Peter Knobler (born 1946) is an American writer living in New York City. He has collaborated on several national best sellers and was the editor-in-chief of Crawdaddy magazine from 1972 to 1979.
Knobler specializes in collaboration, having written best-selling books with James Carville and Mary Matalin, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, William Bratton, Texan Governor Ann Richards, Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Sumner Redstone, among others. His book with former New York City Mayor David Dinkins was published in September 2013. He is presently working on the autobiography of Tommy Hilfiger.
Knobler has co-written songs with Chris Hillman, Steve Miller, Freedy Johnston, and the E Street Band's Garry Tallent. His songs have been recorded on Hillman's solo albums, and by McGuinn, Clark & Hillman and the Desert Rose Band. The title song of the Oak Ridge Boys' Step on Out album was a Hillman-Knobler composition.
Knobler received a 2008-2009 Sports Emmy Award nomination for his work on the program Baseball's Golden Age. He has written championship films for the National Basketball Association and the United States Tennis Association.
Knobler first wrote for Crawdaddy! under its original editor Paul Williams in 1968. (Crawdaddy! briefly suspended publication in 1969, then returned, with its title unpunctuated, in 1970, as a monthly with national mass market distribution, first as a quarterfold newsprint tabloid, then as a standard-sized magazine.) He became editor-in-chief in 1972. Under Knobler the magazine included contributions from Joseph Heller, John Lennon, Tim O'Brien, Michael Herr, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, P.J. O'Rourke and Cameron Crowe, plus a roster of columnists including at times William S. Burroughs, Paul Krassner, The Firesign Theater, and sometimes Williams himself. While on the run from the law, Abbie Hoffman was Crawdaddy's travel editor.
Crawdaddy was a generational magazine known for its profiles particularly of musicians, but also actors, athletes and other celebrities prominent in 1970s popular culture. Knobler's profiles included Bruce Springsteen, Sly Stone, Mel Brooks, Muddy Waters, Linda Ronstadt, Sylvester Stallone, Loudon Wainwright III, the Souther Hillman Furay Band, Stephen Stills. Under Knobler, Crawdaddy's editors often assigned artists to write about other artists; Al Kooper profiled Steve Martin, Martin Mull interviewed Woody Allen, William S. Burroughs talked magic and mysticism with Jimmy Page.
The record reviews section, driven by editors John Swenson and Noe Goldwasser, had an iconoclastic reputation – well-known and respected by the music industry for its fierce independence. Crawdaddy's features section regularly covered scenes from New Orleans funk to Austin, Texas' cosmic cowboys to Scientology, est and disco. Its renowned sense of humor produced the Crawdoodah Gazette, The Whole Earth Conspiracy Catalogue and "The Assassination Please Almanac".
In December 1972, after seeing the performer play at Sing Sing prison and Kenny's Castaways, Knobler wrote the first interview and profile of Bruce Springsteen, with special assistance from Greg Mitchell. "He sings with a freshness and urgency I haven't heard since I was rocked by 'Like a Rolling Stone,'" Knobler wrote. Knobler's Crawdaddy discovered Springsteen in the rock press and was his earliest champion. Springsteen and the E Street Band acknowledged by giving a private performance at the Crawdaddy 10th Anniversary Party in New York City in June 1976. Knobler profiled Springsteen in Crawdaddy in 1973, 1975, and 1978.
Knobler was born and raised in New York City. He graduated in 1968 with a degree in English literature from Middlebury College. He sang bass in that school's a cappella group, the Dissipated Eight. Knobler has written for the college's alumni magazine. He attended the Columbia University School of the Arts, Creative Writing Division.
Knobler is the father of Daniel Knobler, producer, songwriter and guitarist in the bands Captain Coconut and Flearoy and co-founder of the audio/visual production company and creative collective Mason Jar Music.
- A Mayor's Life: Governing New York's Gorgeous Mosaic, David N. Dinkins with Peter Knobler (2013), PublicAffairs, ISBN 978-1-61039-301-0
- Often Wrong, Never in Doubt: Unleash the Business Rebel Within, Donny Deutsch with Peter Knobler (2005), Harper Collins, ISBN 0-06-056719-8
- Fairy Tales Can Come True: How a Driven Woman Changed Her Destiny, Rikki Klieman with Peter Knobler (2003), Harper Collins, ISBN 0-06-052401-4
- A Passion to Win, Sumner Redstone with Peter Knobler (2001), Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-684-86224-7
- Triumph of Justice: The Final Judgment on the Simpson Saga, Daniel Petrocelli with Peter Knobler (1998), Random House, ISBN 0-609-60170-9
- Turnaround: How America's Top Cop Reversed the Crime Epidemic, William Bratton with Peter Knobler (1998) Random House, ISBN 0-679-45251-6
- Living the Dream: My Life and Basketball, Hakeem Olajuwon with Peter Knobler (1996), Little, Brown ISBN 0-316-09427-7
- Very Seventies: A Cultural History of the 1970s from the pages of Crawdaddy, Peter Knobler and Greg Mitchell (1995), Fireside/Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-02-022005-7
- All's Fair: Love, War, and Running for President, James Carville and Mary Matalin with Peter Knobler (1994), Random House, ISBN 0-679-43103-9
- A Matter of Honor: One Cop's Lifelong Pursuit of John Gotti and the Mob, Remo Franceschini (1993), Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-671-73947-6
- Forgotten: A Sister's Struggle to Save Her Brother, America's Longest Held Hostage, Peggy Say with Peter Knobler (1991), Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-671-70155-X
- Straight from the Heart: My Life in Politics & Other Places, Ann Richards with Peter Knobler (1989), Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-671-68073-0
- Out of Control: Confessions of an NFL Casualty, Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson with Peter Knobler (1987), Bantam, ISBN 0-399-13264-3
- Giant Steps, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with Peter Knobler (1983) Bantam, ISBN 0-553-27147-4
- Alfano, Peter. "listings". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
- Very Seventies.
- Alfano, Peter. "listings, 1983-2008". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
- A Mayor's Life: Governing New York's Gorgeous Mosaic by David Dinkins with Peter Knobler, PublicAffairs Books, 2013
- Knobler, Peter (1978-05-27). ""Is It More Difficult to Be a Man Today?" NY Times Op Ed Page, May 27, 1978". Select.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
- "Baseball Cards" New York Times sports section, February 10, 1980.
- "Chris Hillman discography". Starclustermusic.de. 1994-02-26. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
- AllMusic "Step on Out".
- David Pietrusza (2008-08-10). "Baseball's Golden Age". Davidpietrusza.com. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
- NBA Championship film "That Championship Feeling" 1983.
- NBA Championship film "Pride and Passion" 1984.
- History of Crawdaddy; Crawdaddy web site, 2008
- "History of Crawdaddy".
- "Publishers Weekly review". Search.barnesandnoble.com. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
- "Rock Magic", Crawdaddy, June 1975 at the Wayback Machine (archived October 28, 2009).
- Crawdaddy Party Mirrors Magazine, NY Times, June 9, 1976.
- "Play Ball" Middlebury College alumni magazine.
- Clarence Clemons bio.
- Captain Coconut.
- "Mason Jar Music". Mason Jar Music. Retrieved 2012-10-23.