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Ben Fong-Torres's Books

Willin': The Story of Little Feat
The saga of the legendary Los Angeles band Little Feat is one of rock ’n’ roll’s great stories. Formed in 1969 by ex-members of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, Little Feat created groove-heavy music that was an irresistible mix of rock, blues, R&B, country, jazz, soul, and funk.Fronted by the charismatic but doomed vocalist and brilliant slide guitarist Lowell George,...
From their inception in 1971 through their smashingly successful 2007 album Long Road Out of Eden and the accompanying 2008-2010 international tour, The Eagles have seen it all and lived to tell about it. In Eagles, one of America’s top rock journalists delivers a comprehensive insider look at arguably the greatest American rock-and-roll band on the occasion of their...
Grateful Dead Scrapbook.jpg
Grateful Dead fans are legendary for their Dead-ication to the band and its enduring legacy of freewheeling musical exploration. "The Grateful Dead Scrapbook" collects a trove of rare removable memorabilia and evocative images culled from the Grateful Dead Archives at the University of Santa Cruz, including never-before-published photos, flyers, fan letters, and other...
The Doors
In 1967, the Doors broke through with their debut album, and one critic declared: “The Beatles and the Stones are for blowing your mind, but the Doors are for afterwards, after your mind is already gone.” Said another: “The Doors are the new group by which all other new groups must, for a time at least, be measured.” Well, time has passed. And, forty years later—that is,...
Becoming Almost Famous: My Back Pages in Music, Writing, and Life
This collection of favorite articles from Ben Fong-Torres features a slew of entertaining and informative music and pop-culture pieces on topics including Paul McCartney, groupies of the 1980s, Al Green, the Summer of Love, the Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, Cheech and Chong, Lou Reed, and Steve Martin. The book also features personal essays about what it was like for Fong-Torres...
The Hits Just Keep on Coming: The History of Top 40 Radio
This lively blast from the past peels back the many layers of the Top 40 phenomenon: the DJs, fans, singles, jingles, dedications, contests, requests and more. The book features interviews with such renowned radio personalities and programmers as Casey Kasem, Dick Clark, Wolfman Jack, “Cousin Brucie” Morrow, Gary Owens and many others, and includes an exclusive CD with “airchecks”—...
Not Fade Away
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.
Hickory Wind: The Life and Times of Gram Parsons
Gram Parons lived hard and died young, and left behind a musical legacy that has influenced generations of rock and country legends. Ben Fong-Torres’ moving account of his story—from his poor-little-rich-kid childhood; through his seminal time with the Byrds and his own bands, the Flying Burrito Brothers and the Fallen Angels; to days and nights spent with the likes of Mick Jagger...
The Rice Room: Growing Up Chinese-American from Number Two Son to Rock 'n' Roll
The Rice Room is a brilliant and moving memoir of growing up in Oakland’s Chinatown, by one of America’s preeminent journalists. Ben Fong-Torres was the third child of first-generation Chinese parents. His father came to America via the Philippines, adding “Torres” to his name to convince immigration officials that he was Filipino, since there were strict limits on the number of...
The Motown Album: The Sound of Young America
When Motown Records founder Berry Gordy coined the term “the sound of young America” in 1960, he believed that his new sound would break down the barriers between black and white popular music. Through a once-in-a-lifetime confluence of circumstances and people, Gordy brought together some of the best young musicians of a generation, and they created the Motown Sound—a style, an...