The Archive of Paul Williams

ARCHIVE OF A MAJOR FIGURE IN THE AMERICAN COUNTER CULTURE

BOB DYLAN, PHILIP K. DICK, THEODORE STURGEON, AND MORE!

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James Cummins Bookseller will exhibit highlights of the Archive of Paul Williams (1948-2013) at Booth C15 at the N.Y. Art Book Fair, to be held 17-20 September at P.S.1 in Queens.

PAUL WILLIAMS founded Crawdaddy! in January 1966. He was seventeen years old, and a science fiction fan, and had just invented the field of serious rock and roll journalism. “I wanted to share my excitement.” That excitement was the pulse of a new movement and his writings — on Bob Dylan, the Beach Boys, the Doors, Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Young, Lou Reed, and countless others — chronicled and shaped American popular culture in the Sixties and Seventies and beyond. Outlaw Blues and Pushing Upward collect some of these early writings. He left Crawdaddy! at the end of 1968. Others such as Jann Wenner (who published the first issue of Rolling Stone in November 1967) proved more interested in tapping the business potential of this new field, and Paul went on to be a freelance writer, an occasional contributor to Rolling Stone.

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Paul was a life-long seeker after deeper insights, willing to experiment in living: on communes in Mendocino and Galley Bay, British Columbia, and in the Fort Hill community in Boston. He wrote clear-eyed accounts of his quests, struggles, and the failures encountered; and what he came to call “practical philosophy.” Das Energi, first published by Elektra Records, sold hundreds of thousands of copies and was translated into Japanese, German, Dutch, and Hebrew.

In 1975, his profile of his friend Philip K. Dick in Rolling Stone launched P.K.D. to a national audience. Paul’s later work as literary executor set the stage for Dick’s spectacular posthumous career. Paul’s 1986 book, Only Apparently Real, remains a landmark work on P.K.D. He also assembled and edited the Collected Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, a project with its roots in the 1970s that saw publication in thirteen volumes, 1994-2010.

Paul’s writings on Bob Dylan over a forty-year period represent an amazing body of work. His interviews with David Anderle in 1967 and beyond helped keep alive the possibility of releasing Brian Wilson’s lost masterpiece, Smile. It won a Grammy in 2012.

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The Archive of Paul Williams documents his remarkable life and friendships, and his work as author, editor, and small press publisher in a period of profound social change.

A catalogue will be available at the N.Y. Art Book Fair. An illustrated press release can be found here. For further information, contact: Henry Wessells, 212-688-6441 or henry@jamescumminsbookseller.com . 

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One thought on “The Archive of Paul Williams

  1. what a joy to see this….it was my true honor and pleasure to know Paul. Truly insightful and realistic. and then to connect with Cindy Lee – the way that it was supposed to happen – a joy in my life.
    keep up the good work. Im a happy conduit.
    GG

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