Born in Manchester, Warner trained as a news reporter then became arts editor of two regional evening newspapers in the 1980s. Between 1989 and 1994 he worked in media relations on arts and education projects. He was a live rock reviewer for The Guardian during the 1990s.
In 1990 he embarked on, and attained, the world’s first MA in Popular Music Studies at the Institute of Popular Music, Liverpool University. In 1994 he became Senior Lecturer in Popular Music Studies at Bretton Hall College, before joining Leeds University as Senior Teaching Fellow on merger in 2001. He was awarded his PhD in 2010 and appointed Lecturer.
The paperback edition of Warner’s book Text and Drugs and Rock’n’Roll will be published by Bloomsbury Academic in the US in May and in the UK in July