George Varga

Writer

Veteran U-T pop music critic George Varga began drumming in rock bands at 12 and writing professionally about music at 15. A Louisiana native who grew up mostly in Germany, Varga has earned three Pulitzer Prize nominations for his writing at the U-T and is a voting member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In addition to providing live coverage of the Grammy Awards and festivals from Coachella to the 1994 edition of Woodstock, he has interviewed everyone from Ray Charles, Miles Davis and Britney Spears to Willie Nelson, Kanye West and Bruno Mars. A triple first-prize winner at the 2014 Society of Professional Journalists awards, Varga is also a contributing writer for Jazz Times magazine and has written for Billboard, Spin and other publications. After attending San Diego City College and San Diego State University, he created and taught the 2002 UC San Diego Extension course, “Jazz in a Post-Ken-Burns World." Varga lives with his wife in North Park.

Recent Articles

  • Metallica heads to San Diego with renewed purpose and vigor

    Metallica heads to San Diego with renewed purpose and vigor

    Does life begin anew at 36 for Metallica? Despite the title of its 10th studio album, last year's "Hardwired ... To Self-Destruct," the world's most popular metal band remains one of the most vital institutions in rock music. Exactly how vital and popular should be reaffirmed when Metallica's 2017...

  • Whitney Rose, 'Heartbreaker of the Year,' headed to House of Blues

    Whitney Rose, 'Heartbreaker of the Year,' headed to House of Blues

    In the case of rising Canadian singer-songwriter Whitney Rose, "fake news" is country music's gain. Now based in Austin, Rose gave up her college journalism studies for a very good reason. "They're interested in facts, and I like making things up," she recently told an interviewer. Her imagination...

  • The Killers confirm 'Wonderful' 2018 tour dates

    The Killers confirm 'Wonderful' 2018 tour dates

    The Killers will promote their upcoming fifth album, "Wonderful Wonderful," with an 18-city North American tour early next year. The new dates, which follow the band's previously announced fall tour, will begin with a Jan. 5 concert in Toronto and conclude Feb. 6 in Salt Lake City. The itinerary...

  • Rob Thomas talks Matchbox Twenty, solo career and being 'complete idiots'

    Rob Thomas talks Matchbox Twenty, solo career and being 'complete idiots'

    It is not uncommon for established rock stars to stretch out and explore new creative pursuits or business projects. Matchbox Twenty singer Rob Thomas is most assuredly not one of them. "I don't have plans for other careers," he said. "I don't want to act, or produce, or work for a record label...

  • Double treat? Lionel Richie, Mariah Carey set for joint SDSU concert

    Double treat? Lionel Richie, Mariah Carey set for joint SDSU concert

    It's hard to imagine  Mariah Carey  playing second fiddle to anyone, including Lionel Richie, who is headlining their joint "All the Hits" tour. Or, as Richie recently put it: "A diva has to do what a diva has to do." So expect her to pull out all the stops when their tour stops here Thursday night...

  • Linkin Park releases heartfelt letter to deceased singer

    Linkin Park releases heartfelt letter to deceased singer

    The members of Linkin Park have released a heartfelt letter to their singer, Chester Bennington, four days after he hung himself at his Los Angeles home. In it, the band's five surviving members write that they are still coming to "grips with what has happened" and are feeling "shock-waves of grief...

  • Linkin Park cancels tour following death of singer

    Linkin Park cancels tour following death of singer

    Linkin Park has canceled its summer and fall "One More Light" North American concert tour, which was scheduled to begin Thursday in Boston and would have included an Oct. 20 show with Snoop Dogg at San Diego's Mattress Firm Amphitheatre. The decision comes  one day after the band's singer, Chester...

  • Guns N' Roses adds new shows to its reunion tour

    Guns N' Roses is marking today's 30th anniversary of the release of its landmark 1987 debut album, "Appetite For Destruction," by adding 11 more concerts to its ongoing "Not In This Lifetime" reunion tour. The new dates will come on top of the hard-rocking band's previously announced summer and...

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