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Will Hodgkinson is a journalist and author from London (born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne), England. He is the chief rock & pop critic for The Times newspaper and contributes to Mojo magazine. He has written for The Guardian, The Independent and Vogue. Hodgkinson presents the Sky Arts TV show Songbook, in which he interviews contemporary songwriters.
His 2014 memoir "The House Is Full Of Yogis" tells the story of Hodgkinson's father joining an Indian spiritual group called the Brahma Kumaris and embracing celibacy, meditation and a radical, non-evolutionary world view, while his mother became a radical feminist and published "Sex Is Not Compulsory", her case for the sexless marriage, just as Hodgkinson was trying to meet girls for the first time. His book The Ballad Of Britain (2009) (Portico) is a travelogue for which he travelled through Britain making field recordings in an attempt to capture the spirit of the place and its people. Guitar Man (2006) and Song Man (2007) (Bloomsbury) are narrative non-fiction in a comic style. In Guitar Man, Hodgkinson picked up the guitar for the first time aged 34 with the aim of playing a concert six months later. He received lessons and advice from the Scottish folk guitarist Bert Jansch, Johnny Marr, former guitarist of The Smiths, Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, PJ Harvey and the pioneering guitarist Davey Graham. For Song Man he learned the basics of songwriting with the goal of recording a single at Toe-Rag Studios in London, this time picking up tips from Keith Richards, Andy Partridge of XTC, folk queen Shirley Collins and the hippy era songwriter Bridget St John. Guitar Man and Song Man are published in the US by Da Capo.
In 2007, Will launched a project in conjunction with the Guardian Newspaper to create and run a record label, 'Big Bertha', which he wrote about in a monthly column. Acts signed to the label were Cornish folk band Thistletown and Pete Molinari.
Will Hodgkinson is the brother of Tom Hodgkinson, editor of The Idler. Their father is the science writer Neville Hodgkinson and their mother is the non-fiction writer and journalist Liz Hodgkinson.
Hodgkinson is married and has two children.
According to an article in The Times (12th Nov 2015) took his first and so far only trip with LSD when he was 17 years old. On a sunny day in 1998 he and a friend went to a hilltop in Richmond Park to try the drug. His initial effect of the drugs were "magical". For some unexplained reason they decided to leave the hilltop just about when the acid peaked and later down in the streets of Richmond his prejudice towards old people led to an unpleasant hallucination in which he saw an old man carving up a baby. It's still unknown whether Will ever tried to contact the older man after the effect wore off. Leading researchers in the field of psychedelic narcotics have unanimously suggested that Will give LSD a second chance and not be deterred by his first experience.
- Hodgkinson, Will (2009). The ballad of Britain : how music captured the soul of a nation. London: Portico.
- — (2014). The house is full of Yogis. London: Blue Door.
- Guitar Man (Bloomsbury, UK, Da Capo, US)
- Song Man (Bloomsbury, UK, Da Capo, US)
Essays and reporting
- Hodgkinson, Will (December 2014). "Old School Neil Diamond". What Goes On!. Mojo. 253: 12–13.
- — (December 2014). "Stetson the city : Americana 2014, the Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee". Filter. Lives. Mojo. 253: 126–127.
- "Will Hodgkinson - Will Hodgkinson". Bloomsbury. Retrieved 2014-06-29.
- Hodgkinson, Will (2 February 2007). "The next Bob Dylan, please stand up". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
- Hodkingson, Will (2 March 2007). "'The budget will be blown by lunchtime'". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
- "LSD is back — now it's an austerity drug | The Times". The Times. Retrieved 2015-11-14.
- Guitar Man (Bloomsbury, 2006)
- Song Man (Bloomsbury, 2007)