Robbie Robertson wrote some of the greatest rock songs of the late ‘60s and ‘70s. As a member of The Band, he penned classic songs filled with rueful stories and quirky characters. Robertson’s first album in more than a decade, How to Become Clairvoyant, is more memoir than fiction. He talks with Studio 360’s Kurt Andersen about how he learned the art of storytelling on the Six Nations reservation, and reveals his favorite song recorded by The Band.
The outstanding public radio music interview show airs on a plethora of stations throughout the country, but you can listen to the entire interview with Robbie Robertson right here.
Kurt Andersen is a writer. His novel Heyday, a New York Times bestseller, was included on several short lists of the best novels of 2007 (Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, The Onion, New York Public Library) and won the Langum Prize for the year’s best work of American historical fiction. His earlier novel, Turn of the Century, was a bestseller and New York Times Notable Book that Times reviewers called “wickedly satirical,” “outrageously funny” and “the most un-clichéd novel imaginable,” and that The Wall Street Journal called a “smart, funny and excruciatingly deft portrait of our age.”
He is also author of Reset, a book-length essay about the history and consequences of the 2008-09 financial crisis and recession, and of The Real Thing, a book of humorous essays. He has written and produced prime-time network television programs and pilots for NBC, ABC and HBO, and co-authored Loose Lips, an off-Broadway theatrical revue that had long runs in New York and Los Angeles.
Andersen began his career in journalism at NBC’s Today program and at Time, where he was an award-winning writer on politics and criminal justice and for eight years the magazine’s architecture and design critic. Returning to Time in 1993 as editor-at-large, he wrote a weekly column on culture. From 1996 through 1999 he was a staff writer and columnist “The Culture Industry”) for The New Yorker, and from 2004 through 2009 wrote a column (“The Imperial City”) for New York.
He was also a co-founder of Inside.com, editorial director of Colors magazine, and editor-in-chief of both New York and Spy magazines, the latter of which he co-founded.
He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, and is a member of the boards of trustees of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the Pratt Institute. He lives with his family in New York City.