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Pop Stars, Books and Brew

Hi.  I’m Walking Bob, and when I was writing about The Avid Reader a while back, I saw that they were going to hold one of their author book-signings off location at Sudwerk.  Alzada Knickerbocker offers up a pleasant setting and there are sometimes light refreshments when she has authors speak in the store, but I think Hemingway would have asked to hold his gathering at Sudwerk.

I arrived and the always helpful man behind the bar, Mark, directed me to the Sudwerk backroom where there were delicious appetizers and full access to the brews and other adult  beverages of Sudwerk.  They even had a server taking orders during breaks in the event that went on from 1:30 until after 4:00.

Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March, owners of the Davis-based EditPros LLC, were there to talk about their latest book, Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone.  I had purchased their earlier exploration into the lives of former pop stars, Echoes of the Sixties, back in 1999 and remember that they spoke then about another book coming soon.  Twelve years later, for reasons they explained during their presentation, the new book is here.

Marti and Jeff, shown above with guest, Dick Lopes, from The Spiral Starecase (I Love You More Today Than Yesterday) were joined by Barry Melton, pictured here, from Country Joe & the Fish (Give Me an “F”. . . ) who added insider perspectives.  Marti and Jeff shared stories about The Association, The Kingston Trio, Chris Montez, The Zombies, Herman’s Hermits, and Bobby Vee.  They also held a trivia contest using song lyrics from the sixties and gave away CD’s by each of the seven groups or individuals profiled.

It’s clear from reading the book, or listening to Jeff and Marti, that they loved the music of the sixties and seventies, and that they value the friendships they developed with so many of the  pop stars they encountered.  I was glad to hear how many of them have maintained a connection with the music business and a little surprised at the careers they shifted into if they left the world of popular music.  The Spiral Starecase’s Dick Lopes, shown at the top of the page, became a hair stylist in Sacramento.

Jeff admitted that tracking people down was much more difficult when they began their research in 1997 and there were no websites or Facebook pages to make the task easier.   However, they kept moving on with one person giving them contacts with another singer or another band and slowly they compiled the book.  One surprise for me was looking back at the Monterey Pop Festival that was credited for igniting the short careers of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Otis Redding and learning that the band that opened the show was The Association, who continue to tour to this day.


It’s too late to win Marti and Jeff’s trivia contest, but the stories about the stars in their glory days are fascinating, and the stories about what happened after the spotlight dimmed are even better.  You can pick up a copy of Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone – Volume 1, at The Avid Reader or learn more at Marti and Jeff’s Facebook Page.  On Facebook, their posts look back in time to hits and events by the stars, but they also keep you current. For example, I learned that The Zombies, whose biggest album is shown here, were on Jimmy Fallon last month.  Marti and Jeff’s Facebook page would also be just the place to give them suggestions about who you’d like them to track down for Volume 2.

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