There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and Roll

There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and Roll

3.3 8
by Lisa Robinson
     
 

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From a legendary music journalist with four decades of unprecedented access, an insider's behind-the-scenes look at the major personalities of rock and roll.

Lisa Robinson has interviewed the biggest names in music--including Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, John Lennon, Patti Smith, U2, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Jay Z and Kanye West. She visited the teenage

Overview

From a legendary music journalist with four decades of unprecedented access, an insider's behind-the-scenes look at the major personalities of rock and roll.

Lisa Robinson has interviewed the biggest names in music--including Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, John Lennon, Patti Smith, U2, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Jay Z and Kanye West. She visited the teenage Michael Jackson many times at his Encino home. She spent hours talking to John Lennon at his Dakota apartment--and in recording studios just weeks before his murder. She introduced David Bowie to Lou Reed at a private dinner in a Manhattan restaurant, helped the Clash and Elvis Costello get their record deals, was with the Rolling Stones on their jet during a frightening storm, and was mid-flight with Led Zeppelin when their tour manager pulled out a gun. A pioneering female journalist in an exclusive boys' club, Lisa Robinson is a preeminent authority on the personalities and influences that have shaped the music world; she has been recognized as rock jounralism's ultimate insider.

A keenly observed and lovingly recounted look back on years spent with countless musicians backstage, after hours and on the road, There Goes Gravity documents a lifetime of riveting stories, told together here for the first time.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
03/15/2014
Pioneering music journalist Robinson (contributing editor, Vanity Fair) combined in-depth access to artists' inner circles, an uncanny ability to get in on the ground floor of hot new acts, and an outsider's perspective as a professional woman in the male-dominated world of rock to make her columns and interviews among the most influential of her generation. Here she collects behind-the-scenes stories with some of the greatest performers of the last several decades. From the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin to Eminem and Lady Gaga, each chapter is centered on a single artist or group. Readers should expect several dozen amusing cameos and digressions along the way, though. The focus may be on the artists, but it is Robinson's voice, straightforward and intimate, that makes this work stand out from the pack. VERDICT A particularly entertaining rock and roll memoir that will appeal to a wide audience. Highly recommended for music or cultural historians and fans of road diaries. [See Prepub Alert, 11/1/13.]—Neil Derksen, Pierce Cty. Lib. Syst., Tacoma
The New York Times Book Review - Howard Hampton
…Robinson is often delightful company. She spins good yarns and drops nifty tidbits about a litany of the great and the weird. Meet Lou Reed after hours…kibitz with the New York Dolls' peerless David Johansen, visit Michael Jackson…You can dine with a voluble Phil Spector, delve into the pontifical all-things-to-all-people contradictions of U2 and recall a certain Ms. Smith's prestardom cabaret act…There Goes Gravity aims to entertain, but it also illuminates more than enough.
Publishers Weekly
04/21/2014
During her 40 plus years as a music writer and columnist (New Musical Express, NY Post, Vanity Fair), Robinson has conducted a wealth of high-profile interviews—Patti Smith, Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson, Jay Z, Eminem. These immersive tales from the hotels and backstage rooms of many larger-than-life musicians form a fly-on-the-wall adventure through the last half century of music. Growing up the daughter of a judge in Manhattan, Robinson used to sneak out to hear Thelonious Monk at the Village Vanguard before ending up in the offices of her future husband, writer and music label insider Richard Robinson. At a time when the feminist movement was still in its infancy, Robinson established herself as part of a rarified circle of women who had truly free access. She had early success with interviews because, initially, she didn't see herself as a rock critic (often writing gossip about fashion) and was cautious to judge, leaving the drug exposes to others. Tellingly, although she was entertained by the likes of Jagger and enthrall by Led Zeppelin, when Robinson was in New York she would head straight to CBGB's to see Television and The New York Dolls, of whom she has been a longstanding champion. For Robinson, writing about the scene "felt like a ‘calling'." Whether I was in a private plane with the Rolling Stones or standing in two inches of beer…at CBGB's—it was exactly where I wanted to be." Her excitement is palpable and will leave you wanting to put your lighter in the air. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
“Robinson is often delightful company. She spins good yarns and drops nifty tidbits about a litany of the great and the weird… There Goes Gravity aims to entertain, but it also illuminates.”
 –NYTimes Book Review

“Ms. Robinson seemed to be everywhere in the rock world of the 1970s and ’80s, often as the only woman in a roomful of boys.”
—NYTimes

"Lisa Robinson began reporting at a time when rock journalism 'was in its infancy and mostly populated by boys who had ambitions to become the next Norman Mailer.' Her memories of some of music's biggest legends, from Mick Jagger to Michael Jackson to Lady Gaga (whom she describes as 'a cute girl in her twenties who had really good manners'), animate this book."
—NPR.org

“As a pioneering music journalist in the 1970s (working for Creem, Hit Parader, et al.), Robinson rarely left the house without a VIP pass dangling from her neck. She shares a lifetime’s worth of backstage escapades and intimate insights on rock royalty."
Washington Post Express

“As a journalist, it's Robinson's job to get the story without a publicist whispering in her ear or lawyers tapping her on the shoulder or anyone telling her how and what to write. And she's done it so well, that, no matter what she writes, music artists love her. After reading this wickedly hilarious, blunt memoir, you will, too.”
USA Today

“You’ll struggle to name a rock star Lisa Robinson hasn’t interviewed over the years.”
Time Out New York

“Gossipy, witty, and occasionally profound, Robinson writes about music from a very intimate perspective — whether on tour with the Rolling Stones in 1975 or eating pasta cooked by Lady Gaga in 2011, Robinson has an uncanny ability to get close to musicians.”—Boston Globe

“The excerpts from her long interviews with, say, John Lennon, are fascinating… Plenty of music fans will be more than ready for this circuitous, genial, and opinionated walk on the wild side.”
—Booklist

“Robinson’s a lifelong music journalist; think of her memoir as the literary equivalent of a backstage pass.” –EW

 “Tough, smart and with a knack for encountering some of music's biggest names at pivotal moments, Robinson tells the the unique story of her career.” —Rolling Stone

 “Working mostly from the countless diaries she kept during her travels, There Goes Gravity moves along at a brisk clip, a pulsating bass of Robinson’s frankness keeping time throughout.” —The Riveter

There Goes Gravity is a lot more than a rock music 'tell-all'… the author’s insight and knowledge of music elevates [the book] from your standard, run-of-the-mill, behind-the-scenes expose into a series of wonderful stories told by someone who, not only, knows of what she speaks, but loves the people, places and talent that have crossed her path for all these years…" —The Examiner

“Her excitement is palpable and will leave you wanting to put your lighter in the air.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Readers should expect several dozen amusing cameos and digressions along the way, though. The focus may be on the artists, but it is Robinson’s voice, straight­forward and intimate, that makes this work stand out from the pack. A particularly entertaining rock and roll memoir that will appeal to a wide audience. Highly recommended for music or cultural historians and fans of road diaries.” —Library Journal

“A backstage pass to the greatest circus of the 20th century.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Making a narrow history approachable and captivating to a broad audience is a tall order, but Lisa Robinson proves that she is a master of casting such spells.” —Bustle

 “If you care one whit about music and musicians, Gravity is a must-read.”
—PureWow

“[A]n exceptional read… Readers feel like they’re beside Robinson as she recalls each incident without sparing a detail. She creates vibrant portrayals of characteristics, interactions, reactions, settings, and sounds with her informal yet expertly arranged prose.”
—PopMatters

“An obsessive recorder and note taker, Robinson has distilled her hundreds of hours of interviews with legend after legend into bite sized-stories, through it all successfully negotiating the balancing act between fan and journalist with a circus performer's aplomb, a trick she continues as an editor at Vanity Fair.”
—Paper Magazine

 “Robinson’s memoir—an epic account of her 40 plus years of writing about music—is an all access pass to rock and roll history, with interviews of everyone from Mick to Eminem to  Kanye” —Departures

“[A] vivid, richly detailed memoir that functions as a de facto history of rock — and of an edgier, bygone New York.”  —Jewish Daily Forward

There Goes Gravity offers a magnificent, acute account of style from '70s rock to punk to mainstream pop.”
—NYMAG, The Cut

 “A fast, fun read with delectable serving-sized chapters of rock & roll history… Lisa Robinson has raised the microphone stand so high for others to aspire to, and for the readers of music journalism today, that only makes for better, deeper interviews.” —Glide magazine

 “Much can be learned from Robinson's initiative, demeanor, and journalistic style in There Goes Gravity. Of course, juicy details about the biggest musicians of all time are interesting too.” —DCist

“Now a contributing editor atVanity Fair, music journalist Lisa Robinson has had a career worth reading about. There Goes Gravity tells the story of a girl in the boys’ club of rock and roll journalism.”  —DAME magazine

 “To say that Lisa Robinson has led an interesting life is an understatement.” —Brightest Young Things

Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-01-29
A lifetime of memories from classic rock's heyday by one of the finest rock journalists of her generation. It wouldn't be surprising if Cameron Crowe's misty-eyed classic Almost Famous comes to readers' minds as they troll through this book by longtime New York Post and Vanity Fair journalist Robinson. The author covers her career from joining the Rolling Stones on tour in 1969 to more recent profiles of megastars like Eminem, Kanye West and Lady Gaga. It's a fantastic collection of stories, partially due to the fact that Robinson is a top-notch writer and partly since she enjoyed completely unfettered access and the genuine friendship of figures ranging from John Lennon to Phil Spector. Most of the chapters cover major figures—David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and an elegiac remembrance of Michael Jackson, to name just a few—but Robinson also seems to have a foot in two worlds. While she jetted around the world with champagne in hand, she was also deeply embedded in the origins of the legendary New York City club CBGB. In its orbit, she bonded with gutter rats like the Ramones and introduced David Bowie to Lou Reed for the first time. There's also a bittersweet melancholy that underpins much of the book. On the recent Zeppelin reunion, she writes, "I didn't go. I prefer to remember them the way they were. It's been a long time. The song couldn't possibly be the same." On learning there's a "Joey Ramone Place" in the Bowery now, she recalls some lyrics by Bob Dylan: "They're selling postcards of the hanging." On punk rock: "Scenes aren't meant to last. The best of them sneak or burst into the consciousness of a few. They blow up into something they weren't to begin with. And then, they eventually burn out." All of these movements have been written about before, but the scope of Robinson's memoir lends it an extraordinary spirit. A backstage pass to the greatest circus of the 20th century.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101632086
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/22/2014
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
526,217
File size:
13 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Praise for There Goes Gravity
 
“A little history, a little criticism, and a ton of gossip: That’s the recipe for Robinson’s compulsively readable chronicle of her own years as one of America’s preeminent rock journalists.” —People (four-star review)
 
“Robinson’s declarative, almost brusque prose feels like a balm. She’s a precise, clear-eyed, and appealing narrator, whether she’s describing the state of American room service in the mid-1970s…or the Clash after the eviction of Mick Jones.” —Chicago Tribune

“[A] fantastic collection of stories, partially due to the fact that Robinson is a top-notch writer and partly since she enjoyed completely unfettered access and the genuine friendship of figures ranging from John Lennon to Phil Spector.…The scope of Robinson’s memoir lends it an extraordinary spirit.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Meet the Author

Lisa Robinson is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, where she has produced music issues and written many major profiles over the past fourteen years. Prior to that, she was a longtime columnist for the New York Post, was syndicated by the New York Times Syndicate, and was an editor of several rock magazines. Robinson was born in New York City, where she still resides.

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There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and Roll 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
donnfo More than 1 year ago
Robison is a rock reporter and we've all been reading her for years. This book focuses on her time with the Stones, Led Zep, New York Dolls, Ramones and others. Real insider stuff. A lot of fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gave up after 50 pages. It is so poorly written. Almost as if the author was still on one of the acid trips mentioned in the book. How do i get my money back?
kerrmet More than 1 year ago
I have read just about every rock n roll book out there.  I had high hopes for this one but it was good at best. It starts off slow and kind of rambling.  Her writing style seems to get a little better as the book goes on.  The chapter on U2, Eminim and Gaga are worth reading.  I was looking forward to the old stuff, the Stones,  Zepplin etc and its just so hard to read. If you hang in threre after the first few chapters it does get better, but that is not saying much. In one word, dissappointing! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
like others, i will say this is a slow read. you'd think being behind the scenes in music since the 60s, there would be so many great stories & such. the way this is written, it's like i'm listening to someone talk at a party about their accounting job. totally dull & with NO enthusiasm whatsoever for the job or the people/scene involved. back to the party example, it's like i was interested to hear what this person had to say, then 10 minutes later was plotting about how i could walk away & talk to that interesting person across the room.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Blah blah blah... Grow up.