About The Katz Tapes

As a writer at The Boston Herald and before that The Real Paper, I did a lot of interviews. How many? I never kept count, but let me try to make a rough estimate. Let’s say I did 50 a year from 1980-2005. That works out to 1,250 interviews -- and I suspect the actual number is considerably higher. Hey, I wasn’t kidding when I said did a lot of interviews.

My plan is to make these interviews available, one by one, on this website. I hope to post two or three per week. At that rate I should have them all up and available by, oh, 2020 or so. 2025, the latest. Ha ha. We’ll see.

About those interviews: most of them were with musicians. But not all.

For the majority of my journalistic career, I wrote about music. All kinds of music. Rock, pop, r&b, jazz, blues, country, folk, world music, classical, you name it (Okay, I wasn’t big on heavy metal, rap and easy listening. So sue me). Many of my interviews were with big names, people like Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Aretha Franklin, Steven Tyler, Bob Marley, Prince, James Brown, Miles Davis, etc. (I once figured out that I had interviewed about three-quarters of the members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame). But I’ve also spoken with hundreds of less familiar musicians: forgotten pioneers, promising newcomers, local heroes -- all with stories to tell.

So The Katz Tapes is mostly, but not only, about music. I also had occasion to dip into other beats. At various times I covered film, theater, television and books, among other things. So expect to see some non-musical figures, among them Elmore Leonard, Bob Fosse and Brooke Shields, to drop just a few names.

What you will read here are NOT the articles that were published in the Boston Herald and the Real Paper. Instead, you will get something different and, it is my hope, much better. Now you will get the complete (or at least close to complete) transcripts of these interviews, newly annotated by me. Which is to say, most of what you will find here has never been published before.

What’s more -- and this to me is the exciting part -- you will now be able to listen to the music while you are reading about it, something not possible in a print publication. Instead of me wasting words futilely trying to describe what something sounds like, now you can click and hear for yourself. And in many cases you will not only be able to hear the music, but see it performed. Thanks, internet!

The Transcripts: How They Were Prepared

The Cassettes: Listening to The Katz Tapes