Jeff Vrabel: Bio


About me: I’m a writer, humor columnist, music journalist, father of a seven-year-old aspiring Disney World monorail engineer (and bacon aficionado), former Hoosier and Chicagoan, irrational Springsteen obsessive, “Weird Al” Yankovic scholar, person who runs long distances very slowly and print media apologist based on Hilton Head Island, SC.

Currently, the pieces that I optimistically refer to as humor columns appear weekly in GateHouse Media newspapers nationwide. (That’s right: A newspaper company. Business is going really well, thanks for asking.) My humor essays have also been published in Modern Bride, Elegant Bride, Paste, the Chicago Sun-Times, Indy Men’s Magazine, the home page, Hilton Head Monthly (where I’m currently editor-in-chief) and the Florida Times-Union.

My music writing has appeared in Paste,, Billboard (for whom I covered Bonnaroo in 2009 and 2010), Playboy, No Depression, the Chicago Sun-Times, All About Jazz, the official site, the preeminent Springsteen magazine Backstreets, the Florida Times-Union, the lively blog PopDose, the Village Voice (technically, four years’ worth of Pazz and Jop comments, but I’m counting them) and several dozen Neil Diamond message boards — wow, can those people not take a joke.

In this context I’ve interviewed and/or profiled the Beastie Boys, Gnarls Barkley, four members of the E Street Band, the Avett Brothers, the Drive-By Truckers, John Prine, Billy Joel and Tom Jones, among many others.

I’ve also interviewed Snoop Dogg while my son watched a Winnie the Pooh movie in the back seat, covered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in New York City, discussed “Elmo’s World” with Alice Cooper, covered SXSW and Austin City Limits, obtained parenting tips from Ben Harper, boarded Damian Marley and Nas’ fragrant tour bus, accidentally convinced DMC to drop a 20-second freestyle dedicated to my cousin, accidentally appeared on VH1 adjacent to “Weird Al” Yankovic, shook the lovely hand of Britney Spears, kicked a soccer ball around with Michael Franti, been mentioned by name on Hillbilly Jim’s satellite radio program, had a fine interview with an actual Wiggle (the yellow one), discussed reproduction with Maynard James Keenan, had the band Travis send my son a hug, engaged in one extremely terrible interview with Ghostface Killah and a surprisingly chill one with Mitch Hedberg, seen Jimmy Buffett at Fenway Park and Wrigley Field, swung by Mose Allison’s house, discussed IU basketball with the Hold Steady, been indirectly insulted by Russell Crowe on Chicago talk radio and directly insulted by Brian May on his blog, exchanged Mick Foley stories with Johnny Knoxville, and asked Bret Michaels, Dizzie Rascal and Danger Mouse what song was playing when they lost their virginity (answers, in order: “something short,” he didn’t remember, and Jodeci).

Other profiles and interviews, most of which are available on this blog, include Linkin Park, Grandmaster Flash and Mele Mel, Slash, Jack Johnson, Henry Rollins, Mike Ness, Rob Thomas, Joan Jett, Grace Potter and many more.

Reviews include memorable shows by Springsteen and the Seeger Sessions Band, Neil Diamond, R. Kelly, Guns N’ Roses and many more.

Thanks to Ebert having much better things to do, I reviewed a few films for the Sun-Times, including the indie-rock doc “Dig!”, the original “Star Wars” trilogy on DVD and, memorably, “Jackass: The Movie.” (While at the Sun-Times, I also learned that if Ebert wishes to sit at your desk, even briefly, you sort of have to let him.)

My humor pieces have absolutely no connective thread whatsoever, but have involved a giant brushfire at my son’s birthday party, the night he vanished from the house at 1:30 a.m., the day he decided he was pregnant, the state of waiting areas of the Newark International Airport and fiascoes about handwriting. I have also been known to become emotionally invested in competitions regarding pierogies.

About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

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