Gary Pig Gold
Gary Pig Gold (born May 30, 1955 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada) is a singer-songwriter, record producer, filmmaker and author. His Pig Paper was Canada’s first independently-published music magazine, and among the recording artists he has worked with are Pat Boone, Dave Rave, Endless Summer, Simply Saucer and Shane Faubert.
He formed his first band, Pornographic Cornflake (named after "I Am The Walrus" lyric) at age thirteen, and his first 16mm film made four years later, a documentary about his hometown entitled This is Port Credit!, was chosen to be aired on a local PBS Television affiliate after winning an award at a high school film competition. Due to its libelous nature however, Gold was advised to indemnify himself from possible legal action by crediting the film to a fictitious director. Eating breakfast the morning the credits were to be re-shot, a plastic pig stamper fell from his cereal box and the pseudonym Gary Pig was adopted.
Under this nom de plume, Gold began self-publishing The Pig Paper in 1973 and distributing it by mail to friends. Visiting London two years later he met Joe Strummer, then leading The 101ers, who encouraged Gold to continue his writing. That winter, he published a mock concert program commemorating an appearance by The Who in Toronto, and in 1977 a similar Pig Paper on The Kinks became the first issue to be made available outside of Canada, when Gold followed the band to a concert and record signing in Buffalo, New York.
The featured interviewee of that Pig Paper was Edgar Breau, whose band Simply Saucer Gold began managing and producing, releasing their first record June 8, 1978 on Pig Records. It was voted Single Of The Week in London’s Record Mirror magazine the following month. By then, The Pig Paper was being distributed throughout the U.S. and Europe, offering early in-depth coverage of The Viletones, Ramones, Half Japanese, Elvis Costello and Talking Heads as well as features on such vintage acts as The Hollies and Dave Clark Five.
Immediately after attending a Jan and Dean concert in Toronto during the summer of 1980, Gold relocated to California where he formed The Loved Ones, as well as promoting concerts for local bands such as The Crowd over the next three years. He spent the remainder of the decade back in Canada, first joining the Vancouver-based Fun With Numbers band before touring five years with Endless Summer. In 1989, he returned to the studio, working in Nashville alongside Donald Dunn and Pat Boone, then at Daniel Lanois’ Grant Avenue Studio with Dave Rave (DesRoches) and Coyote Shivers, the latter sessions resulting in the Valentino’s Pirates album, which became the first independently-recorded western release to be issued on the Soviet Union’s Melodiya record label.
After relocating to New York City with DesRoches and Shivers to form the Dave Rave Conspiracy alongside Billy Ficca of Television and ex-Washington Squares Lauren Agnelli, Gold co-founded the pioneering alternative-country band The Ghost Rockets, whose maximum rhythm ‘n’ bluegrass cover of the Beach Boys’ “In My Room” became a radio “turntable hit” in Europe. Another song, “Marcia Marcia Marcia,” written by Gold for the A Very Brady Sequel movie, appeared instead on the King Records label in New Zealand, to be followed by dozens of other Ghost Rockets releases worldwide.
Gold meanwhile produced two albums for Shane Faubert, formerly of The Cheepskates, with whom he began the To M’Lou Music label in 1998, releasing the acclaimed debut album of the Los Angeles band The Masticators as well as He’s A Rebel: The Gene Pitney Story Retold, which included exclusive recordings by Billy Cowsill, Mick Farren, Gordon Waller and Al Kooper. Gold contributed tracks himself to the Bullseye Records of Canada Men In Plaid Bay City Rollers tribute album as well as singing alongside Jim Carroll for Back To The Streets: Celebrating the Music of Don Covay, and with Andrew Loog Oldham on the 1993 issue of Alex Chilton’s Bach’s Bottom album.
Concurrently, he continued writing, for Visible Ink Press’ Music Hound Essential Album Guides as well as Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth, Encounters With Bob Dylan, Lost In The Grooves, Paul McCartney: I Saw Him Standing There, TV A-Go-Go, Treat Me Like Dirt: An Oral History of Punk in Toronto and Beyond 1977-1981, and The Little Black Book of Music, plus to this day his syndicated Pigshit column (first appearing in Los Angeles Flipside Fanzine in 1979) runs monthly online. He was also a featured interview subject in the Jandek On Corwood documentary film.
In 2008, Gold began work at John Huelbig’s Backroom Studios in Wallington, New Jersey, writing, performing and producing with such artists as Mark Johnson, Chris Butler, Dave Rave and Frank Lee Sprague.
- The Rock and Roll Report
- The Blacklisted Journalist
- Go Metric
- In Music We Trust
- New York Waste
- Music Hound Rock: The Essential Album Guide (Visible Ink/Omnibus, 1996, 1999, contributor)
- Music Hound Country: The Essential Album Guide (Visible Ink/Omnibus, 1997, contributor)
- Music Hound R & B: The Essential Album Guide (Visible Ink/Omnibus, 1998, contributor)
- Music Hound Folk: The Essential Album Guide (Visible Ink/Omnibus, 1998, contributor)
- Music Hound Lounge: The Essential Album Guide to Martini Music and Easy Listening (Visible Ink/Omnibus, 1998, contributor)
- On A Cold Road: Tales of Adventure in Canadian Rock by Dave Bidini (McClelland & Stewart, 1998, interview subject)
- Music Hound Swing: The Essential Album Guide (Visible Ink/Omnibus, 1999, contributor)
- Music Hound World: The Essential Album Guide (Visible Ink/Omnibus, 2000, contributor)
- Encounters with Bob Dylan: If You See Him, Say Hello (Humble Press, 2000, contributor)
- Paul McCartney: I Saw Him Standing There (Billboard Books, 2000, contributor)
- Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth: The Dark History of Prepubescent Pop, from the Banana Splits to Britney Spears (Feral House, 2001, contributor)
- The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds: The Greatest Album of the Twentieth Century (Helter Skelter, 2001, contributor)
- Lost In The Grooves (Routledge, 2005, contributor)
- T.V. A-Go-Go: Rock on T.V. from American Bandstand to American Idol (Chicago Review Press, 2005, contributor)
- The Little Black Book of Music (Cassell Illustrated, 2007, contributor)
- The Top 100 Canadian Albums (Goose Lane Editions, 2007, contributor)
- Treat Me Like Dirt: An Oral History of Punk in Toronto and Beyond, 1977-1981 (Bongo Beat Books/ECW Press, 2009, 2011, editor, interview subject)
- The Mammoth Book of Bob Dylan (Constable & Robinson/Running Press, 2011, contributor)
- Perfect Youth: The Birth of Canadian Punk (ECW Press, 2012, interview subject)
- The Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia Volumes 1 and 2 (Bullseye Canada, 2012, contributor)
- A Lennon Pastiche: Expressions from Fans of John Lennon (PANGEA Publishing, 2013, contributor)
- 50 Licks: Myths and Stories from Half a Century of the Rolling Stones (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013, contributor)
- A Tribute To The Forgotten Rebels (ePub Bud, 2013, contributor)
- The Mammoth Book of The Rolling Stones (Constable & Robinson/Running Press, 2013, contributor)
- It Was Fifty Years Ago Today: The Beatles Invade America and Hollywood (Otherworld Cottage Industries, 2014, interview subject)
- Turn Up The Radio! Rock, Pop, and Roll in Los Angeles 1956-1972 (Santa Monica Press, 2014, contributor)
- Gods Of The Hammer: The Teenage Head Story (Coach House Books, 2014, interview subject)
- Neil Young: Heart of Gold (Backbeat Books, 2015, contributor)
- Jandek on Corwood, 2004
- The Last Pogo Jumps Again, 2013