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Michael Lydon: News & Videos

New Rolling Stones audio book! - November 27, 2013

Hachette Audio is releasing "The Rolling Stones Discover America," Michael Lydon's eyewitness account of the 1969 Rolling Stones tour of America that ended in the disastrous concert at Altamont, as an audio book. Lydon narrated the audio book and played the intro and transitional music.

Release date: December 3, 2013.

"I'm thrilled about this," says Lydon. "Last year the same text came out as an ebook from Kindle Single, and now it's an audio book. That people still want to read and listen to my writing decades after I wrote it means a lot to me."

Lydon narrated the book after getting coaching from several experienced actors and book readers. "I also read the text several times aloud and did all kinds of vocal exercises to fine tune my articulation and build up my stamina. Reading aloud for three hours can be exhausting!"

Here's the URL for the audio book on Amazon:

Michael Lydon's new Kindle Single - January, 2013

Amazon's Kindle Singles has just released "The Rolling Stones Discover America," Michael Lydon's exciting eyewitness report of the Rolling Stones tumultuous 1969 tour that ended in the murderous disaster at Altamont.

The e-book, priced at $1.99, is selling briskly at Amazon's Kindle site.

"Going on tour with the Stones was the high point of my rock 'n' roll reporting career," says Lydon, "and I'm thrilled that my writing on 60s rock is still finding an eager audience."

Lydon was embedded with the tour, flying from LA to Chicago, New York, San Francisco with the band, staying in the same hotels, smoking pot with Keith and Mick backstage, and night after night listening to the dramatically beautiful music.

Here's the link:

Two years at the Wine Bar! Jan 6, 2013 - January, 2013

Sunday January 6, 2013 Michael Lydon and Dave Hofstra will celebrate two years of a steady gig at the Immigrant Wine Bar, a cozy bistro in New York's East Village.

"Dave is such a great player and such a good guy," says Lydon. "We have great fun together, and the crowd loves our romantic pop jazz."

For the celebration Lydon and Hofstra will play many of their Wine Bar hits, including "Paris in the Rain," "Love at First Sight, and "A Little Song for You."

Special guest stars will drop in: Ellen Mandel, Bob Goldberg, and Paul Hemmings.

8 to 10 pm, Immigrant Wine Bar, 341 East 9th Street (between 1st & 2nd Ave) 212 677-2545

Michael Lydon to Speak at Ray Charles Conference September 22, 2012 - September, 2012

Michael Lydon will speak on how he wrote Ray Charles: Man and Music at the "Inspired by Ray" conference, September 21-23 at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

The conference will include a concert starring Johnny Mathis and Ricky Skaggs, as well as many panels and presentations on various aspcts of Ray's music and career.

Lydon's presentation, "A Discussion of the Biography Ray Charles: Man and Music with the Author, Michael Lydon" will be at 1 pm Saturday September 22, in Room I A at the 1140 Boylston Street building.

For more information, here is the conference website:

Michael Lydon teaches writing course at St John's University September 2012 - September, 2012

For the eighth fall semester, Michael Lydon is teaching an undergraduate writing course, "The Music of Writing." In class the students write their response to exercises in word rhythm, alliteration, point of view, etc, then they read them aloud for feedback from Lydon and the other students."It's a lively class, says Stacey McIntosh, "we laugh a lot and we learn a lot."

Michael Lydon at the Immigrant Wine Bar - March, 2012

Michael Lydon has a steady gig every other Monday at the Immigrant Wine Bar in Manhattan's East Village. The Immigrant is a cozy, romantic hideaway, and Michael--with bassist Dave Hofstra--suits the place, playing and singing jazzy love songs, originals and standards, as warm and rich as the red wines served at the bar. Show time: 8:30 to 10:30.

Address: 341 East 9th St, between 1st & 2nd Aves, close to 1st.

Franklin Street Press launched! - October 10, 2011

For years Michael Lydon has published numerous books of essays on writing and music, formating the books himself, pasting them up, and printing them at a nearby copy center.

This year Lydon is moving his publishing into the digital age. He has already published one book, Now What?, as an elegant, slim paperback; a song book, Sing the Song Again!, is due this month, and a third, Real Writing, will be out in November.

"I find this very exciting," says Lydon. "Now the books have bar codes and ISBN numbers. As soon as possible I'll get them up on Amazon where anyone can find and buy them.

As part of his publishing upgrade, Lydon has needed to come up with a new name for his publishing company. For years it's been Patrick Press. But under that name he couldn't get a "doing business as" certificate, so now the company is called FRANKLIN STREET PRESS. "Here's to Franklin Street Press," said Lydon today, lifting a glass of champagne, "Long may it wave!"

Franklin Street Press website: Or, you may ask questions or order books through this site's contact page.

Mandel & Lydon in Ireland - September 7, 2010

Ellen Mandel gave five concerts of her art songs in Ireland this past August, and Michael Lydon opened the show for three of the concerts. We had a great time driving through the green Irish countryside, meeting people, and playing our music for receptive audiences.

Michael Lydon Gives Graduation Address - June 1, 2010

Michael Lydon gave the graduation address this May at the Washington International School, a well-known high school in Washington DC with students from all around the world. The core of Lydon's address was "All humans are equal," a theme he first developed in his 1993 book, Now What?. The students and their families cheered the speech and, when Lydon finished by singing his song, "Pass It On," everyone sang along.

A busy Fall!! - October 7, 2009

Michael Lydon and Friends gave a sold-out concert October 2 at the Third Street Music School in NYC, and the music was sublime. Michael and the band--including Ellen Mandel on piano--debuted several new songs, including "Tell Me the Truth" and "September." The concert was videotaped, and soon selections will be on YouTube.

Michael is also teaching "The Music of Writing" at St John's University for the fifth straight fall. A good class of bright students are digging into creative writing.

Michael is also continuing to play Tuesdays at Il Mattone, a fine Italian restaurant in Tribeca, with singer Gennaro Kravitz. Lydon and Kravitz have been playing weekly at Il Mattone for over a year, building a loyal following.

And on October 30, Michael will join a fine group of old-timey musicians at a holiday party at the Bank St school in Manhattan.

Michael Lydon to Whistlers Convention - April 2, 2009

Michael Lydon will be going to the International Whistlers Convention in Louisburg, North Carolina, in late April.
He will whistle in competition with about sixty whistlers from all around the world.
"This is my second trip to the IWC," says Lydon, "and this year I'll be competing in all categories. So I'm practicing like mad."

Open 24 Hours - February 23, 2008

Michael Lydon's intimate look at the life on Manhattan's busy streets, with a haunting whistling score.

Michael Lydon's YouTube Channel - February 23, 2008

I've recently added new videos to my YouTube channel, and I plan to put up more.

So rather than loading all of them onto my site, here's the link that will take you to my channel. When you get there, you can browse through my films to your heart's content:

"What a Lovesick Fool Was I" - October 25, 2007

Michael Lydon's brand new music video, "What a Lovesick Fool Was I," filmed in concert in Manhattan.

Memories of the 1960s - July 26, 2007

A new video: an interview with Michael Lydon talking about the Summer of Love, San Francisco hippie rock, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix.

" Classic Jazz Guitar" book published! - June 14, 2007

Michael Lydon's book, HOW TO PLAY CLASSIC JAZZ GUITAR has just been published by Routledge Books.

CLASSIC JAZZ GUITAR is a step-by-step instruction book takes a beginning guitarist from folk-blues basics to the rhythmic drive and harmonic complexity of swing and be-bop.

"I put everything I've learned about playing jazz guitar in the past thirty-five years into this book," says Lydon. "I think it can help newcomers get a handle on how jazz players think."

Available now in bookstores and online: here is the Amazon URL:

"Made It to Another Spring!" video! - May 24, 2007

Here's my latest video, "Made It To Another Spring!" a celebration of my favorite season. We filmed it in the East Village's Tompkins Square Park, starring Ellen and me, with a cast of thousands of kids, dogs, lovers, and flowers

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