Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Yet another great class in Berkeley, this time with David Weir. We focused on the Patty Hearst story he wrote with Howard Kohn for Rolling Stone in 1975. That was a blockbuster, but we also learned about Sundance magazine, Salon, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and David's life and times. So glad that worked out. Greil Marcus will visit next week, our final meeting. Pretty cool that these legends live in the area and are willing to share their rich experiences with us. Thanks to the OLLI program at UC Berkeley for making it happen.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Course on Rolling Stone Magazine at UC Berkeley

I'm teaching a course on Rolling Stone magazine at UC Berkeley's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. So far, so good. I've invited three guests: Ben Fong-Torres, David Weir, and Greil Marcus. Ben's visit last week was a big success.

Friday, March 01, 2024

Review of New Ralph Gleason Bio

I was delighted to review Don Armstrong's new Ralph Gleason bio for Alta. Along with other elders like Bill Graham and Tom Donahue, Gleason lifted the profile of the Bay Area rock scene, but he also covered jazz and other popular forms for many years with great sympathy and insight. Along the way, he cofounded the Monterey Jazz Festival as well as Rolling Stone magazine. Thank you for this labor of love, Don Armstrong.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

New Books Network Podcast About "Savage Journey"

I chatted with U.S. historian Steven Hausmann about Hunter S. Thompson and Savage Journey. I thought the podcast came out quite well.

Kevin Starr at the Commonwealth Club

I contributed to Redemptive Dreams, a volume about California historian Kevin Starr. It was edited by Jason Sexton and published by Routledge. My piece focused on Kevin's columns in the San Francisco Examiner before he became California's preeminent historian. Jason also asked me to participate in a panel discussion, hosted by the Commonwealth Club, about Kevin and his work. Happily, the Commonwealth Club recorded the discussion.

Monday, July 17, 2023

GonzoFest 2023

Delighted to participate in the tenth and final (?) GonzoFest. Seen here with Timothy Denevi, William McKeen, Margaret Ann Harrell, John Brick, and Ron Whitehead at the High Horse Bar in Louisville. The beautifully restored Vincent motorcycle allowed for a quick exit. I also met Judy Clancy, Matt Hahn, Leland Locke, and Tara Locke; reconnected with Grant Goodwine; and appeared on the "Hunter Gatherers" podcast with Curtis Robinson & Christopher Tidmore. Thank you Ron Whitehead and crew for lashing this whole thing together. Photo by Beth Tudor.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Theodore Roszak Archive at Stanford University

I had a blast at the opening of Theodore Roszak's archive at Stanford University. Kathryn Roszak helped us understand her father and his achievement. Betty Roszak was there, so we also had a chance to honor her and her work. Archivist Ben Stone, who put the whole thing together, displayed a cool sampling of Roszak's output and personal papers. J. Christian Greer brought students from his class, "Holy Hipsters: Spiritual Rebellion and Hip Consumerism in Postwar America." And we had a tasty dinner afterward where I met some of Kathryn's friends, two of whom were John Perry Barlow's friends and business partners. More days like this, please.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Review of Dave Zirin's "Behind the Shield"

Fanatical readers of this blog know I have a high regard for Dave Zirin and his work. Important stuff, if you ask me.

I reviewed his recent documentary film for ScheerPost. It's called Behind the Shield: The Power and Politics of the NFL.

As I note in the review, Dave has been writing about the NFL for two decades, but this film is something of a culmination. Highly recommended.

Saturday, July 09, 2022

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Sonny Barger Dies at 83

Sonny Barger and Hunter Thompson parted on bad terms, but their relatively short time together benefited both men. Barger might think otherwise, but his death at age 83 wouldn't have generated national headlines if it weren't for Thompson's 1967 bestselling book about the Hell's Angels.