Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Not Fade Away: A Backstage Pass to 20 Years of Rock & Roll

By Ben Fong-Torres

In 1969, young rock reporter Ben Fong-Torres was hired by Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner to "come in and do what you think needs to be done." Now Fong-Torres revisits his most intriguing pieces and - for the first time - reveals the stories behind the stories, the stars, and life at Rolling Stone.

"As a lifelong fan of Ben's insightful, wry takes on my fellow rock and rollers, I'm honored to be included in this collection. Ben got a lot of us before the rest of the world did. What a great window on those times..."
-Bonnie Raitt

Not Fade Away is a compelling view of the world of rock and pop culture from the late '60s through the '80s, as seen by one of its first and most well-known journalists. Reflecting on these selected stories, and on his life in those days, Fong-Torres takes you backstage with:

* Bob Dylan
* Janis Joplin
* Ray Charles
* The Jefferson Airplane
* Jim Morrison
* The Rolling Stones
* Santana
* The Grateful Dead
* Hunter S. Thompson
* And many more

Evocative photos by Annie Leibovitz and other photographers help capture this unforgettable era.

Ben Fong-Torres first wrote for Rolling Stone in 1968, when the publication was just five months old. He was on staff at the now-legendary magazine for the next 11 years. His books include The Hits Just Keep on Coming: The History of Top 40 Radio, Hickory Wind: The Life and Times of Gram Parsons, and his memoirs, The Rice Room: Growing Up Chinese-American from Number Two Son to Rock 'n' Roll.


Phil Ochs was in Philadelphia the day Dylan arrived. Ochs had a gig at the Main Point, a small club in suburban Bryn Mawr. Ochs used to hang out with Dylan, wanted to be as big as Dylan, admired Dylan's successful switch to rock, and served as a target for Dylan's celebrated personal attacks on Village friends. The most popular of the incidents had Ochs getting thrown out of Dylan's limousine one day, for not thinking "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window" would be a smash.

No comments: