Rob Patterson has enjoyed a unique and varied career as a journalist, writer, editor and arts / cultural critic. A native of upstate New York, he was first published in 1976 on music in lower Manhattan’s seminal Soho Weekly News and the legendary national music magazine Crawdaddy. He also did production work and community reporting for Big Apple weeklies The Brooklyn Phoenix and The Villager. In 1977 he became one of the most widely distributed pop music writers in the nation as a weekly columnist for United Media, appearing in some 250-300 daily newspapers via Newspaper Enterprises Association and later as a writer for the Pop Scene Service of its sister syndicate United Features.
His work has appeared in such top music publications as Creem, Spin, Musician, Billboard, Country Music, Request, Harp and many more including audio, guitar and recording magazines and the UK’s New Musical Express and Country Music People, plus a score or so of alternative newsweeklies. He contributed to two editions of the Rolling Stone Record Guide and The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Rock Music. Rob has also pursued a parallel entertainment industry career as a road manager, publicist, staff PR writer for a major label and top PR firms, independent record label manager, marketing grunt and consultant plus record producer and more. Over the years he has expanded his range as a journalist by writing news and general interest features plus as a film, restaurant and book critic, travel writing and more as well as trade magazine reporting on everything from the music industry to commercial construction to equestrian gear and wear. Patterson arrived in Austin in late 1989 (when traffic wasn’t even a subject to discuss here) to do ad and trade show sales for South By Southwest’s 1990 and ’91 conferences, and helped plan its panels through 1995. He was Senior Editor/Writer for the Austin Chronicle from 1991-’95, editing its music and politics sections. He later served as radio columnist for the American-Statesman and contributed to the daily as a freelance film and food critic plus music and feature writer, was editor/designer of this city’s official visitor’s magazine, Experience Austin, and spent a one-session temp stretch on the state tab editing bill analyses for what he likes to refer to as the Texas House of Reprehensibles. Since the late ‘90s Patterson has continued to diversify his writing as a full-time freelancer, appearing in such outlets as Salon.com, The Huffington Post, Texas Teacher, Irish America and Cowboys & Indians plus the trade magazines Texas Construction and Western & English Today and writing two Leftist-leaning entertainment columns for The Progressive Populist. Yes, Patterson is a proud member of the truly liberal media. The rumors that he has been spied at exits to I-35 with a sign that reads “Will Write for Single Malt Scotch” do bear a kernel of truth. He looks forward to writing more songs and articles about buildings and food and much else that strikes and engages his fancy and restless intellect in his quest to endure as a professional writer in an increasingly subliterate world.