As Green points out in her entertaining, page-turning, and scorchingly candid new memoir ... she little expected to be working at Rolling Stone, much less to be the only woman listed as contributing editor on the magazine’s masthead back in those heady days of rock journalism ... She so palpably describes her first night in New York that her loneliness scores our own bones ... The staccato sentences strung together cut into our emotions and deepen the stark, claustrophobic feeling of aloneness and disappointment and momentary hopelessness ... The Only Girl is brimming over with stories of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and there are clear-eyed but sympathetic descriptions of some of the more famous denizens of the magazine ... Yet, the power of The Only Girl lies in Green’s willingness to acknowledge the vulnerability she feels early in her career, her willingness to share her struggles and triumphs of making her way, finding her voice ... an electrifying read.
Despite her achievement, her perspective is that of the nervy outsider, one who wandered, hippie-stoned and wildly talented, into the male enclaves of a journal that lionized rock stars and helped legitimize the drug-addled counterculture as a political and intellectual force ... Green found her place there with ease, a natural storyteller with an ear for dialogue and an earthy directness to her prose ... If anything, Green’s memoir seems drenched in a nostalgia Rolling Stone’s sexist heyday doesn’t deserve, but all the same she writes unsparingly of her frailties, her fixations, the honest appetites of an explorer in a fragmenting America. Brave survivor of the psychedelic wars, she came, she saw, she conquered.
Green paints a vivid picture of being at the epicenter of the new rock’n’roll bohemian culture with the Rolling Stone crowd ... The Only Girl perhaps couldn’t be viewed as a definitive book on the burgeoning rock’n’roll era, or even on Rolling Stone, as it has an eccentric, wilful, albeit charming, tendency to weave, back and forth, through time zones, with Green mulling and remulling (and even re-re-mulling) on people, events and thoughts, seemingly as the mood takes her. Not that it matters—there are already books on Rolling Stone, and on the era, the majority of which are written by men. This one is about a woman navigating the uncharted territory of her crazy expanding new world, not only armed with the requisite 'groovy' access-all-areas pass, but also the self-awareness, humor, and resilience that an 'only girl' needs.
As Robin Green, then the only female writer on the magazine, says in this colorful autobiography, it felt like 'the heartbeat of the most happening thing on the planet' ... On the work front, Green specialized in the waspish debunking of celebrity vanities. After the teenybop idol David Cassidy unwisely expressed a desire to appear in Rolling Stone, she and Leibovitz persuaded him to pose naked for the cover. The ensuing pubic hair horror caused a mass withdrawal of his sponsorship and advertising deals ... There was great music, it was good to be young, and you could only feel sorry for the people who came after, who would never get to live that life.
Journalist turned award-winning Sopranos screenwriter Robin Green adds a new credit to her illustrious career ... The Only Girl’s vigor comes from her blunt acknowledgment of the diffidence she faced early in her career. To follow her path to being paid, published, and praised amid many tribulations proves both a solace and great reward.
While Green offers a smorgasbord of insider information on Rolling Stone, the trajectory of her eventual career as a television writer, where she would become one of the forces behind The Sopranos, only to be fired in its last season, is fascinating as well. Filled with plenty of sex, drugs, and some rock ’n’ roll, this offers a one-of-a-kind perspective on the people behind a cultural phenomenon.
...at a granular level The Only Girl nicely evokes the adventurous spirit of the late 1960s and early 1970s ... Her prose has a freewheeling, informal quality, summoning some moments vividly, skating over others ... It is here, at her best, that she really does live up to Didion’s view of the unsparing writer.
With humor and candid self-reflection, the author details her struggles after being fired from Rolling Stone and returning to her family's home in Providence, RI, for a time ... Reading like a real-life road novel, Green's memoir is a must for aspiring writers.
A lusty, reflective, score-settling memoir ... Green recounts the lively, raucous tale of how she found, lost, and regained her groove, smoking dope and winning Emmys in the process ... Her story is wildly picaresque—upper-middle-class to rags to homes in New York and Los Angeles—revealing (especially when dealing with the backstage politics of TV production), and at times wearyingly materialistic and self-absorbed ... both a solid insider’s account and a happy-go-lucky, lifelong coming-of-age story.
Green wonderfully tells of her various assignments, including a failed interview with a stoned and evasive Dennis Hopper (so 'cruel, so high') and how she escaped his compound and later wrote an eviscerating article; riding in a car with Annie Leibovitz, with Hunter S. Thompson at the wheel loaded on Wild Turkey and pills; and sleeping with RFK Jr. in his dorm room at Harvard but refusing to write about him ... Green’s book is an entertaining look at the early era of Rolling Stone and rock journalism.