Greil Marcus on “Stranded,” Neil Young, and His Favorite Music City

Credits: Alex Taitague

On Oakland’s northernmost stretch of Telegraph Avenue there’s a record store called Stranded. On the Berkeley side of that stretch, in 1978, Greil Marcus — San Francisco-born music critic, Cal grad, and Rolling Stone‘s first reviews editor — wrote the introduction to Stranded: Rock and Roll for a Desert Island. Last night, at Stranded, Greil Marcus read from Stranded, a book of essays by twenty rock writers who share their experiences with the albums they’d each take if stranded on a desert island.

The reading, presented by the cramped store and the apparently thriving Rock ‘n’ Roll Book Club, was followed by audience questions — questions whose answers were insightful anecdotes about Lester Bangs, Bob Dylan’s recording of “Like A Rolling Stone,” and a companion book called Marooned: The Next Generation of Desert Island Discs, for which Marcus also wrote the introduction — but, while browsing through the record store’s finely curated selection beforehand, I asked Marcus some questions of my own: