This Year’s Best Rock Book: “Here Comes The Night”

Here Comes The Night by Joel SelvinJoel Selvin has been a preeminent rock music authority in the Bay Area since the 1970s. He founded the “Night Times” (an entertainment paper discussing the East Bay entertainment scene) and from there went to the San Francisco Chronicle, where he covered the Bay Area music scene for decades. We @ Open Source Music are proud to post the podcasts of his radio show.

Selvin has also written many books about music, but his most recently published work is his most fascinating of all. “Here Comes The Night” is a true labor of love. It took him almost 20 years to research and write. The book is about Bert Berns, a major 60’s song writer, music producer, and music label mogul responsible for many rock classics. He wrote “Twist and Shout” and “Piece of my Heart.” He also introduced Van Morrison and Neil Diamond to the world . Rather than review the book for the umpteenth time, here are the highlights of already written praise.

He wrote ‘Hang On Sloopy’ – and dozens of other hits. Meet Bert Berns via this brilliant new bio
He wrote or produced “Twist and Shout,” “Hang on Sloopy,” “Brown Eyed Girl” and “Piece of My Heart.” And you almost certainly don’t know his name. But you’ll know that and a lot more after you meet Bert Berns, courtesy of Joel Selvin, whose biography of Berns represents a masterpiece of research, writing and investigative literature about one of the most influential and little-known songwriters in rock history.

• New York Times: Sunday Book Review
Hit Man: ‘Here Comes the Night,’ by Joel Selvin
Bert Berns the producer is the Phil Spector you’ve never heard of. Bert Berns the songwriter is the Leiber and Stoller you’ve never heard of. Bert Berns… .

• NPR: Obscure Producer’s Clear Impact On ‘The Dirty Business’ Of R&B
Many of the hit-making songwriters of the 1960s are remembered by name: Burt Bacharach, Carole King, Lennon-McCartney, Holland-Dozier-Holland. But the man who wrote (or co-wrote) classics like “Twist and Shout,” “Piece of My Heart,” “Hang on Sloopy,” “I Want Candy” and “Here Comes the Night…”

• The Irish Times:
Bert Berns: label boss, friend to wiseguys and foe to Van Morrison
“Remembered with equal parts animosity and affection, the Bronx-born music man blazed a trail in an era of industry pimps, visionaries and gangsters.”

Author: Matthew King Kaufman

Husband, Father, founder of Beserkley Records and Fun Fun Fun Media, music lover. "In the 80's I witnessed the new digital technologies that would change music forever, and then I hoped to enable music lovers worldwide to enjoy more music with these new technologies. So I founded OpenSourceMusic and to keep gr8 music alive and accessible. Check out my blog.