Author of rock and roll memoir to speak

BLUE HILL — Cultural critic and author Jonathan Taplin, whose career has taken him from rock and roll in the ’60s to technological commentary in the new millennium, will talk about his new memoir, “The Magic Years: Scenes from a Rock and Roll Life,” at 7 p.m. Friday, July 16, at the Bagaduce Music Lending Library performance hall on South Street. Taplin and Sara Willis, host of Maine Public Radio’s “In Tune with Sara Willis,” will be onstage in conversation.

Taplin was tour manager for Bob Dylan and The Band in his early years, moving on to become a major film producer in the 1970s, a Merrill Lynch executive in the 1980s and creator of Intertainer, the internet’s first video-on-demand service, in the 1990s. In the 21st century, he has been a cultural critic and author, as well as a professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism.

His appearance in Blue Hill is sponsored by Blue Hill Books and the Word literary arts festival. He will be in Maine for the Guild Nights program hosted by the Authors Guild Foundation.

The director emeritus of USC’s Annenberg Innovation Lab, Taplin is the author of “Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy,” a New York Times Editor’s Choice and nominated by Financial Times as one of the best business books of 2017. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time magazine and many other publications.

With cameos by Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Martin Scorsese and other cultural icons, “The Magic Years” is both a rock memoir and Taplin’s personal view of a nation turning from idealism to nihilism.

Sara Willis is the longtime host and producer of “In Tune,” the Maine Public Radio program featuring contemporary singer-songwriters, folk, blues, acoustic rock, jazz, alt country and world music. In 2018, Maine Public launched the “In Tune with Sara Willis” audio stream allowing fans of the show 24/7 access to music curated by Willis from her Blue Hill studio.

Word is funded by donors including the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation, the Thompson Foundation and the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Word’s media partner is WERU-FM. Its fiscal sponsor is Blue Hill Community Development.

For more info, call 374-5632 and visit

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