Help Crawdaddy founder Paul Williams

The health of Crawdaddy magazine founder Paul Williams (not the Muppets-identified ’70s singer-songwriter) has been in decline since a bicycle accident in 1995 caused serious brain damage. In an entry today on the Web site Boing Boing, author Jonathan Lethem tells readers that Williams, 60, now requires full-time care — a huge financial liability on top of the devastating emotional effects his family already feels.

The tone and style of pop-music coverage in the age of blogging can trace its lineage to Williams, who started Crawdaddy when he was still a teenager. (The zine is archived at; click the Crawdaddy up top.) Lethem sums up Williams’ contribution and the alternative press’s debt to him best:

Apart from being a true Founding Father of ‘rock writing,’ and Philip

K. Dick’s literary executor … for anyone with a curiosity about the formation of

world-changing subcultures through grassroots media, Paul was there

when blogging was a twinkle in a mimeograph eye.

The difficulties Paul’s wife, the singer Cindy Lee Berryhill,

and his son, Alexander, now face due to Paul’s need for full-time care

are an opportunity for crowd-sourcing at its best. This is a rotten

time to be hitting anyone up for contributions for anything, but it is

simply the case that if everyone who acknowledged how Paul changed

their life by his music-writing and editing — or by his efforts

propagating the writings of Phil Dick back into prominence — were to

give even five or ten dollars it would transform a very unfortunate

situation. (If everyone whose life had been changed by Paul’s work but

didn’t even know his name were to contribute, they’d build his family a


Make donations to Williams’ family here.

Categories: Music