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Paul Williams the First Rock Critic Passes

PAUL S. WILLIAMS, 64, the founder of modern rock criticism as editor/writer of the groundbreaking Crawdaddy magazine, passed away from complications related to a 1995 bike accident. Williams began publishing the magazine at the age of 17 on Feb. 7, 1966,  in New York (18 months before Rolling Stone), after founding several earlier science fiction fanzines. Crawdaddy originally featured the early work of critics Sandy Pearlman and Jon Landau, its circulation going from 500 to 25,000 with such outspoken admirers as Paul Simon and Bob Dylan. After closing the mag, Williams headed to Mendocino, CA, where he hung out with Tim Leary and ended up at John and Yoko’s Bed-In for Peace in Montreal, singing along to  "All You Need Is Love."  He was also good friends with sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick, eventually becoming the literary executor of his estate.  He wrote more than 25 books, including the three-part Bob Dylan: Performing Artist, Outlaw Blues and Das Energi. Williams revived and ran Crawdaddy between 1993 and 2000 before selling it to Wolfgang’s Vault in 2006. His survivors include wife, folk-singer Cindy Lee Berryhill, who has been blogging about her husband’s hospital stay, and their son Alexander. (3/29p)

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