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No One's More Punk than Vivien Goldman

Over her five-decade career, the 61-year-old has been Bob Marley’s first UK publicist, an esteemed music journalist, French pirate radio DJ, reggae backing singer alongside Neneh Cherry and the Slits’ Ari Up, NYU’s visiting “punk professor,” Kid Creole’s biographer, and now the writer of a musical about his life, to name just the marquee gigs. 

Pitchfork | July 14, 2016

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The Quietus

Punky Reggae Party Politics: Vivien Goldman interview

Ahead of her concert at Pop Kultur in Berlin this summer, the esteemed journalist and author talks to David Chiu about her recording career during the late 1970s and early 1980s that included working with The Flying Lizards, John Lydon and Robert Wyatt.

The Quietus | July 9, 2018



The Best Music Documentaries on Netflix Right Now

ReMastered: Who Shot The Sheriff, 2018 | Director: Kief Davidson

Bob Marley as a dorm-room-poster, energy-drink-adorning icon is familiar to millions. But the story of Bob Marley, man caught in violent political crosswinds is less well-known. In 1976, there was an attempted assassination of Marley. This Netflix doc, the first in a series about music-related crimes, uses that incident as a jumping-off point to discuss Jamaican politics, gangs, colonialism, and how the attempt ended up, surprisingly and ironically, helping Marley to become an even more popular international superstar. Research and interviews with the singer's friends and family help make an incredibly complex situation understandable and compelling. Plus, any doc that has Vivien Goldman in it is awesome by default. —Shawn Setaro

Complex | November 16, 2018

Greil marcus

Real Life Rock Top 10

9. Vivien Goldman, “Private Armies,” from Resolutionary (Staubgold) – From 1979 to 1982 the music journalist made dub music in London and Paris. None of it is ordinary, but nothing really touches this six-minute cultural travelogue, one of her first tracks, about how you can no longer walk down your own, suddenly racialized street. With Vicky Aspinall of the Raincoats on violin, Keith Levene of PiL on bass and guitar, John Lydon producing, and Goldman singing in a voice that can’t quite believe what it’s describing, snakes slither through the rhythms, then turn into rhythms; you can see the notes bend.

Greil Marcus | September 29, 2016



Vivien Goldman by Michael Patrick MacDonald

“Dub was my sound because of postcolonial movements. I grew up in it. I bathed in it. I breathed it. So why shouldn’t it be mine?”

June 17, 2016