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Last edited by Clean Up Bot
March 31, 2017 | History

Stephen Davis

1947 -

Stephen Davis (1947-)

Stephen Davis was born in New York City in 1947 and educated in Philadelphia and Boston.

October of 1969 was an defining moment in Stephen's early life - the maverick Jack Kerouac had died of alcoholism and was being buried near Stephen in Massachusetts. Still at university and enthralled by the 'Rolling Stone' newspaper he was asked to cover the funeral with his friend and photographer Peter Simon. At Kerouac's wake (in Lowell) were the likes of Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Jimmy Breslin all from the 'New York Daily News'...

"So I wrote all this up and it was my first story in Rolling Stone, for 50 dollars and I went out and bought a big block of hashish and that´s the beginning of my career".

Continuing with his articles and reviews for 'Rolling Stone' he also began writing for 'The Cambridge Phoenix' in 1970, taking special interest in music. Just two years later he joined the Rolling Stone's staff as an associate editor and took the opportunity to travel to Morocco for the first time (1973), and even lead an expedition to record tribal music in the Djebela mountains, sponsored by The National Geographic Society (1974).

By the mid-1970's Stephen's free-lance writing and journalism appeared in the New York Time, The Boston Globe, and many national magazines, enticing readers into new musical worlds with stories like...

"The driving, infectious soul music of Jamaica [that] has been percolating through American pop culture until it threatens to boil over [is] the music called reggae (pronounced reg-eye) and it comes from the West Kingston shanty town called Ward 12..."

"New voices on new albums to speak for their generation at mid-decade. Tom Waits is a jazz-rapping Angeleno with a mania for stand-up monologue [and] Patti Smith [who] is the current darling of the New York..."

"Demonstrating a resiliency that most performers would envy, Brazilian singer Flora Purim recently finished a major concert tour that began only three months after her release ... from a federal prison..."

"The chanting of 40 Tibetan monks is a cavernous, impenetrable drone, a wall of sound. Using a secret, difficult technique termed 'onevoice chording', each monk produces three notes simultaneously to form a chord..."

"Master guitarist, musician's musician, folklorist, detective and collector of songs, consummate rock and roller somehow all these still seem inadequate to describe what Ry Cooder actually is...".

This all led up to his first book published in 1977 in which he used photographs by his friend Peter Simon, this was "Reggae Bloodlines: In Search of the Music and Culture of Jamaica".

In 1979, he was honored for his music journalism (specifically his collaboration with composer Charles Mingus) by ASCAP.

This was followed by further works like "Reggae International" (1981), and the acclaimed biography "Bob Marley", first published in 1983.

His latest book is a biography of Carly Simon titled "More Room In A Broken Heart: The True Adventures of Carly Simon".

“My qualifications for writing Carly’s life include a long professional relationship with her brother, photographer Peter Simon, going back 45 years. Our work has appeared together in 15 books to date. I’ve known the Simon family for at least that long. My wife and I were friends with Carly’s mother. I’ve never really been close to Carly, but we did have a professional friendship. I wrote about her music in Rolling Stone, where I was an editor in the early ’70s. In 1988 she asked me to interview her for the cable channel VH-1. In 2004 I interviewed her extensively when she asked me to write the booklet notes for 'Reflections,' a compilation of her hit songs on compact disc."

Stephen and his wife lives and works in Boston, MA.

>1. New York Times Archive (1975-1976)
>2. Interview for Metal-Shine (Dec 2008)

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March 31, 2017 Edited by Clean Up Bot add VIAF and wikidata ID
April 10, 2012 Edited by J Gill added b.year, biog and pic
April 9, 2012 Edited by J Gill Added new photo
April 1, 2008 Created by an anonymous user initial import