Music, Magic, and Madness in Bernstein’s New Book

Share Article

Author pens an electrifying memoir on the grandeur of life in the ’60s and ’70s.

News Image

Palo Alto author Andrew Bernstein lived out the dreams of every male boomer in the 1960s and ’70s. His musical journey began in 1962 when he was the 14-year-old student of an unknown banjo teacher named Jerry Garcia—and ended in 1980 on a Warner Bros. back lot at the premier party for Willie Nelson’s first movie, Honeysuckle Rose.

The two-lane bumpy road from Palo Alto to Austin became Bernstein’s gilded highway. His initial foray into the music business began in 1969 with his creative partnership in Crimson Madness, a posse of wild geniuses who were handpicked to produce light shows at Fillmore West by the legendary Bill Graham. Bernstein and his fellow artists brought the walls alive, making them pulse with colors, both real and imagined, for the likes of B. B. King, Iron Butterfly, the original Fleetwood Mac, the Grateful Dead, and scores of others.

Starting in 1971, as the owner of the historic honky-tonk Palo Alto nightclub Homer’s Warehouse, the author laid the groundwork to help launch new talent (including Asleep at the Wheel, Pablo Cruise, and Norton Buffalo) and also gave Jerry Garcia the perfect venue to showcase his non–Grateful Dead bands: Old and in the Way and Merl and Jerry. Bernstein brings those days and nights alive with vivid imagery, colorful dialogue, and a desert dry humor.

In 1975, the author found a job for his best friend, Maynard Lutts, as a bus driver for Asleep at the Wheel, which later led to Maynard becoming the driver for the then relatively unknown Willie Nelson. Two years after that, Bernstein met Willie and the boys, and was soon invited to ride along with the rollicking band of Texas hippie cowboys to help “fuel the fire.” Within weeks of that meeting, Stardust launched the second-stage booster rockets of Willie’s career, putting him and his Family into musical orbit. But there is still a couch on the crew bus reserved for Bernstein to this day.

Notes writer and editor Erin Lee, “California Slim is a remarkable, utterly relatable, and still-relevant coming-of-age memoir, as well as a unique insider’s narrative of that colorful time.”

About the Author
Andrew J. Bernstein was born in San Francisco and then raised in Palo Alto from the age of three. As a college student, he studied English and Multimedia, but his heart was really in music, social causes, and all the opportunities afforded by the San Francisco Music and Cultural Revolution. They say that if you remember the ’60s, you weren’t there! Thank god, Bernstein took notes.

California Slim * by Andrew J. Bernstein
The Music, the Magic, and the Madness
Publication Date: February 28, 2013
Trade Paperback; $19.99; 386 pages; 978-1-4797-7045-8
Trade Hardback; $29.99; 386 pages; 978-1-4797-7046-5
eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4797-7047-2

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (610) 915-0294 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.

For more information on self-publishing or marketing with Xlibris, visit To receive a free publishing guide, please call (888) 795-4274.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Marketing Services
888-795-4274 7879
Email >
Visit website