Michael Lydon

Michael Lydon

Hi, I'm Michael Lydon! I started out as a writer in college at the Yale Daily News, wrote about the Beatles in '64 when they first came to America, that summer covered the Mississippi civil rights struggle for the Boston Globe. Newsweek hired me after graduation and sent me to "Swinging London" where I interviewed John (caustic and smart) and Paul (charming but bland), then got transferred to San Francisco just as hippie rock was busting out, interviewed Janis Joplin, Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix, and more, and was a founding editor of Rolling Stone. Went freelance in 68, traveled on the road with BB King, Johnny Cash, the Grateful Dead, and the Rolling Stones on the way to Altamont. Much of that became my first book, Rock Folk. My second book, Boogie Lightning, showed how African-American musicians combined music and electricity. In the 70s I started playing the guitar and performing myself, often with my partner Ellen Mandel. We moved to New York, joining all the young hopefuls trying to get ahead in show biz. That led to my books How to Write Songs for Fun (and maybe) Profit and How to Play Classic Jazz guitar. In the 90s I wrote the definitive biography of Ray Charles, and I began writing about writing in my books Writing and Life and Real Writing. I love writing, I love music, I love performing and getting people to sing along. If you also love music and good books, we have a lot in common!!
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