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Al Aronowitz, “Godfather Of Rock Journalism,” Dies At 77 (August 1, 2005)

When searching the internet doing a bit of research on The Pig Papers (Gary Pig Gold), I stumbled across a website which has not been updated since October 1, 2006.  This was a site of postings by a professional journalist Al Aronowitz called The Blacklisted Journalist.  I immediately became fascinated with the postings on this site.  I feel some sites and postings should never die – and this is one of them.  Therefore, I will be re-posting articles from this site, which you may find in my sidebar category The Blacklisted Journalist.  All sources will be provided, and credit is completely to Al Aronowitz.

First, though, a bit about Al Aronowitz followed by his online obituary posted by his family.


A professional journalist since 1950, Al Aronowitz, founder, editor and publisher of THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST, has met and/or has known; or has had a friendship with and/or has had a close association with; or has interviewed and/or has written about some of the greatest figures to have ennobled our culture, including Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, Michael McClure, Jerry Garcia, Phil Spector, Janis Joplin, Bobby Darin, Jane Fonda, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Brigitte Bardot, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Barbara Streisand, William Carlos Williams, William Burroughs, Ernest Hemingway, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Carole King, Gerry Goffin, David Bowie, Peter Townsend, The Band, Merle Haggard, Charlie Pride, Johnny Cash, Steve Allen and ad infinitum. Many of whom, if not all, are or will be featured in articles and stories on this website.

Source: Main page of The Blacklisted Journalist

Al Aronowitz, “Godfather Of Rock Journalism,” Dies At 77

It is with sadness that we report the passing of famed journalist Al Aronowitz, who succumbed to cancer on Monday morning, August 1, 2005. Widely known as “the Godfather of rock journalism,” Al liked to joke that the 1960’s would not have been the same without him; after all, it was Al who introduced beat poet Allen Ginsberg to Bob Dylan, Dylan to the Beatles, and the Beatles to marijuana. And the rest, as they say, is history. The full story of this event – and details of Al’s close relationship with both Dylan and the Beatles – was told in the author’s recent book, “Bob Dylan And The Beatles, Volume One of the Best of the Blacklisted Journalist.”

Aronowitz followed up that book with “Bobby Darin Was A Friend Of Mine, Volume Three of the Best of the Blacklisted Journalist,” which became available to the public only a few months before his death. The author felt this was his way to keep a promise he made to his dear friend Darin, to collaborate on a biography of the singer. Darin died just weeks before the two were to begin work on that project. By deliberately numbering this second book “number three,” Al revealed his intentions for a multi-volume series with a specific sequence in mind.

A highly respected and influential writer, Aronowitz is recognized for inspiring many, including Hunter S. Thompson. He counted among his close friends Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, George Harrison, Miles Davis, Jerry Garcia and Bob Dylan, to name a few. At the time of his death, Al was working on a new book, “Mick and Miles,” detailing how he brought Mick Jagger and Miles Davis together.

Michael J. West, writing on, called Aronowitz: “One of the taproots of the rock & roll family tree…a terrifically important journalist in postwar America…one of the pioneers of rock journalism.”

Al’s son Joel was at his father’s bedside when Aronowitz passed away from “cancer with all the complications that go along with it.”  Although the cancer was widespread, miraculously Al never experienced the pain so often associated with his condition. Joel was playing one of Aronowitz’s favorite albums for him – Miles Davis’ “Kind Of Blue” and said that Al exhaled his final breath just as the track “Blue In Green” ended.

Funeral services were held August 4, 2005 in Union, NJ and at graveside in Newark, NJ.  Plans are being made for a larger memorial commemoration to take place in New York City with musicians, writers, poets and others speaking and performing. Further details and updates will be posted on this website.

Members of the media who are interested in the Al Aronowitz memorial event may contact us at

Aronowitz graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Rutgers University in 1950 with a Bachelor of Letters in Journalism.  He is survived by two sons, Joel Roi Aronowitz & Myles Aronowitz, one daughter, Brett Aronowitz, two sisters, Pearl Becker & Irene Kramer, his longtime companion Ida Becker, and two grandchildren.

The news of his passing has been covered extensively both in the national and international media, including CNN, all major networks, AP, UPI, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, The London Times and many more.  Condolences to his family from celebrities, writers and people who were touched and moved by his work have poured in from all over the world.

It is a bittersweet feeling at a time like this to realize how many people loved and respected our father. Many thanks to all of you for your heart-felt expressions of comfort.

This site will be posted indefinitely as a tribute to the legacy of Al Aronowitz, “The Blacklisted Journalist,” and will continue to offer readers compelling writing that’s “Gotta be fun to read or have a damn good reason why it aint.”

– Myles, Brett & Joel Roi Aronowitz

Source:  Obituary page The Blacklisted Journalist

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