When I started writing about music, I wanted to read from music critics to get different perspectives. I don’t remember how I discovered Greg Tate’s writings, but I wanted to read more once I did. Tate had a distinctive style of writing and a criticism voice of his own. He went beyond music and pushed as far as he could on the page.
I wanted to learn and to emulate his writing. I pored over the Village Voice archive to read everything he had written. I read Flyboy in the Buttermilk several times. I read his Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and the Black Experience. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Flyboy 2 and I pre-ordered it as soon as it was pre-released.
Even though I don’t write much about music anymore, I still have Tate’s voice in my mind. I was shocked to discover that he had passed away on December 7, this year. He was only 62. The cause of his death was undisclosed. America has lost one of its true cultural critics.
Rest In Peace, Greg Tate and thank you for inspiring and influencing many music writers, including myself, a self-proclaimed critic.