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Alan di Perna

Alan di Perna

Alan di Perna has been writing professionally and copiously about popular music and culture since 1980 for leading outlets that include Billboard, Creem, Musician, Rolling Stone,, Raygun, Keyboard, Guitar Player, Guitar World, Guitar Aficionado, Guitarist, Rock & Folk, the San Francisco Examiner Magazine and Yoga Journal. Born in Brooklyn, he came of age during the heady cultural explosion that was the psychedelic '60s and first emerged as a musician and writer amid the exuberant cross-genre hedonism of New York's early '80s post punk scene. His writing combines a musician's technical insight, a scholarly depth of critical acumen, a keen feel for cultural contexts and an engaging, streetwise style.

Books by Alan di Perna include Guitar Masters: Intimate Portraits, Green Day: The Ultimate Illustrated History and Play It Loud: An Epic History of the Style, Sound, and Revolution of the Electric Guitar. The latter book (which Alan co-authored with his longtime colleague and former Guitar World EIC Brad Tolinski) became an inspiration for the 2019-20 exhibition Play It Loud: The Instruments of Rock and Roll at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Met curator of musical instruments Jayson Dobney recruited Alan to write the lead essay for the exhibition catalog.

In the museum world, Alan has also served as a PR/curatorial consultant to the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix and has written exhibit text for MIM, the Grammy Museum, the Heard Museum and the Fender Museum. Absolutely Freelance, since 1983, he has also penned reissue liner notes for CDs by Santana, Jimi Hendrix, AC/DC and David Gilmour, not to mention reams of press releases, ad, marketing and website copy.

Widely syndicated internationally, Alan’s work has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, German, Swedish, Japanese and Korean.



17 articles

By Artist | By Date

List of articles in the library by date

Sly & Robbie: Can the Riddim Twins Rock the Mainstream?

Interview by Alan di Perna, Musician, August 1987

AS SUPPORTING players, they've become as recognizable and popular as comic book superheroes. Is there anyone who isn't familiar with Sly Dunbar's brightly-colored tams and ...

Bryan Ferry, Madonna: Pat Leonard: The Madonna Method

Interview by Alan di Perna, Musician, May 1988


Fleetwood Mac, Foreigner, Whitesnake: Does Keith Olsen really believe in this stuff, or what?

Interview by Alan di Perna, Musician, November 1988

IT'S EASY to sneer at the increasingly predictable formulas that sell records in the millions these days. What's hard is to actually believe in the ...

Crowded House, Tim Finn, Maria McKee, Pat McLaughlin, Richard Thompson: Meet Mr. Hip, Mitchell Froom, the Man of a Thousand Mixes

Interview by Alan di Perna, Musician, November 1988

"WITH ALBUMS, you can't just play it straight on every track. If a song wants to be a hit, if it seems like — done ...

Thomas Dolby: Has The Man of a Thousand Faces Spread Himself Too Thin?

Interview by Alan di Perna, Musician, May 1989

1. OPEN ON long shot of Hollywood skyline. Grimy fog and half-hearted drizzle give the city the mean, seedy look it always has when the ...

Ziggy Marley, Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club: Clubbing It with the Tom Tom Club

Interview by Alan di Perna, Musician, July 1989

Chris and Tina are now in "a real band." And it's not Talking Heads. ...

Hall & Oates, The Revillos, The Rolling Stones, Roxy Music, Bruce Springsteen, The Who: Bob Clearmountain: Making the hard stuff look easy

Interview by Alan di Perna, Musician, July 1990

BOB CLEARMOUNTAIN exudes a calm, deliberate air as he moves around the cluttered interior of a recording truck parked outside L.A.'s Universal Amphitheatre. Politely negotiating ...

Carlos Santana: Finding Melody in Rhythm

Interview by Alan di Perna, Musician, December 1990

Quick pick tricks and global licks ...

Talking Heads, Bernie Worrell: Bernie Worrell: Aspects of the Funk

Interview by Alan di Perna, Musician, February 1991

Jamming with keyboardist extraordinaire Bernie Worrell ...

Patrice Rushen: The Lady Plays a Vamp

Interview by Alan di Perna, Musician, March 1991

Keyboard wizard Patrice Rushen unravels jazz improvisation ...

Charles Brown: Jazzin' the Blues with Charles Brown

Interview by Alan di Perna, Musician, April 1991

Sneaking something extra between those three chords ...

Charlie Rich: Building Better Bridges: Charlie Rich in jazz country

Interview by Alan di Perna, Musician, May 1992

"NOW YOU play the bridge for me." ...

Lindsey Buckingham: The Speed of Sound

Interview by Alan di Perna, Musician, August 1992

Lindsey Buckingham gets tight with tone ...

Jerry Donahue: Taking Tele 'Round The Bend

Interview by Alan di Perna, Musician, September 1992


fIREHOSE, Mike Watt: Mike Watt's Violent Extremes

Interview by Alan di Perna, Musician, June 1993

Free your bass and your mind will follow ...

David Bowie, Thomas Dolby, Peter Gabriel, Heart, Elvis Presley, The Residents, Todd Rundgren: Are We Making Art Yet? Music in the age of interactive entertainment

Report by Alan di Perna, Musician, June 1994

MUSIC, OF course, has always been interactive. People dance to it, make love to it, sing along with the lyrics and figure out the chord ...

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Tom Petty: Petty Grievances

Interview by Alan di Perna, Guitar World, January 2003

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers take on the corporate giants with their new concept album, The Last DJ. ...

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