"Jennifer Otter Bickerdike is the rare combination of tenacious, charming, funny and smart, the kind of person you would trust to thoroughly research an article to the most granular extent but have enough fan girl rock and roll knowledge to happily spend the afternoon over gin and tonics exchanging stories about favorite bands and records."
- Gillian McCain, Please Kill Me
Professor Jennifer Otter Bickerdike is a rock & roll cultural historian and author, working across music heritage, fandom, broadcast and academia.
Jen is a familiar name in the world of pop culture. An academic, writer, presenter and historian, Jennifer has spent her life dedicated to the mistress that is rock n roll. With more than 30 years of experience in the culture industries, ranging from her time as a former music industry executive in the US to surviving three waves of dot com bubble bursting in the Silicon Valley, Jen brings a unique perspective to the discussion of contemporary music and media.
An avid admitted fangirl herself, Jen's enthusiasm is contagious, her experiences as a practitioner, scholar and provocateur allowing for nonpareil exploration across a range of societal issues and behaviors. Jen joins the podcast fray with her newest project, the Rock N Roll Confidential, where she chats with aspirational artists, athletes and more about the A and B-sides of their lives. Jen's recent books include the #1 Amazon best-seller Being Britney: Pieces of a Modern Icon and the critically acclaimed You are Beautiful and You are Alone: The Biography of Nico out on Faber & Faber (UK) and Hachette (USA).
A recovering Anglophile herself, Jen has authored several other books on the topics of music, fandom and celebrity cultism, including #1 bestseller, Why Vinyl Matters (2017); Joy Devotion: The Importance of Ian Curtis and Fan Culture (2016); The Secular Religion of Fandom (2015) and Fandom, Image and Authenticity: Joy Devotion and the Second Lives of Kurt Cobain and Ian Curtis (2014). Jen was also the literary consultant for Will Sergeant of the iconic post-punk band Echo and the Bunnymen with his debut memoir Bunnyman, available on Hachette / Third Man.
Jen is often asked to commentate, present and interview on the topics of music, heritage and pop culture, with some recent appearances including Woman's Hour, Please Kill Me, Talk Radio with Jeremy Kyle, Bigmouth Podcast, Sirius Radio, Soho Radio, Cambridge University, Louder Than Words, Long Live Vinyl, TruTV, BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC 4, Camp Bestival, Bestival at Goldsmiths University of London, Channel 4, OK! Magazine, Bass Guitar Magazine, Absolute Radio, The Guardian, Manchester Off The Record, Liverpool Sound City and Classic Album Sundays .
Originally from Santa Cruz, California, Jen spent time at a variety of record companies, including Sony Music, MCA Records and Universal Music and Video Distribution before becoming the West Coast Marketing Director for Interscope Geffen A&M Records at 25.
She toured with and devised marketing and branding campaigns for major international acts including Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, Dr. Dre, Gwen Stefani, U2 and Eminem, before leaving to start her own consulting company, working with a wide array of creative industry and technology taste-makers, such as Facebook, Dawbell PR, Music for America, Adeline Records and L.A.M.B.
After friend Hunter McPherson was murdered in San Francisco, Jennifer decided to quit her job, sell everything she owned and roll the dice on fulfilling a life long dream of living in England. Her story of transformation was picked from thousands and featured in New York Times best-selling author Marlo Thomas’s book, It Ain’t Over ‘Till Its Over.
In 2019, Jen was featured on the cover of the Good Times, her hometown newspaper. In September of the same year, Santa Cruz mayor Martine Watkins proclaimed September 28th officially 'Jennifer Otter Bickerdike' day in honor of Jen's contributions to music culture and community in her hometown.
In 2013, she won the Student Led Teaching award for Most Innovative Lecturer and was short listed for the same accolade on a national level by the Times Higher Education.