Greil Marcus

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Greil Marcus at the SOS 4.8 Festival 2014, in Murcia .

Greil Marcus (born June 19, 1945 in San Francisco ) is an American author , music journalist and university lecturer .

life and work

He is a cultural critic specializing in the influence of popular culture on society. A classic in this respect is his book Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century , which deals with Dadaism , Lettrism and the Situationist International and their influence on modern counter and underground culture.

Other publications include Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'N' Roll Music, about the early days of rock 'n' roll and Dead Elvis , which has dealt with the phenomenon of the Elvis cult since his death.

Marcus attended the University of California, Berkeley , where he graduated in American Studies and Political Science. He wrote on the now legendary fanzine Who Put The Bomp , worked as a rock critic for Rolling Stone and other publications. His column "Real Life Top Ten" appeared first in the magazine "Village Voice", then in " Artforum ", and later in "Salon" and then "City Pages". He also publishes an interview column named Days Between Stations after Steve Erickson's novel . From 1983 to 1989, Marcus was chairman of the US National Book Critics Circle Award. In 2017 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences .


  • Rock & Roll Will Stand. (1969)
  • Double feature. (with Michael Goodwin)
  • Mystery Train. Images of America in Rock 'N' Roll Music. (1975)
    • German: Mystery train. The dream of America in songs of rock music. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1981, ISBN 3-499-17249-6 .
  • Stranded. Rock and Roll for a Desert Island. (1979, editor)
  • Lipstick traces. A Secret History of the 20th Century. (1989)
    • German: Lipstick traces: from Dada to Punk - cultural avant-gardes and their ways from the 20th century. Rogner and Bernhard at Zweiausendeins, Hamburg 1992, ISBN 3-8077-0254-7 .
  • Dead Elvis. A Chronicle of a Cultural Obsession. (1991)
    • German: Dead Elvis. Master, myth, monster. Rogner and Bernhard at Zweiausendeins, Frankfurt / Main 1993, ISBN 3-8077-0284-9 .
  • In the Fascist Bathroom. Punk in Pop Music, 1977–1992. (1993, first title: Ranters and Crowd Pleasers. )
    • German: In the fascist bathroom. Punk among Reagan, Thatcher, and Kohl; 1977 to 1994. Rogner and Bernhard at two thousand and one, Frankfurt / Main 1994, ISBN 3-8077-0284-9 .
  • The Dustbin of History. (1995)
    • German: The trash can of history. About the present of the past; a journey through time with Bob Dylan, Wim Wenders, Susan Sontag, John Wayne, Adolf Hitler, Elvis Presley, Bill Clinton, Miou-Miou, Umberto Eco and others Rogner and Bernhard bei Zweiausendeins, Hamburg 1996, ISBN 3-8077-0349-7 .
  • Invisible Republic. (also published as The Old, Weird America. Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes. )
    • German: Basement Blues. Bob Dylan and old, scary America. Rogner and Bernhard at Zweiausendeins, Hamburg 1998, ISBN 3-8077-0317-9 .
  • Double trouble.
  • The Manchurian Candidate. (2002)
  • The Rose & the Briar. Death, Love and Liberty in the American Ballad. (2004, edited with Sean Wilentz )
  • Like a rolling stone. Bob Dylan at the Crossroads. (2005)
    • German: Bob Dylans Like a Rolling Stone. The biography of a song. Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 2005, ISBN 3-462-03487-1 .
  • The Shape of Things to Come. Prophecy in the American Voice. (2006)
  • Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus - Writings 1968-2010 . PublicAffairs, 2010, ISBN 978-1-58648-831-4 .
  • (When That Rough God Goes Riding :) Listening to Van Morrison . (2010)
    • German: When that Rough God Goes Riding. About Van Morrison. Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 2011, ISBN 978-3-462-04364-8 .
  • The Doors . A Lifetime of Listening to Five Mean Years. (2011)
  • The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs. Yale University Press 2014, ISBN 978-0-300-18737-3 .
  • Real Life Rock - The Complete Top Ten Columns, 1986-2014. Yale University Press 2015, ISBN 978-0-300-19664-1 .
  • Three Songs, Three Singers, Three Nations. Harvard University Press, Cambridge (Mass.) 2015, ISBN 978-0-674-18708-5

Web links

Commons : Greil Marcus  - Collection of images, videos and audio files