Inside Wolfgang's Vault
For the last year and a half, I wrote a blog for Wolfgang's Vault, the site that offers rock memorabilia and concert downloads. Plus the new Crawdaddy! and other writings. Here's a LINK to pieces I've done on adventures with Mick, Janis, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and Grace Slick. Also, blogs on Elvis and 'Hound Dog,' Bill Graham and Jimi Hendrix.
On the Cover of the Rolling Stone
Here are a few of my 35 or so cover stories for Rolling Stone. Well, they're the covers. The stories are mostly too long to include here. Most of them are in my two compilations (See "Books & Stuff"). But a few pieces are just to the right. Meantime, click between David Crosby's peepers for a slide show of my covers.
George Harrison in San Francisco: A Love-Haight Relationship
When George Harrison died on December 1, 2001, the phone started ringing – it was those damned media outlets again – before I had time to sort out my thoughts about him. I’d covered a tour of his for a Rolling Stone cover story in 1974.
Why Linda Ronstadt Spent Valentine's Day Alone
So, here’s how I got to write a column in GQ.
As a kid daydreaming about one day writing for a big newspaper--and, as a teenager in Oakland, the Oakland Tribune rated as a big one--and being a columnist, like Bill Fiset, who did random items he picked up around town. Or, even better, like Herb Caen, the San Francisco Chronicle’s star columnist. I did a faux Caen column for my paper at S.F. State, but along came Rolling Stone, and there went my dreams of becoming a latter-day Walter Winchell.
Land of the Dead: San Francisco, Where It All Began
When in the mid-Sixties San Francisco came to represent nothing left to lose, there was a handful of identifiable pioneers that changed the face, the sound and the style of pop culture. The changers included the concert promoters Bill Graham and Chet Helms, poster and light-show artists, hosts and alchemists like Ken Kesey and Augustus Owsley Stanley, radio pioneer Tom Donahue, jazz critic Ralph J. Gleason and - yes - Rolling Stone.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Rolling Stones!
In June, I got a call from Paul Wasserman, publicist for the Rolling Stones. Now, the Stones were known as one of the few bands that engaged a publicist for the purpose of keeping the press away. This attitude--or pose--is pretty common these days, but back in the Seventies and Eighties, it was almost unheard of. But the band didn’t need publicity, and, in the aftermath of drug busts, deaths, personnel changes and a wedding or two, its core members preferred not to bother with being bothered.
The Night Rock ‘n’ Roll Woke Nobody
Growing up trapped in a Chinese restaurant family in the Fifties and early Sixties, I had radio as my lifeline to the outside world—to music, to baseball, and to other wonders. I got into radio in college, and that experience, along with a stint as an all-night announcer at a “beautiful music” station, can actually be credited with getting me in as a regular contributor to Rolling Stone. I’d only written a short item in March, 1968, when the staff of KMPX, one of the first free- form FM rock stations in the country, went on strike.
On the Air...
Here's a short (5 minute) air check from 1978, of my Sunday afternoon show on KSAN, the pioneer free-form rock station in San Francisco. My side job while at Rolling Stone, and a flip side to my hard-nosed journalist role at the magazine. Flip, and sometimes downright silly...