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Becoming Almost Famous: My Back Pages in Music Writing and Life

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This volume collects many of the best articles from veteran Rolling Stone writer Ben Fong-Torres. While many will recognize Ben as he was portrayed in Cameron Crowe's hit film Almost Famous, his thoughtful and engaging stories have been providing a backstage view for over 30 years. This book features a slew of entertaining and informative music and pop-culture pieces, as w This volume collects many of the best articles from veteran Rolling Stone writer Ben Fong-Torres. While many will recognize Ben as he was portrayed in Cameron Crowe's hit film Almost Famous, his thoughtful and engaging stories have been providing a backstage view for over 30 years. This book features a slew of entertaining and informative music and pop-culture pieces, as well as personal essays about growing up Asian-American and about Ben's interest in radio broadcasting. Through insightful introductions to every article, Fong-Torres offers an inside view of the writing and editing process, from getting an assignment and developing an idea to an article's completion in printed form.


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This volume collects many of the best articles from veteran Rolling Stone writer Ben Fong-Torres. While many will recognize Ben as he was portrayed in Cameron Crowe's hit film Almost Famous, his thoughtful and engaging stories have been providing a backstage view for over 30 years. This book features a slew of entertaining and informative music and pop-culture pieces, as w This volume collects many of the best articles from veteran Rolling Stone writer Ben Fong-Torres. While many will recognize Ben as he was portrayed in Cameron Crowe's hit film Almost Famous, his thoughtful and engaging stories have been providing a backstage view for over 30 years. This book features a slew of entertaining and informative music and pop-culture pieces, as well as personal essays about growing up Asian-American and about Ben's interest in radio broadcasting. Through insightful introductions to every article, Fong-Torres offers an inside view of the writing and editing process, from getting an assignment and developing an idea to an article's completion in printed form.

30 review for Becoming Almost Famous: My Back Pages in Music Writing and Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Slaa!!!

    I don't quite know what I thought of this book. Or really I do. I thought it was quite dull. DESPERATELY DULL. This book is primarily a collection of articles written throughout the years, but it seems like all of his most interesting articles had already been published in previous books (he kept referring to them!) and these articles were just THE DREGS. Which is strange, since he spent years at Rolling Stone and other magazines/publications. Was this really the best that was left? A few articl I don't quite know what I thought of this book. Or really I do. I thought it was quite dull. DESPERATELY DULL. This book is primarily a collection of articles written throughout the years, but it seems like all of his most interesting articles had already been published in previous books (he kept referring to them!) and these articles were just THE DREGS. Which is strange, since he spent years at Rolling Stone and other magazines/publications. Was this really the best that was left? A few articles seemed more like essays written by high schoolers. It was interesting learning a few new tidbits here and there about the various musicians, but... not worth reading the whole book, really. Seems like he just wanted to take advantage of the Almost Famous spotlight and threw this together. Speaking of Almost Famous, despite the title, the only bit about Almost Famous was at the very end - and he spent much of that article defending himself, and trying to show that unlike the way he is depicted in the movie, he REALLY DOES HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR. He even went so far as to give an example of a joke he once made. See how funny he is?????? Anyway. Sorry, Ben. I will give you another try when I finally read your Gram Parsons book that has been sitting on my shelf for the last few years. DON'T LET ME DOWN.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ramesh

    This book wasn't nearly what I expected. I was hoping for inside scoop on the artists BFT has covered over the years. Instead, he delivered an education in journalism and media outlets as much as the artists themselves. Some of the stories were interesting, with new angles about some the great acts in rock history. Many of the stories though were mundane details about interviewing artists that just aren't that interesting. This book wasn't nearly what I expected. I was hoping for inside scoop on the artists BFT has covered over the years. Instead, he delivered an education in journalism and media outlets as much as the artists themselves. Some of the stories were interesting, with new angles about some the great acts in rock history. Many of the stories though were mundane details about interviewing artists that just aren't that interesting.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jef Rouner

    A fun, quick read. It’s neat to watch the evolution of music told through them-contemporary pieces. Fong-Torres is a hell of a written, though the book gets loaded down with death as the ‘80s fade. My favorite bit was actually about Larry Ching, the 80yo Chinese crooner who had a hit record shortly before he died. As a music journalist, it just made me feel good to read it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    After visiting Berkley outside of San Francisco, I discovered that author Ben Fong-Torres had been one of its alumni. Any fan of the film "Almost Famous" and rock and roll should read this book as Fong-Torres describes working with bands and artists while writing for "Rolling Stone" magazine. He also reveals what it was like to be portrayed in Cameron Crowe's film, "Almost Famous". After visiting Berkley outside of San Francisco, I discovered that author Ben Fong-Torres had been one of its alumni. Any fan of the film "Almost Famous" and rock and roll should read this book as Fong-Torres describes working with bands and artists while writing for "Rolling Stone" magazine. He also reveals what it was like to be portrayed in Cameron Crowe's film, "Almost Famous".

  5. 4 out of 5

    Angela Natividad

    A strong anthology of favorite essays if you're into rock 'n' roll, Rolling Stone, writing, or -- better still -- all three. Fong-Torres paints a realistic picture of what was going on in the background with the editing process, himself and the stars. You also find out what's going on with the hyphen in his name. Good shit. A strong anthology of favorite essays if you're into rock 'n' roll, Rolling Stone, writing, or -- better still -- all three. Fong-Torres paints a realistic picture of what was going on in the background with the editing process, himself and the stars. You also find out what's going on with the hyphen in his name. Good shit.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Butch

    This is a biography of Ben Fong-Torres, a writer for Rolling Stone magazine in it's hey day of the 70's. Some good articles in it and fun pictures with pop stars, but not always that interesting of a read as a book. This is a biography of Ben Fong-Torres, a writer for Rolling Stone magazine in it's hey day of the 70's. Some good articles in it and fun pictures with pop stars, but not always that interesting of a read as a book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    not on overdrive

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brett buckner

    Meh … ben Fong-Torres is a legend in rock journalism these selections of his best of articles isn’t great … less the writing than the actual subjects.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Katrina

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mihaela D

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Rosenbaum

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  13. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  15. 5 out of 5

    Patsy Crawford

  16. 4 out of 5

    Espen

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gina

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

  19. 5 out of 5

    Stephon

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jen

  21. 5 out of 5

    Donald Gibson

  22. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Splett

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nick H

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  25. 5 out of 5

    MaryJane

  26. 4 out of 5

    John

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dan Hajducky

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jeanine

  29. 4 out of 5

    India McCarty

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sam Myers

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