Charles Shaar Murray
(born 1951) is an English music journalist.
His first experience in journalism came 1970 when he was asked to contribute to the satirical magazine Oz
. In particular, he contributed to the notorious Schoolkids OZ issue, and was involved in the consequent obscenity trial.
He then wrote for IT
, before decamping to the New Musical Express
in 1972 for which he wrote until around 1986. Subsequently he worked for a number of publications including Q magazine
, New Statesman
, The Guardian
, The Observer
, The Daily Telegraph
, and The Independent
. He currently writes a monthly column about his life-long love affair with guitars in Guitarist
In addition to his magazine work, Murray has written a number of books:
- Shots From The Hip, ISBN 0-14-012341-5, selected writings from his first two decades as a journalist
- Blues on CD: The Essential Guide, (1993), ISBN 1-85626-084-4
- Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix and Post-War Pop, a musical biography of Jimi Hendrix, ISBN 0-571-20749-9. This won the Ralph Gleason Music Book Award.
- Boogie Man: Adventures of John Lee Hooker in the American 20th Century, a biography of John Lee Hooker, ISBN 0-14-016890-7. This was shortlisted for the Gleason award.
- David Bowie: An Illustrated Record, with Roy Carr, ISBN 0906008255
Broadcasting credits include:
- "The Seven Ages of Rock" (BBC2, 2007) as series consultant and interviewee
- "The South Bank Show" (ITV, 2006) Dusty Springfield - interviewee
- "Inky Fingers: The NME Story" (BBC2, 2005) - interviewee
- "Dancing in the Street" (BBC2) - series consultant
- "Jazz From Hell: Frank Zappa" (BBC Radio 3) writer and presenter
- "Punk Jazz: Jaco Pastorius" (BBC R3) writer and presenter
- "The Life and Crimes of Lenny Bruce" (BBC R3) writer and presenter
He has also sung and played guitar and harmonica as "Blast Furnace" with the band Blast Furnace and the Heatwaves.