Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Berkeleyside Covers the OLLI Course on the Dead

So grateful to Berkeleyside, the award-winning news site, for running a piece on my Grateful Dead course at UC Berkeley's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Natalie Orenstein, who graduated from Berkeley High in 2009 (!), did a nice job on the story.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Ralph J. Gleason and the Grateful Dead

My forthcoming book on the Grateful Dead has a lot to say about Ralph J. Gleason, who covered music (and the San Francisco music scene) for the Chronicle. He also wrote for Ramparts magazine until he became so infuriated by Warren Hinckle's depiction of the hippies that he resigned and co-founded Rolling Stone magazine with his protege, Jann Wenner.

Gleason's son Toby allowed me to digitize a family photograph of his father. I just received it today. It shows him with Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh at the Monterey Pop Festival, which Gleason also cofounded. Please enjoy it responsibly.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Grateful Dead Sign with UMPG

The Grateful Dead signed a deal with Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), which will handle global administration of the Dead's songbook.

UMPG traces its history back to the Music Corporation of America (MCA), which was cofounded by Jules Stein and booked musical acts in and around Chicago during the Capone era. Stein's granddaughter now runs The Nation magazine.

Stein hired Lew Wasserman, who was Ronald Reagan's agent and eventually ran the company. He was considered the king of Hollywood for many years. His best friend of five decades was Sidney Korshak, who was the Chicago mob's lawyer and a fascinating figure in his own right. MCA acquired other companies and eventually merged with Universal Studios. Comcast bought NBC Universal from GE in 2009.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Review of The Invisible Bridge

My first book review at The National Memo. This is the third volume in Rick Perlstein's epic history of the modern conservative movement, and his achievement is very impressive. I wouldn't say he has any special insight on California political history, but if you like that material as much as I do, this book is excellent grist for the mill

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Branford Marsalis on Playing with the Grateful Dead

This material is too late to include in the book, but I relished Branford Marsalis's reflections on playing with the Dead in 1991. Lots of mutual respect along with the virtuosity. And in the Wall Street Journal, no less.