“Matt was the Man for those of us who beheld his rock wisdom on MTV. This is his life as a raconteur, a bon vivant, but most of all a fan who never lost his raw passion and burning heart and gargantuan music appetite. He makes rock & roll fandom sound like a lifelong heroic quest—which it is.” —Rob Sheffield, author of Love is a Mixtape
Here is our interview with Matt, recorded on September 8, 2016…
If you are a fan of classic 1990s MTV, Matt Pinfield needs no introduction. As host of “120 Minutes”, and before that as a DJ at the influential New Jersey rock station WHTG, Matt Pinfield helped usher in the alternative rock explosion that reached its apotheosis in the mid 90s. Pinfield started out as the ultimate rock fan and ended up with the ultimate all-access pass as a participant, eyewitness, and authority. ALL THESE THINGS THAT I’VE DONE: My Insane, Improbable Rock Life (Scribner, September 2016) is his story, and therefore also the story of the last five decades of rock.
ALL THESE THINGS THAT I’VE DONE includes behind the scenes stories of Pinfield’s encounters with everyone from Lou Reed to David Bowie to the Ramones (Marky’s nickname for Matt was Matty Ramone) to U2. Along the way, readers will See how he made inroads in the music business and how he eventually ended up gaining the trust of some of the most influential musicians in rock. One of his secrets? “No one gave me permission to do anything. I just had balls, and I knew how to seize brief moments.” (An example of seizing the moment includes a teenage Matt asking Andy Warhol for a ride to a Boomtown Rats party. He got it.)
ALL THESE THINGS THAT I’VE DONE also provides a nostalgic look at music discovery before streaming and MP3s. Matt got his records from the Woolworth’s, Grant’s, Alexander’s, Two Guys, and Korvette’s in New Brunswick, NJ. (“Sometimes, during sales, you could get LPs for like $2.49,” he tells us.) These deals helped feed his seemingly insatiable hunger for good music, which Pinfield dates to early childhood. It’s this voracious appetite paired with enthusiasm and the desire to share what he was hearing which led Pinfield to his unorthodox but wildly successful career as radio DJ, club DJ, and eventually unlikely television star. For Pinfield, it’s always been all about the music.
Packed with vivid and joyful descriptions of the concerts, music, and bands that shaped Matt (and that he helped us all learn about) and including best-of lists, favorite tracks, and artist profiles, ALL THESE THINGS THAT I’VE DONE explains how a born outsider wound up in the inner circle. Fans everywhere will rejoice!
More praise for ALL THESE THINGS THAT I’VE DONE:
“An entertaining, insightful book on the hold that rock music has on its most passionate and devoted fans. Anyone who’s been seduced by the power of music will find something to relate to in it.”—Clive Davis
“As intensely as any musician or songwriter, Matt Pinfield has walked the walk of rock & roll for decades and in doing so has made and enhanced the careers of dozens of great artists. He also turns out to be a revelatory writer with an ability to express emotionally powerful detail about both his own journey and those of many rock & roll greats. All These Things That I’ve Done is one of the deepest and most entertaining books ever about rock culture.”—Danny Goldberg, author of Bumping Into Geniuses