Everything is An Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Tomorrow night, from 7 to 8pm, in the Rare Book Room of Manhattan’s wonderful Strand Bookstore (828 Broadway), author Kevin Avery will sign copies of his new book, Everything is An Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson.

Who was Paul Nelson?

From the Strand:

In the '60s, he pioneered rock & roll criticism with a first-person style of writing that would later be popularized by the likes of Tom Wolfe and Norman Mailer as "New Journalism." During a five-year detour at Mercury Records in the early 1970s, Nelson signed the New York Dolls to their first recording contract, then settled back down to writing criticism at Rolling Stone. Famously championing the early careers of artists like Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Rod Stewart, Neil Young, and Warren Zevon, Nelson not only wrote about them but often befriended them.

But in 1982, he walked away from it all and, by the time he died at age seventy in 2006—a week passing before anybody discovered his body—almost everything he had written had been relegated to back issues of old music magazines.

Stereophile’s friend and contributor, Jeff Wong, designed Everything is An Afterthought and did the cover illustration. Rock critic Dave Marsh will accompany Kevin Avery on stage during the book signing.

To attend the event, you must buy the book or purchase a $10 Strand Gift Card. Both options admit two guests. For more info, visit the Strand.

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john abramson's picture
paul nelson

Paul Nelson, from Minnesota, was an early advocate for Dylan's music and defended him when he went electric in 1965-66. He wrote for the influential folk music magazine, Sing Out, from which he resigned, rather than condemn Dylan for going electric.  With his college buddy, John Pankake, he founded the folk magazine, The Little Sandy Review, in the early '60s, in Minnesota. Nelson was far more important to the music scene than being merely an influential rock critic; he was an essential critical contributer to the folk and rock scene for almost thirty years. 

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