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(Last updated
Fri, Jul 5, 2002)12:46 PM
TIMOTHY WHITE
An obituary by Chris Charlesworth
The REZILLOS:
Back On The (Flying Saucer) Attck
The iJAMMING! interview
RICHARD BUTLER
(at last)
Featured Mix CD
Grandmaster Flash Essential Mix Classic Edition
THE JUNE HITLIST
30 Albums, 10 Songs, 5 books and a handful of movies.
MAY MUSINGS
Eight Days in A Week's Music:
Ed Harcourt, Vines, Candy Butchers, Timo Maas, Ashley Casselle & Adam Freeland, Aerial Love Feed, and enough little club nights to shake several sticks at.
LONDON MUSING
Tony's (lengthy) trip down nostalgia lane from his visit home at the end of April. Stop-offs include Death Disco, old Jamming! Magazines, life-long friendships, road trips to Brighton, Damilola Taylor and political frustration, Morrissey-Marr, Zeitgeist, Oasis, Dexys, Primal Scream, the current British music scene and more.
YOU DON'T KNOW JACK
Jack magazine comes out of the starting gate with the banner headline "best new men's mag in years."
FEATURED WINE:
Ternhaven Cellars Claret d'Alvah 1998
FEATURED ALBUM:
'Hard Grind' by LITTLE AXE
REMARKS REMADE
Why I re-wrote the book: The introduction to the new edition of my R.E.M. biography, due out this summer through Omnibus.
EARLY APRIL MUSINGS
Chemical Brothers, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Paul Westerberg, Skywalking, Joe Strummer, Radio 4, and Aquatulle.
KIDS IN AMERICA
A weekend with John Mayer, Sugarcult - and Elvis
IT'S MY PARTY AND I'LL LIE IF I WANT TO
Michael Greene's Grammy Speech: An Invitation to Download?
Plus: 10 things they forgot to tell you at the Grammys.
THE VILLAGE VOICE PAZZ & JOP POLL
What the Hell Is Going On Here?
From the Jamming! Archives:
PAUL WELLER
interviewed in 1978
"A number one single would be a bit scary."
The iJamming! interview:
CARL COX
"'Acid Trax' by Phuture came out and I was just 'Okay, forget all hip hop and all old school rare groove right here, this is it.'"
The Best Of 2001
Tony Fletcher's Top Albums, Concerts, Singles and Books - and comments on the Village Voice Poll
MUSING on The Manhattan 'Edge':
Will the Island Ever Again Be A 'Cultural Ground Zero?'
GOLDEN SHOT
hostess 'Lee Patrick' recalls her time as Keith Moon's amour
ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN: "Flowers is Echo & The Bunnymen's finest hour since Ocean Rain."
HEDONISM:
An intrigue of early 90s New York nightlife.
NEW CHAPTER now online
From the Jamming! Archives:
U2 interviewed in 1984.
"It's not U2 that's creating this great art. . .There's something that works through us to create in this way."
iJamming! Wino/Muso:
JOHN ACQUAVIVA
"New world wines are just too techno for me."
Featured wine region 3:
SOUTHERN RHÔNE WHITES
Featured wine region 4:
SOUTHERN RHÔNE ROSÉS
iJamming! interview:
Jesse Hartman, aka LAPTOP
"Every New York band knows the meaning of failure"
MIX Albums:
Who, what and why you should bother
The iJAMMING! interview: DAVID SYLVIAN
"I don't think people realize that life can become so exciting and interesting that it can draw you away for long periods of time from creating music - & why not?"
From the Keith Moon archives:
the JEFF BECK interview .
The iJAMMING! chat:
MARK PERRY

"If I was asked why Sniffin' Glue was so important, it was the way we conducted ourselves, the style of it, just the attitude. It had attitude in abundance didn't it?"
Forgotten Classics:
THE CHILLS: Brave Words
THE iJAMMING! Book Review:
SNIFFIN' GLUE: The Essential Punk Accessory
From the JAMMING! archives: PAUL WELLER ON POP
Featured wine region 2:
CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES
From the JAMMING! archives: ALTERNATIVE TV
interviewed in 1978
TRAVIS.
Fran Healy explains why "you cannot own a song." (And why Liam Gallagher "is going to turn into a really great songwriter.")
Featured Artist Web Site:
LLOYD COLE
From the JAMMING! archives: The Story That Spawned Creation
Featured vine:
VIOGNIER:
Finally, a worthy rival to Chardonnay.
The iJAMMING! interview:
BOY GEORGE.
"Once you've had your go, what-ever it may be, they want you to piss off, and they can't bear it if you come back, they can't bear it."
Featured wine region 1:
CÔTES DU RHÔNE
The full iJamming! Contents
TIMOTHY WHITE

AN OBITUARY by CHRIS CHARLESWORTH
In his polka-dot bow tie, cream chinos and white buckskin shoes, the music writer Timothy White, who has died aged 50, cut a stylish figure in a profession not generally known for its sartorial elegance, but White’s attire reflected his deep love of history and a tradition amongst New York magazine writers that began with Scott Fitzgerald and was continued by the eternally white-suited Tom Wolfe.

This same love of history informed several authoritative music biographies written by White. In all of them the subject didn’t usually appear until at least a quarter of the way into the tale, the early chapters being devoted to ancestral matters, times past and scene setting. Long Ago And Far Away: James Taylor, His Life & Music, published last year, opens in 1622 with the story of Taylor’s Scottish ancestor Hercules Tailyeour, a shipbuilder from Montrose. The first 100 pages or more of The Nearest Faraway Place: Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys, and the Southern California Experience, are devoted to a history of the state itself and, equally importantly bearing in mind the subject, the history of surfing. In a discipline in which rigorous research is not always apparent, White’s fastidious attention to detail earned him many admirers.

Timothy White was a workaholic, which was surely a factor in his early death. As well as writing books, columns and hosting a syndicated radio show, for the past 12 years he was the editor of Billboard magazine, the American music industry’s principal trade paper, of which he read every single word of its 100 plus A3-sized pages every week of the year. He is probably best known in the UK as the author of Catch A Fire: The Life of Bob Marley, which is generally regarded as the definitive work on reggae’s greatest star. Those who knew Timothy were astonished to learn that, dressed in his familiar debonair fashion, he strolled unabashed through the ghettos of Trenchtown to conduct first hand research amongst the not always friendly dreads and Rastas. Nothing got in the way of the story as far as White was concerned.

Born in Patterson, New Jersey, into a large Irish family - he had seven siblings - White majored in journalism at Fordham in 1972. His first job was as a copy boy at Associated Press where he soon graduated to writing about sports and entertainment. This was followed by a spell on Crawdaddy, America’s first ‘serious’ rock magazine, then published in New York. From Crawdaddy White joined Rolling Stone for which he wrote more cover stories than any other writer. His personable character and general air of bonhomie encouraged interviewees to reveal more about themselves than they might otherwise do, and White’s personality profiles of Johnny Carson, Bob Hope and numerous rock performers are benchmarks of magazine journalism. Many of his rock interviews are collated in his book Rock Lives.

Like many of its writers Timothy White quit Rolling Stone after coming into conflict with its autocratic founder Jan Wenner. He went on to complete Catch A Fire, then wrote for Musician magazine, which is owned by the publishers of Billboard; he joined the latter magazine as editor in 1990. At Billboard Timothy set about turning a dry, industry-dominated trade journal into a readable, music-orientated, campaigning magazine. Among the innovative changes he introduced were the Billboard Century Award, bestowed annually upon artists for creative achievement; Continental Drift, a column devoted to unsigned acts; and Heatseekers, a chart for acts who have never appeared in the top half of the Billboard 200.

Timothy wrote a regular Billboard column, Music To My Ears, which frequently championed little known artists or styles of music (a book of these essays was published in the States), and he was fearless in campaigning for artists rights in an industry not noted for its generosity towards the creators of the product on which it depends. Driven by a fierce sense of morality, he was equally unafraid in tacking the controversial issue of misogyny and homophobia in rap lyrics, and he even took a stance on gun control, banning adverts with artwork that featured guns. His moving obituary of George Harrison, a close personal friend, which appeared in Billboard issue dated December 15, 2001, earned Timothy his fourth ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for journalism.

Timothy’s ethical stance was perhaps best reflected in his decision to give all his royalties from Catch A Fire, his best selling book, to Amnesty International. He was so appalled at the behaviour of certain individuals with regard to the Marley legacy that, in his own words, he "long ago decided that Catch A Fire was going to be a unique and evolving matter in terms of personal profit, private charity and public gestures in memory of Marley." In requesting publishers not to overly promote new editions of the work, Timothy wrote to me: "Surely the market can stand one Bob Marley related offering that expands its audience without endless, vulgar fanfare… so some day we can bounce our grandchildren on our knees and tell them that money doesn't justify everything."

Timothy was last in the UK a month ago to appoint a new London bureau chief for Billboard, and on his final night he stopped by my house for dinner. Later we walked across Uxbridge Road to the Crown & Sceptre pub where, as ever, his striking attire caused heads to turn. He talked about his twin boys (one of whom is handicapped), the strain of editing Billboard and commuting from Boston, where he lived, to New York every week, and what his next book might be. He had an idea for a joint biography of Eric Clapton and George Harrison, tracing their intermingling lives and careers, and was confident he could secure the co-operation of all involved. As we strolled home he promised to make some initial inquiries just as soon as he got back to New York.

Timothy suffered a fatal heart attack in the elevator of Billboard’s New York offices after having lunched with his close friend, the screenwriter Mitch Glazer. He is survived by his wife Judy, a graphic designer, and twin sons Christopher and Alexander, aged 10.

Timothy White, music writer, born January 25, 1952; died June 27, 2002.
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