Publisher Jeffrey Goldman, a second-generation Angeleno, received his bachelor’s degree in English (creative writing emphasis) from UCLA, where he had the good fortune to study with both future United States Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky and renowned Irish-Canadian novelist Brian Moore. Goldman then entered the MFA playwriting program in UCLA’s Theater Department where he enjoyed studying with both the world-famous translator of classic plays Carl Mueller and the legendary film director and Group Theatre member Michael Gordon, eventually earning an MA in Theatre, while completing PhD coursework in both Theatre and Folklore (under the tutelage of such illustrious folklorists as Robert Georges, Michael Owen Jones, Donald J. Cosentino, and Joseph Nagy).
While at UCLA, Goldman was a weekly columnist, the Music Editor, and eventually the Arts and Entertainment Editor at the Daily Bruin, and worked in the publicity department at Columbia Records. Over the next ten years, he published interviews, feature stories, and music and theater reviews in the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Weekly, New Musical Express (UK), Sounds (UK), and Studies in American Drama, among many others. He was the Associate Editor for Artist magazine, and the Feature and Theater Editor for the Village View (which was subsequently sold to New Times), where he wrote offbeat feature stories (such as “L.A.’s Odd Attractions: A Twisted Tour Guide for Bored Angelenos”), a weekly column (“Our Town”) about life in Los Angeles, and extensively covered the Los Angeles theater scene.
During his music journalism career, Goldman interviewed such seminal rock and roll bands as The Clash, The Doors, The Minutemen (his personal fave), The Psychedelic Furs, and X. He also interviewed, reviewed and/or wrote features on dozens and dozens of artists, including: The B52s, The Band, The Bangles, Black Flag, Blondie, David Bowie, T-Bone Burnett, Ray Charles, Crosby Stills Nash, Elvis Costello, Dead Kennedys, Bo Diddley, The Dream Syndicate, Duran Duran, Bob Dylan, Echo and the Bunnymen, The English Beat, The Eurythmics, Marianne Faithfull, Peter Gabriel, Gang of Four, Marvin Gaye, Green on Red, John Lee Hooker, Husker Du, Michael Jackson, King Sunny Ade, Fela Kuti, Jesus and the Mary Chain, The Long Ryders, Madness, The Meat Puppets, Midnight Oil, Van Morrison, The Neville Brothers, Nine Inch Nails, Tom Petty, Prince, The Ramones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, REM, Linda Rondstadt, Social Distortion, Bruce Springsteen, The Stranglers, The Style Council, Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, Top Jimmy and the Rhythm Pigs, Big Joe Turner, and Neil Young. On the festival front, he covered such historic concert events as The US Festival (both years) and the 20th Anniversary of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
His theater journalism career was highlighted by his interviews with playwrights Edward Albee and August Wilson, which were syndicated internationally by the Los Angeles Times and have been anthologized in numerous books. Included among the many other fascinating theater (and film) artists Goldman has interviewed are: The Actors’ Gang, Jean-Jacques Annaud, Gary Beach, Cary Brokaw, Peter Chesney, Danny DeVito, Michael Dinner, Michael Douglas, Michael Eliasberg, John Fleck, Steve Golin, Spalding Gray, Christopher Hampton, Werner Hlinka, Gregory Hoblit, Klaus Lucka, Jeff McCarthy, Joe Medjuck, Murray Mednick, Carolyn Pfeiffer, Peter Sellars, Domenic Sena, David Schweizer, Louis Schwartzberg, Sigurjon Sighivatsson, John Steppling, Kathleen Turner, The Wooster Group, and Jim Yukich.
Goldman was also fortunate to have reviewed many landmark theatrical productions, including: August Wilson’s Fences with James Earl Jones and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone with Delroy Lindo; Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind with Holly Hunter; Reza Abdoh’s Peep Show; Old Times with Harold Pinter and Liv Ullmann; George C. Wolfe’s The Colored Museum; The Actors’ Gang’s Carnage and Freak Show; Athol Fugard’s Master Harold and the Boys with James Earl Jones; Sharon Ott’s Lulu; L.S.D. (…Just the High Points…) by The Wooster Group with Willem Dafoe, Spalding Gray, and Steve Buscemi; Simon Rattle’s Wozzeck; One Thousand Airplanes on the Roof by Philip Glass, David Hwang, and Jerome Sirlin; David Rabe’s Hurlyburly with Sean Penn, Danny Aiello and Mare Winningham; and even the Martha Graham Dance Company’s 50th Anniversary celebration!
Goldman wrote about the groundbreaking 1990 Los Angeles Festival for a Dramatics Magazine cover story that included an interview with festival director Peter Sellars, as well as reviews of and features on such performers and performances as Bread & Puppet Theater, Cambodia’s Classical Dance Troupe, Robert LePage’s The Dragons’ Trilogy, Nixon in China, The Royal Court of Yogyakarta Java, and The Wooster Group.
After gaining exposure to the book publishing industry by working as a researcher and editor for a best-selling novelist, as well as an editor and designer for an educational book publisher, Goldman began writing and creating his own small-format reference and how-to books, which he sold as premiums and promotional items to a variety of companies, from gas station chains to direct mail order catalog corporations. He eventually expanded several of these titles—including Letter Writing Made Easy! (over 250,000 copies sold); How to Win Lotteries, Sweepstakes, and Contests (over 100,000 copies sold); and How to Find Your Family Roots (over 50,000 copies sold)—and placed them into the book, gift, and catalog trade.
His varied background in literature, folklore, theater, music, and popular culture heavily influenced the types of books Goldman began to publish — from Offbeat Museums to Route 66 Adventure Handbook to MGM: Hollywood’s Greatest Backlot to Turn Up the Radio! Rock, Pop, and Roll 1956-1972— and today Santa Monica Press is an internationally acclaimed small press, known around the world for its eclectic list of nearly 200 titles by a wide array of talented authors (see our “About” page for more information).
Goldman now lives in the San Diego area with his wife and two children. He serves on the Board of the San Diego Symphony and is the Immediate Past Board Chair of Words Alive (as well as a former recipient of their Volunteer of the Year award), a non-profit organization dedicated to changing the story of children’s lives by inspiring a love of reading and writing. Goldman is a writing facilitator at the Monarch School, a school for children whose lives have been impacted by homelessness. He also served for six years on the Board of Trustees, was the Chair of the Education and Outreach Committee, and a member of the Executive Committee, for the La Jolla Playhouse.
A life-long Lakers’ fan — his family has had season tickets since 1965 — Goldman is proud to say that even though he is firmly ensconced in middle age, he can still consistently hit an NBA three!