Marc Spitz, the author and playwright who scribed biographies of David Bowie and Green Day and enjoyed a long tenure at Spin as Senior Writer, died over the weekend at 47. Here, his former Spin editor Alan Light recalls the star writer's time at the magazine. Spitz's funeral will be on Friday.
I don't think I've ever met anyone who believed in rock & roll as much as Marc Spitz did. The grand gesture, the adolescent romanticism, the infinite possibilities of identity and sexuality -- he bought it all, loved it, needed it. He was certain that rock stars were superheroes, and that for us journalists who were entrusted to pass along their musings to the masses, it was our obligation to get as close to their flame as possible. So there he was, doing lines with bands, making out with movie stars, sneering at requests from the DJ booth.
When I took over as Spin's editor-in-chief in 1998, Marc was part of a motley group working on the just-born website, at a time when the web had no rules and no expectations. He was a snotty kid, using his dubious position as a way to get on the list for shows and parties. He was already becoming a star -- somewhere (hopefully) there is still a collection of Polaroids of the Spin staff dressed up as Marc, resplendent in shades, boa, and dangling cigarette.