|About the Author, Steve Rosen:
Steve Rosen is a professional music journalist with a career spanning over 45 years. During this period, he has published well over 1,000 articles appearing in major periodicals originating from around the globe. Everywhere from the United States and Canada to Japan, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, England, Australia, Brazil and even Katmandu. Amongst the publications Rosen’s work has appeared in are Guitar Player, Guitar World, Guitarist, Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Times, Playboy, Musician, US, Creem, Circus, Player, Total Guitar, Classic Rock, Mojo, Roadie Crew, This Is Rock, M Music Magazine, Rhythm and Drum! and a myriad of others. He was also the main contributor to the influential music site, Ultimate-Guitar, for many years.
He was the West Coast correspondent for Guitar World magazine for four years during the seminal mid-‘80s when he wrote seven cover stories [three lead features on Edward Van Halen are now recognized as pivotal pieces on that artist]. As a contributor to Guitar Player magazine, he wrote a prodigious 16 covers in a six-year span [one out of every four was his]. The 1977 Frank Zappa front-cover contribution represented the periodical’s biggest selling issue to that date. Additionally, GP, in two special reprint issues, featured his stories on Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page as covers [Rock Guitarists published by Guitar Player Productions and Rock Guitarists Vol. II distributed by Guitar Player Books).
He served as West Coast Editor for Fachblatt, one of Germany’s most respected and highest circulated magazines [during his tenure, more than half of the cover features were Rosen-based compositions]. He was the West Coast correspondent for Player, a Japanese periodical employing his services for over 40 years.
A recognized authority on the eclectic world of rock, Rosen has been tapped seven times to write books on some high-profile individuals including one book on the history of rock for children. His first book was The Beck Book on guitarist Jeff Beck that required a second printing due to the crazed demand [published in Japan in 1978]. The Artist Formerly Known as Prince was part of the Rock Lives series orchestrated by Castle Communications and distributed by The Penguin Group . Bruce Springsteen, an eponymous-titled bio published by Castle Communications was also part of the Rock Lives series . The Story of Black Sabbath: Wheels of Confusion was a book on the classic metal band that went into a third printing 1996. Free At Last: The Story of Free and Bad Company was published in 2001. In 2008, he wrote The Story of Rock Music, a book on the history of rock music for children. In 2012, Rosen wrote a book called Randy Rhoads issued by Velocity Publishing and his most recent Tonechaser – Understanding Edward: My 26-Year Journey with Edward Van Halen.
He worked briefly in 2008 as a correspondent for the Gibson Guitars website. Look at his True Adventures in Rock Journalism series to see a unique blending of print and audio.
Never a creator to involve himself in armchair observations, this traveling troubadour’s work has taken him to distant vistas in search of mysterious stories and elusive sagas. Steve has been hand-selected to accompany numerous bands as traveling wordsmith. Pen and persona have been present on the road with Led Zeppelin, The Who, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Loggins & Messina, Van Halen, ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Lenny Kravitz, Alice Cooper, The Firm, and others.
Because of his insights as to the inner workings of rock ensembles and able to extract their thoughts and mindsets, he has been cited by other writers as an indispensable source. He is cited in a cross section of texts and a great number of his quotes appear in countless numbers of reference and biographical works including The Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock and Soul ]; Hammer of the Gods; Robert Fripp; Uncle Joe’s Record Guide; Secrets From the Masters; The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal; Jeff Beck: Crazy Fingers; several Frank Zappa profiles including Frank Zappa’s Negative Dialectic of Poodle Play; and Frank Zappa Companion. And many others.
In addition to his essential journalistic pursuits, Rosen has worked closely with record and management companies, providing them with bios and treatments. This involved working with Atlantic Records, Warner Bros., Columbia Records, and music-related businesses such as Seymour Duncan, Oberheim, Charvel Guitars, Kawai, Guitar Center, C.P.P. Belwin and REH Publications. For this latter company, he virtually single- handedly originated and developed a line of instructional tapes called ProTalk (that included Carlos Santana, C.C. De’Ville, and Lee Ritenour and several others). Similarly, in 1991, he sketched out the blueprint for another line of guitar videos titled Hot Guitarist for the ESP Company.
In recent years, his work has been utilized as liner copy for both audio CDs and DVDs. For the English company Chrome Dreams, he wrote all the liner copy for oral liner copy diaries on Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, and Kiss as well as licensed his own extensive audio library of recorded interviews to be shaped and edited for the CD material itself. Passport Video embraced this remarkable archive in order to extract valuable audio for their DVDs on Van Halen [The Van Halen Story: The Early Years], Queen, and Led Zeppelin. In 2005, he licensed a large number of interviews to another highly regarded audio content company and additionally, provided cover text and extensive liner copy for projects including The Beach Boys and Jethro Tull.
Steve Rosen’s understanding of rock’s winding road derives not from reading maps but from writing them. This native of St. Louis, Missouri, draws from a number of sources including his work as a published songwriter. His have been covered by outside artists including Blackthorne [for whom he co- wrote three songs with esteemed vocalist Graham Bonnet for their self-titled debut album including the title track “Afterlife”). Additional published works include Sic Vikki’s “Tough Enough” for their first album; and a co-write on Cold Sweat’s debut [produced by master knob-twirler Kevin Beamish of REO Hi Infidelity fame]. Rosen has drafted songs for several cable movies [Scorned featuring Playboy figure Shannon Tweed, Kiss’ Gene Simmons longtime friend, pops up on late night television like clockwork [ and his music is regularly heard on major daytime soap operas like All My Children and One Life to Live.
In the late ‘90s, he co-wrote Spirit Nation, a world music project marrying Native American elements with ambient textures—loops, slashing edits, twisted, tangled and tender flute arrangements—and landed a deal on Richard Branson’s V2 Records. The record has sold over 50,000 units to date. A second Spirit Nation album titled Winter Moons was released in 2001. In 2022, Rosen co-wrote and played rhythm guitars on an album called The Waiting Fire with a band called the called Highway Sentinels, which featured vocalist David Reece (ex-Accept), keyboardist Jimmy Waldo (Alcatrazz) and drummer Mark Zonder (Fates Warning). Rosen called on some of his buddies to play solos including Joe Satriani, Bumblefoot, Paul Gilbert, Matt Heafy, Tracii Guns and Joe Stump.
Apple Computers has specifically chosen two Spirit Nation tracks to drive major media campaigns and a film company tagged one of the songs as part of its soundtrack.
Recently, his main focus has been on organizing his incredibly extensive and rare collection of audio interviews dating back to 1973. The entire library represents well over 1,500 hours of content with hundreds and hundreds of classic rock’s most engaging, enraging, and entrancing characters.
Here in 2022, Steve Rosen continues to track down rock’s elusive denizens. When not on some semantic safari, he retreats to his Laurel Canyon cottage, nestled in the bucolic hills of Hollywood. The space is crammed floor to rafter with books and records, broken guitar strings and miscellaneous incomplete book chapters and song lyrics.
As someone earning his keep as a conversationalist and instigator of ideas, Rosen is typically the quietest person in the room. But place him within shouting distance of a guitarist, and in 10 minutes he’ll have them revealing parts of themselves even they didn’t know existed.
And this, perhaps, is his greatest strength: drawing on a chameleon-like ability in transforming himself from interviewer to innerviewer to simple friend. A musical zelig. Steve is someone with whom you want to tell your secrets to and for many decades now, a lot of people have been doing just that.
Steve Rosen online:
YouTube: Steve Rosen – YouTube