Peter Knobler

Peter Knobler (born 1946) is an American writer living in New York City. He has collaborated on several national best sellers[1] and was the editor-in-chief of Crawdaddy magazine from 1972 to 1979.[2]


Knobler specializes in collaboration, having written best-selling books with James Carville and Mary Matalin, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, William Bratton, Texan Governor Ann Richards, Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Sumner Redstone, among others.[3] He worked with David Dinkins on the former New York City mayor's memoirs.[4] His collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger, American Dreamer, was published in November 2016.

His magazine work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, More, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times sports and Op Ed pages,[5][6] and been collected in The Bob Dylan Companion,[7] Racing in the Streets: The Bruce Springsteen Reader,[8] and The Subway Series Reader.[9]

His piece "Dancing in the Dark," about Alzheimer's disease, klezmer music and his mother, was published by the New England Review.[10]

Knobler has co-written songs with Chris Hillman, Steve Miller, Freedy Johnston, and the E Street Band's Garry Tallent. His songs have been recorded on Hillman's solo albums, and by McGuinn, Clark & Hillman, and the Desert Rose Band.[11] The title song of the Oak Ridge Boys' Step on Out album was a Hillman-Knobler composition.[12]

Knobler received a 2008-2009 Sports Emmy Award nomination for his work on the program Baseball's Golden Age.[13] He has written championship films for the National Basketball Association and the United States Tennis Association.[14][15]


Knobler first wrote for Crawdaddy! under its original editor Paul Williams in 1968.[16] (Crawdaddy! briefly suspended publication in 1969, then returned in 1970, with its title unpunctuated, as a monthly with national mass market distribution, first as a quarterfold newsprint tabloid, then as a standard-sized magazine.) He became editor-in-chief in 1972.[17] Under Knobler the magazine included contributions from Joseph Heller, John Lennon, Tim O'Brien, Michael Herr, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, P.J. O'Rourke and Cameron Crowe, plus a roster of columnists including at times William S. Burroughs, Paul Krassner, The Firesign Theater, and sometimes Williams himself.[2] While on the run from the law, Abbie Hoffman was Crawdaddy's travel editor.[2]

Crawdaddy was a generational magazine known for its profiles particularly of musicians, but also actors, athletes and other celebrities prominent in 1970s popular culture. Knobler's profiles included Bruce Springsteen, Sly Stone, Mel Brooks, Muddy Waters, Linda Ronstadt, Sylvester Stallone, Loudon Wainwright III, the Souther Hillman Furay Band, Stephen Stills. Under Knobler, Crawdaddy's editors often assigned artists to write about other artists; Al Kooper profiled Steve Martin, Martin Mull interviewed Woody Allen, William S. Burroughs talked magic and mysticism with Jimmy Page.[18][19]

The record reviews section, driven by editors John Swenson and Noe Goldwasser, had an iconoclastic reputation – well-known and respected by the music industry for its fierce independence. Crawdaddy's features section regularly covered scenes from New Orleans funk to Austin, Texas' cosmic cowboys to Scientology, est and disco. Its renowned sense of humor produced the Crawdoodah Gazette, The Whole Earth Conspiracy Catalogue and "The Assassination Please Almanac".

Knobler and Greg Mitchell collected a wide range of the magazine's articles in the book Very Seventies: A Cultural History of the 1970s from the pages of Crawdaddy, published in 1995.[2]

Bruce SpringsteenEdit

In December 1972, after seeing the performer play at Sing Sing prison and Kenny's Castaways, Knobler wrote the first interview and profile of Bruce Springsteen, with special assistance from Greg Mitchell. "He sings with a freshness and urgency I haven't heard since I was rocked by 'Like a Rolling Stone,'" Knobler wrote. Knobler's Crawdaddy discovered Springsteen in the rock press and was his earliest champion.[17] Springsteen and the E Street Band acknowledged by giving a private performance at the Crawdaddy 10th Anniversary Party in New York City in June 1976.[20] Knobler profiled Springsteen in Crawdaddy in 1973, 1975, and 1978.


Knobler was born and raised in New York City. He took part in 1965 in the Selma to Montgomery march with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.[21] Knobler graduated in 1968 with a degree in English literature from Middlebury College. He sang bass in that school's a cappella group, the Dissipated Eight. Knobler has written for the college's alumni magazine.[22] He attended the Columbia University School of the Arts, Creative Writing Division.

He briefly managed the career of saxophonist and E Street Band member Clarence Clemons in the 1980s.[23]

Knobler is the father of Dan Knobler, producer, songwriter and guitarist in the bands Captain Coconut[24] and Flearoy[25] and co-founder of the audio/visual production company and creative collective Mason Jar Music.[26] Dan Knobler's studio, Goosehead Palace, is located in Nashville, TN.[27]


  • American Dreamer, Tommy Hilfiger with Peter Knobler (2016) Ballantine, ISBN 978-1-101-88621-2
  • A Mayor's Life: Governing New York's Gorgeous Mosaic, David N. Dinkins with Peter Knobler (2013), PublicAffairs, ISBN 978-1-61039-301-0
  • Often Wrong, Never in Doubt: Unleash the Business Rebel Within, Donny Deutsch with Peter Knobler (2005), Harper Collins, ISBN 0-06-056719-8
  • Fairy Tales Can Come True: How a Driven Woman Changed Her Destiny, Rikki Klieman with Peter Knobler (2003), Harper Collins, ISBN 0-06-052401-4
  • A Passion to Win, Sumner Redstone with Peter Knobler (2001), Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-684-86224-7
  • Triumph of Justice: The Final Judgment on the Simpson Saga, Daniel Petrocelli with Peter Knobler (1998), Random House, ISBN 0-609-60170-9
  • Turnaround: How America's Top Cop Reversed the Crime Epidemic, William Bratton with Peter Knobler (1998) Random House, ISBN 0-679-45251-6
  • Living the Dream: My Life and Basketball, Hakeem Olajuwon with Peter Knobler (1996), Little, Brown ISBN 0-316-09427-7
  • Very Seventies: A Cultural History of the 1970s from the pages of Crawdaddy, Peter Knobler and Greg Mitchell (1995), Fireside/Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-02-022005-7
  • All's Fair: Love, War, and Running for President, James Carville and Mary Matalin with Peter Knobler (1994), Random House, ISBN 0-679-43103-9
  • A Matter of Honor: One Cop's Lifelong Pursuit of John Gotti and the Mob, Remo Franceschini (1993), Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-671-73947-6
  • Forgotten: A Sister's Struggle to Save Her Brother, America's Longest Held Hostage, Peggy Say with Peter Knobler (1991), Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-671-70155-X
  • Straight from the Heart: My Life in Politics & Other Places, Ann Richards with Peter Knobler (1989), Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-671-68073-0
  • Out of Control: Confessions of an NFL Casualty, Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson with Peter Knobler (1987), Bantam, ISBN 0-399-13264-3
  • Giant Steps, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with Peter Knobler (1983) Bantam, ISBN 0-553-27147-4


  • Songs I Send My Son That He Sends Immediately to Spam episodes 1[28] and 2[29]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Alfano, Peter. "listings". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
  2. ^ a b c d Very Seventies.
  3. ^ Alfano, Peter. "listings, 1983-2008". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
  4. ^ A Mayor's Life: Governing New York's Gorgeous Mosaic Archived 2013-10-17 at the Wayback Machine by David Dinkins with Peter Knobler, PublicAffairs Books, 2013
  5. ^ Knobler, Peter (1978-05-27). ""Is It More Difficult to Be a Man Today?" NY Times Op Ed Page, May 27, 1978". Retrieved 2012-10-23.
  6. ^ "Baseball Cards" New York Times sports section, February 10, 1980,
  7. ^ Dechert, S. Renee; Rodnitzky, Jerry (2000). "Book reviews: The Bob Dylan Companion, edited by Carl Benson". Popular Music and Society. 24: 135–139. doi:10.1080/03007760008591780.
  8. ^ RACING IN THE STREETS: The Bruce Springsteen Reader, Publishers Weekly review
  9. ^ The Subway Series Reader, edited by Pete Hamill.
  10. ^ "Dancing in the Dark," New England Review
  11. ^ "Chris Hillman discography". 1994-02-26. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
  12. ^ AllMusic, Step on Out.
  13. ^ David Pietrusza (2008-08-10). "Baseball's Golden Age". Retrieved 2012-10-23.
  14. ^ NBA Championship film That Championship Feeling, 1983.
  15. ^ NBA Championship film Pride and Passion, 1984.
  16. ^ History of Crawdaddy; Crawdaddy web site, 2008
  17. ^ a b "History of Crawdaddy".
  18. ^ "Publishers Weekly review". Retrieved 2012-10-23.
  19. ^ ""Rock Magic", Crawdaddy, June 1975". Archived from the original on October 28, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-28.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link).
  20. ^ Crawdaddy Party Mirrors Magazine, NY Times, June 9, 1976.
  21. ^ Middlebury Campus, March 8, 2017
  22. ^ "Play Ball" Middlebury College alumni magazine.
  23. ^ Clarence Clemons bio.
  24. ^ Captain Coconut.
  25. ^ Flearoy
  26. ^ "Mason Jar Music". Mason Jar Music. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
  27. ^ Goosehead Palace, Nashville, TN
  28. ^ Songs I Send My Son That He Sends Immediately to Spam
  29. ^ Songs I Send My Son That He Sends Immediately to Spam

External linksEdit