Nick Tosches, a music journalist who wrote several important biographies as well seven novels died on Sunday, October 20th, he was 69. He began selling short stories as a teenager in the 60s and was soon publishing writing of any kind with anyone who would commission him. During the seventies, he became a gonzo journalism style rock critic, part of a group of critics called the “Noise Boys”. He famously reviewed Black Sabbath’s Paranoid album without listening to it, instead freestyling a review that played on public fears of Satanism.
In 1977 he published Country: The Twisted Roots Rock n’ Roll, the first of many nonfiction books. He is most known for Hellfire, a biography of Jerry Lee Lewis. He also wrote biographies of Dean Martin, and Hall and Oats. In 2001 he published Where Dead Voices Gather which followed his own search for the story of Emmett Miller, a minstrel country and jazz singer whose records are said to be the “Rosetta Stone” of American music.