Biography

IMG_5771Author and Playwright Marc Spitz

Author and Playwright Marc Spitz

Author and Playwright Marc Spitztwee 2

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All indoor photos by Lizzy Goodman except Black and White Mickey Mouse and Black Randy and the Metro Squad t-shirt shot and Fingered t shirt shot (self portraits). All outdoor shots by Bryan Smith

Marc Spitz is a music journalist and playwright based in New York City. He was born in Far Rockaway, Queens on October 2, 1969. Spitz attended Lawrence Woodmere Academy and graduated from Bennington College in 1992.

In 1997, Spitz was hired by SPIN magazine, where he contributed heavily for a decade, writing over a dozen cover stories on artists as diverse as Axl Rose of Guns n’ Roses, Weezer, and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. During the “new rock,” or garage rock revival of the early ’00s, Spitz wrote extensively about many of its leading bands, including The Strokes, The White Stripes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol, Franz Ferdinand, The Vines, and The Hives.

In 1998, Spitz’s debut play Retail Sluts premiered at Todo Con Nada, then the centerpiece of the Lower East Side theater scene. Dubbed the “hipster playwright,” by local critics, over the next decade, Spitz would write (and sometimes co-produce) a dozen more Off-Off-Broadway plays including (The Rise and Fall of) The Farewell Drugs, “…Worry, Baby”, The Hobo Got Too High, I Wanna Be Adored, Shyness is Nice, Gravity Always Wins, The Name of this Play is Talking Heads, Your Face is a Mess, Up For Anything, and P.S. It’s Poison, as well as the holiday short Marshmallow World. Shyness is Nice appears in the Applause Books anthology One on One: The Best Men’s Monologues for the 21st Century, as well as Plays and Playwrights 2002 (edited by Martin Denton). Spitz is currently working on a new play, entitled Revenge and Guilt.

Spitz’s first book, We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of L.A. Punk (Three Rivers Press, 2001), an oral history, co-authored with Brendan Mullen, chronicles the rise of the Hollywood punk scene of the mid and late 1970s as well as the hardcore and new wave scenes of the early ’80s and features interviews and anecdotes from The Runaways, Devo, The Cramps, The Go Gos, The Germs, Fear, Black Flag, and The Weirdos, who provide the book’s title. Considered a West Coast counterpart to the classic oral history of New York punk, Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain, it was named one of The 46 Essential Rock Reads by the Los Angeles Times in 2009.   It’s now considered a classic of the genre.

Spitz’ autobiographical novel How Soon Is Never? (Broadway, 2003) concerns the efforts of two rock writers as they attempt to reunite The Smiths. It has become a cult success, beloved by fans of the legendary Manchester band.

Spitz’s second novel is Too Much, Too Late: A Novel (Broadway, 2006). He is also the author of a trilogy of biographies, Nobody Likes You: Inside the Turbulent Life, Times, and Music of Green Day (Hyperion, 2007), Bowie: A Biography (Crown, 2009), and JAGGER: Rebel, Rock Star, Rambler, Rogue (Gotham, 2011).

Poseur: A Memoir of Downtown New York City in the ’90s, Spitz’s memoir about his years as a music writer and Off-Off-Broadway playwright in Manhattan was published in February of 2013 by Da Capo Press.

Twee: A History which chronicles the rise of the twee or indie aesthetic from its roots in post-punk Scotland (with bands such as Orange Juice, Aztec Camera, and Altered Images), through its ’90s milestones like Wes Anderson’s Rushmore and Belle and Sebastian’s If You’re Feeling Sinister, up through the current, mainstream appeal of shows like New Girl and Girls, will be published by It Books in 2014.

Spits is currently working on a cultural history of rock and roll cinema entitled Loud Pictures, due in the winter of 2017.  Since leaving SPIN, Spitz has contributed to the British music magazine Uncut. His writing on rock ‘n’ roll and popular culture has also appeared in Rolling Stone, Maxim, Nylon, Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, TV Guide, and The New York Times among many other publications and websites.  He is currently a weekly culture writer for Salon.com.

Spitz lives in New York City.

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