Alan di Perna
Photo: © Charlie Watkins
About the Author
One of America’s foremost rock scribes, Alan di Perna has been writing professionally about popular music and culture since 1980. Born in Brooklyn, New York, he came of age during the heady cultural explosion that was the psychedelic ’60s and first emerged as a rock musician and writer amid the exuberant cross-genre hedonism of New York’s early ’80s post punk scene. His writing about music combines a musician’s technical insight, a scholarly depth of critical acumen, a keen feel for cultural contexts and an engaging, streetwise style. Several generations of rock fans and musicians have grown up reading his insightful take on everything from the blues to punk rock to world music.
Di Perna has authored thousands of articles on music and musicians in leading periodicals such as Billboard, Creem, Musician, Rolling Stone, Grammy.com, Music Aficionado, Keyboard, Guitar Player, Guitar World, Guitar Aficionado, Guitarist, Rock & Folk, the San Francisco Examiner Magazine and Yoga Journal. He is best known for his memorable interview features on a wide variety of musical icons including Keith Richards, B.B. King, Ray Charles, David Bowie, Carlos Santana Jeff Beck, Prince, Pete Townshend, Quincy Jones, Baba Maal, McCoy Tyner, Buddy Guy, Yoko Ono, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Tom Petty, Johnny Rotten, Pete Seeger, Ringo Starr, Stanley Clarke, Ziggy Marley, Dr. John and Frank Zappa, among others.
A Contributing Editor of Guitar World magazine since the late ‘80s, di Perna also enjoys a longstanding professional relationship with the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. He served as a member of the NARAS Publications Advisory Committee between 1995 and 2002, becoming a frequent contributor to Grammy Magazine and the Academy’s website. To this day he remains an annual contributor to the Grammy Program Book published to accompany each year’s awards ceremony.
Prolific in a variety of media, di Perna has penned CD liner notes for Santana Live at the Fillmore 1968 (Columbia Legacy), Heavy Metal Hits of the 80s Volumes I and III (Rhino Records 1996) and historic reissues such as AC/DC’s The Razor’s Edge and Blow Up Your Video (Sony/Columbia reissues 2003) and Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour’s first two solo albums, David Gilmour and About Face (Sony reissues 2006). In the burgeoning field of music museology. Di Perna has written exhibit text for the Grammy Museum and co-curated exhibits on Carlos Santana, Steve Vai and George Benson for the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.
Books authored by Alan di Perna include:
Play it Loud, an Epic History of the Style, Sound, & Revolution of the Electric Guitar
Guitar Masters: Intimate Portraits
Green Day: The Unauthorized Illustrated History
The Guitarist’s Almanac
Fender Classic Moments