Spitz, Marc 1969-
SPITZ, Marc 1969-
Born October 2, 1969. Education: Attended Bennington College.
Journalist and author. Spin magazine, New York, NY, former senior writer.
(With Brendan Mullen) We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of L.A. Punk, Three Rivers Press (New York, NY), 2001.
How Soon Is Never? (novel), Three Rivers Press (New York, NY), 2003.
Too Much, Too Late (novel), Three Rivers Press (New York, NY), 2006.
Nobody Likes You: Inside the Turbulent Life, Times, and Music of Green Day, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2006.
Author of numerous plays, including Shyness Is Nice, Retail Sluts, The Rise and Fall of the Farewell Drugs, I Want to be Adored, The Name of This Play Is Talking Heads, Gravity Always Wins, and Worry Baby. Contributor to periodicals such as Spin, Maxim, Nylon, Washington Post, and the New York Post.
Growing up in Long Island, New York, Marc Spitz led a conflicted adolescence—he was the son of well-off, divorced, Jewish parents and attended a well-regarded school, yet he felt more at home as a Goth with black clothing and vampire make-up. Music became his solace and escape. Not surprisingly, he eventually found his way into the field of rock journalism.
Spitz's first book is a nonfiction account of the Los Angeles punk rock scene through the 1970s and early 1980s. We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of L.A. Punk, written with Brendan Mullen, includes interviews with former musicians, journalists, club owners, and groupies. Robert Morast commented in a Library Journal review that a book such as this was "long-overdue," adding that it "titillates with insights and anecdotes" and "fills a gap in popular music history." Booklist reviewer Benjamin Segedin described the book as "evocative" and "an eminently colorful account."
How Soon Is Never? is Spitz's first published novel, and a self-described semiautobiography. Many of the book's elements closely follow events that occurred in Spitz's own adolescence and early adulthood, including an obsession with the Eighties rock group The Smiths, a disaffected youth, and an eventual career as a rock journalist. Regarding his decision to turn to his own experiences as inspiration for a novel, Spitz told Suicide Girls interviewer Daniel Robert Epstein: "In a way this new book was a reaction to that [first book, We Got the Neutron Bomb] because I heard all these great old punk rockers tell me their stories and in a way I got really jealous. Because I've got some stuff in my life which I could use.… I think every writer wants to write a novel at some point so I just wanted to see if I could pull it off." The book was called a "sweet, winning debut, a coming-of-age novel-cum-quirky romantic comedy" by a Publishers Weekly contributor, who added that it "skirts the usual clichés of rock tales and growing-up sagas." Joanne Wilkinson described How Soon Is Never? as "an infectiously enthusiastic ode to rock 'n' roll" in her Booklist assessment.
In Spitz's second novel, Too Much, Too Late, the narrator is a member of a band that in its youth enjoyed only moderate success, and later in life is propelled to stardom by means of an enthusiastic young Web logger. A contributor to Publishers Weekly remarked that Spitz "pitches his wealth of rock knowledge and insider wisdom perfectly, keeping the mix … bright and exact." Booklist reviewer Wilkinson described the book as "a fast and funny read."
Also a playwright, Spitz delves less into the personal and more into the farcical in his scripts. Alexis Soloski, writing for the Village Voice online, commented: "Spitz uses a volatile humor to spirit his plays away from autobiography, resulting in a digable mix of the familiar and the far-out." Soloski added that his work has "an undeniable immediacy for which most playwrights would give their eyeteeth." One example is The Name of This Play Is Talking Heads, which satirizes the popular "Top 100" lists of music television networks. New York Cool reviewer Tara Koppel called the play "a comedic and inventive look at the phenomenon of media punditry." Shyness Is Nice employs a more graphic plotline, following two thirty-something drugged-out rock aficionados who are essentially peer-pressured into losing their virginity with a prostitute. Offoffoff.com contributor Joshua Tanzer described Shyness Is Nice as "a fast-paced and laugh-packed comedy, … a breezy night's entertainment but one carried off so smartly that you'll leave the theater giddily happy."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, December 1, 2001, Benjamin Segedin, review of We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of L.A. Punk, p. 623; August, 2003, Joanne Wilkinson, review of How Soon Is Never?, p. 1958; February 15, 2006, Joanne Wilkinson, review of Too Much Too Late, p. 46.
Library Journal, November 15, 2001, Robert Morast, review of We Got the Neutron Bomb, p. 70.
Publishers Weekly, July 21, 2003, review of How Soon Is Never?, p. 172; January 16, 2006, review of Too Much Too Late, p. 39.
Marc Spitz Home Page,http://www.marcspitz.com (June 20, 2006).
New York Cool,http://www.newyorkcool.com/ (March 1, 2005), Tara Koppel, review of The Name of This Play Is Talking Heads.
Offoffoff.com, http://www.offoffoff.com/ (June 20, 2006), Joshua Tanzer, review of Shyness Is Nice.
Suicide Girls,http://www.suicidegirls.com/ (June 30, 2006), Daniel Robert Epstein, interview with Marc Spitz.
Village Voice Online,http://www.villagevoice.com/ (August 18, 1999), Alexis Soloski, "The Today Show: From Retail Sluts to Backstreet Boys, Hyperhipster Marc Spitz Uses the Farce."