We welcome noted author and journalist Gene Santoro for an extensive conversation about his long association with music both as a writer and performer. Gene is one of the lucky ones who roamed NYC’s music haunts in the 1960s and was able to see and hear first hand John Coltrane, The Blues Project, Dave Van Ronk, The Mothers of Invention, Tiny Tim and many others. Starting to write about music with Guitar World Magazine his articles have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Down Beat, Rolling Stone, The Nation and other periodicals. He is the author of “Myself When I Am Real” the definitive biography of Jazz Legend Charles Mingus and 2 collections of his music related articles “Dancing in Your Head” and “Highway 61 Revisited” for the Oxford University Press. The musicians he has interviewed are simply too numerous to mention. He doesn’t hold back in this podcast. It’s difficult to say what is more interesting, the people he has interviewed or his observations and opinions on American music and culture of the last 50 + years.
Gene wasn’t kidding when he talked about being at The Lone Star when Ronnie and Keith were there to see Irma Thomas. Here they are on another night after we had completed a photo and interview session with Lonnie Mack who was playing the Lone Star with Tim Drummond on bass. Who should join them but Ronnie and Keith?
There are 2 books of collected articles that Gene has written. You will certainly enjoy both of them.
“Myself When I Am Real”, Gene’s biography of Charles Mingus is considered definitive.