Tim Riley

Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director
Pronouns: (He/Him/His)

NPR critic Tim Riley has written widely about the Beatles and rock history, most recently with What Goes On: The Beatles, Their Music In Their Time (with Walter Everett, Oxford University Press, 2019). His other books include Lennon: Man, Myth, Music (Hyperion, 2011), which the New York Times praised as “a critical tour-de-force,” Tell Me Why: A Beatles Commentary (Knopf/Vintage 1988), Hard Rain: A Dylan Commentary (Knopf/Vintage 1992, Da Capo 1999), Madonna: Illustrated (Hyperion 1992), and Fever: How Rock'N'Roll Transformed Gender In America (St. Martin's/Picador 2005).

He has lectured on campuses nationwide discussing Censorship in the Arts and Rock History, and was Brown University's Critic In Residence in 2008. He runs the Riley Rock Index and contributes to blog riley.

What Goes On Listening Guides

Sync videos up with 20 Beatles tracks to note details of arrangements, production, and concept.

Watch Tim Riley talk about:

Related Links


  • Department Journalism
  • Since 2009
  • Office Hours
    • T, THU 11:30 am–12:30 pm, FRI 2 pm–4 pm


B.M., Oberlin Conservatory
M.M., Eastman School of Music


Hard Rain: A Dylan Commentary


Fever: How Rock 'n' Roll Transformed Gender In America


Award-winning book reviewer for truthdig.com, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Book Review.


Lennon: Man, Myth, Music


Awards & Honors

First Place for 2015–2016, National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards


Los Angeles Press Club


Book/Cultural Critic, Online