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Dave Marsh Biography
Dave Marsh is an American music critic, author, editor and radio talk show host. Marsh was an early editor of Creem magazine, has written for various publications such as Newsday, Rolling Stone and The Village Voice and has published numerous books about music and musicians, mostly focused on rock music. Marsh is also a committee member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Dave Marsh Age
Dave Marsh Wife
Dave Marshis married to Barbara Carr. The two lives in Connecticut.
Dave Marsh Education
Dave Marsh graduated in 1968 from Waterford Kettering High School in Waterford, Michigan. Briefly he attended Wayne State University in Detroit.
Dave Marsh Career
Marsh began his career at Creem magazine as a rock critic and editor, which he helped start. At Creem, Marsh was mentored by close friend and colleague Lester Bangs. He is credited with coining the term punk rock in a 1971 article he wrote about Question Mark & the Mysterians. While supportive of punk music generally, Marsh said in a 2001 interview that “he did not know that it was anymore important than disco and believes rap is more significant than punk in the history of rock music.
Dave Marsh Photo
Dave Marsh has written extensively about his favorite artists, inclusive of Marvin Gaye, whose song “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” he chose as the number one single of all-time in his book The Heart of Rock and Soul: the 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made and Sly Stone, whom he called “one of the greatest musical adventurers rock has ever known.”
Along with Jann Wenner, Rolling Stone magazine publisher, Marsh has been involved in organizing and maintaining the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. He has at times courted controversy with his style of maintaining selections.
Dave Marsh has published four books about musician/singer Bruce Springsteen. Some of these became bestsellers, including Born to Run and Glory Days. He has edited and contributed to Rock and Roll Confidential, a newsletter about rock music and social issues. Since then, the newsletter has been renamed Rock and Rap Confidential. Marsh contributed to the Mid-Life Confidential a 1994 book, a book about and by the Rock Bottom Remainders, a rock band composed of American authors. Marsh has also worked for Newsday and The Real Paper.
In October 2012, Marsh’s most recent book, 360 Sound: The Columbia Records Story — Legends and Legacy, was released. In the same format as Heart of Rock and Soul, this book covers the 264 greatest songs from Columbia Records beginning with the 1890 performance of John Philip Sousa’s “Washington Post March” and working its way chronologically up to Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” in 2011. Legends and Legacy is available as a free eBook on iTunes to promote the music of Columbia Records.
Dave Marsh has been characterised as a “grumpy rock and roll journalist” due to his acerbic comments on popular musicians whom he dislikes. He wrote in 1976, that Led Zeppelin had an “insurmountable flaw” in drummer John Bonham (who has topped multiple all-time greatest drummers lists), whom he saw as “something like clinically incompetent” and responsible for marring every Zeppelin album to date.
In 1978, Marsh wrote: “Queen isn’t here just to entertain. This group has come to make it clear exactly who is superior and who is inferior. Its anthem, ‘We Will Rock You’, is a marching order: you will not rock us, we will rock you. Indeed, Queen may be the first truly fascist rock band. I wonder why anyone would allow these creeps and their polluting ideas.” Previously, Marsh had described Queen frontman Freddie Mercury – who is regarded as one of the best rock singers of all time – as possessing a “passable pop voice”.
Dave Marsh described Bob Seger’s album of 1980 Against the Wind as “absolutely cowardly”. Marsh was more supportive of Seger’s earlier work.
In the Rolling Stone Record Guide of 1983, Marsh called Journey “a dead end for San Francisco area rock” and their music “calculated”. He awarded every single Journey album released up to that point – seven studio albums, a compilation album and a live album – the minimum possible score of 1/5 stars. When asked about Marsh’s unrelenting derision of Journey on a recent television program on which other critics had defended the band, Steve Perry, lead singer, called Marsh “an unusual little man who all too often thinks that his subjective opinions translate to inarguable fact”.
Also the Rolling Stone Record Guide of 1983, Marsh described Air Supply as “The most calculated and soulless pseudo-group of its kind, which is saying something”. In 1989, Marsh referred to the Grateful Dead as the “worst band in creation”. Regarding a possible Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction for Kiss, Marsh said, Kiss was not a great band and was never a great band. Kiss was never to be a great band and he had done his share to keep them off the ballot. In 2014, Kiss were ultimately inducted; in the lead-up, Marsh said that “I was done with them before I ever turned the first album over to the second side… all that mediocrity was harmless enough until the boastful bassist decided to turn it into a propaganda machine for the only two things he’s ever loved: Gene Simmons and money.” Paul Stanley, Lead singer described Marsh as “pompous” and pointed to his derision of Led Zeppelin and Queen as evidence that he had “no clue” about music.
Dave Marsh Talk Shows
Marsh hosts three Sirius XM Radio shows, one called Live from E Street Nation, airing on E Street Radio and the second Kick Out the Jams, airing Sundays on eclectic-rock channel The Spectrum. The title references the MC5 album Kick Out the Jams. His third Sirius program, the political talk show Live From the Land of Hopes and Dreams, airs Sunday afternoons on Sirius Left, channel 146 and America Left, channel 167 on XM Satellite Radio.
Dave Marsh Bibliography
- Born to Run: The Bruce Springsteen Story, (Doubleday) 1979
- The Book of Rock Lists, (Dell) 1980
- Elvis, (Times Books) 1982
- Rocktopicon: Unlikely questions and their surprising answers, (Contemporary) 1982
- Before I Get Old: The Story of the Who, (St. Martin’s Press) 1983
- Fortunate Son (Random House) 1983. A collection of his journalism and criticism.
- The First Rock and Roll Confidential Report: Inside the Real World of Rock and Roll, 1984. Compilation.
- Sun City: The Making of the Record ,(Penguin) 1985
- Trapped: Michael Jackson and the Crossover Dream, (Bantam) 1986
- The Rolling Stone Record Guide: Reviews and Ratings of Almost 10,000 Currently Available Rock, Pop, Soul, Country, Blues, Jazz,
- and Gospel Albums (first and second editions 1979, 1983)
- Glory Days: Bruce Springsteen in the 1980s, 1987. A sequel to Born to Run.
- The Heart of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made. Da Capo Press. 1999. ISBN 978-0306809019. OCLC 40200194.
- Heaven Is Under Our Feet: A Book for Walden Woods, co-editor with Don Henley, (Longmeadow Press, 1991)
- 50 Ways to Fight Censorship: And Important Facts to Know About the Censors (Thunder’s Mouth Press), 1991
- Louie Louie: The History and Mythology of the World’s Most Famous Rock’n’Roll song; Including the Full Details of Its Torture and
- Persecution at the Hands of the Kingsmen, J. Edgar Hoover’s F.B.I., and a Cast of Millions; and Introducing, for the First Time
- Anywhere, the Actual Dirty Lyrics, (Hyperion), 1992.
- Merry Christmas Baby: Holiday Music from Bing to Sting, (Little Brown) 1992.
- Pastures of Plenty: A Self-Portrait with Harold Leventhal and featuring the writings of Woody Guthrie (Perennial) 1992
- The New Book of Rock Lists with James Bernard, (Fireside) 1994
- Mid-Life Confidential: The Rock Bottom Remainders Tour America with Three Chords and an Attitude (Viking) 1994
- Sam and Dave (For the Record series), (Harper Perennial) 1998
- Sly and the Family Stone: An Oral History (For the Record series), (Quill) 1998
- George Clinton & P-Funkadelic (For the Record series), (Harper Perennial) 1998
- Bruce Springsteen: Two Hearts : The Definitive Biography, 1972-2003, (Routledge) 2003. Combines earlier two works about Bruce
- and adds a new chapter.
- Forever Young: Photographs of Bob Dylan with Douglas R. Gilbert (Da Capo Press) 2005
- Bruce Springsteen on Tour : 1968-2005 (Bloomsbury USA) 2006
- The Beatles’ Second Album (Rodale Books) 2007
- 360 Sound: The Columbia Records Story – Legends and Legacy (Chronicle Books) 2012