Goldstein was born to Jack and Mollye Goldstein. He was raised in the Bronx in the Parkside Houses. His father was a mail carrier, his mother a homemaker. He attended Hunter College for his undergraduate degree. Goldstein graduated from Columbia University School of Journalism in 1966, and joined the Village Voice in June of that year. He published his first book 1 in 7: Drugs on Campus in 1966. Goldstein covered the emerging worlds of pop and rock music in his "Pop Eye" column, establishing him one of the first rock critics. He also wrote pieces for Vogue, Mademoiselle, Travel and Camera, The Saturday Evening Post, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times. Asked to write The Times's review of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Goldstien wrote a negative appraisal. This unleashed a backlash from Beatles fans, many of whom were unaware of Goldstein's previous work praising the band. Goldstein has since shifted his opinion on the album. He left the Village Voice in 1968, but he returned in the early 1970s in an editorial role. He has issued two collections of his work, Reporting the Counterculture and Goldstein's Greatest Hits. He also released a collection of rock lyrics interspersed with psychedelic illustrations, The Poetry of Rock. This book has been taught in literature classes in a number of secondary schools and universities.
Goldstein, who came out in the 1970s, has been a champion of gay rights and issued early calls for attention to the AIDS epidemic. Since, he has tackled the cutting-edge topic of gay power politics with two books published in the early 2000s (decade): The Attack Queers and Homocons. He famously issued a call in The Nation for Eminem to duel with him, taking exception to the controversial rapper's homophobic lyrics. Goldstein is a GLAAD-award winner for his contributions to the gay community.
( Richard Goldstein, 1993, by Robert Giard Collapse )
( Further ReadingsCollapse )
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