Friend, Lonn 1956(?)–
Friend, Lonn 1956(?)–
(Lonn M. Friend)
Home— Los Angeles, CA.
Writer and music journalist. Gambling Times magazine, 1980;Hustler magazine, associate editor, 1981-94; later worked at Rip magazine; Arista Records, vice president of artists and repertoire. Also worked variously as an actor, music supervisor, and a contributing editor to music documentaries. Cohosted radio show "Pirate Radio."
Life on Planet Rock: From Guns N' Roses to Nirvana, a Backstage Journey through Rock's Most Debauched Decade, Morgan Road Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Lonn Friend is a writer, journalist, and music agent. While studying at the University of California, Los Angeles, in the 1970s, Friend met and befriended a number of music executives and agents. His interest in music remained with him, despite moving into journalism, working briefly for the Gambling Times magazine in the early 1980s. From there Friend began a long-term business relationship with Larry Flynt. Friend started as an associate editor with Flynt's Hustler magazine, initially reviewing porn movies and adding humor into the magazine. His world opened up as he frequently mingled at Flynt's parties with the likes of Jack Nicholson, Timothy Leary, and G. Gordon Liddy. When Flynt's wife started the rock magazine,Rip, Friend decided to work there. He drastically reworked the magazine from Flynt's porn-centric style to one more focused on music and the industry itself. He acted as a contributing editor for the music documentary,Hard N' Heavy, Volume 8, in 1990. In 1994 he served as the music supervisor for the movie soundtrack for Airheads. Friend also cohosted a syndicated radio program for eighteen months called "Pirate Radio." With his insider knowledge of the music industry and vast contacts, Arista Records hired him, eventually making Friend the vice president of artists and repertoire (A&R). In an interview with Michael Laskow on the Taxi Web site, Friend described his new role as trying "to build an alternative roster … so we can develop the leverage that some of the other companies have with the radio formats out there who are championing this type of music."
In 2006 Friend published Life on Planet Rock: From Guns N' Roses to Nirvana, a Backstage Journey through Rock's Most Debauched Decade, a memoir about his life in the music industry. Reviews for Friend's first book were mixed. John Clarke, Jr., writing in Variety, felt that Friend's "long, dark, slow slide is interesting, but somewhere in the middle of the book, Friend's timeline goes sideways and he starts jumping about, dizzying any attentive reader." Matt Cale, writing on the Ruthless Reviews Web site, found that Friend's discussion of his life outside of Rip magazine "all pales in comparison to the days when he sat with legends and one hit wonders alike." Cale concluded that even "if the book lacks a broader context, or even avoids trying to speak wisely about a genre of music that seemed to spring to life and die without much sense at all, it made me smile throughout." A contributor to Publishers Weekly wrote that "through success, excess, and failure, music fans will enjoy Friend's anecdotes and his clear-eyed, hardly jaded view of the industry."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Friend, Lonn,Life on Planet Rock: From Guns N' Roses to Nirvana, a Backstage Journey through Rock's Most Debauched Decade, Morgan Road Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Chart Magazine, Octobe, 2006, Leah Collins, review of Life on Planet Rock, p. 60.
Publishers Weekly, May 22, 2006, review of Life on Planet Rock, p. 45.
Variety, August 7, 2006, John Clarke, Jr., review of Life on Planet Rock, p. 26.
Internet Movie Database,http://www.imdb.com/ (November 21, 2007), author profile.
Lonn Friend MySpace Profile,http://www.myspace.com/lonnsworld (November 21, 2007), author profile.
Ruthless Reviews,http://www.ruthlessreviews.com/ (November 21, 2007), Matt Cale, review of Life on Planet Rock.
Taxi,http://www.taxi.com/ (November 21, 2007), Michael Laskow, author interview.