Mikal Gilmore

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Mikal Gilmore (born February 9, 1951, in Portland, Oregon) is an American writer and music journalist.

Writing career[edit]

In the 1970s Gilmore began writing music articles and criticism for Rolling Stone magazine.[1] In 1999, his Night Beat: A Shadow History of Rock and Roll was published by Anchor.[2] In July 2009, he released another book, Stories Done: Writings on the 1960s and its Discontents. It was published by Free Press.[3]


Gilmore was born to Frank and Bessie Gilmore. His brother Gary Gilmore (December 4, 1940 – January 17, 1977) was an American criminal who gained international attention for demanding the implementation of his death sentence for two murders he committed in Utah. After the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a new series of death penalty statutes in the 1976 decision Gregg v. Georgia, he became the first person in almost ten years to be executed in the United States.[4]

In 1994, Mikal published a memoir titled Shot in the Heart, detailing his relationship with Gary and their often troubled family, starting with the original Mormon settlers and continuing through to Gary's execution and its aftermath. Shot in the Heart received positive reviews, including a comment by New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani calling the book "Remarkable, astonishing... Shot in the Heart reads like a combination of Brothers Karamazov and a series of Johnny Cash ballads... chilling, heartbreaking, and alarming."[5] That year, Shot in the Heart won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize[6] and the National Book Critics Circle Award.[7]

In 2001, Shot in the Heart became an HBO film starring Giovanni Ribisi as Mikal, Elias Koteas as Gary, Sam Shepard as the brothers' father and Lee Tergesen as Frank Gilmore, Jr. The 1977 punk rock single "Gary Gilmore's Eyes" by the band The Adverts was used in the soundtrack of the movie.[8] The song is written from "the point of view of a hospital patient who has received the eyes of Gary Gilmore in a transplant."[9]


  1. ^ "Mikal Gilmore". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  2. ^ Gilmore, Mikal (February 1999). Night Beat: A Shadow History of Rock and Roll. Anchor Books. ISBN 9780385484367. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  3. ^ Gilmore, Mikal (July 2009). Stories Done. Free Press. ISBN 9780743287463. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  4. ^ Hughes, Graham (28 June 1979). "License to Kill". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Shot in the Heart". Powell's Books. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  6. ^ "Previous Winners: 1994 Book Prizes". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 11, 2014. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  7. ^ "All Past National Book Critics Circle Award Winners and Finalists". National Book Critics Circle. Archived from the original on October 18, 2015. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  8. ^ Gilbert, Matthew (12 October 2001). "A SEARING TALE OF TWO BROTHERS". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 14 April 2011. The soundtrack rises from abstract notes of angst and irresolution into the anthemic punk of the Adverts' "Gary Gilmore's Eyes," a pounding symbol of the ...
  9. ^ Sullivan, Jim (2 November 2003). "Box full of punk-rock aggression". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 14 April 2011. ... to the Adverts taking the point of view of a hospital patient who has received the eyes of Gary Gilmore in a transplant; Gilmore, the infamous killer executed by a Utah firing squad, had said he'd donate his eyes to science as they'd probably be the only body part usable.

External links[edit]