This just in...
Take Bath, Change Socks
Here's an interview I did recently with KCRW radio in Los Angeles regarding Woody Guthrie's thought provoking "New Years Rulin's", written as he ushered in 1943.
Hope you enjoy this and I wish you a very Happy and Healthy 2014!
Need a Holiday?
A recent song, Banker's Holiday, featuring Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Mike Keefe and Garry Tallent of the E-Street Band.
Ryan Warner of Colorado Public Radio's show Colorado Matters interviewed me recently regarding Woody Guthrie's 100th Birthday and my longtime passion for "Collecting Woody".
At The Grammy Museum
As part of the Woody Guthrie Centennial Celebration, I gave a presentation called "Collecting Woody" at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. Check out photos from that event plus a radio interview I did about Woody and his experiences in LA.
Some years back I traveled to Eastern Europe as a guest of the Kogart House Museum and the Kovacs Gabor Art Foundation in Budapest. I lent them some items from my collection for their exhibit, From San Francisco to Woodstock, The Golden Age of American Rock Posters 1965-1971 and they were kind enough to bring me in for the opening. By way of background, a few years ago I was introduced to the Chief Curator of the exhibit, Andras Simonyi, former Hungarian Ambassador to the US, (here interviewed by Stephen Colbert in 2006), by my friend and fellow collector Paul Harbaugh who was a Co-Curator on the project. One night about two months before we left for Budapest I was speaking with Paul on the phone and he told me that they could use a foreword/introductory essay for the exhibition catalog and he asked if I'd like to have a shot at it.
Andras, who is an accomplished Rock musician himself, is a firm believer that Rock & Roll played a critical role in the fall of the Iron Curtain, and his vision informed much of the content of this exhibit. As I began to work on the essay, I had to search for some basic truths about what music has meant in my own life, and when I sent my finished piece to the folks at the Museum the next morning, I was delighted to find that it resonated strongly with my new friends in Hungary. They love the same music that I love but in a way that I'd never been able to appreciate. They grew up in a situation where all of the amazing sixties music that endlessly flowed out of The States and UK was really hard for them to get their hands on! The Wall couldn't stop the music, even in a pre internet era, but that didn't make it easy to find, nor did it make it safe to listen to. I've taken it for granted my entire life that I could listen to any music I want to hear, whenever I want to hear it...
That is a true luxury!
Here's The Music Had Become Everything which was published in the beautifully illustrated catalog that Kogart produced.
Twist & Shout
Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist
I've recently released my first CD of original music, What'll It Be? The record includes fine performances by musical greats Graham Nash, Gary Tallent of the E-Street Band, David Amram, Nick & Helen Forster, Rad Lorkovic, Dave Beegle, Christian Teele, and other friends. Hope you like what we've done!
Collector of Rare Letters, Interesting Autograph Material, First Editions
Over the last 30 plus years my collection has taken on a focus of American social movements from 1920 to 1970 with particular interests in the handwritten papers, letters, art works, and ephemera of Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, as well as artists and musicians from the early days of rock and roll, and a wide variety of interesting literary and historical papers. Recent finds range from Johnny Cash and Otis Redding to J.R.R. Tolkien with Ralph Ellison, Clyfford Still, Ernest Hemingway, The Weavers and Ella Fitzgerald in between!
Feel free to contact me at
Publicity & Promotion, Europe: www.hemifran.com