Tuesday, August 02, 2005


The death has been announced of Al Aronowitz, beat-era journalist.

Besides producing the definitive contemporary account of the Beat Generation in a 12 part New York Post series in 1959, and inspiring the writing style of Hunter S Thompson and Tom Wolfe (in effect, creating the Rolling Stone house style), he effected one of the key meetings in musical history: he brought together The Beatles and Bob Dylan. In his words:

"The Beatles' magic was in their sound. Bob's magic was in his words. After they met, the Beatles' words got grittier, and Bob invented folk-rock."

He also claimed responsiblity for introducing the Beatles to dope.

Born to a New Jersey kosher butcher, Aronowitz was one of the first writers to treat pop music as a serious pursuit, covering it enthusiastically until a dispute lead him to being blacklisted by New York publishers. It's this status which gave him the title for the (currently) three volumes of collected writings available - The Best of the Blacklisted Journalist. Aronowitz died of cancer on Monday morning.