Madison authors, topics, book events and publishers.
Stu Levitan welcomes back to the program the Rock and Roll Detective himself, Madison’s own Jim Berkenstadt, to talk about his latest book Mysteries in the Music: Case Closed.
Who really discovered Elvis Presley? What role did the CIA play in the gun attack on Bob Marley and his eventual death from cancer? How seriously did the FBI take its investigation into whether the lyrics to Louie, Louie were dirty? Did the Beach Boys steal a song from Charles Manson? Did Bob Dylan really record an album with members of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones?
These are just some of the controversies and conspiracy theories Jim Berkenstadt investigates as only he can, before providing definitive answers.
It’s a book he is uniquely qualified to write.
He is, after all, the Rock and Roll Detective, LLC, specializing in uncovering the lost histories and solving the mysteries of pop music. And because musicians know and trust him, he has great access to the people who were there when the deals went down. The book is filled with revealing interviews with such legendary musicians as Elvis’s late great guitarist Scotty Moore, drummers Hal Blaine and Jim Keltner, producer Glyn Johns, and my old cab driving colleague Butch Vig, who also wrote the forward, and more. And not just musicians – this may be the only book which features interviews with Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner, disgraced Col. Oliver North, a sitting federal judge, and even a former CIA agent.
Jim is especially authoritative about the Beatles, serving as historical consultant for Martin Scorcese’s HBO Emmy-wining film, George Harrison: Living in the Material World, as well as to the estate of George Harrison and the Beatles’ Apple Corps. Itself. Sharp-eyed viewers will have spotted his name among those thanked in the credits to Peter Jackson’s majestic new 8-hour film about the recording of the Beatles’ Let It Be album, Get Back.
In addition to the new book tour, Jim is currently serving as co-executive producer and script consultant on the feature film adaptation of his book The Beatle Who Vanished, about the drummer Jimmie Nicol, who at the height of Beatlemania in 1964 filled in for a fortnight when Ringo Starr was felled by tonsilitis just before a world tour. That best-seller has been included in the Library and Archives of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as have his earlier books Black Market Beatles and Classic Rock Albums: Nirvana-Nevermind,. He was also a featured expert for several seasons on the Reelz Channel TV series Celebrity Legacies and Celebrity Damage Control.
He lives north side with his wife, Holly Cremer Berkenstadt.
Jim was with us last fall to discuss The Beatle Who Vanished, and it is a pleasure to welcome him back to MBB.