Articles

By: Ben Fong-Torres Fri, 06/19/2020
Eric Clapton: MTV Unplugged

With his experience as a part of the music scene since the late 60s, Ben Fong-Torres retells the experience of Eric Clapton's acoustic, stripped down show for MTV Unplugged.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Fri, 06/19/2020
Remembering the Summer of Love, 50 Years After

50 years after the Summer of Love, Been Fong-Torres discusses the "San Francisco Sound" and the revolutionary attitude that propelled artists like the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane to fame.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Wed, 06/17/2020
Remembering Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman

A eulogy to Jeff Hanneman, the late guitarist for the pioneer thrash metal band Slayer. Ben Fong-Torres remembers the talent of the man once ranked in the top 10 Metal guitarists.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Wed, 06/17/2020
The Dead at the End of ‘So Many Roads’

Ben Fong-Torres paints a picture of Jerry Garcia's the last performances with The Grateful Dead, ending with his final concert on July 9 of 1995 in Soldier Field.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Wed, 06/17/2020
Remembering Ray Manzarek

Ben Fong-Torres fondly remembers Ray Manzarek and their projects together, from his book on The Doors to an interview tour that couldn't come to fruition.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Wed, 06/17/2020
Marvin Gaye: Live in Amsterdam

Ben Fong-Torrres, former Rolling Stone editor, takes us back to the 70's with the one and only Marvin Gaye, predecessor of many great soul and R&B singers. Ben recalls Marvin Gaye's stage fright and how he captivated his audience in Amsterdam in 1976.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Tue, 06/16/2020
The Everly Brothers - Reunion Concert: Live at the Royal Albert Hall

Discover more about The Everly Brothers, the country-influenced rock and rock duo, by taking a look at their 1983 concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Tue, 06/16/2020
Paul McCartney - Live at Knebworth, 1990

Discover Paul McCartney's lively performance Live at Knebworth 1990 for a benefit two British organizations involved with enabling disabled children to learn and perform music.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Tue, 06/16/2020
Norah Jones and the Handsome Band: Live in 2004

In 2004, Norah Jones and the Handsome Band were touring her second album 'Feels Like Home' when she performed at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium, joined by musical performers Dolly Parton and Gillian Welch & David Rawlings.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Tue, 06/16/2020
The Beach Boys Live at Knebworth: A visit with Brian Wilson

The Beach Boys 1980 Live at Knebworth's performance remains historic to this day as the last time the full lineup played together.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Tue, 06/16/2020
Paul McCartney: Good Evening New York City

Paul McCartney's Good Evening New York City documents his hugely successful three-night musical performance at New York’s Citi Field. for the ages. This is the ultimate McCartney live collection - from The Beatles to Wings to solo classics.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Thu, 06/11/2020
Tina Turner: One Last Time, Live in Concert

Ben Fong-Torres, legendary Rolling Stones editor, takes us through some of Tina Turner's most iconic concerts and career highlights.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Thu, 06/11/2020
John Fogerty: Live at Soundstage

Discover John Fogerty, the influential rock legend's live performance at Soundstage.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Thu, 06/11/2020
Simon and Garfunkel: Songs of America / The Harmony Game

In this double-feature film, Songs of America / The Harmony Game, discover Simon and Garfunkel’s backstage and onstage contributions to the world of folk-rock music.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Thu, 06/11/2020
Eric Clapton: MTV Unplugged

Discover Eric Clapton's acoustic performance of his hit songs at the MTV Unplugged series in 1992.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Thu, 06/11/2020
The Doors at the Bowl: Mick, LSD and a Moth

Take a peak behind the scenes of The Doors' iconic Hollywood Bowl performance with accounts from Robby Krieger and John Densmore.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Tue, 10/03/2017
Tom Petty: The Last DJ

It’s too easy, because it’s too true: Tom Petty, the Heartbreaker, died of a broken heart and, in doing so, broke a world of hearts, of friends, peers and fans who just assumed he’d be here forever.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Mon, 07/03/2017
Remembering the Summer of Love, 50 Years After

In 1987, the San Francisco Chronicle noted the 20th anniversary with several articles, including this one, which I’ve edited for space. I have not updated it but should note that since then, we’ve lost three of the people I spoke with: Bill Graham, Jerry Garcia, and Paul Kantner.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Sat, 06/17/2017
Happy Birthday, Sir Paul

It doesn’t sound right, but on June 18, Paul McCartney turns 64. Will you still need me? Will you still feed me? When I’m 64? Plus ten. That’s right. The perpetually youthful Macca was born in 1942 in Liverpool, England. And, as you well know, he’s still rocking.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Tue, 11/22/2016
No Direction Home: Bob Dylan

In the way he’s accepted his Nobel Prize for literature, by seemingly not acknowledging it for so long that one of the awards committees called him “rude” and “arrogant,” Bob Dylan was being himself.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Mon, 11/14/2016
‘Hallelujah’ and farewell to Leonard Cohen

Only a few weeks before the news broke about his death, Leonard Cohen was the subject of a piece in The New Yorker, which detailed the ailments that had kept him off the road the past couple of years.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Wed, 07/20/2016
Happy Birthday and Hats Off to Carlos Santana

On his 69th birthday, which took place on July 20, he should embrace his age. Now doing a residency at the House of Blues in Las Vegas, he recently issued a reunion album, Santana IV, with most of the original band members playing together for the first time in some 45 years.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Fri, 07/15/2016
The Doors at the Bowl: Mick, LSD and a Moth

To play the Hollywood Bowl. For any musician, that has to be a career highlight. The Doors performed in that revered venue in 1968, and Ray Manzarek, in his interview for Qello Concerts, articulated the import of such an occasion.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Fri, 07/08/2016
The Dead at the End of ‘So Many Roads’

It’s not a sexy, round-number anniversary, but I bet Deadheads know that July 9 was the date of the last Grateful Dead concert with Jerry Garcia. That was in 1995, at Soldier Field in Chicago.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Fri, 06/10/2016
Hank Williams, Tom Hiddleston & Me

This week in rock history, Hank Williams made his debut on the live radio show, Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. That was on June 11, 1949, and it says somewhere that he got an unprecedented six encore calls from the audience at the Ryman Auditorium. Must’ve thrown the radio show clear off its schedule.

By: Ben Fong-Torres Tue, 05/24/2016
Happy Birthday Bob Dylan!

It’s a big week for rock star birthdays. Bob Dylan on the 24th (making him 75), Stevie Nicks on the 26th (she’s, cough, cough), and John Fogerty on the 28th (he was born in ’45).

By: Ben Fong-Torres Fri, 05/20/2016
Brian Wilson: ‘Singing with My Brothers’

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Pet Sounds, I’m thinking about the all-time lead Beach Boy, Brian Wilson.