If You Are an Author, You Can Go Home Again – and It’s Really Nice

Appropriately, I chose my former hometown of Bridgeton, New Jersey to hold my first event for my new book Come Together: How the Baby Boomers, the Beatles, and a Youth Counterculture Combined to Create the Music of the Woodstock Generation

I spent four hours at the Bridgeton Library last Saturday selling and signing books. And here is the great news – I arrived in Bridgeton with 65 books and returned to DC with 0 books. Even better, however, was the fact that I got to catch up with so many friends, former bandmates, ex-students, and family members.

At some points, the signing line was long.
Here I talk to someone before signing a book for my high school classmate Karen Dunfee.
One of my oldest friends, Tom Hayes, was the first person to greet me at the library one-half hour before the event was scheduled to start.
Here is Rock Fooks, the lead vocalist in both my high school band The Sixth Chapter and my 1970s touring band Frog Ocean Road. A ton of memories in this photo.
Four of my many former students who stopped by — Neil Oberlin, Josh Williams (who is also an author) Brandi Grey, and Zane Grey.

Dave Price to Tour To Promote His Classic Rock Book Come Together

If you consider 1965’s “Like a Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones as the first two great classic rock singles and the Beatles’ Rubber Soul as the initial classic rock album (which most musicologists do), then that makes the genre 55 years old next year. 

But as 2019’s evidence shows, you can rightfully claim classic rock is barely showing its age for a type of music that, if it were a person, would be eligible for membership in AARP in 2020.

Times for older classic rock artists continue to be productive. For example, three of the top five grossing concert acts this year – Elton John, Metallica, and Fleetwood Mac – perform classic rock. Bruce Springsteen offered 236 solo shows over two years on Broadway, with ticket prices averaging $500 a seat from the box office and more than $1,000 from re-sale. Aerosmith, John Fogerty, Santana, Sting, Rod Stewart, Def Leopard, and Journey all played sold-out residency shows at Las Vegas’ top casinos. The Rolling Stones wrapped up their three-leg, three-year No Filter tour, a series of stadium concerts that attracted 2,290,871 fans and grossed $415.6 million for the band. And the Beatles’ re-release of Abbey Road climbed to #1 on the charts, exactly 50 years after the album first accomplished that feat 50 years ago.

These eye-opening facts evoke two big questions – how did the rock music now deemed classic, which evolved from 1950s rock & roll, become so popular with the Woodstock Generation and why does it continue to thrive despite the fact that most of its first listeners are now in their 50s, 60s, or 70s? 

In a three-book series he jokingly refers to as his Rock of Agers trilogy, Washington DC author and former journalist, educator, and classic rock keyboard player Dave Price explores the history of the music of the generation who came of age in the turbulent 1960s and ‘70s and attempts to explain the music’s popularity then and now.

The first book in the series, Come Together: How the Baby Boomers, the Beatles, and a Young Counterculture Combined to Create the Music of the Woodstock Generation was released in November. 

Come Together begins with the dropping of the first atomic bomb in 1945 and ends with the final notes Jimi Hendrix played on the last day of the historic Woodstock Festival in 1969. The saga is told in six chronological chapters. In the first, you’ll see how a connected series of innovations, influences, and influencers in the late 1940s and early 1950s paved the way for the rise of rock & roll. The second introduces you to some of the most important early performers of this new music. The third allows you to see how the Beatles reshaped rock & roll both on stage and in the studio. The fourth places you in San Francisco in the summer of 1967, where a new youth “hippie” counterculture was being formed around revolutionary ideas about the role of drugs, sex, and rock & roll in American society. The fifth demonstrates how two of the most significant artists of the late 60s – Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones – crafted some additional touches to the type of music that would be encountered at Woodstock. In the 6th chapter, we’ll end our musical journey and join a crowd of 400,000 to vicariously experience the most-noted music festival of all-time at the historic upper New York state farmland where rock & roll emerged as something which now would soon be known simply as rock.

The second volume in the series, What’s That Sound?  80+ Artists Who Defined the Music of the Woodstock Generation, will pick up with Hendrix’s fading final notes and conclude 50 years later at the 50th anniversary commemoration of that 1969 festival, held at the original site. It is scheduled to be published in late 2020.

The third and final “Rock of Agers” book is tentatively titled Long Live Rock: Why Do the Classic Sounds of the Woodstock Generation Continue to Resonate So Loudly Today. It will delineate two connected stories – the various ways the sounds of classic rock are being preserved and passed on to new listeners and how you can experience the entire history of classic rock by sailing on four Woodstock-like music themed cruises. Long Live Rock is planned for a late 2021 released.

Price will begin a four-month tour to promote his new book with an appearance in his former hometown of Bridgeton, New Jersey, where he lived for 59 years. On Saturday, Dec. 7th, he will stage a meet and greet and a book signing at the Bridgeton Free Public Library from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. He will be donating $1 from the sale of each book to the library.

“The Bridgeton Library is a very special place to me so it’s fitting that I begin there,” Price says. “Libraries in general, and the Bridgton Library in particular, have always served as my secular cathedrals. They truly are amazing places. You can learn just about anything you need to know if you take advantage of all the resources a local library offers”. 

“I’m sure I wouldn’t have been in position to write any book without the enjoyment, elucidation, and enlightenment that I found in all the libraries I have visited over the years,” Price added. “To me, my library card is just as important as my credit card or my driver’s license. I never leave home without it.” 

My First Book Published Today

For my first 64 years on the planet, I never gave any serious thought to writing a book. But in 2017, I discovered the main thing you need for a book – a good idea. Sailing on our first-ever rock cruise, which featured Gregg Allman, I discovered 2,700 rock fans paying at least $2,000 each to hear music that was supposed to be just a passing teenage fad in the mid-1950s. I wondered how exactly did this come to pass.

And now today, 3 years later, my first book — Come Together: How the Baby Boomers, the Beatles, and a Youth Counterculture Combined to Create the Music of the Woodstock Generation — has been published and released.

For now, it is available exclusively at the Politics and Prose book store in Washington, DC. It can also be ordered from the Politics and Prose website. However, the book will be rolling out in other places and as an e-book soon.

Here is the cover.

Serving The Best Life

Two men died yesterday. 

One had houses all over the world, consorted with the famous and powerful, claimed to be as rich as a king, and even possessed his own island.

The other lived with his mother because when he was young he promised to take care of her.

One was white; the other black and Japanese.

One was a sick, sordid user and abuser; the other a giver and an empowerer. 

One was clearly a demon and a destroyer of young women, whose acts and name will long bring vile curses to the lips of virtually all who learn about him; the other was clearly a kind, compassionate, decent down-to-earth benefactor, whose sole purpose was to take teenagers in their oft-confusing years of adolescence and help mold them into young men their families and communities could be proud of.

One’s name was Jeffrey Epstein. The other was James Breech, known to all simply as Breech.

James Breech and his mother at age 92.

Today, the internet will be filled with articles and analysis of the horrid exploits and suspicious death of Epstein. But here I would like to pass on a few words about Breech, who was one of the truly great coaches and teachers I ever had the honor of meeting. 

Breech was many things to many people. But to me, he was the greatest 2nd father my sole son Michael Price could ever have had.

There are so many stories I could recount about Jim Breech. But the one I will offer took place in our kitchen of our North Park Drive home. It was the summer of Michael’s 8th grade year. He had made the Senior League baseball all-stars as a 14-year-old. That summer Breech had also been giving Michael tennis lessons. Jim stopped by to tell Michael he had entered him in his first tennis tournament. I told Michael that he would have to make a decision — he would be entering high school that Fall and since baseball and tennis were both spring sports, he should make his decision which he wanted to play now. I was sure he would choose baseball. But Michael opted for tennis. And that seemingly-then-small decision, as Robert Frost wrote in his classic poem “The Road Not Taken” definitely “made all the difference”.

During his teenage years, Michael spent more of his waking time with Breech than he did with me. Breech imparted much tennis to Michael, but much more importantly, he imparted much knowledge about the only subject that really matters – how to live life in the best way possible.

Obviously, today I see much of me in a Michael. But I also see much of Breech in my son. Fortunately, I had a few chances to tell Breech how much I appreciated his second fathership over the years. 

Like so many others who knew him, I am saddened today for Jim’s earthly passing. But I know he will live eternally in the marvelous memories he created. For me … for Michael … for my grandchildren, Audrey and Owen, both of whom are taking up tennis. 

And I’m sure Michael will pass on to them the most important lesson James Breech ever taught him — what happens on a tennis court matters for a few moments, but how you handle yourself on the court of life is what really counts. 

In our lives, we get many chances to make choices — baseball or tennis … to strive for that which seems important or for that which truly is … whether to be an Epstein or a Breech. 

Now I might not know all that is true, but I do know this — given such a choice, refuse to follow the path set down by Epstein. Always, always, always choose to be a Breech, for that is the best of all roads to travel.

Welcome to Talking ‘Bout My Generation

Hi. I’m Dave Price and I operate a writing/speaking/tour guiding practice in Washington, DC. Before that, I was a journalist (10 years) and an educator and educational consultant (34 years).

I am focusing on 4 subjects:

  • the Baby Boomer generation
  • classic rock
  • issues on aging, especially as they affect men and
  • dissent, protest, and free speech today as they reflect the concerns of the Baby Boom era.

As a Book Author: The first book in my 3-book series (and my first book ever) on classic rock entitled Come Together: How the Baby Boomers, the Beatles and a Young Counterculture Combined to Create the Music of the Woodstock Generation was published in November of 2019. Come Together is currently available at the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington, DC. It can be purchased here through the Politics and Prose website. It is also available in a Kindle edition. Click here to purchase the book for Kindle for Amazon.

As a Freelance Writer: I am a senior contributor to the digital hub Booming Encore. My work also appears in Sixty and Me and Manopause.

As a Speaker: I deliver lectures for Smithsonian Associates and other venues here is DC. This was my summer 2019 program for the Smithsonian. Currently, all my 2020 lectures have been postponed due to closings prompted by the COVID-19 virus.

As a Tour Guide: I led First Amendment tours at the Newseum from 2017 until the museum closed in 2019. Currently, all my tours for 2020 have been postponed due to restrictions for the coronavirus pandemic.

Here at my Website: Talking ‘Bout My Generation contains my articles, musings, and photos focusing on the Baby Boom generation (those of us born between 1946 and 1964). More specifically you will find items dealing with rock music from the ’50s/’60s/’70s, events and personalities from 1960 to 1980, issues on aging that effect Baby Boomers today, and concerns of contemporary freedoms as specified in the First Amendment that echo those of the Baby Boom era.

Other Sites for articles I have written

The National Landing Lantern — Pandemic 2020

Booming Encore

Sixty and Me

Here is a link to an online version of what academics call a CV and most of us call a resume. You can find out more there about who I am and what I have done there. Thanks for checking out my writer/speaker/tour guiding page. I hope you find things here to interest you and keep you coming back.

From my musical years playing in some of the loudest, least legendary bands in the Philadelphia/ South Jersey Shore area.