Rock Critics/ Historians at Litquake: Greil Marcus, Ben Fong-Torres, Michael Goldberg, Sylvie Simmons, Joel Selvin, Nadine Condon and Rickey Vincent

Rock critics at Litquake

On Friday October 21, 2022, a group of rock critics and music historians will read from their recent books at a Litquake event at the Make-Out Room in San Francisco. The evening will begin at 7:30 pm and end around 10:30 and there is a $15 charge. Appearing are Greil Marcus, Michael Goldberg (that’s me), Sylvia Simmons, Ben Fong-Torres, Joel Selvin, Rickey Vincent and Nadine Condon. The authors’ books will be available. Greil Marcus will be reading from his excellent new book about Bob Dylan, “Folk Music: A Bob Dylan Biography in Seven Songs.”

The bios as they appear on the Litquake website:

Greil Marcus is an author, music journalist, and cultural critic. He is notable for producing scholarly and literary essays that place rock music in a broader framework of culture. Marcus was born in San Francisco, and earned an undergraduate degree in American Studies from UC Berkeley, where he also did graduate work in political science. He has been a rock critic and columnist for Rolling Stone (where he was the reviews editor, at $30 a week), and other publications, including CreemThe Village Voice, and Artforum. Marcus is the author of Mystery Train, Lipstick Traces, and Invisible Republic, among many others.

Ben Fong-Torres is an American rock journalist, author, and broadcaster best known for his association with Rolling Stone magazine and The San Francisco Chronicle. He has published 11 books, on subjects ranging from a history of Top 40 radio, to Gram Parsons, The Doors, Grateful Dead, The Eagles, and Little Feat, among others. He has also worked in radio since the 1970s, and is currently a DJ and program director for the online station The award-winning documentary about his life and career, Like a Rolling Stone: The Life and Times of Ben Fong-Torres (2021) is now streaming on Netflix.

Sylvie Simmons is an award-winning author and one of the foremost music journalists working today. Born in London, she moved to Los Angeles in the late ’70s to write about rock music for magazines such as SoundsCreemKerrang!, and MOJO. She is the author of acclaimed fiction and nonfiction books, including bestselling biographies of Leonard Cohen (I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen); Serge Gainsbourg (A Fistful of Gitanes); and, most recently, Debbie Harry’s Face It. She is also a singer-songwriter and recording artist; her most recent album is Blue On Blue (Compass Records, 2020). She has lived at various times in England, the United States, and France, and currently lives in San Francisco.

Writer and photographer Michael Goldberg has been interviewing and photographing musicians since he was 17. He was a senior writer at Rolling Stone magazine for a decade. His writing has appeared in EsquireNew Musical ExpressCreemDownBeatNew York RockerTrouser PressMusicianNew WestVibeNew TimesThe San Francisco Chronicle, and other publications. He has had three novels published: True Love ScarsThe Flowers Lied, and Untitled. In May 2022, Wicked Game: The True Story of Guitarist James Calvin Wilsey was published. Coming Nov. 1: Addicted To Noise: The Music Writings of Michael Goldberg.

San Francisco Chronicle pop music critic Joel Selvin started covering rock shows for the paper shortly after the end of the Civil War. His writing has appeared in a surprising number of other publications that you would think should have known better. He has written more than 20 books covering various aspects of pop music, and his newest is Sly & the Family Stone: An Oral History.

Nadine Condon worked in the local music scene from 1979-89 with the Jefferson Starship/Starship, during the era of “We Built This City.” She then promoted artists like Melissa Etheridge, Steve Miller, and John Mayall, and eventually launched the “Nadine’s Wild Weekend” annual music festival, a legendary San Francisco showcase of “135 bands, 30 shows, 20 clubs, and four nights.” She is the author of Hot Hits Cheap Demos: The Real-World Guide to Music Business Success, and her new memoir is Confessions: Stories to Rock Your Soul. The Bay Area’s “Godmother of Rock” lives in the Sonoma Valley with her husband and two rescue cats, Bret and Bart.

Dr. Rickey Vincent is an author, music scholar, radio host and educator. He is author of the award-winning Funk: The Music, the People, and the Rhythm of The One, and Party Music: The Inside Story of the Black Panthers’ Band and How Black Power Transformed Soul Music. He writes and speaks on issues of race, culture, music and politics nationwide. Since 1997 he has hosted The History of Funk on KPFA radio, two hours of the strongest, stankiest, uncut funk anywhere on the airwaves.

It should be a great evening. More info at Litquake.

About Michael Goldberg

Michael Goldberg is a distinguished pioneer in the online music space; Newsweek magazine called him an ‘Internet visionary.’ In 1994 he founded Addicted To Noise (ATN), the highly influential music web site. He was a senior vice-president and editor in chief at SonicNet from March 1997 through May 2000. In 1997, Addicted To Noise won Webby awards for best music site in 1998 and 1999, and also won Yahoo Internet Life! awards for three years running as best music site in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Prior to starting Addicted To Noise, Goldberg was an editor and senior writer at Rolling Stone magazine for 10 years. His writing has also appeared in Wired, Esquire, Vibe, Details, Downbeat, NME and numerous other publications. Michael has had three novels published that comprise the "Freak Scene Dream trilogy": "True Love Scars," "The Flowers Lied" and "Untitled" which can be ordered here. His new book, "Wicked Game: The True Story of Guitarist James Calvin Wilsey," can be pre-ordered from HoZac Books. In November Backbeat Books will publish "Addicted To Noise: The Music Writings of Michael Goldberg," which can be be pre-ordered here.

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