Paul Williams is the Father of Rock Criticism. He created the first magazine of pop music criticism and rock culture, Crawdaddy!, when he was a seventeen year-old college student. I loved reading that magazine growing up.
Mostly self-penned in the beginning, and then a vehicle for such incandescent writers as Sandy Pearlman, Richard Meltzer, and Jon Landau, Crawdaddy!chronicled rock’s growing self-awareness and communicative power, helping to coalesce a nascent progressive underground which would irrevocably change the music, and provide a template for any aspiring writer. I should know. Finding issue #7 at a “head shop” on St. Mark’s Place in the winter of 1966 was a life-changing experience, showing me a new way to understand the music I loved, and how I might repay the favor through my own words.
In 1995, Paul Williams suffered a traumatic brain injury in a bicycle accident, leading to early onset of dementia, and a steady decline to the point where he now requires full-time care.
The burden on his immediate family has been immense.
You can find out more about how Paul is doing by reading his wife Cindy Lee’s blog, Beloved Stranger, about her life with a brain injured spouse.
Then, if you can, please visit the donation page they have set up, and contribute.
- Music Journalism A-Z – Lenny Kaye (musicofourheart.me)