BOOKSMITH: John Simon with Greil Marcus / Truth, Lies & Hearsay: A Memoir Of A Musical Life In And Out Of Rock And Roll

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 7:30pm

Booksmith hosts two legends for what is sure to be a memorable evening: record producer John Simon and music critic Greil Marcus in conversation about John's new book, Truth, Lies & Hearsay: A Memoir Of A Musical Life In And Out Of Rock And Roll. Please join us!


Through a musical sensibility, a penchant for organization and blind luck, John Simon produced some of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll ever recorded, including The Band’s Music From Big Pink, The Band, The Last Waltz; Janis Joplin’s Cheap Thrills; Simon and Garfunkel’s Bookends and the debut albums by Leonard Cohen and Blood, Sweat and Tears. 



“John Simon has always been one of our most musical producers, a mix of musical and social skills. Part arranger, part psychiatrist, part instrumentalist, part pure music lover, part camp counselor.” – John Sebastian


“Simon’s role with The Band was particularly crucial, and some of the most fascinating portions in his book detail its creation. Throughout, Simon strikes a tone that’s droll and engaging.” – Jim Farber


“In the late 1960s, John Simon may have had the keenest ear of any record producer. He also had the most open heart, the most self-deprecating ego. That is why, moving on from the fellowship of the Band, he was able to make his way through the music business without accusations of betrayal, manipulation, and theft trailing behind him, and why he could write a book without a hint of rancor, complaint, whine or resentment… He tells his stories as if you could have been right there with him” – Greil Marcus



John Simon (born Norwalk, Connecticut, August 11, 1941) is an American music producer, composer, writer and performer. Recognized as one of the top record producers in the United States during the late ’60s and the 1970s, Simon produced numerous classic albums that continue to sell more than 30 years later, including The Band’s “Music from Big Pink”, “The Band”, and “The Last Waltz”, “Cheap Thrills” by Big Brother & the Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin, “Bookends” by Simon & Garfunkel, “Songs of Leonard Cohen” by Leonard Cohen, and “The Child Is Father to the Man” by Blood, Sweat & Tears. 

Greil Marcus was born in San Francisco in 1945. He was the first Records editor at Rolling Stone in 1969, and in the years since has written "Mystery Train," "Lipstick Traces," "The Old, Weird America," "The Shape of Things to Come," "The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs," "Three Songs, Three Singers, Three Nations," and many other books.  With Werner Sollors he is the editor of "A New Literary History of America" and with Sean Wilentz of "The Rose & the Briar." His column Real Life Rock Top 10, which began in the Village Voice in 1986, currently appears monthly at He lives on Oakland. Author photo by Ida Lødemel Tvedt.


This is a free, all-ages event.

RSVP is appreciated, but not required. 

As with all of our events, seating may be limited and not guaranteed; you can guarantee a seat by pre-purchasing the book below -- when checking out, just be sure to include a note that you'd like to attend the event. If you cannot attend the event but would like to request a signed copy of Truth, Lies & Hearsay, order below and put your request in the comments field. To request a signed copy of one of Greil Marcus's books, order here and put your request in the notes field.


Truth, Lies & Hearsay: A Memoir of a Musical Life in and Out of Rock and Roll Cover Image
ISBN: 9781720047162
Availability: Out of Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Independently Published - September 18th, 2018