Paul Williams, Rock Criticism Pioneer, Dead at 64 - Rolling Stone
Home Music Music News

Paul Williams, Rock Criticism Pioneer, Dead at 64

‘Rolling Stone’ writer and founder of ‘Crawdaddy!’ magazine suffered brain injury in 1995

Paul Williams

Paul Williams

Courtesy of Cindy Lee Berryhill

Paul Williams, Rolling Stone writer and founder of Crawdaddy! magazine, died last night around 10:30 p.m. PST in Encinitas, California from complications from a 1995 brain injury. His wife, Cindy Lee Berryhill, confirmed the news today to Rolling Stone.

Williams began the influential Crawdaddy! magazine, which focused on music journalism, in 1966 while a student at Swarthmore College. After leaving the publication in 1968, he went on to a prolific writing career, authoring over 25 books and notably penning Rolling Stone‘s 1975 feature on the now-legendary sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick. Williams’ most well-known books include 1969’s Outlaw Blues: A Book of Rock Music, 1973’s Das Energi, and his multiple works on Bob Dylan. His three-part series Bob Dylan: Performing Artist is considered a defining work on the singer-songwriter.

Rockers Unite for Benefit Supporting ‘Crawdaddy!’ Founder Paul Williams

Williams returned to Crawdaddy! in time, running a revival of the magazine from 1993 to 2003. However, in 1995, he suffered a brain injury after a bicycle accident, which brought on early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. In 2009, Williams reached out to the music community for help, and X’s John Doe and former Dead Kennedys leader Jello Biafra led a special benefit show for him in San Francisco.

Berryhill noted in a Facebook post that Williams died with his oldest son, Kenta, by his side. There have been no announcements yet regarding a memorial service. Williams’ original run of Crawdaddy! is available online for free at Wolfgang’s Vault.

In This Article: Bob Dylan


Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.