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. He is also a committee member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Marsh is credited with coining the term "punk rock" in a 1971 article he wrote about Question Mark & the Mysterians. While supportive of punk music in general, he said in a 2001 interview that "I don't know that it was any more important than disco," and believes rap is more significant than punk in the history of rock music.
He has written extensively about his favorite artists, including Marvin Gaye, whose song "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" he chose as the number one single of all-time in his book The Heart of Rock and Soul: the 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made, and Sly Stone, whom he called "one of the greatest musical adventurers rock has ever known."
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. Marsh has at times courted controversy with his style of maintaining selections and was once asked to resign from his position.
Marsh has published four books about singer/musician Bruce Springsteen. Some of these became bestsellers, including Born to Run and Glory Days. 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.
Marsh's most recent book, 360 Sound: The Columbia Records Story - Legends and Legacy, was released in October 2012. In the same format as Heart of Rock and Soul, this book covers the 264 greatest songs from Columbia Records beginning with the 1890 performance of John Philip Sousa's Washington Post March and working its way chronologically up to Adele's 2011 recording of Rolling in the Deep. To promote the music of Columbia Records, Legends and Legacy is available as a free eBook on iTunes."
Derision of musicians
Marsh has been characterised as "a grumpy rock and roll journalist" due to his acerbic comments on popular musicians whom he dislikes. In reviewing Dylan & the Dead (1989), a collaborative live album by Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead, he referred to the latter as the "worst band in creation."
Marsh once wrote, "Queen isn't here just to entertain. This group has come to make it clear exactly who is superior and who is inferior. Its anthem, 'We Will Rock You', is a marching order: you will not rock us, we will rock you. Indeed, Queen may be the first truly fascist rock band...[I] wonder why anyone would indulge these creeps and their polluting ideas." Previously, he had described lead singer Freddie Mercury as possessing a merely "passable pop voice."
In the 1983 Rolling Stone Record Guide, Marsh called Journey "a dead end for San Francisco area rock." He awarded every single Journey album released up to that point – seven studio albums, a compilation album and a live album – the minimum possible score of 1/5 stars. When asked about Marsh's unrelenting derision of Journey on a recent television program on which other critics had defended the band, lead singer, Steve Perry, called Marsh "an unusual little man who all too often thinks that his subjective opinions translate to inarguable fact."
Regarding a possible Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction for Kiss, Marsh said, "Kiss is not a great band, Kiss was never a great band, Kiss never will be a great band, and I have done my share to keep them off the ballot." Frontman Paul Stanley responded by calling the Hall "a sham" and "the creation of a group of industry people and critics who decide who they deem as qualified to be in their little admiration society." Kiss were ultimately inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.
In his 1980 review on Bob Seger's album Against the Wind, Marsh stated, "I'd like to say that this is not only the worst record Bob Seger has ever made, but an absolutely cowardly one as well." He was much more supportive of his earlier work, calling Seger's 1976 live album Live Bullet "one of the best live albums ever made,"  and citing his 1978 album Stranger in Town as "a perfect balance of high energy rock and moving, personal ballads."
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 Spectrum. The title references the MC5 album Kick Out the Jams.
Marsh is a co-founder and trustee of the Kristen Ann Carr Fund, created in memory of his step-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.
|This article lacks ISBNs for the books listed in it. (April 2010)|
- 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. Da Capo Press. 1999. ISBN 030680901X. OCLC 40200194.
- 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
- 360 Sound: The Columbia Records Story - Legends and Legacy(Chronical Books) 2012
- "History of music; Punk". Lyrics Vault. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- Woods, Scott (12 March 2013). "From the Archives: Dave Marsh (2001)". RockCritics.com. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- "Stone, Sly (Contemporary Musicians)". eNotes. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- Watrous, Peter (5 July 1987). "Growin' Up and Rockin' Out". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- Menta, Richard Napster, Dave Marsh, and 125 Years of Columbia Records. MP3 Newswire.
- Suttle, Tim. "New Book Rips U2′s Bono as a Lap-dog for Neo-liberals". Patheos. May 9, 2013. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
- Robert G. Weiner. Perspectives on the Grateful Dead: Critical Writings.
- Marsh, Dave (February 8, 1979). "Jazz". Rolling Stone (284). Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- Marsh, Dave (February 24, 1977). "A Day at the Races". Rolling Stone 115 (223): 47. Bibcode:2008S&T...115c..47K. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- Swenson, Dave; Marsh, John, eds. (October 1983). The New Rolling Stone Record Guide. New York: Random House/Rolling Stone Press. p. 266. ISBN 978-0-394-72107-1.
- Steve Perry interview. 96.5 KOIT. June 2, 1986.
- Swenson, Dave; Marsh, John, eds. (October 1983). The New Rolling Stone Record Guide. New York: Random House/Rolling Stone Press. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-394-72107-1.
- "Future Rock Legends". Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
- Marsh, Dave (May 15, 1980). "Against the Wind". Rolling Stone (317). Archived from the original on 21 April 2009. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- Swenson, Dave; Marsh, John, eds. (October 1983). The New Rolling Stone Record Guide. New York: Random House/Rolling Stone Press. p. 454. ISBN 978-0-394-72107-1.
- Rolling Stone. June 15, 1978.
- The Kristen Ann Carr Fund
- Rock and Rap Confidential
- Biographical Information for Dave Marsh
- Rock's Back Pages (list of articles)
- The Heart of Rock and Soul