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The Only Girl: My Life and Times on the Masthead of Rolling Stone

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  243 ratings  ·  41 reviews
A raucous and vividly dishy memoir by the only woman writer on the masthead of Rolling Stone Magazine in the early Seventies.

In 1971, Robin Green had an interview with Jann Wenner at the offices of Rolling Stone magazine. She had just moved to Berkeley, California, a city that promised "Good Vibes All-a Time." Those days, job applications asked just one question, "What are
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 21st 2018 by Little, Brown and Company
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Average rating 3.28  · 
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Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book covers a lot of ground and may only scratch the surface of Robin Green’s interesting life. She had/has brains and writing talent and the knack for moving ahead (not re-inventing herself) to meet the changing times. Through a chronology with significant flashbacks and forwards, Robin takes you through not just her life but the changes in the career side of creating popular culture.

How does a young “girl” fresh out of college land a job with Stan Lee? Serendipitously according to Green,
Janelle Janson
Thank you so much Little, Brown and Company for providing my free copy of THE ONLY GIRL by Robin Green - all opinions are my own.

This is a coming-of-age memoir about Robin Green who had an inside look into Rolling Stone magazine in the early seventies - so of course, I had to read this. Green was the only female writer listed on the masthead in those days, which is quite impressive. Her detailed account is interesting, picaresque, lively, witty, engaging, and irreverent. She’s forthcoming and ho
Brianna Westervelt
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
My only complaint is that she knew too many Davids.
Iris Dorbian
Feb 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
I couldn't finish this book and I'm so disappointed because I was really drawn to the subject matter or rather what I thought was going to be the subject matter. Judging from the title, I truly thought this was going to be about a pioneer female journalist's adventures (and misadventures) during the early years of Rolling Stone magazine. Actually, that constitutes a small portion of the book. The rest is devoted to Robin Green's rise and fall and subsequent rise again, this time as a successful ...more
Tracy Towley
Mar 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book is like if you're at a party and you start chatting with someone and initially think, "Wow, this is an interesting person, how fortunate I am to meet them!" but then by the time the party is over you've found yourself thinking about shitting your pants just so you have an excuse to excuse yourself from the conversation, except the vapid person you're talking to would just follow you into the bathroom to continue complaining about how unfairly they're always treated, and how everyone is ...more
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Robin Green was the ONLY woman writer listed on the masthead of Rolling Stone Magazine in the early 70's. Let that sink in. Robin has written a witty, irreverent memoir of that crazy time in American history when women were just beginning to crack the glass ceiling. She holds nothing back, not even her own skeletons. 'The Only Girl: My Life and Times on the Masthead of Rolling Stone' is a study in cultural movements and how far women have come. Peace out.

I read an advance copy and was not compen
patty ramona
An entertaining kiss-and-tell romp through the author's life, with the Rolling Stone angle covering about two-thirds of the book, then moving on to the author's successes in both network and cable television shows, and on a personal note - love.

I was quite bothered by this mistake though:

"At the time, HBO broadcast boxing on Saturday nights and had ventured slightly into original content with quirky shows like Dream On and the wonderfully sly It's the Garry Shandling Show, a send-up of late-nigh
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was ok

2.5 Stars!


I had never heard of Green before until I listened to her doing an interview on the radio last year promoting this book. From what she says in here she was clearly a talented and successful writer. As well as her fairly short career at “Rolling Stone” she did work for other magazines and would later reinvent herself as a writer for TV contributing to the likes of “Northern Exposure” and
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
You can read my review of this book in an upcoming issue of Publisher's Weekly.
Sarah Eutsler
Oct 25, 2018 rated it liked it
I admit I didn’t finish it. I wanted a cool inside look at Rolling Stone and a woman forging a path as a journalist at a time when men ruled the roost. Instead it was a meandering through her life that made it difficult to stay engaged or piece together a solid timeline of a story. A few anecdotes were interesting, but it just wasn’t for me.
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps it’s the fact I’m not familiar with her journalistic work - but I found the book pretty insufferable.
The tone was tight and abrasive, and sensitive topics were handled with a brash irony that seemed to distance the text from any real feeling. Plus, the name dropping at every moment became disorienting. It was a dizzying array of people labelled, who didn’t really affix any meaning to the memoir. They were just there.
Perhaps I wanted something a little more romantic, and that simply wasn
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
There's been a rash of books published uncovering "forgotten" and "overlooked" histories of women, POC, queer, etc. That's great, important stuff. But here.... with Robin Green we have a real memoir of a woman who lived and lived to tell about it. Is it a perfect book? Maybe not. Is it entertaining, witty, touching, truthful, and smart? Definitely. Don't let this history be forgotten. And good on you, Robin, for writing it.

ARC provided by the publisher.
Feb 17, 2019 added it
This book was so bad. The only reason I kept reading was because all the names in it of famous people. But soooo poorly written and what a gigantic ego she has. Calling herself beautiful...she whored around— an embarrassment to hard working young women everywhere. She got fired from every writing job she had, and blamed it on everyone else. This is who Holden Caulfield was referring to when he called his writer/brother a “prostitute.” Ugh.
Jen  C
Dec 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Coming of age in the period of beats, hippies, and free love, Robin Green went from waitress to free-lance journalist for Rolling Stone virtually overnight. After using an old college connection to secure a meeting, Robin nails the interview. Her first story goes immediately to the cover which leads to her eventually rise as the first female on the masthead of Rolling Stone. You may recognize her name as a writer on the Sopranos and Blue Bloods.

Green weaves her story through vignettes from her l
isabel pellegrino
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Donna Milward
Mar 14, 2020 rated it liked it
My husband gave me this book as a gift because he knows how much I love biographies, especially rock n' roll biographies.

From the very first page, the author gripped me with her obvious writing talent. Even though this is non-fiction, she creates fantastic atmosphere with just the right amount of detail, not to mention great foreshadowing. It's obvious why Rolling Stone wanted her and why she continues to get work. I learned a lot about writing from just reading this.

Robin Green isn't shy abou
Mar 22, 2019 rated it liked it
I’m English and a huge music fan and relevantly; female. I worked for small record labels, PR etc in the 90s meeting plenty of music journalists. A lot of them had bigger egos than the rock stars they were scrambling to get interviews with. But among them, a minority were genuine and humble and brilliant (Alexis Petredis/Tom Cox/David Fricke). I felt mislead in to thinking I’d be getting a comprehensive inside view to Rolling Stone magazine and some fascinating and hilarious insights into one of ...more
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. A gossipy kiss-and-tell by Robin Green, who got lucky in getting her first assignment for Rolling Stone and parlayed that into an ultimately successful career in TV scripts (The Sopranos & Blue Bloods). I haven't read any of her Rolling Stone stories, but based on how she described them here, & this memoir, I have to think that what was notable in her stories was her willingness to be snarky & unkind. She is fully a child of the sex, drugs, & rock n'roll late '60's/early '70's (althou ...more
Lisa Mcbroom
Robin Green was a middle class Jewish girl growing up in Providence, Rhode Island. After reading Herman Wouk's Marjorie Morningstar , her dream is to go to NYC. Her great talent however is writing. Her claim to fame is being the only female writer with Rolling Stone during the 1970s. I recently finished An Alphabetical Life about a young woman in the 60s working at a Berkeley Bookstore. That memoir was filled with conviction and protests. Green's memoir set in the 70's has a very hedonistic vibe ...more
Jun 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-in-2019
Stuff I liked: Reading a bit about Rolling Stone's early days, that she has written for some of my favorite TV shows (Northern Exposure, Sopranos). And she is unrelentingly honest, willing to reveal some very unflattering things about herself. I doubt doubt anything she says in the book as a result.

She's clearly a talent.

And yet.... The title felt like a bait and switch. I wanted to read more about her job, how she made it as a woman and journalist, etc. It's more of a kiss-and-tell and the nar
Tammy T
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Finally. I've been reading books around this era by women that have been clearly holding back about what they really experienced. In this book the author seems to share all the gritty details as she remembers them, wether they portray her in a good light or not. And wether they will leave her an awkward position with those she used to cover in her journalism which other seemed to still be protective of. She doesn't seem to be overly romantic of the times she covered, but still has a nostalgia an ...more
Pauline Harding
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Listened to several hours’ worth while sewing, but didn’t finish this audiobook. The author wants to write Patti Smith’s “Just Kids” (which I loved), but seriously misses the mark. She seems to drift through life with no emotion whatsoever, meandering through jobs and men for no particular reason. I usually enjoy a good rock-and-roll biography, or even a mediocre one, but I couldn’t slog through to the end of this one. If you are a fan of Rolling Stone and RS-adjacent people from this era, it mi ...more
Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it
I found this book very interesting until about halfway or so when she finally became wealthy & somewhat famous. Then, the whole tone of the book changed, reduced to a lot of dull name dropping & way too much information about her sex live.
I enjoyed the beginning more as she started out as the first female writer on the masthead of Rolling Stone magazine. It was interesting to hear about how they got that magazine off the ground with an amusing cast of characters.
Aug 28, 2018 rated it liked it
I really had high hopes for this one. I guess I was thinking that it would focus on Green's time at Rolling Stone but it was more of Green's coming of age story and her chaotic life between Rolling Stone and The Sopranos. There were tidbits and stories that were interesting, but for the most part I found it choppy - she weaves back and forth through time and events. Fiercely honest.
Carmen CP
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's a bit too stream of consciousness at times, but Green evokes 60s and 70s California and the struggles of being so much the only woman in the room that you don't know what to do about it beautifully. She doesn't try to hide her own mess and imperfections. while talking about the obstacles she faced. Highly recommended to anyone in love with the culture and music of the twentieth century.
Chattynatty Van Waning
If it wasn’t a book club book I wouldn’t have finished it. The title is misleading. I felt there wasn’t much content about her actual time at RS.

Her life seemed full of unhappiness, drugs, and lots of sex,but little enjoyed.

I did enjoy the part of the story focused on her time as a producer on multiple TV shows.
Dec 10, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a fine memoir of a woman who lived through the ‘60 and ‘70. But in many ways, the main difference is just that she did it around people with important names and important jobs. It’s entertaining, but her RS articles and Sopranos episodes show off her talents better than this book.
Kate Harris
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
I thought I would love this book, all female journalists, music, and counter culture glamour. Instead it was hard to follow, filled with name-dropping and self-congratulating. It did convince me I need to read Didion, but that may be its only redeeming quality.
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This would make for a fantastic beach read. Super fun look at the 60s and beyond.
Lyndsey Jenkins
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I didn’t know anything about this author (never watched the sopranos...) but saw a couple of good reviews and really enjoyed this! Author is very dry, witty and frank.
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