From the Archives: Charles M. Young (2001)

The Rev. Charles M. Young calms down, grows up, and sings the joys of middle-age

By Steven Ward (February 2001)

Back in the mid and late ’70s, Charles M. Young–known then as The Rev. Charles M. Young–roamed the halls of Rolling Stone magazine like a starving lion let outside of his empty cage. A Midwesterner who landed his dream job at rock’s (arguably) most important publication, Young’s gonzo take on music and musicians was less Lester Bangs and Richard Meltzer and more Joseph Heller–dark, sardonic and ironic. After starting off covering New York City’s Bowery punk bands at CBGBs in 1975, Young wound up writing lively features on pop culture icons like John Belushi near the end of rock’s most decadent decade. When he left Rolling Stone for Musician in the ’80s, his writing remained witty and intelligent but showed a growth and maturity lacking at Jann Wenner’s publishing empire.


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