Jim O'Donnell is a longtime music writer whose work is in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame library in Cleveland. O'Donnell has written several books, including Les Paul: The Lost Interviews, Queen Magic: Freddie Mercury Tribute and Brian May Interview, and The Day John Met Paul.
The Day John Met Paul was published by Penguin and has been translated into several languages, including Japanese, Czech and French. The audiobook was read by Rod Davis, a Quarryman and personal friend of John Lennon. Movie rights to the book were sold recently. He is currently at work on a book about Led Zeppelin.
O'Donnell has appeared frequently on CNN Radio and has done many television interviews. His biggest TV moment came when he didn't appear on the screen at all, but rather had his name show up in a Jeopardy question. The contestant answered correctly for $200.
He holds a Master's Degree from St. Peter's College and studied journalism under New Journalism pioneer Richard Goldstein at New York University. He has also completed graduate courses in Creative Writing and The Teaching of Writing at Harvard University.
Whether sitting front-row-center at an Eric Clapton concert in New York City, or interviewing the Who's Roger Daltrey backstage in London, O'Donnell has traveled the globe for many years, searching out stories. His work has been syndicated by The Los Angeles Times in newspapers ranging from the Boston Globe to the Cleveland Plain Dealer to the San Francisco Chronicle.
He is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the Authors Guild and the Society for Professional Journalists. O'Donnell started writing for a local newspaper, The Jersey Journal, before he was out of high school, and was contributing to a not-so-local newspaper, The New York Times, before he was out of college.
When the Times paid him more for a single memo of facts and quotes than the Journal paid him for a full day's work, he set his sights on the world of New York publishing. Shortly after he graduated from college, Pinnacle Books, a Madison Avenue publisher, commissioned him to write a book about rock music.
He lives in New Jersey with his wife and three children. According to Michael Lydon, a founding editor of Rolling Stone, "Jim O'Donnell has a reporter's curiosity, a rock 'n' roller's heart, and he writes like a lyrical Irish poet."