VIP, September 1996
Musicians, critics, artists and writers often form friendships and professional
relationships that can be comfortable and combustible. They can be respectful
and explosive. The aim of musicians and critics is always the same, however.
To make and celebrate music.
Joel Selvin has been a fixture in the Bay Area music scene for 25 years.
Through his writing he has championed the bands and the music of the area
in national and international publications, as well as locally. From the
flower power days. through disco, power rock arena shows, and the punk
movement, Joel's been doing a great job observing and tracking the people
and events that make the music scene. Writer and critic Joel Selvin has
been chosen as our H.E.A.R. V.I.P. for the Month of September and we're
proud to salute him!
Joel's involvement in the music scene extends well beyond writing music
reviews and criticism. In addition to writing for the San Francisco Chronicle
since 1972, Joel has published articles in Rolling Stone, The L.A. Times,
Billboard and Melody Maker. His book, Ricky Nelson: Idol For a Generation
was nominated for a Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award. He has also written
Monterey Pop (1991) and Summer of Love: The Inside Story of LSD, Rock
& Roll, Free Love, and High Times in the Wild West (1994).
Joel's most recent book is THE MUSICAL HISTORY TOUR: A Guide to Over
200 of the Bay Area's Most Memorable Music Sites. Quick-paced and anecdotal,
the book is a colorful blast-back to the days of the Barbary Coast, the
beat generation, acid rock, and blues. Selvin shares riotous stories of
people that took risks, defied the ordinary, and made history: The Grateful
Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, The
Kingston Trio, Carol Doda, and yes, even Enrico Caruso. There are the
stories, legends, and secrets behind the clubs, recording studios, famous
homes, and final resting places of dozens of music greats from Charlie
Parker to Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix to Linda Ronstadt, and the Beau Brummels
Joel 's also been active in the classroom, teaching classes at San Francisco
State University, lecturing at the U.C. Berkeley Journalism Colloquium,
Mills College, and The Blue Bear School of Music in San Francisco.
Joel and his talented musician wife, Keta Bill, are also active with
ThunderRoads, an alcohol and drug rehabilitation center for youth. And
last, but not least, Joel's a founding member of the infamous literary
rock band "The Rock Bottom Remainders" with Amy Tan, Steven
King and Matt Groening.
Music informs the life of H.E.A.R. We're enriched by the music scene
in the Bay Area and supported by community members like Joel Selvin. We're
glad Joel is our friend and comrade in arms and we're thrilled to honor
him as our V.I.P.