The New York Times hailed his first book, Tell Me Why: A Beatles Commentary (Knopf/Vintage 1988), for bringing “new insight to the act we’ve known for all these years…” He has since authored Hard Rain: A Dylan Commentary (Knopf/Vintage/Da Capo 1992/2002), Madonna: Illustrated (Hyperion 1992), and Fever: How Rock’n'Roll Transformed Gender (Picador 2005).
Since 1990, Riley has given hundreds of lively multi-media presentations at colleges and cultural centers like New York’s Chautauqua Festival on “Censorship in the Arts,” and “Rock History.” He gave a keynote address at BEATLES 2000, the first international academic conference in Jyvaskyla, Finland, and lectured as Brown University’s Critic-In-Residence in 2008.
In 2009, Emerson College appointed Riley assistant professor of digital journalism. His current projects include the RILEY ROCK INDEX.com, music’s metaportal, blog riley at the prestigious ArtsJournal.com, and a new speech on social media and Wikileaks, “Let Freedom Leak.” Click on “Browse” above for more pages.
November 24, 2011
Rolling Stone: Gimme Some Truth
New bio is the most reliable guide yet to Lennon’s messy life and musical genius (4 1/2 stars)
by Will Hermes:
“…the most reliable, least star-struck volume on Lennon to date… Riley is a keen critic, and his analysis is what distinguishes this bio… helps you hear the man’s music anew – and given its omnipresence, that’s pretty amazing.”
Morning Joe interview, October 14, 2011
The New York Times Book Review
John Lennon’s Primal Screams by James Parker:
See excerpts from Tell Me Why: A Beatles Commentary