at the stand and...