COLUMN 118, OCTOBER 1, 2005
(Copyright © 2005 The Blacklisted Journalist)
May 20, 1928 - August 1, 2005
Photo ©Myles Aronowitz
Aronowitz, "Godfather Of Rock Journalism," Dies At 77
It is with sadness that we report the passing of famed journalist Al Aronowitz, who succumbed to cancer on Monday morning, August 1, 2005. Widely known as "the Godfather of rock journalism," Al liked to joke that the 1960's would not have been the same without him; after all, it was Al who introduced beat poet Allen Ginsberg to Bob Dylan, Dylan to the Beatles, and the Beatles to marijuana. And the rest, as they say, is history. The full story of this event - and details of Al's close relationship with both Dylan and the Beatles - was told in the author's recent book, "Bob Dylan And The Beatles, Volume One of the Best of the Blacklisted Journalist."
Aronowitz followed up that book with "Bobby Darin Was A Friend Of Mine, Volume Three of the Best of the Blacklisted Journalist," which became available to the public only a few months before his death. The author felt this was his way to keep a promise he made to his dear friend Darin, to collaborate on a biography of the singer. Darin died just weeks before the two were to begin work on that project. By deliberately numbering this second book "number three," Al revealed his intentions for a multi-volume series with a specific sequence in mind.
A highly respected and influential writer, Aronowitz is recognized for inspiring many, including Hunter S. Thompson. He counted among his close friends Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, George Harrison, Miles Davis, Jerry Garcia and Bob Dylan, to name a few. At the time of his death, Al was working on a new book, "Mick and Miles," detailing how he brought Mick Jagger and Miles Davis together.
Michael J. West, writing on Blogcritics.org, called Aronowitz: "One of the taproots of the rock & roll family tree...a terrifically important journalist in postwar America...one of the pioneers of rock journalism."
Al's son Joel was at his father's bedside when Aronowitz passed away from "cancer with all the complications that go along with it." Although the cancer was widespread, miraculously Al never experienced the pain so often associated with his condition. Joel was playing one of Aronowitz's favorite albums for him - Miles Davis' "Kind Of Blue" and said that Al exhaled his final breath just as the track "Blue In Green" ended.
Funeral services were held August 4, 2005 in Union, NJ and at graveside in Newark, NJ. Plans are being made for a larger memorial commemoration to take place in New York City with musicians, writers, poets and others speaking and performing. Further details and updates will be posted on this website.
Members of the media who are interested in the Al Aronowitz memorial event may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aronowitz graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Rutgers University in 1950 with a Bachelor of Letters in Journalism. He is survived by two sons, Joel Roi Aronowitz & Myles Aronowitz, one daughter, Brett Aronowitz, two sisters, Pearl Becker & Irene Kramer, his longtime companion Ida Becker, and two grandchildren.
The news of his passing has been covered extensively both in the national and international media, including CNN, all major networks, AP, UPI, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, The London Times and many more. Condolences to his family from celebrities, writers and people who were touched and moved by his work have poured in from all over the world.
It is a bittersweet feeling at a time like this to realize how many people loved and respected our father. Many thanks to all of you for your heart-felt expressions of comfort.
This site will be posted indefinitely as a tribute to the legacy of Al Aronowitz, "The Blacklisted Journalist," and will continue to offer readers compelling writing that's "Gotta be fun to read or have a damn good reason why it aint."
Myles, Brett & Joel Roi Aronowitz
FOR AS LONG AS PEOPLE KEEP LISTENING TO BOB DYLAN AND THE BEATLES, PEOPLE WILL WANT THIS BOOK
"A masterpiece!" --- SALLY GROSSMAN, widow of Bob Dylan's brilliant original manager, Albert Grossman.
"This book is a must-read for all rock 'n roll aficionados!"---EAR CANDY
"An essential reference for demystifying what the author refers to as: 'one of the most self-destructive binges of creativity in cultural history.'"---HAMMOND GUTHRIE, COUNTERPUNCH MAGAZINE
"Required Reading for anyone and everyone who considers themselves fans, followers, students, or those just plain curious of the Golden Age of Popular Music"---GARY PIG GOLD, FUFKIN.COM.
"I love the book. I love the way you can open it to any page and start reading and it keeps you reading. The book is just fun to read." --LEVON HELM, Drummer of THE BAND from Big Pink.
"Ellis Paul and I love your book."---RALPH JACCODINE, Ralph Jaccodine Management.
". . .perfect for our times."---WOODSTOCK TIMES
Duritz (he's the lead singer and writer for the famed
". . .a must read for anyone who loves, music, loves life, loves rock and roll."---TSAURAH LITZKY, author of The Motion of the Ocean, Baby on the Water, and Goodbye Beautiful Mother.
"I recommend it."---DOUGLAS HOLDER, IBBETSON STREET PRESS.
. .It is a fascinating, insightful read. You are such a wonderful
writer."---STEPHANIE LEDGIN, Music
"I could not put this book of yours down for a minute."---ED GALING, POET LAUREATE OF HATBORO, PA.
"Quite simply, Al Aronowitz is a living legend"---JOHN FORTUNATO, THE AQUARIAN.
"Every student and fan of The Beat Generation, Bob Dylan, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones will want to read this book"---RON WHITEHEAD, POET
"Volume One Of The Blacklisted Journalist is the kinda tome what a fella can dip into at any given point and find oneself hooked within a couple paragraphs"---DUKE DE MONDO, BLOGCRITICS.ORG.
BOB DYLAN AND THE BEATLES, VOLUME ONE OF THE BEST OF THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST
The sometimes scattered chronicles of
the rock journalist's friendship with a few of the most recognizable music icons
in rock and pop history.
certainly takes a bit of hubris to say that "the '60s wouldn't have been
the same without me."
But coming from Al Aronowitz, the former music columnist for the New York
Post who was often called "the godfather of rock journalism," such
sentiment is perhaps justified.
Here, in a compilation of many of his unpublished manuscripts, Aronowitz
describes in candid yet affectionate detail his friendships with Bob Dylan and
the Beatles. As
a music writer and fan who recognized the musicians' limitless potential early
in their careers, Aronowitz decided to bring them together for the first time,
in a New York City hotel in 1964, a meeting that also involved the Beatles'
introduction to marijuana. His prescience was soon bolstered by the 1965
releases of Dylan's Highway 61
the Beatles' Rubber Soul, both seminal albums that altered the landscape
of pop music. This
landmark moment is just one of Aronowitz's colorful memories and musings of
being a hanger-on with these legends and their associates, including The Band,
Beatles manager Brian Epstein, poet Allen Ginsberg, deejay Murray the K and
provocative are the accounts of Dylan's erratic behavior and short temper, which
often led to fitful confrontations and even the ending of friendships, including
that between Dylan and the author.
It's also evident that Aronowitz was particularly fond of George
Harrison, and the two remained friends until Harrison's death in 2001.
Most remarkable is the close proximity he maintained to these gods,
whether he was at their homes, hoteI rooms, recording studios, or concerts.
Though his personal life certainly had its share of woes (particularly
bankruptcy and his wife's death), Aronowitz exhibits a marked sense of
pride---and rightly so---for playing a key role in music history,
An enticing backstage pass to the meeting of arguably the two most influential acts in rock history.
"BOB DYLAN AND THE BEATLES: Volume One Of The Best Of The Blacklisted Journalist is a golden stash box of Al's You-Are-There history of two thirds of rock's Holy Troika"---MICHAEL SIMMONS, LA WEEKLY.
". . .Amazing stories in this book" ---JAY LUSTIG, NEWARK STAR LEDGER
". . .Aronowitz has a place in the annals of history that nothing can erase"---DAVID DANKWA, GAZETTE LEADER
". . .Aronowitz has a simple, straightforward writing style that makes the reading go fast. . ."---JEFFERY LINDHOLM, DIRTY LINEN
"Aronowitz. . .witnessed things that most rock fanswould give an arm and a leg to see"---REGIS BEHE, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE REVIEW
"The best of Aronowitz's writing. . . offer riotous and rambling time capsules comprising detailed vignettes and told in a voice that's direct, disarming and self-deprecating"---MIKE MILIARD, BOSTON PHOENIX
". . .Addictive reading" ---GOLDMINE MAGAZINE
you are truly interested in the 'behind
the scenes' events of people who spawned an entirely new direction in the time
we identify as the sixties, this book is truly for you!"---JOHN
IN THIS 615-PAGE PAPERBACK, AL ARONOWITZ, ACCLAIMED AS THE "GODFATHER OF ROCK JOURNALISM," TELLS YOU MORE ABOUT BOB DYLAN AND THE BEATLES THAN ANY OTHER WRITER CAN TELL YOU BECAUSE NO OTHER WRITER WAS THERE AT THE TIME. AS THE MAN WHO INTRODUCED ALLEN GINSBERG TO BOB DYLAN, BOB DYLAN TO THE BEATLES AND THE BEATLES TO MARIJUANA, ARONOWITZ BOASTS, "THE '60S WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN THE SAME WITHOUT ME."
AND HERE'S ANOTHER BOOK BY AL ARONOWITZ!
THE MOVIE WAS FICTION. THE TRUE STORY IS STRANGER THAN FICTION: FOR MOST OF HIS SHORT BUT SPECTACULAR LIFE, BOBBY DARIN UNKNOWINGLY LIVED A LIE
". . .A highly entertaining and informative read"--HAMMOND GUTHRIE, THE THIRD PAGE
". . .Its 43 chapters provide snapshots of Darin's brief, sensational life>" ---GOLDMINE MAGAZINE
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