Greil Marcus (born 1945) is an American author, music journalist and cultural critic notable for producing scholarly and literary essays that place rock music in a much broader framework of culture and politics than is customary in pop music journalism.
- ...as I write, Johnny Rotten's first moments in "Anarchy in the U.K."–a rolling earthquake of a laugh, a buried shout, then hoary words somehow stripped of all claptrap and set down in the city streets–I AM AN ANTICHRIST–Remain as powerful as anything I know. Listening to the record today–listening to the way Johnny Rotten tears at his lines, and then hurls the pieces at the world; recalling the all-consuming smile he produced as he sang–my back stiffens; I pull away even as my scalp begins to sweat.
- Lipstick Traces : A Secret History of the 20th Century (1989), p. 1.
- Every youth movement presents itself as a loan to the future, and tries to call in its lien in advance, but when there is no future all loans are canceled.
- Lipstick Traces : A Secret History of the 20th Century (1989), p. 11.
- Complete freedom meant — no one knew. It was most readily defined in the negative: not this gap between the heaven promised in the new advertisements and the everyday satisfactions I can buy. Not the sense that when I leave my work for my family, and bring my family to a Sunday in the park, my leisure feels like work. Not this mad conviction that I’m a stranger in my own home town, that at work I feel like a machine, that in the park I feel like an advertisement, that at home I feel like a tourist.
- Lipstick Traces : A Secret History of the 20th Century (1989), pp. 147–148.
- The moments of perfect pleasure in Johnson's songs, and the beauty of those songs, remind one that it is not the simple presence of evil that is unbearable; what is unbearable is the impossibility of reconciling the facts of evil with the beauty of the world.
- Marcus on Robert Johnson in Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music (1975, fourth revision May, 1997) p. 31.
- Van Morrison remains a singer who can be compared to no other in the history of modern popular music.
- When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison (2010).
- While it's well known that as one gets older, one tends to find changes in the world at large unsettling, confusing, fucking irritating, a rebuke to one's very existence, it's generally not a good idea to make a career out of saying so. (emphasis in the original)
- Video interview with Greil Marcus on "The Shape of Things to Come" on The Alcove with Mark Molaro
- "Obsessive Memories," essay on memory and his father, Greil Gerstley, who died in World War II.
- Exchange with Greil Marcus at rockcritics.com
- "The Shape of Things to Come" at fora.TV
- Author Interview: Greil Marcus by Dave Welch @ powells.com