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Richard Goldstein (writer born 1944)

Richard Goldstein at the 2015 EMP Pop Conference

Richard Goldstein (born June 19, 1944) is an American journalist and writer. He wrote for The Village Voice from June 1966 until 2004, eventually becoming executive editor.[1] He specializes in gay and lesbian issues, music, and counterculture topics.

Writing careerEdit

Early developmentEdit

Goldstein was born to Jack and Mollye Goldstein. He was raised on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and in the Parkside Houses in the Bronx. His father was a postal worker, his mother a homemaker. He attended Hunter College for his undergraduate degree. Goldstein graduated from Columbia University School of Journalism in 1966, and joined The Village Voice in June of that year. He published his first book 1 in 7: Drugs on Campus in 1966. Goldstein began covering covered the emerging worlds of pop and rock music in his weekly "Pop Eye" column, establishing him as one of the first rock critics. He also wrote pieces for The New York Times, New York, The Nation, Harper's Magazine, Vogue, Artforum, The Guardian, Mademoiselle, The Saturday Evening Post and the Los Angeles Times. Assigned by The New York Times to review the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Goldstein wrote a negative appraisal which unleashed a backlash from Beatles fans. He left the Village Voice in 1969,[2] but he returned in the early 1970s as the paper's arts editor. He eventually became the executive editor, but he continued writing weekly for Voice, on subjects ranging from sexual politics to the lives of artists. He was the paper's media critic for several years before he left the Voice in 2004. He has issued two collections of his work, Reporting the Counterculture and Goldstein's Greatest Hits. He also released a collection of rock lyrics interspersed with notes on the aesthetic qualities of these songs, The Poetry of Rock. This book has been taught in literature classes in a number of secondary schools and universities. In addition, Goldstein's work has been widely anthologized. He is currently an adjunct professor at Hunter College of the City of New York, where he teaches courses on pop-culture theory and understanding the 1960s.

Writings on gay issuesEdit

Goldstein, who came out in the 1970s, has been a champion of gay rights and issued early calls for attention to the AIDS epidemic. Since, he has tackled the cutting-edge topic of gay assimilation and power politics with a book on the connections between liberal society and the gay right, Homocons. He famously issued a call in The Nation for Eminem to duel with him, taking exception to the controversial rapper's homophobic lyrics. Goldstein is a GLAAD-award winner for his columns on LGBT issues.[3]


  • 1 in 7: Drugs on Campus (1966)
  • Words, words, words on Pop censorship (1966)
  • Richard Goldstein's The Poetry of Rock (1969)[4]
  • US #1: A Paperback Magazine (1969)
  • US #2: Back to School Issue (1969)
  • US #3: The Roots of Underground Culture (1970)
  • Goldstein's Greatest Hits: A book mostly about rock 'n' roll (1970)
  • Reporting the Counterculture (Media and Popular Culture: 5) (1989)
  • South Bronx Hall of Fame: Sculpture by John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres (1992), with Michael Ventura
  • Born on the Street Graffiti
  • The Attack Queers: Liberal Society and the Gay Right (2002)
  • Homocons: The Rise of the Gay Right (2003)
  • Another little piece of my heart: my life of rock and revolution in the '60s (2016)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The New York Times, August 2004
  2. ^ Devon Powers, Writing the Record: The Village Voice and the Birth of Rock Criticism. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2013
  3. ^ Lindberg, Ulf (2005). Rock Criticism from the Beginning: Amusers, Bruisers, and Cool-Headed Cruisers. Peter Lang. ISBN 0-8204-7490-8.
  4. ^ Lydon, Michael (April 19, 1969). "Books". Rolling Stone. San Francisco: Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.

Further readingEdit

  • Devon Powers, Writing the Record: The Village Voice and the Birth of Rock Criticism. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2013.