Bob Greene, though just 27, insists that his column, nationally syndicated in more than a hundred newspapers, is not “youth oriented” by design. Nonetheless, its generally vigorous idealism and new-leftish political drift have won him the enmity of some of the Woodstock generation’s venerable foes. Chicago-based when not on the road, Greene was forced to give up his favorite newsman’s bar recently when another of its patrons turned out to be a hard-hat haunting the place only to fracture the columnist. Educated at Northwestern, Greene’s columns in the university’s Daily became must reading in the editorial offices of the Chicago Sun-Times, which hired him on graduation in ’69. A published collection of his articles—including a prizewinner about the notorious Chicago Seven conspiracy trial—has been followed by Running: A Nixon-McGovern Campaign Journal that earned him critical acclaim. In addition to his thrice-weekly column, Greene has written a TV special and presently hosts a radio show in Chicago. His latest book, a chronicle of the lurid Alice Cooper tour last spring, may well mark his coming of age when it is released next fall. Says Greene, whose marriage of three years is childless, “I was glad I didn’t have a kid in the audience.”
Maggie Bell, winner of the leading British rock rag’s poll as “Best Female Singer” an unprecedented two years in a row, obviously did not have to undertake her just-completed American tour to drum up a following. She traveled Stateside to claim from American critics her rightful legacy as the most sensational white blues singer since Janis Joplin.
Maggie, the 29-year-old daughter of a widowed waitress, discovered music as a tambourine-rattling 5-year-old in a Salvation Army street band in her native Glasgow. First noticed as the gutsy vocalist in the briefly popular Scottish rock act Stone the Crows, Maggie’s career went into a tailspin when her fiance Les Harvey, the group’s lead guitarist, was electrocuted by touching a faultily wired microphone during a British concert in 1972. Maggie, awaiting her entrance, was watching in the wings. The band broke up shortly thereafter. “It’s a funny thing to explain,” Maggie remembers, “but I died when Les died. And then I experienced a rebirth. I knew that I really had to go on singing.” Her first two stabs at a solo recording failed to measure up to her own musical standards. Undaunted, she tried again. The result—just released to unqualified raves—is called Queen of the Night. But for Maggie Bell it’s really the dawn’s early rays.