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San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco Chronicle

The San Francisco Chronicle is a newspaper, founded in1865, serving primarily the San Francisco Bay Area of the U.S. state of California. Its online edition is published under the SFGate identity.

Captain Beefheart A Success?

Interview by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, December 1972

NOTE: Nobody was ever more fun to hang out with than Don Van Vliet. We took a number of dinners over the years, including one ...

Sopwith Camel: New Orleans House, Berkeley

Live Review by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, May 1973

KEEPING ALIVE the best San Francisco acid-rock tradition, Sopwith Camel can't be pinned down into an easy category. A Camel performance is likely to begin ...

Crosby and Nash: The Crosby-Nash Whale and Fieldworkers Benefit

Report and Interview by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, December 1974

AT THE END of the Bob Dylan tour earlier this year, Asylum Records president David Geffen threw a party at the swank Beverly Wilshire Hotel ...

Harry Nilsson: Nilsson Ratings: Injured, Brilliant

Interview by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, April 1975

NOTE: The interview had to wait until we watched the latest episode of the PBS series, The Ascent of Man. I asked Harry about the ...

The Band: And The Band Played On... The Band's Last Waltz

Live Review by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, November 1976

IT WAS UNDOUBTEDLY the single biggest collection of rock stars ever to perform on one stage: 17 musicians played Bob Dylan's ‘I Shall Be Released’, ...

The Flamin' Groovies Come Home

Report and Interview by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, October 1978

AFTER EIGHT YEARS of silence in the band's hometown, the Flamin' Groovies suddenly made two San Francisco performances in less than a month. "I'm stopping ...

Frank Zappa: The '60s Mother Still Breaks Social, Musical Convention

Interview by Ben Fong-Torres, San Francisco Chronicle, 1984

STOP THE presses! Frank Zappa, that mother of a curmudgeon, has been spotted actually smiling! Get out the red ink – he even chuckled once ...

Jefferson Airplane, The Tubes: Groupies: They're Still Grabbin' for the Stars

Report and Interview by Ben Fong-Torres, San Francisco Chronicle, September 1984

Sweet Spencer,So many feelings I have experienced with you that you have become a part of me. The other day, from out of a heavy, ...

David Lee Roth - Hyperactive, Irrepressible, Self-Satisfied

Interview by Ben Fong-Torres, San Francisco Chronicle, February 1985

DAVID LEE ROTH bounds up the wide, concrete steps from the forest that is his back yard toward his mansion. This, his visitor says, reminds ...

Michael Nesmith: Mike Nesmith: Ex-Monkee Puts Parts Together

Interview by Ben Fong-Torres, San Francisco Chronicle, March 1985

On TV, Michael Nesmith says he'll be 'the big cheese, the honcho, the stud duck' ...

John Lennon: A Strangely defanged portrait of John Lennon

Book Review by John Mendelsohn, San Francisco Chronicle, June 1985

ACCORDING TO LABOR Department projections, John Lennon biographers will outnumber Elvis Presley impersonators by mid-October. ...

Hank Ballard and the Midnighters: Hank Ballard: The 'Twist' and Turns of a Rock Pioneer

Interview by Ben Fong-Torres, San Francisco Chronicle, December 1985

HANK BALLARD wrote and recorded ‘The Twist’, but it was Chubby Checker who had the big hit record. With the early R&B group, the Royals, ...

James Brown: He's So Good, He Says

Interview by Ben Fong-Torres, San Francisco Chronicle, February 1986

JAMES BROWN is a litany of hit songs and personal titles. He's the Godfather of Soul, the King of Soul, the Living Legend of Soul, ...

David Byrne, Talking Heads: Talking Heads' Byrne Chats Up His Movie

Interview by Ben Fong-Torres, San Francisco Chronicle, October 1986

THE LAST TIME we saw David Byrne on the big screen, he was herky-jerking his way through a Talking Heads concert, doing his chaotic, turkey-necked, ...

Huey Lewis and the News: Huey Lewis: It's Hip To Be Nice

Interview by Ben Fong-Torres, San Francisco Chronicle, February 1987

BOB BROWN was a young, successful stock trader from New York who got transferred to San Francisco, settled in peaceful Mill Valley, happened onto a ...

Ronnie Lane: Inspiring Rocker

Live Review by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, June 1987

Ronnie Lane: Wolfgang's, San Francisco ...

Donovan: The Graying of Mellow Yellow

Interview by Ben Fong-Torres, San Francisco Chronicle, July 1987

Donovan admits he feels a little creepy at his ritzy hotel gig ...

Yoko Ono: Then and Now

Interview by Ben Fong-Torres, San Francisco Chronicle, September 1987

YOKO ONO looks impenetrable behind her trademark wraparound sunglasses, a sober demeanor and a never-ending haze of cigarette smoke. ...

The Byrds, Gram Parsons: Gram Parsons: The Father of Country Rock

Retrospective by Ben Fong-Torres, San Francisco Chronicle, 1991

GRAM PARSONS wasn't exactly bursting with credentials when he came up for consideration as a member of the Byrds in the early spring of 1968. ...

The Doors: Jim Morrison: Last Meeting With a Fallen Star

Memoir by Ben Fong-Torres, San Francisco Chronicle, 1991

NEAR THE END of his 27-year life, was Jim Morrison – as depicted in Oliver Stone's new movie, The Doors – a fat, abusive, alcoholic, ...

A Last Farewell To Bill Graham

Obituary by Ben Fong-Torres, San Francisco Chronicle, November 1991

BILL GRAHAM was a movie of a man. His 60-year-long life, which came to an end in a helicopter crash in Sonoma County the night ...

Country Joe & The Fish: Country Joe McDonald

Interview by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, March 1994

ONE FIGURE straddles the two polar events of the '60' – Woodstock and theVietnam War -- Country Joe McDonald. In fact, such emblematicproportions have obscured ...

Smashing Pumpkins: Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco

Live Review by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, April 1994

GIVEN Smashing Pumpkins' penchant for cheesy psychedelic touches to decorate their end-of-the-world sonics, the red-hot rockers seemed the perfect act to star at the gala ...

Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia: Private Funeral For Garcia

Report by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, August 1995

MEMBERS OF THE Grateful Dead and the widow of Jerry Garcia spent yesterday making plans for a funeral, while tributes continued to roll in and ...

Jonathan Richman: Jonathan Vaporizes

Report and Interview by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, December 1995

BAY AREA cult favorite Jonathan Richman is close to signing a recording deal with Vapor Records, the new label run by Neil Young and his ...

Tom Waits Benefits Friend, Audience

Live Review by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, February 1996

IT TOOK A friend in trouble to get Tom Waits back on stage. ...

Paul Westerberg

Interview by Susan Whitall, San Francisco Chronicle, May 1996

AS FORMER LEAD singer and songwriter of the Replacements, Paul Westerberg labors under particularly burdensome expectations. His second solo album, Eventually, released last month on ...

Pete Townshend, The Who: Pete Townshend

Interview by Ira Robbins, San Francisco Chronicle, 1997

"Roger [Daltrey] speaks a lot about the magic that happens when the three of us get together to play," says Pete Townshend, who spent two ...

Harry Belafonte Follows New Rhythm

Profile and Interview by j. poet, San Francisco Chronicle, September 1997

Singer makes his first CD in nine years ...

Joni Mitchell's Dull Twist On Standards

Live Review by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, May 2000

Nobody sings Joni Mitchell like Joni Mitchell. ...

Jesse Winchester: Taking Another Shot

Profile and Interview by j. poet, San Francisco Chronicle, January 2001

Eclectic singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester cuts his first new album in 11 years ...

Merle Haggard: Real Country music may be dead, but its last true cowboy, Merle Haggard, carries on the original sound

Profile and Interview by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, June 2001

COUNTRY MUSIC is over. There are lots of rock singers wearing cowboy hats these days, but genuine country music is all but dead and gone. ...

Shuggie Otis: The Resurrection of Shuggie Otis

Retrospective and Interview by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, June 2001

INSPIRATION INFORMATION disappeared shortly after its 1974 release, and the world soon forgot about Shuggie Otis, the promising young rock musician who made the record. ...

The Beatles, George Harrison: George Harrison: Harrison in the Haight

Retrospective by Ben Fong-Torres, San Francisco Chronicle, December 2001

IT WOULD BE a stretch to say that George Harrison ever left his heart in San Francisco. ...

Tom Waits: Barroom Bard's Next Round

Interview by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, October 2004

TOM WAITS SIPS coffee at the Formica counter of the Chinese takeout and doughnut shop, looking out on the intersection of Mission and 24th streets. ...

The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Dandy Warhols: The Dandy Warhols/Brian Jonestown Massacre: Dig!

Film/DVD/TV Review by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, October 2004

ANTON NEWCOMBE of the Brian Jonestown Massacre doesn't receive the most ringing endorsements from his friends. "He's more than just a jerk," says his record ...

Remembering Ralph J. Gleason

Retrospective by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, December 2004

NOTE: I’ve never done a more personal piece of journalism. Ralph was a distant figure on my horizon, but his presence surrounded me; from reading ...

Judy Henske: One Hot Mama

Profile and Interview by j. poet, San Francisco Chronicle, July 2005

LEGEND HAS it that when Marty Balin went looking for a singer to fill out the lineup of the Jefferson Airplane, he told people he ...

Martha Wainwright: Martha's Extending The Musical Family

Profile and Interview by j. poet, San Francisco Chronicle, October 2005

MARTHA WAINWRIGHT has a pedigree that could be daunting. She's the daughter of Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle (of the McGarrigle Sisters), sister of ...

Mose Allison: Mose And His Muse

Profile and Interview by j. poet, San Francisco Chronicle, October 2005

MOSE ALLISON can be summed up in two words – Mose Allison. ...

The Moody Blues: Never Reaching The End

Interview by j. poet, San Francisco Chronicle, November 2005

THE MOODY Blues are a rock'n'roll band. That statement may come as a shock to fans who grew up with the lushly orchestrated psychedelic pop ...

The Beau Brummels: Decades In Obscurity, Beau Brummels Front Man Surfaces To Remind Us What The Fuss Was All About

Profile and Interview by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, February 2006

SAL VALENTINO WAS washed up. "No one called in a long time," he says. "No one knew where I was."There were even reports of his ...

The Persuasions: Perpetual Harmony

Profile and Interview by j. poet, San Francisco Chronicle, May 2006

"THE PERSUASIONS! Aren't you that old do-wop group?" ...

Fairport Convention: Fairport Still On Course At 40

Interview by j. poet, San Francisco Chronicle, June 2006

FAIRPORT CONVENTION kicked the British folk revival into high gear in 1969 when they released Liege and Lief, their first album with Sandy Denny as ...

Salif Keita: Rockin' With Soul Of Africa

Profile and Interview by j. poet, San Francisco Chronicle, August 2006

SALIF KEITA grins when he says: "I love rock'n'roll." It may seem like an unlikely sentiment since Keita's last two albums, this year's M'Bemba (Ancestor) ...

Gary Numan: Numan Finds His Way

Profile and Interview by j. poet, San Francisco Chronicle, August 2006

"IN AMERICA I'm still the classic one hit wonder," Gary Numan says philosophically, via phone from his home outside of London. ...

P. F. Sloan: PF Sloan: Rising from 'Destruction'

Profile and Interview by j. poet, San Francisco Chronicle, September 2006

"PF SLOAN was born sometime between midnight and dawn on an inspired evening in 1964," PF Sloan says, from his small Los Angeles apartment. That ...

Pet Shop Boys: The Pet Shop Boys: Pet Peeves

Interview by j. poet, San Francisco Chronicle, November 2006

THE PET SHOP Boys – singer/lyricist Neil Tennant and keyboard player/composer Chris Lowe – are renowned for their intelligent songwriting. ...

Evan Dando, The Lemonheads: Evan Dando: Consistently Inconsistent

Interview by Jaan Uhelszki, San Francisco Chronicle, November 2006

LEMONHEADS CO-FOUNDER Evan Dando puts his pioneering alternative rock band back together like clockwork every decade. ...

Allen Toussaint: Toussaint Explores Life Outside Big Easy

Profile and Interview by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, May 2007

ALLEN TOUSSAINT never left New Orleans. He spent virtually his entire distinguished career playing piano, singing, writing songs and making records with other people in ...

Summer of Love: 40 Years Later

Retrospective by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, May 2007

1967: The stuff that myths are made of ...

Grateful Dead: For The Unrepentant Patriarch Of LSD, Long, Strange Trip Winds Back To Bay Area

Profile and Interview by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, July 2007

THE SMALL, barefoot man in black T-shirt and blue jeans barely rates a second glance from the other Starbucks patrons in downtown San Rafael, although ...

Celine Dion: HP Pavilion, San Jose

Live Review by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, February 2009

CELINE DION makes faces when she sings. She crinkles up her nose. She arches her eyebrows. She winks and darts quick little smiles after she ...

Merle Haggard Stands Tall

Interview by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, March 2009

AS LONG AS people speak of country music, the music of Merle Haggard will live. As his career nears the half-century mark, Haggard's imprint is ...

Van Dyke Parks

Profile and Interview by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, February 2010

Eccentric Van Dyke Parks finally reaches S.F. ...

Rock of Ages Musical Exhumes '80s Power Ballads

Report by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, February 2011

THERE HAVE BEEN few musical sins committed in the name of rock 'n' roll as egregious as the power ballad. Not really rock and not ...

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