Madison authors, topics, book events and publishers
Stu Levitan welcomes the award-winning journalist, music critic and author Joel Selvin for a conversation about his new book Hollywood Eden: Electric Guitars, Fast Cars, and the Myth of the California Paradise, from the good people at House of Anansi Press. It’s the inside story of how one of the first great pop styles was born in a high school locker room and then went on to conquer the world.
It’s a story Joel Selvin is exceptionally well-qualified to tell. No only is he an award-winning journalist and music critic who covered pop music for the San Francisco Chronicle for more than thirty-five years, and the author of best-selling books about the Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones, Ricky Nelson, Haight-Ashbury and more. He is also a native Californian, albeit one from the Bay Area, who first visited Los Angeles as a 10-year-old, just at the time the events in this book were transpiring.
As to the requisite Madison connection, well, it’s through me. Because this is the third time Joel has appeared with me, following conversations about his books Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock’s Darkest Day; and Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues. At least we’ve finally got a book that is mainly about sun and fun, although there are some dark, even tragic moments as well. And btw – with three appearances, Joel is now tied with Madison’s own Ben Sidran for the number two spot on my all-time roster, behind only our former neighbor, David Maraniss.
But before we talk with Joel, I have to do some important and happy business, and that is to thank some very important people – listeners who last week showed their support for the show and the station by becoming listener-sponsors. In particular, I want to thank Patricia from Chicago, and three local listeners from Madison – Susan, and two donors whose names I am not at liberty to divulge. Thank you.
With that, it is once again a great pleasure to welcome to Madison BookBeat, Joel Selvin.