Blog: Updates on Urbanology

Jonathan Gold, Rock Writer and Musician

Jonathan Gold journal page (2).jpg

Jonathan Gold brandished his rock writing chops when I was starting to do reviews for L.A. Weekly, Downtown News, etc. A total inspiration. Sometimes I'd mentally sentence-diagram his leads, inspired by fresh ways to turn a phrase.

I found this example in a 1991 journal... from an L.A Times review:

“It’s not an inconsiderable skill, causing a head-banger’s head to bang, pushing a band along at that sort of chunka-chunka tempo that allows the forehead to oscillate at a rate that feels more natural than forced, something like a speedy oil derrick or those bobble-headed Dodger Dolls you sometimes still see in the backs of old Chevelles.”

That was the lead! He’d move from there into the review proper, describing whatever metal band it was.

Then there were his subjects: punk rock and hardcore, metal and hair metal, rap and gangsta rap… all when these were mostly ignored. You wanted to get his take on even the most obviously cash-in act. What he came up with was always effing amusing!

Before this, I knew him from his own crazy bands. Tank Burial and Overman (both with musician Russel Jessum). I did readings or music performances with my own bands on the same bill. He’d saw away on the electric cello with a mysterious black eye-patch. A total blast.