Friday, December 15, 2017


Berkeley, California 94705
Tel.: 510-517-4539 -- Email:



Freelance Writer/Reporter/Photographer
February 2001 to present (see specific dates for each publication)

Wrote and reported stories on a regular basis for The Huffington Post (August 2011 to present). Contributed original photographs to The Huffington Post (2011 to present). Wrote book on 1990s cinema (2014-2015); not yet published.  Wrote and reported story on WikiLeaks for The Boston Phoenix, 2012. Wrote and reported stories on North Korea for The Seoul Times newspaper (June 2009). Wrote and reported stories for the online edition of Playboy magazine (April - June, 2009). Wrote and reported breaking news story for The Boston Phoenix that revealed new information about the Virginia Tech massacre (April 20, 2007). Originated a website, The Daily Digression, that features my own original reporting about pop culture and other subjects (2007 to present). Wrote satire for The Chicago Tribune (2006) later circulated on numerous media and private websites. Wrote several stories (2009) that are currently being readied or considered for publication at several newspapers and magazines.

Outside of journalism, I began releasing recordings of my own original music -- composed, performed and produced solely by me. As of December 2017, at least 100 of my compositions have been added to radio playlists (on such top alternative music radio stations as KALX, KCRW and WFMU, among others) in at least four nations. (My music website is at

Wrote several chapters of a book-length biography of comedian Richard Pryor for literary agent Jane Dystel of Dystel & Goderich Agency (2005; currently developing it and other book projects without D&G representation. Contributed reporting to People magazine (issue of Feb. 7, 2005). Wrote and reported investigative piece (9/04 to 4/05) that suggest others had foreknowledge of the attacks (both the JTFF and the FBI have taken my findings seriously enough to have carried out their own investigations based on my findings; story published on this site as a web exclusive).

Wrote and reported feature story for the Cox newspaper syndicate (7/18/04); it was originally published in The Austin American-Statesman and was picked up by Cox. Wrote and reported feature story forw New Times (December 2003, for the Miami paper). Wrote, reported and researched exclusive music news story for Reuters's Los Angeles bureau (April to June 2003). Wrote a television feature involving extensive Internet research for The Toronto Star's Arts & Entertainment section (1/03); it is the only story anywhere to have covered the immediate television coverage of the first two plane crashes on 9/11. Wrote non-fiction book, "Conversations with Reclusive Geniuses (and Other Stories)," from January to September 2003 (still in development).

Wrote, reported, researched and initiated feature stories for The Washington Post's Travel section, including story involving foreign reporting (2000 to 2003.

I published seven of my own photographs in The Washington Post (2001, 2002); all ideas for stories I wrote for The Washington Post, usually mixing pop culture and travel, came from me. Some pieces still circulate years later on private and academic websites.

Wrote and reported features and news stories, mostly on television and movies, for

My profile of Richard Pryor in Los Angeles New Times in '96 is the only published account anywhere of the last full-length concert of the comedian's career.

The San Francisco Chronicle (3/97 to 6/00); initiated story and production ideas and

contributed photography. Reported news for L.A. bureau of the Reuters News Service,

covering criminal and civil trials of public figures such as O.J. Simpson and Pamela


NOTE: I've always both written and reported my stories; in other words, I never write stories based on anyone else's reporting, and my reporting is never written up by someone else. The only exception to that rule was my work for Reuters from '97 to '99, where I reported and co-wrote my stories (as opposed to reported and solely wrote), as is the custom with most wire service reports in general. One other exception: a breaking news story I wrote for The Boston Phoenix in 2007, which was highly collaborative.

Covered the movie industry's main Oscar night parties first-hand ('99 and '00, for The S.F. Chronicle). Was the first reporter anywhere to link Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche in print(4/97, The Chronicle). Contributed original photography to The Chronicle and initiated many story ideas (such as designing a movie board game for the newspaper that ran in the paper almost exactly as I sketched and wrote it). Contributed interviews with celebrities like Woody Allen who do not regularly talk to the press. For the Chronicle, I conducted the only interview with film director

I wrote my first article for Spy magazine in 1988; though it was scuttled, my reporting for the piece was used, uncredited, in another Spy article that year and in a later book.

M. Night Shyamalan prior to the release of his blockbuster "The Sixth Sense" (keep in mind that almost nobody thought the movie would be a hit before its release).

For The Los Angeles Times, I wrote, reported and initiated four entertainment features (1/3/98, 9/1/98, 7/8/99, all on the front page of a section), the latter generating more reader response than any story that had run in the Weekend section; another article was carried nationwide the The L.A. Times's wire service. Through my own connections, I was able to land a rare interview with film director Roman Polanski for The L.A. Times (1999), resulting in a popular two-part article on the

I conducted the first-ever taped interview with the leader of the rock band Phish, Trey Anastasio, in January 1989, and even introduced him to the group Widespread Panic, who (with Phish) would later form the core of the vastly popular jam band movement of the 1990s (my interview was ultimately published by New Times in 2003).

film Chinatown. Also for The L.A. Times, I wrote the first profile anywhere about actor Troy Garity.

[For more about the influence of my Los Angeles Times story about the movie "Chinatown," go to]

Wrote and reported articles on movies directly for The New York Times's Arts & Leisure section (1/95 to 4/95; and 6/94); one story was subsequently syndicated nationwide in numerous major papers, another article republished in German newsweekly Die Woche. All stories initiated by me. Wrote and reported article on movies for The Washington Post (10/94), for which I interviewed surgeons and other medical professionals. Wrote cover story for L.A. New Times (7/96 - 10/96),

featuring a rare, if brief, interview with comedian Richard Pryor. Penned satire for Details magazine (10/94).

In June 1996, I relocated to Los Angeles after living in and around Manhattan for 17 years.

Wrote articles for both the old and new Spy magazine on movies, pop music and politics, including satiric and investigative pieces (I was on contract for Spy from 10/88 to 3/89; 6/91 to 8/91; 8/92 to 10/92; 9/93 to 12/93; 8/94 to 2/95). I exposed university presidents selling academic and honorary degrees; created the popular

Dylan-o-Matic (by which people can write their own Bob Dylan lyrics); did investigative reporting involving the search of court records.

Also wrote stories on film for New York Newsday (1/93; 2/92 to 3/92; 7/92 to 8/92; 7/92 to 8/92). Scripted music news for Tel-Star TV, a syndicated music video television series (Fall seasons of '89 and '90). Contributed music reviews and features to The Street magazine (3/89 to 3/90). Wrote news story for The Village Voice (2/88) and features for Hits magazine.


Staff Writer and Reporter

May 2000 to January 2001

Wrote, reported and initiated features and news stories on television and movies, as well as on books, pop culture and the theater, usually under tight deadlines. Conducted daily interviews with entertainment and other public figures. Reported breaking news. Was one of the first writers anywhere to have proposed a story about the CBS blockbuster C.S.I. before the series aired (an editor vetoed the idea). My published interview with poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti revealed new details about the Beat literary movement (10/00; story still widely circulated on the Internet). Covered the television critics "tour" of new programs in Pasadena (7/00). I had a zero percent correction rate during my four years at The Chronicle and never once missed a deadline. In fact, I never once required or received a deadline extension for any story I wrote for the Chronicle. [A letter of recommendation from my main editor at The Chronicle (a senior editor), written after working with me for three years in '00, read in part: "Paul has an original way of approaching a story. His writing rarely needs much editing. And best of all, he is completely reliable."]

I had only two job titles at the Chronicle: freelance writer/reporter (aka correspondent) and staff writer/reporter. My sole job responsibilities during my four years at the Chronicle were writing, reporting, researching and initiating news

I wrote articles for The New York Times in 1994 and 1995, but also subsequently contributed reporting, through Reuters, to The Times in unbylined stories.

stories and features (though in the final few weeks of my four years there, I also took on editorial duties that my editor was unable to perform because of his extended vacation).

[For more about my years at The San Francisco Chronicle, go to

My reportorial emphasis from 1985 to 1990 was on covering new and emerging recording artists -- some of them not yet even signed to a record label (such as Phish). Here I am pictured in February 1987 with the then-unknown Debbie Gibson, who would soon have a number one hit, in my office at Cash Box magazine in Manhattan.


Staff Writer/Reporter

August 1987 to January 1990

Wrote weekly news, features and essays on pop music and the entertainment industry for Arts Weekly's two publications: The East Coast Rocker and Downtown. Was the first to write about several unsigned acts that later became successful (like rock band Phish).

[For more about my reporting of 1989 -- particularly my unpublished investigative reporting of 1989/1990 (which is some of my best) -- go to]


Staff Writer/Reporter

August 1985 to August 1987

Wrote and reported news, features and a weekly column on pop music and the

entertainment business, with emphasis on emerging music acts. Was first reporter at any trade publication to write about certain unsigned performers who later became successful (such as They Might Be Giants and Michelle Shocked) and wrote the first magazine pieces anywhere on Paul Simon's "Graceland" and other hit albums. Conducted

Paul McCartney and me at Radio City Music Hall in August 1986, an event I covered for Cash Box.

an interview with Fela Kuti that was apparently his first after being released from prison, did a Q&A with XTC's Andy Partridge (rare at the time), and interviewed pop culture figures ranging from Frank Zappa and Bill Graham to Ray Davies, Joseph Shabalala (of Ladysmith Black Mambazo) and Don Johnson. Was featured in a story in USA Today (1/8/86 and in 1987). Started using computer email in 1986.


Staff Corporate Communications Writer (final position at company)

January 1982 to July 1985

Wrote and researched articles for home office house organs and newsletters at the

Merrill Lynch's international headquarters, where I had an office in 1985 (my last position for the company was writer).

firm's international headquarters (Sept. '84 to July '85). Contributed photography to ML publications. Started at ML in Business Planning Dept. (1/82 to 8/84, but

full-time from 8/83) as assistant, until I was promoted to writer. During this period, also wrote satire for New York's East Village Eye newspaper ('81 to '84) and The Aquarian Weekly ('82).


Delacorte Publicity Dept. -- 8/80 to 10/81

Staff Assistant position also involved writing press releases, book synopses and author bios. [Moved to New York City in June 1979; held various interim positions in NY before landing the job at Dell.]


Staff Editorial Assistant -- 1/79 to 6/79

Assistant spot also involved compilation and minor editing of news briefs.



B.A., philosophy, high honors, 1979.

Philosophy studies emphasized aesthetics and phenomenology. Participated in creative writing program ('76 to '78), studying under novelists such as Harry Crews, while producing short stories. Studied art history in Florence, Italy, for six months in 1976; visited eleven countries, including Iron Curtain nations Bulgaria

A photo of me in 1976 in Florence, Italy, where I studied as an undergraduate for six months that year.

and Yugoslavia, traveling alone by local train from Florence to Istanbul and back. Organized both student-level and community-wide political activity (from ages 10 to 17, and independent of family) that was covered contemporaneously in newspapers, including in the main newspaper of my hometown of the early-1970s, Tampa, Florida



NOTE: This c.v. lists the jobs I've held of significant

duration (say, for a year or longer). And when I list,

say, a one-off feature story that I wrote for a magazine

in, say, October 1994, keep in mind that such features often

represented a year or more of reporting, research and writing

on my part.

However, it would be literally impossible for me to list all

the part-time jobs of the 1980s and early Nineties that

lasted only a few days or a few weeks (or a few hours, in some

cases) -- jobs that I took solely in order to pay, say, a

phone or electric bill in the Eighties or

early Nineties. (Unlike some other freelance journalists,

I wasn't backed by a trust fund (though I certainly wasn't above

borrowing now and then); I lived on what I earned in

those days, for the most part. (What a concept!))

And unlike journalists who supplemented their freelance income by

earning paychecks from the very companies that they were

covering, I always made sure I earned my extra income in a

field unrelated to my reportage. (Typical examples of the

1980s/1990s side-jobs I'm referring to include writing ad

copy for ad agencies, doing editing work for corporate

publications,. etc.)

During the years in which I held staff writing positions

at such publications as Cash Box magazine and the San Francisco

Chronicle, I did no other work for anyone else and earned

no income elsewhere.


[above, pictures of Richard Pryor, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Trey Anastasio by
unknown photographers.]<>

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