Hello, It's Me: Dispatches from a Pop Culture Junkie

Hello, It's Me: Dispatches from a Pop Culture Junkie


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In Hello, It's Me, pop culture historian Chris Epting celebrates the cultural touchstones of the past 40 years-the music, movies, television, hobbies and fads that have defined recent generations.

Beginning in the 1970s and continuing through the 1980s, 1990s and up to the present day, Epting writes about the humorous, ironic, poignant and inspiring moments he's experienced with a host of pop culture icons-Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Jay Leno, Johnny Thunders, Edward Albee, John Cheever and Milton Berle, to name a few-as well as his personal memories of the era's most famous trends, products and gimmicks-Pet Rocks, lava lamps, mood rings, 8-track tapes, bootleg records, Zotz, halter tops, strawberry wine . . . .

The book also features reflections from a wide range of contributors, including Stephen Schwartz (Wicked), Jack Riley (The Bob Newhart Show), Mary Carillo (sportscaster), Lou Gramm (Foreigner), Mary Cheever (wife of John), Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), and many others!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781595800534
Publisher: Santa Monica Press
Publication date: 07/01/2010
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 1,200,759
Product dimensions: 9.04(w) x 6.12(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Chris Epting is the author of numerous books, including James Dean Died Here, Led Zeppelin Crashed Here, Marilyn Monroe Dyed Here, Roadside Baseball , and The Ruby Slippers, Madonna’s Bra, and Einstein’s Brain . He has contributed articles to such publications as the Los Angeles Times, Westways, Travel + Leisure and Preservation magazine. Epting is also the national spokesperson and consultant for Hampton Inn’s Save-a-Landmark program, which recently won the Preserve America Presidential Award. He lives in Huntington Beach, California, with his wife and their two children.

Seth Swirsky is an American pop music songwriter, author, recording artist and noted baseball memorabilia collector. He is the author of Baseball Letters: A Fan’s Correspondence with His Heroes and Every Pitcher Tells a Story: Letters Gathered by a Devoted Fan . He is also completing a unique documentary of the Beatles, A Year in the Life , which consists of interviews with people who have a story about themselves and the Beatles.

Table of Contents

Foreword Seth Swirsky 9

Introduction 12

Chapter 1 The 1970s

Brandy (1972) (featuring reflections from Looking Glass singer and composer Elliot Lurie) 22

Spider and a Slugger (1973) 27

Hooray for Hollywood, Parts I and II (1974) 36

Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones (1975) 45

John Cheever (1975) (featuring reflections from Mary Cheever, Summer 2009) 49

The Tin Man (1975) 58

"Do You Feel?" (1976) (featuring reflections from photographer Mark Weiss) 61

Calling Heather (1977) (featuring reflections from Heather McVeigh) 65

Hey! Ho! Let's go! (1977) (featuring reflections from Television guitarist Richard Lloyd) 70

Taken By the Dead (1977) 74

Keith Richards (1977) 77

David Johansen (1978) (featuring reflections from New York Dolls guitarist Sylvain Sylvain) 79

My First Celebrity Interview: Herman Munster (1978) 84

Scarlet Letters (1979) (featuring reflections from musician Richie Scarlet) 86

Chapter 2 The 1980s

Killed By the Dead (1980) 98

The World at Ease (1981) (featuring reflections from Tony Sonnanstine) 100

Albee Darned (1981) 114

Norman Mailer (1982) 116

Dimi (1982) (featuring reflections from playwright John Baron) 118

Manute (1983) 123

Charles Kuralt (1983) (featuring reflections from author and Kuralt biographer Ralph Grizzle) 126

Woody, Ack and Rod (1984) 131

Dog, Gone (1985) 140

"Louie, Louie" (1985) (featuring reflections from Foreigner singer Lou Gramm) 146

Game Six (1986) (featuring reflections from songwriter, author and baseball memorabilia collector Seth Swirsky) 150

Jagger Dances (1986) 156

A "Meeting" with Jagger (1986) 157

Chris Mullin (1987) 159

This Is Hollywood (1988) 162

Six Degrees of Jack Riley (1989) (featuring reflections from actor Jack Riley) 164

Chapter 3 The 1990s

"Into the Night" (1990) (featuring reflections from singer Benny Mardones) 178

Stern (1991) 182

Curt Gowdy (1991) 184

Unleashing the Raider Within (1994) 187

Nomo, Mr. Nice Guy (1995) 191

Jerry Lewis (1995) 193

Be Like Mike (1996) 195

Elgin Baylor (1996) 200

(Crazy) Uncle Miltie (1997) 203

Jay Leno (1998) 206

Chapter 4 The 2000s

RFK (2001) 214

North by Northwest (2002) 218

Save-A-Landmark (2003) (featuring reflections from Judy Christa-Cathey and Mayor Jack Loftis) 220

Cooperstown and Friendship (2004) (featuring reflections from John Mungo) 228

Stones Guitar Pick (2005) 233

Oscar, Oscar, Oscar (2005) 235

A Winning Photo (2006) 237

The Indian (2007) 238

Time for Kids (2008) 241

The Dinosaur Hunter (2008) (featuring reflections from paleontologist Dr. Luis Chiappe) 244

Wicked (2008) (featuring reflections from composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz) 250

Reunion (2009) 255

In Prog We Trust (2009) (featuring reflections from Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess) 260

Baseball in the Coliseum (2009) 265

The Rev (2010) 267

Chapter 5 Odds, Ends and Some Articles l've Written

Tennis (featuring reflections from sportscaster Mary Carillo) 285

Acknowledging Two TV Classics: The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family 292

"Back to the Bleachers" (2006) (featuring reflections from author Arnold Hano) 297

"A Weekend on Planet B" (2007) (featuring reflections from actor Paul Reubens) 306

"Against the Tide" (2008) 311

"Let's Spend the Night Together" (2008) 321


End on a Good One (October 31, 2009) 328

Acknowledgments 331

Permissions 333

Photo Credits 335

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Hello, It's Me: Dispatches from a Pop Culture Junkie 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A7X-Christen More than 1 year ago
From the moment I began reading this author's collection of personal essays, I could not put it down. Anyone who is a fan of music, television, movies....or all the above can appreciate and find a relatable stoy in Hello, It's Me. There are some moments that will have you lauging and others that will bring tears to your eyes. It really is a full service ride through the pop culture of the past 30 or more years, told through the memories of a true fan. So this is definitely one to pick up, and odds are it will have you remembering some of your own experiences. Ahhh, memories.
JoelleLynn More than 1 year ago
Hello, It's Me: will definitely take you on an adventure! Chris Epting has the charm to make him (and his wonderful family) likeable to any reader! You won't want to put this book down! He allows the reader to grow up right beside him. To be caught up in the magic and the awe that can only be viewed through a child's eyes. To be nervous and excited along with him as a teenager. To be speechless and appreciative as a young adult, and to 'live the dream' as adult. (Believe me, I'd be pinching my self, too!) The book takes you on a wonderful journey. You feel the mischief, the butterflies, the grief, the fun. Chris has an uncanny ability to draw the reader in; you feel what he felt and you re-live your own memories while he tells his tales! Such an astounding compilation of one-of-a-kind stories and unforgettable memories! Hello, It's Me: is laced with tidbits on cultural icons of the 70's, 80's, 90's, and 00's that would never had been made known if not for Chris witnessing them before his very eyes. The 'Reflections' were an unexpected bonus! Chris not only tells an amazing story, he also gives you "the other side" of said stories through the 'Reflections' sections, an awesome idea that truly pays off. These unique experiences with some truly outstanding people range from short and sweet and pure luck, to deep and personal and heartfelt. I cannot say enough great things about this book. You'll cheer Chris on in his 'Norman Mailer' bit. You'll laugh out loud to the 'Woody, Ack and Rod' story and you'll shed a few tears to 'Dog, Gone.' --That's a lot to say, coming from someone who's generally not a dog person!-- Lastly, his final piece on 'The Rev' is truly heartfelt and hit home with me, a story that I will treasure foREVer. Thank you, Chris for allowing me to sit beside you on this wild ride that is your life. And to the reader who is undecided on purchasing this book; buy it. Buy copies for family members and friends, you will not be disappointed.
ErickThomas More than 1 year ago
"Hello, It's Me" turned out to be so much more than a fun jaunt through the pop culture of the 70's, 80's, 90's, and 00's(though it was that). As someone who didn't get a chance to rock the 70's and much of the 80's it was quite a trip and Chris did seem to be everywhere! But what I really took away from this read was a personal philosophy not only of how to live a life well but also the importance of being a historian for your own life. So much more than nostalgia "Hello, It's Me" was fun, personally touching, and will no doubt have an effect on how I lead my life and become an advocate for my personal history!