Books Backstage

Coming up, Chapter 5 of “BOOKS BACKSTAGE” Featuring Rick Falkowski, author of, History of Buffalo Music & Entertainment from the 1830s to the early 1980s: A Nostalgic Journey into Buffalo New York’s Musical Heritage with a segment on Rochester. Friday, May 17th, 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. (Refreshments available)  $5 at the door: 25 Gibbs St., Rochester, NY. or…Reserved seats available for $5 per seat via “DONATE’ button (top right sidebar)  Print your thank you receipt or have it on your cell phone to show at the door as proof of ticket purchase.

Debuts Music Author Series
Presented by:
Finger Lakes Community College

With the generous support of Finger Lakes Community College, the Rochester Music Hall of Fame (RMHF) is proud to debut “BOOKS BACKSTAGE” series with multi-platinum musician, Lou Gramm, founding member of Foreigner. This unique “behind the scenes” look at how musicians and industry professionals craft books about the world of music will launch at the new Rochester Music Hall of Fame site at 25 Gibbs Street, on Friday, February 1, from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

This five-part monthly series will spotlight authors who will reveal how they conceived, researched and executed their stories about the music industry. In addition there will be candid open discussions, book signings, a ‘mini concert’ at the conclusion of the author’s presentations and more. As Mr. Gramm has stated, My journey through the world of music amazes me each and every day and that’s part of the reason I needed to let the world know what I saw and experienced through my book, Juke Box Hero, (coauthored with the award winning writer, Scott Pitoniak).  The unique ‘backstage’ setting at the Rochester Music Hall of Fame will allow me to share some great stories with people passionate about music.” In light of Mr. Gramm’s announcement of his retirement, this is a ‘must see’ event.  

Future events in the series to be held approximately once a month through May include David Yaffe, Thursday (4/18/19) author of Reckless Daughter/A Portrait of Joni Mitchell and, Rick Falkowski, Friday (5/17/19) author of The History of Buffalo Music (with a segment on Rochester).


Rick Falkowski

Rick Falkowski, Friday (5/17/19) History of Buffalo Music & Entertainment from the 1830s to the early 1980s: A Nostalgic Journey into Buffalo New York’s Musical Heritage.  Covering Canal Street & Christy’s Minstrels, The Pan-American Exposition, fheaters (vaudeville, burlesque & movie), Crystal Beach & other amusement parks, nightclubs of the 1930s – 1960s, Big Band jazz, early radio & television, classical music, 1950s rock ‘n’ roll bands & radio, folk music, 1960s Buffalo Sound bands, 1960s teen club bands, behind the scenes (music education, music businesses & manufacturers), music clubs in the 1960s & 1970s, the 1970s rock & commercial rock bands, original music scene, Jazz, Blues & R&B in the 1970s & early 1980s, Country Music, Ethnic Music (German, Irish & Polish), bands and clubs of the early 1980s and over 125 historic photos.

Previous Authors

David Yaffe

David Yaffe, Thursday (4/18/19Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell. Music critic, David Yaffe, tells the remarkable, heart-wrenching story of how the blond girl with the guitar became a superstar of folk music in the 1960s and captured the birth of the Woodstock Generation, in her song, “Woodstock.”  In this intimate biography, drawing on dozens of unprecedented in-person interviews with Mitchell, her childhood friends, and a cast of famous characters, Yaffe reveals the backstory behind the famous songs, from Mitchell’s youth in Canada, her bout with polio, an early marriage, the child she gave up for adoption, through the love affairs that inspired masterpieces. It’s the story of an artist and an era that have left an indelible mark on American music.

Peter Conners

Peter Conners, Saturday (3/23/19)
Growing Up Dead: The Hallucinated Confessions of a Teenage Deadhead
.  Conners tells how a teenager living in the suburbs of Rochester, New York, became exposed to a new way of life.  At the age of 16, he attended his first Grateful Dead concert on June 30, 1987, and he was hooked. Between 1987 and 1995, he would attend Dead ‘shows’ all over the United States. With wild and unkempt hair and ever in need of a bath, he traveled with a makeshift ‘family’ of other Deadheads in a VW camper.  Conners reveals the truth behind Deadhead culture and history. The result is a riveting insight into the obsessive fandom that made The Grateful Dead the most successful touring band of all time, as well as a cultural phenomenon.

Professor Emeritus at Eastman, and RMHF Inductee, John Beck

John Beck (3/1/19)Percussion Matters: Life at the Eastman School of Music, is partmemoir, part teaching philosophy and part history. The book takes the reader from the opening of the Eastman School through the growth of the School’s percussion program and Beck’s years as a student, performer, and teacher. All proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit the John Beck Percussion Scholarship at the Eastman School of Music.

Lou Gramm


Lou Gramm (2/1/19), Juke Box Hero: My Five Decades in Rock ‘n’ Roll. (coauthored with Scott Pitoniak). It’s the story of how Gramm rose from humble, working-class roots in Rochester, New York, to become one of rock’s most popular and distinctive voices in the 1970s and ’80s, singing and cowriting more than a dozen hits with the band Foreigner. Songs such as “Cold As Ice,” “I Want to Know What Love Is,” “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” “Double Vision,” “Urgent” and “Midnight Blue” are among 20 Gramm songs that achieved Top 40 status on the Billboard charts and became rock classics.  With remarkable candor, the book chronicles the ups and downs of this popular rocker’s amazing life.  Gramm takes the reader behind the scenes—into the recording studio, back stage, on the bus trips and beyond—to give an insider’s look into the life of the man Rolling Stone magazine referred to as “the Pavarotti of rock.”