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LONG-AWAITED BERT BERNS BIOGRAPHY TO BE PUBLISHED APRIL 2014 BY COUNTERPOINT PRESS

“Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues” is both a definitive account of the New York rhythm and blues world of the early ‘60s, and the harrowing, ultimately tragic story of songwriter and record producer Bert Berns, whose meteoric career was fueled by his pending doom.

His heart damaged by rheumatic fever as a youth, doctors told Berns he would not live to see twenty-one. Although his name is little remembered today, Berns worked alongside all the greats of the era – Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler, Burt Bacharach, Phil Spector, Gerry Goffin and Carole King, anyone who was anyone in New York rhythm and blues. In seven quick years, he went from nobody to the top of the pops – producer of monumental r&b classics, songwriter of “Twist and Shout,” “My Girl Sloopy” and others.

His fury to succeed led Berns to use his Mafia associations to muscle Atlantic Records out of a partnership and intimidate new talents like Neil Diamond and Van Morrison he signed to his record label, only to drop dead of a long expected fatal heart attack, just when he was seeing his grandest plans and life’s ambitions frustrated and foiled.

Publicity contact: Megan.Fishmann@ counterpointpress.com


'Wear Your Dreams,'
by Ed Hardy with Joel Selvin

sammy hagar
Ed Hardy & Joel Selvin

David D'Arcy
July 7, 2013

Wear Your Dreams My Life in Tattoos By Ed Hardy with Joel Selvin (Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's; 293 pages; $26.99)

Tattoos are no longer just the heraldry of sailors, prisoners, prostitutes or Japanese gangsters. They are almost as common as cell phones these days.

Read all about it @ SFChronicle.com...

sammy hagar

HAGAR AUTOBIOGRAPHY HITS NO. 1 ON NY TIMES BEST-SELLER LIST FIRST WEEK OUT

Sammy Hagar—legendary lead singer of Van Halen, founder of the Cabo Wabo Tequila brand, and one of rock music’s most notoriously successful performers—tells his unforgettable story in this one-of-a-kind autobiography of a life at the top of the charts. Sammy-Joel-videoFrom his decade-long journey alongside Eddie Van Halen to his raucous solo career with Chickenfoot and everything in between—the drugs, groupies, and excesses of fame, the outrageous stadium tours, and the thrill of musical innovation—Hagar reveals all in this treasure trove of rock-and-roll war stories. Red is a life-changing look at one of music’s biggest talents—an essential read for music fans and anyone dreaming of becoming rock’s next number one star.
...Read More


NEW VIDEO
Time Is Tight

Berns Book Coming April '14

Available at Amazon.com

VIDEO from TIME.com:
Let Paul McCartney Introduce You To Bert Berns, The Best Songwriter You’ve Never Heard Of
click here
Sir Pail
HERE COMES THE NIGHT PRESS:
New York Times: Many-Hit Wonder, Out of Obscurity Bert Berns, Songwriter and Producer, Remembered
Even in his mid-1960s heyday, Bert Berns was barely known beyond the obsessives who studied songwriters’ and producers’ credits on 45 r.p.m. records and LP album jackets. And then, after his death in 1967 at the age of 38, something truly odd happened: Though the songs he wrote and produced, like “Twist and Shout” and “Hang On Sloopy,” proved to have durability, growing in stature and popularity as the years passed, Berns’s own reputation receded even further into obscurity..
"Ok, just finished the book on Bert Berns "Here Comes The Night" and it was great. Anyone who loves early Rock and Soul will love it."
New York Times: Sunday Book Review
Hit Man: ‘Here Comes the Night,’ by Joel Selvin
Bert Berns the producer is the Phil Spector you’ve never heard of. Bert Berns the songwriter is the Leiber and Stoller you’ve never heard of. Bert Berns the label exec is the Jerry Wexler you’ve never heard of..
CBS This Morning: New biography explores unknown hitmaker, history of R&B
He was responsible for some of music's most enduring hits, and now a new biography brings unknown hitmaker Bert Berns to life. Rock journalist Joel Selvin joins "CBS This Morning: Saturday" to discuss the R&B legend and his new book "Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues."
NPR: Obscure Producer's Clear Impact On 'The Dirty Business' Of R&B
Many of the hit-making songwriters of the 1960s are remembered by name: Burt Bacharach, Carole King, Lennon-McCartney, Holland-Dozier-Holland. But the man who wrote (or co-wrote) classics like "Twist and Shout," "Piece of My Heart," "Hang on Sloopy," "I Want Candy" and "Here Comes the Night" remains unknown to all but the most ardent music fans.. ...
Paste Magazine: Here Comes the Night by Joel Selvin
Every so often, a music bio arrives that becomes “the book to read.” Think of Last Train To Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley and Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley, Peter Guralnick’s exhaustive considerations on the arc and impact of rock’s first true superstar.
Los Angeles Review of Books: Stephen Deusner on Here Comes the Night : The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm & Blues
IN HIS NEW BOOK, Joel Selvin describes three different recordings of the song “Twist and Shout.” Two were not simply big hits, but seminal contributions to the rock ’n’ roll canon. ...
The Irish Times: Bert Berns: label boss, friend to wiseguys and foe to Van Morrison
Remembered with equal parts animosity and affection, the Bronx-born music man blazed a trail in an era of industry pimps, visionaries and gangsters
WNYC's Soundcheck: Bert Berns, Writer Of Massive Rock Classics, Gets His Moment In The Spotlight
Bert Berns is not a household name. But the names of his songs are. "Twist And Shout," "I Want Candy," "Hang On Sloopy" -- that last one especially well-known to people living in Ohio.
WNYC's The Takeaway: Bert Berns: An Unsung Hero of Early Rock and R&B
The Oscar for Best Documentary at this year's Academy Awards went to "20 Feet from Startdom," a beloved film about the back-up singers, the unsung heroes of the early days of rock and roll and its R&B roots...
CLEVELAND.com: He wrote 'Hang On Sloopy' - and dozens of other hits. Meet Bert Berns via this brilliant new bio
He wrote or produced "Twist and Shout," "Hang on Sloopy," "Brown
Eyed Girl" and "Piece of My Heart." And you almost certainly don't know his name. But you'll know that and a lot more after you meet Bert Berns, courtesy of Joel Selvin, whose biography of Berns represents a masterpiece of research, writing and investigative literature about one of the most influential and little-known songwriters in rock history.
WNYC Leonard Lopate Show: Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues
Music critic and reporter Joel Selvin gives an account of the golden age of rhythm and blues of the early 1960s and the tragic story of songwriter and record producer Bert Berns, whose heart was damaged by rheumatic fever when he was young, and he wasn’t expected to live to see 21...
WFMU Michael Shelley Show: May 17, 2014: Guest: Joel Selvin, author of the Bert Berns bio "Here Comes The Night"
 

--- N E W S . F R O M . J O E L S E L V I N . C O M ---

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Hardy Book

Let's Twist!

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Sf Chronicle
Browse all of Joel's San Francisco Chronicle pieces here.

Emmylou Harris touring for reissue of cult classic 'Wrecking Ball'
Friday, March 28, 2014
The country music career of Emmylou Harris was already finished when she set foot in the studio in winter 1995 to make "Wrecking Ball" with producer Daniel Lanois. Country radio had stopped playing her records, and her label had no idea what to do....sfgate

Jeff Beck, Brian Wilson review: perfect harmony
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Brian Wilson and Jeff Beck have lived their lives in parallel musical universes, but in the wide, wonderful world of rock 'n' roll, parallel lines do meet. At the Paramount Theatre in Oakland on Tuesday, in an unforgettable tableau, the exquisite British blues-rock guitarist drew out Wilson's sunny melodies in silvery, wavering guitar lines as the combined forces of his band and the Beach Boys founder's backing group stitched together the complex harmonies and orchestrations from Wilson's lost masterpiece, "Smile." ...sfgate

Rascals' show revisits era of good lovin', playin'
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
How did Little Steven find the time?

He tours the world playing guitar with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. He maintains a thriving acting career launched by a long-running part in "The Sopranos." He hosts a syndicated weekly radio show and runs his own record label, among other enterprises....sfgate

Fillmore's Poster Room filled with walls of sound
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
They ran out of space on the walls of the Poster Room at the Fillmore Auditorium years ago. The most recent addition advertises a Black Keys concert from 2007. Every available inch of the wall space in the upstairs bar and restaurant as well as the adjacent balcony room is covered with framed posters from sold-out Fillmore shows of the past ...sfgate

Giving credit to Woodstock hero Alvin Lee
Friday, March 8, 2013
His frantic, flashy guitar playing on the nearly 10-minute "I'm Going Home" made British rock musician Alvin Lee, who died this week at age 68 in southern Spain, one of the heroes of Woodstock, both the music festival and the subsequent movie....sfgate

Singer Rick Stevens embraces 2nd chance
Monday, January 28, 2013
Wearing a glacial-white suit and tie, set off by a blood-orange shirt, the compact, dark-haired vocalist Rick Stevens leaned into "You're Still a Young Man," his signature song as lead vocalist of Tower of Power, when the band burst out of the East Bay funk scene 40 years ago and Stevens had a promising future. ...sfgate

Review: Johnny Cash Columbia boxed set
Monday, December 3, 2012
Johnny Cash had to disappear from the skyline before it became obvious how tall a tree he truly was.

If any doubts remain, the newly released 63-disc boxed set, "Johnny Cash - The Complete Columbia Album Collection" - takes the full measure of the man's recorded legacy. With the addition of a single disc covering his first three years of recording for the Sun Records label - and Cash's absent latter-era sessions with producer Rick Rubin notwithstanding - this unwieldy set is an American treasury along the lines of....sfgate

Browse all of Joel's San Francisco Chronicle pieces here.

Contact Joel: joelselvin@aol.com

Literary Agent: Frank Weimann: fweimann@theliterarygroup.com

Allmans

PODCASTS

FAMOUS BROTHERS
ANDREW GOLD
LOUIS JORDAN
SAN FRANCISCO, 1978
INSTRUMENTALS
SAN FRANCISCO -1967 to 1968
NORTON BUFFALO
VIETNAM-THE WAR ON RECORD
FAKE BANDS!
THE WHO
50 YEARS OF THE TWIST
ALL KEITH
AHMET ERTEGUN
SF GARAGE
VAN COMES TO AMERICA
ELVIN BISHOP
SLIM GAILLARD STORY
ELECTRIC SITAR
THE TIKI ROOM
SAL VALENTINO
YOUNG PHIL SPECTOR
NEW ORLEANS 78s
ORGAN ROOM
JOURNEY SUPERJAM
CHARITY RECORDS
STEVE DOUGLAS
JACK NITZSCHE
JERSEY BOYS
GEORGE MARTIN
LEE HAZLEWOOD
DONOVAN
T BONE BURNETT
BIG AL ANDERSON
TOM WAITS
BOOKER T.
ROLLING STONES 1971
THE MUSIC OF FRANK ZAPPA
THE ORIG. FLEETWOOD MAC
SLY STONE IN NORTH BEACH
THE SECRET SANTANA TAPES
CHRIS ISAAK AND KENNY DALE JOHNSON
SAMMY HAGAR
ATTACK OF THE KILLER B'S
JERRY LEE LEWIS
ROY BUCHANAN
RY COODER
STEVE MILLER
BLAXPLOITATION

... Full Podcast Page

MORE SMART ASS

BBC: Joel Selvin discusses LSD and the effect the drug has had on music, culture and society.....
Los Angeles Times: Tattooist Ed Hardy, whose name adorns a near-ubiquitous clothing brand has signed a deal to write a memoir with the help of Joel Selvin.....
New York Times: Julie Bosman on Sammy Hagar and other rock star's books....
Examiner.com: Q&A with author Joel Selvin on Sammy Hagar’s ‘Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock’ ....
LA Weekly: San Francisco Chronicle pop music critic Joel Selvin is the last of the great rock & roll newspapermen. ....
KGO Newstalk Radio: Joel Selvin joined Ronn Owens to take your calls and talk about his new book, Smartass: and his co-authorship of Sammy Hagar's new book Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock.....
The California Report: Since the early 1970s, Joel Selvin has been reviewing concerts and writing about rock 'n roll...
Sacramento Bee: Veteran rock 'n' roll writer Selvin looks back -Carla Meyer
KQED Radio: Selvin joins Forum with Michael Krasny to talk about California musicians and Smartass
NPR: "A 'Smart Ass' Take On San Francisco Sound" -Felix Contraras
Crawdaddy: "David MacFadden-Elliot reviews Smart Ass"
Michael Heaton, Cleveland Plain Dealer: "With Merle Haggard, all things are possible"
S.F. Chronicle: "Joel Selvin On Dennis Wilson, Puck of the Beach Boys"
Santa Cruz Sentinel: "Music journalist Joel Selvin looks back on a career chronicling California's contribution to rock history"
The Daily Californian, Culture Shot: "Selvin at Moe's"

BOOKS

SMART ASS:
The Music Journalism of Joel Selvin

PEPPERMINT TWIST: The Mob, the Music, and the Most Famous Dance Club of the '60s
By John Johnson, Joel Selvin & Dick Cami

RED: My Uncensored Life in Rock
By SAMMY HAGAR with Joel Selvin

RICKY NELSON: Idol for a Generation

MONTEREY POP

SUMMER OF LOVE: The True Story of LSD, Rock & Roll, Free Love and High Times in the Wild West

MID-LIFE CONFIDENTIAL: The Rock Bottom Remainders Tour America With Three Chords and an Attitude

SAN FRANCISCO: The Musical History Tour

PHOTOPASS: The Rock and Roll Photography of Randy Bachman

SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE: The Oral History

THE TREASURES OF THE HARD ROCK: The Official Guide To the Hard Rock Café Memorabilia Collection

... Books Page

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Joel demonstrates how he cooks up his Specialty Gumbo!
 
 


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