Interview: Mitch Myers

posted February 22, 2007

by Corinne

Mitch MyersHow are you?

Fine and dandy.

"The Boy Who Cried Freebird" is your first book. What made you wait this long to write a book?

I had the concept together for several years—-it just took the publishing industry a while to agree with me.

The new book is a collection of all different genres – music journalism told in a "creative" style, insight and comments on the music industry, and other music-inspired pieces. How would you portray the book and its stories?

Just as you said, only I would add that the different genres; in-depth/historical journalism, music-inspired fiction, meta-criticism, offbeat columns and oblique pop commentaries all come together with a unified voice, providing an alternate take on the history of popular music culture in 20th Century.

Most of the stories in "The Boy Who Cried Freebird" have been published elsewhere before. What made you pick those specific stories to include?

The individual pieces have been crafted together as part of a larger organic whole, leading one to dig deeper into my pop culture fantasies and comedic worldview, as well as indulging the book’s more subliminal, interrelated themes.

What is your favorite chapter from the book?

One of the fables, certainly, perhaps the political piece, “Who Will Save The World?” - which is a tale of alien invasion where Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath are the potential saviors of our “paranoid” nation.

How did you originally get into the field of music journalism?

One day I quit working as a psychologist and got out of the other moneymaking businesses I was involved with and announced that I was now a music critic. It took awhile but I kept at it, and the sudden popularity of the Internet in the mid-nineties allowed me to compete for the attention of the editors at various music magazines.

Who are some of your favorite music journalists and other non-musical writers?

All of the old-school music journalists from Creem, Crawdaddy! and Rolling Stone, especially a guy named J.R. Young, who wrote these great music fables for Rolling Stone in the late 1960s. Review as fiction, they used to call it.

As far as the non-music writers, I’m endorsing people like Hunter Thompson, Tom Wolfe and Gay Talese, who were churning out much of the classic “new journalism” of that era.

Name an underrated band you think deserves more attention.

Check out the Capitol Years, they make good records and put on a killer live show.

What have you been listening to recently?

In the last week it’s been the Rhino-released Elektra box set, ‘Forever Changing,’ loads of Duke Ellington, and some boogie-woogie piano stuff from the 1930s.

Anything you'd like to add?

Yes, remember to tell everyone that the book is FUNNY!

Thanks for your time!

Thank you.