Dave Marsh

Dave Marsh

Dave Marsh (born March 1, 1950, Detroit, Michigan) is an American music critic, author, editor and radio talk show host. He was a formative editor of Creem magazine, has written for various publications such as Newsday, The Village Voice, and Rolling Stone, and has published numerous books about music and musicians, mostly focused on rock music.


Early years

Marsh briefly attended Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.

Writing career

In 1979, Marsh wrote a now-famous review in Rolling Stone of the album Jazz by Queen, in which he wrote, "Queen may be the first truly fascist rock band." (Rolling Stone, Feb. 8th 1979). Previously, he had described lead singer Freddie Mercury as possessing a merely "passable pop voice."[1]

In the 1983 Rolling Stone Record Guide on Journey, Marsh wrote, "Journey was a dead end for San Francisco area rock." He awarded all of the band's albums the minimum possible score of 1/5 stars.[2]

Marsh has published four books about singer/musician Bruce Springsteen. Some of these became bestsellers, including Born to Run and Glory Days. [1] Marsh is closely associated with Springsteen because his wife, Barbara Carr, is one of Springsteen's co-managers. Marsh is also closely associated with Jon Landau, a Springsteen manager and producer, for the same reason.

Marsh has edited and contributed to Rock and Roll Confidential, a newsletter about rock music and social issues. The newsletter has since been renamed Rock and Rap Confidential.

Marsh contributed to the 1994 book Mid-Life Confidential, a book about and by the Rock Bottom Remainders, a rock band composed of American authors.

Along with Rolling Stone magazine publisher Jann Wenner, Marsh has been involved in organizing and maintaining the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. However, Marsh has courted, at times, controversy with his style of maintaining selections and at one time was asked to resign.[citation needed]

Dave Marsh was the first music critic to employ the term punk rock: In the May 1971 issue of Creem, he described ? and the Mysterians, one of the most popular 1960s garage rock acts, as giving a "landmark exposition of punk rock".

Talk shows

Dave 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 Loft. The title references the MC5 album Kick Out the Jams.

Marsh's 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.

Charitable causes

Marsh is a co-founder and trustee of The Kristen Ann Carr Fund [2], created in memory of his daughter who died in 1993 from sarcoma, a form of cancer. The fund is dedicated to supporting research in the treatment and cure of sarcoma, as well as improving the lives of young adult cancer patients and their families.

Marsh is also a member of the National Advisory Board of PROTECT: The National Association to Protect Children.


  • 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, (NAL) 1989
  • 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 Levanthal 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


  1. ^ Marsh, Dave. A Day at the Races review. Rolling Stone. February 24, 1977. Archived at queenarchives.
  2. ^ Marsh, Dave The new Rolling stone record guide p.266. Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1983.

External links

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