Savage, Jon 1953- (Richard Jonathan Savage)
Savage, Jon 1953- (Richard Jonathan Savage)
Born September 2, 1953, in London, England; son of Joseph Leslie (a managing director) and Margaret (a homemaker) Savage. Education: Magdalene College, Cambridge, B.A., 1975.
Home—North Wales, Great Britain. Agent—Tony Peake, London Management, 235-241 Regent St., London W1A 2JT, England.
Writer and music critic. Linklaters & Paines, London, England, solicitor, 1976-79; Granada Television, Manchester, England, researcher, 1979-82; television producer in London, 1983-84.
Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award.
The Kinks: The Official Biography, Faber (London, England), 1984.
(With Jamie Reid) Up They Rise: The Unfinished Works of Jamie Reid, Faber (London, England), 1987.
(Editor) The Hacienda Must Be Built!, International Music Publications (Woodford Green, England), 1992.
England's Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyond, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1992.
Picture Post Idols, Collins & Brown (London, England), 1992.
(Editor, with Hanif Kureishi) The Faber Book of Pop, Faber and Faber (Boston, MA), 1995.
From the Sex Pistols to Nirvana: Pop, Media, and Sexuality, 1977-96 (collection of writings), Vintage (London, England), 1997, published as Time Travel: From the Sex Pistols to Nirvana; Pop, Media and Sexuality, 1977-96, Vintage (New York, NY), 1997.
Nirvana in the Studio, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1997.
Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture, Viking (New York, NY), 2007.
Contributor to books, including The Book with No Name, Omnibus (London, England), 1981; contributor to magazines and newspapers, including Melody Maker, Face, Sounds, New Society, and the London Sunday Times.
A longtime music critic in London, Jon Savage is also the author of several books on pop culture, primarily pop music. He once told CA: "My work focuses primarily on pop music and youth culture since 1945, social history, androgyny and sexual politics, and the analysis of postmodern culture." Among his most noted books is 1992's England's Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyond. The book was called "an entertaining, exhaustive chronological history of punk rock and polities through 1980" by a Publishers Weekly contributor. England's Dreaming, as the title suggests, focuses heavily on the outrageous punk band "The Sex Pistols." Nevertheless, Savage writes about many bands of the era, including the New York Dolls, Television, the Ramones, the Clash, and the Pretenders. Ken Tucker, writing in Entertainment Weekly, noted that "punk rock has found a sympathetic chronicler in Jon Savage, whose new book sets the movement in its moment." Atlantic contributor Charles M. Young referred to the book as "great social history of an era and subculture mostly ignored by historians with academic credentials."
Savage is also editor with Hanif Kureishi of The Faber Book of Pop, which presents essays, newspaper and magazine articles, and biography focusing on pop music. An Economist contributor noted that "most of the best pieces in this rich collection" cover the 1950s and the 1960s. The author's 1997 book, Time Travel: From the Sex Pistols to Nirvana; Pop, Media, and Sexuality, 1977-96, is a collection of the author's writings from British periodicals such as Sounds, Face, the Observer. Peter Rodgers, writing on the Richmond Review Web site, commented that "this collection makes a handy Pop reference book."
In Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture, Savage looks at youth culture with a focus on its history and how teens from the past influenced the modern incarnation of teen culture. Writing in Booklist, Brendan Driscoll noted that the author "chronicles the fitful evolution of our understanding of adolescence." Covering American and European youth culture from 1875 to 1945 and the end of World War II, Savage discusses a wide range of issues, including the American influence on youth culture in Europe following World War I. Incorporated within his discussion are teenagers' diaries and a look at the media, books, and movies that influenced them. "He shatters the popular myth that the teenager, as we know it, did not exist until the 1950s," wrote Jennifer Zarr in the Library Journal. Noting the comprehensiveness of the volume at 500-some pages long, reviewers had high praise for the effort. Referring to Teenage as "fascinating," Time International reviewer Michael Brunton went on to note that the author "shows how all the indicators of modern youth culture—the generational antagonism, the moral panics, the idealism, the shocking dress sense—were in place long before teenagers made a name for themselves." Douglas Young, writing in History Today, commented: "Rather than being a sociological account, Teenage is history as it affected—and was affected by—youth."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Atlantic, January, 1992, Charles M. Young, review of England's Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyond, p. 31.
Booklist, February 1, 1992, Benjamin Segedin, review of England's Dreaming, p. 997; February 15, 2007, Brendan Driscoll, review of Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture, p. 19.
Commonweal, December 4, 1992, review of England's Dreaming, p. 27.
Economist, July 15, 1995, review of The Faber Book of Pop, p. 67.
Entertainment Weekly, March 27, 1992, Ken Tucker, review of England's Dreaming, p. 66.
History Today, July, 2007, Douglas Young, review of Teenage, p. 66.
Library Journal, March 15, 1985, review of The Kinks: The Official Biography, p. 62; January, 1992, Barry Miller, review of England's Dreaming, p. 132; April 1, 2002, Michael Rogers, review of England's Dreaming, p. 147; December, 2002, review of England's Dreaming, p. 186; March 15, 2007, Jennifer Zarr, review of Teenage, p. 84.
Nation, June 18, 2007, Mark Sorkin, "Smells like Teen Spirit," p. 30.
New Statesman, November 30, 1984, Barney Hoskyns, review of The Kinks, p. 36; July 23, 2001, Graham Bendel, "Paperback Reader," p. 56.
New Statesman & Society, October 18, 1991, Elizabeth Young, review of England's Dreaming, p. 35; May 12, 1995, Liz Thomson, review of The Faber Book of Pop, p. 37; May 31, 1996, D.J. Taylor, review of Time Travel: From the Sex Pistols to Nirvana; Pop, Media, and Sexuality, 1977-96, p. 36.
New York, April 23, 2007, John Homans, "The Kids Are—Yawn—Alright: Teenagers Assumed Their Current Form in 1945, Says Teenage. No Wonder Their Antics Can Seem a Little Stale," p. 82.
Notes, September, 1993, Jason Gibbs, Mark Germer, and Marjorie Hassen, review of England's Dreaming, p. 205.
Popular Music, May, 1993, Zara Waldeback, review of England's Dreaming, p. 206; October, 1997, Jason Toynbee, review of Time Travel, p. 323.
Publishers Weekly, October 9, 1987, John Mutter, review of Up They Rise: The Unfinished Works of Jamie Reid, p. 82; January 1, 1992, review of England's Dreaming, p. 45; November 9, 1992, review of England's Dreaming, p. 80; January 22, 2007, review of Teenage, p. 176.
Rolling Stone, April 25, 1985, Michael Goldberg, review of The Kinks, p. 20; May 14, 1992, David Fricke, review of England's Dreaming, p. 114; December 10, 1992, review of England's Dreaming, p. 88.
TDR, winter, 1992, review of England's Dreaming.
Time International, May 21, 2007, Michael Brunton, "Talking 'bout Their Generation," p. 60.
Times Educational Supplement, November 1, 1991, Brian Morton, review of England's Dreaming, p. 27; June 2, 1995, Sinan Savaskan, review of The Faber Book of Pop, p. 14.
Times Literary Supplement, December 7, 1984, review of The Kinks, p. 1419; November 1, 1991, Gordon Burn, review of England's Dreaming, p. 17; August 2, 1996, John Bowen, review of Time Travel, p. 14; December 6, 1996, John Bowen, review of The Faber Book of Pop, p. 28.
Variety, February 17, 1992, Kevin Zimmerman, review of England's Dreaming, p. 83.
Washington Monthly, April, 1992, John Heilemann, review of England's Dreaming, p. 55.
Brooklyn Rail,http://www.brooklynrail.org/ (September 25, 2007), Karen Rester, "Jon Savage with Karen Rester," interview with author.
Penguin Group Web site,http://us.penguingroup.com/ (September 25, 2007), brief profile of author.
Richmond Review,http://www.richmondreview.co.uk/ (September 25, 2007), Peter Rodgers, review of Time Travel.
Straight.com,http://www.straight.com/ (August 9, 2007), Alexander Varty, review of Teenage.