About

PaulTrynka2 Credit Julian BurginPaul Trynka is the author of acclaimed biographies of David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Brian Jones, was editor of MOJO, the international bible of rock’n’roll music, and has written widely on music and popular culture. His work has appeared in The Guardian, The Times, The Independent, Elle, Shortlist, Men’s File, Inventory and more. His legendarily obscure recordings for Factory Benelux Records and Situation Two were reissued by LTM Recordings in November 2012.

Trynka joined MOJO as reviews editor in 1996, overseeing it from 1999 to 2003; his tenure at the magazine saw its circulation grow from 46,000 to 108,000 worldwide. He has also served as Editorial Director of Q magazine, editor of International Musician Magazine, and founding editor of The Guitar Magazine.

Starman, Paul’s biography of David Bowie, was published in spring 2011, and was described by Rolling Stone magazine as “the most complete and compelling portrait of Bowie’s life ever assembled.” Open Up And Bleed, a biography of Iggy Pop was, according to Vanity Fair “glorious,” and was awarded the Notable Book prize by the state of Michigan – Iggy’s home turf. Other books include Denim – again, the subject of laudatory reviews – and The Electric Guitar, published by Virgin Books in collaboration with London’s Design Museum.

Paul’s 1996 collaboration with photographer Val Wilmer, Portrait Of The Blues, was an oral history of the music, featuring interviews with most of America’s leading bluesmen and a Foreword by John Lee Hooker. It has become regarded as a definitive document of the genre, and was extracted in the book accompanying Martin Scorsese’s PBS Series.

Paul has featured on dozens of major radio and TV outlets, including Radio 4’s Today Programme, BBC2’s Newsnight, CNN, CBS and NPR. He has given talks or lectures in institutions including the V&A, Bath Spa’s School of Performing Arts, and the University of South Wales in Cardiff. In July 2017 he was awarded a PhD by USW for his thesis, Before We Make The Art, We Must Make The Artist, based on his portfolio of books. It’s likely the thesis will be publicly available in some form in the near future.

All of Paul’s books are available in various international editions, including Japanese, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese/Brazilian, Hungarian, Croatian, Estonian and Polish.

Paul has worked as a consultant for Levi’s, curating their 130th anniversary exhibit in Berlin, and designed denim fabric in conjunction with Cone, the world’s oldest working denim mill. Some of his writing on such arcane subjects can be found on his loomstate blog. 

Paul’s work as singer and guitarist with the cult postpunk band Nyam Nyam was greeted, at the time with ecstatic reviews, which suggested the band was a “great white hope” that would “go down in history.” The reviewers were wrong, it seems, although the album Hope of Heaven was re-issued in 2012.

Paul lives in Greenwich, London, with wife Lucy and son, Curtis.

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