Paul Zollo is the author of several books, including several on the craft of song-writing. His book Songwriters On Songwriting ISBN 0-306-81265-7 has been expanded three times and features in-depth interviews with many of the world’s greatest songwriters, including Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Randy Newman, Laura Nyro, Pete Seeger, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young and Frank Zappa. It has been called “the ultimate book about songwriting” and "the songwriter's bible," and is used as a textbook in songwriting courses in many universities, including USC, UCLA, and the Berklee School of Music.
He is at work on several book projects, including what will be the second volume of Songwriters On Songwriting to be called Songwriters On Songwriting, Volume II, to be published by Da Capo Press, NY. This second volume will contain interviews with songwriters Zollo interviewed since 2008, including James Taylor, Leiber & Stoller, Chrissie Hynde, John Prine, Dion, Matisyahu, Stephen Stills, Billie Joe of Green Day, Loretta Lynn and many others. This expanded fourth edition of Songwriters on Songwriting includes ten new interviews--with Alanis Morissette, Lenny Kravitz, Lou Reed, and others. In these pages, sixty-two of the greatest songwriters of our time go straight to the source of the magic of songwriting by offering their thoughts, feelings, and opinions on their art. Representing almost every genre of popular music, from blues to pop to rock, here are the figures that have shaped American music as we know it.
Zollo is an accomplished songwriter and singer. He was the leader of the Hollywood band The Ghosters, who were named “The Best Unsigned Band in Los Angeles” in 1993 by the Los Angeles Free Press The Ghosters released one self-titled album featuring Zollo's songs.
In 2000, he embarked on a solo career and released his first solo CD Orange Avenue, which features a duet with Art Garfunkel on the song "Being In This World". In 2007 Zollo began working on his next solo album, which will be released by Trough Records, and has been performing around the world with The Zollo Group, featuring Billy Salisbury, Earl Grey, and Edoardo Tancredi.
Zollo has also collaborated with many songwriters, including:
Darryl Purpose, with whom he wrote the Chavez Ravine song “Crooked Line”, the title song of one of Purpose’s albums. They’ve also written many other songs together, such as “Baltimore”, about the mysterious death of Edgar Allan Poe, “Koreatown”, “The Ghost of Crazy Horse", "California", and "Rutherford Hayes In The Morning".
Steve Allen on the song “Blue Stars”.
Severin Browne on a song about L.A.’s beloved billboard queen, “Angelyne”.
pianist Bob Malone on “Flying Machine”. Malone also cut Zollo’s song “Halloween”, which has been released as a special holiday record.
Scott Docherty on "Season of Grace", "Noelle" and "African Mask". Docherty also played keyboards with Paul in The Ghosters and The Zollo Group.
Jeff Gold, producer/songwriter-singer, on "Adonoi," a song about the Jewish immigrant experience in America. Its Hebrew title is used throughout the song as part of an ancient sacred Jewish prayer, uniting this story based on their shared heritage. 'Adonoi' means 'the Lord."
Zollo was the editor of SongTalk magazine for many years, and went on to become Managing Editor of Performing Songwriter magazine. He’s also contributed to many magazines, including Variety, Billboard, Rolling Stone, Musician, Oxford Press, Playback, Gorgeous, Boulevard, Music Connection, Campus Circle and others.
In September 2004 Zollo was named Senior Editor of American Songwriter magazine headquartered in Nashville, though Zollo lives and works in Los Angeles. He writes a column called Icons for every issue, in which he profiles legendary songwriters, as well as shares acquired wisdom about songwriting gained from his abundant interviews.
He is also the co-founder, editor and chief photographer for Bluerailroad, an online magazine of the arts (www.bluerailroad.com). Bluerailroad features Zollo's interviews in their pure, unexpurgated form, as well as galleries of his photographs. It also features a poetry section edited by John Doe, short fiction by Robert Morgan Fisher, and shifting galleries of photography, poetry, essays on music and art, and much more.
Zollo is also a celebrated photographer – mostly known for his portraits – and has had his work displayed at galleries in Los Angeles, Costa Mesa and New York City, including Cannibal Flower, the Infusion Gallery, Soho Dream, Nocturne, Valjenna, Memphis Café and Joe’s Diner. He has contributed frequent photo essays to Campus Circle magazine as well as portraits in American Songwriter. He has photographed many notable personalities, including Scarlett Johansson, Ringo Starr, Graham Nash, Brian Wilson, Leiber & Stoller, Al Pacino, Jon Bon Jovi, Randy Newman, Stephen Stills, Larry Flynt, Bruno Mars, David Crosby, Van Dyke Parks, Taylor Swift, Alice Cooper, Stephen Colbert, James Taylor, Billy Beck, Paris Hilton, Rickie Lee Jones, Michelle Phillips, Micky Dolenz, Amy O'Neill, Claudia Rose, Aimee Mann, Angels of Venice, John Doe, Christina Linhardt, Peter Case and others. He is presently at work on a book of portraits entitled Angeleno.
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