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Off My Rocker: One Man’s Tasty, Twisted, Star-Studded Quest for Everlasting Music

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  334 ratings  ·  58 reviews
He messed with James Brown's perfect hair. He cured a dying sparrow with Joan Baez. He counted a pile of cash with Aretha Franklin. He got bamboozled by Chuck Berry. Kenny Weissberg followed the music his entire career. A disc jockey, critic, rock singer, bandleader, and concert promoter, he lived all his childhood dreams - some of which turned into nightmares. In Off My R ...more
Hardcover, 311 pages
Published September 23rd 2013 by Sandra Jonas Publishing House
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Average rating 3.61  · 
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 ·  334 ratings  ·  58 reviews

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Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As Kenny's daughter, and a character in the memoir, perhaps my review won't carry as much weight as some. Nevertheless, I have to say that I've read the book three times. Some of Kenny's story has been my story and there are parts of the book and our lives together that are less than savory or happy for me. I think the fact that we are all loving and connected and that Kenny can write this story and I can read it and share it with my friends is a testament to Kenny and to his acumen as a writer ...more
Meg Bortin
Sep 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
There are two problems with Kenny Weissberg's sex-drugs-and-rock'n'roll (reverse the order on that) insider's account of his incredible journey through the rich garden of rock, blues and soul from the '60s onward. The first problem is that you cannot put it down. When I finished reading his stories about his encounters with musicians we all know -- the great, the good and the ugly -- I felt like I had lost a friend. For a few days, this book kept me so enthralled that the rest of life seemed to ...more
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book that is all about music! It's a true story of the author's many years as a DJ and concert producer, and he has lots of great stories. He booked a lot of famous musicans over the years, and we hear stories of which ones were a pleasure to work with (such as BB King, Bonnie Raitt, Lyle Lovett), and the not-so-nice (Chuck Berry, Dionne Warwick, and more). I'm tempted to read this book all over again now, taking time to look up all the great songs he mentions from his radio programs. ...more
Lianne Downey
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Entertainment—that’s what Kenny Weissberg has spent his life providing and his memoir is no exception.

From the emotional first chapter about Otis Redding, through the astonishing years of drug-drenched escapades where he managed to hold down real jobs and marry the love of his life (lifetimes), artist Helen Redman, I found myself putting my own life on hold because Weissberg’s witty writing held me captive at the breakfast table for hours, staring at my Kindle. (Don’t tell my husband.)

I am not a
Stanley McShane
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Another old rock 'n roller who thinks the young kids of today are being cheated out of an era of what will become "classic", I thoroughly enjoyed Kenny Weissberg's, "Off My Rocker". Weissberg leaves no doubt that he REALLY knows his business; as a young boy ate, drank, and slept music--all kinds of it!, Breaking into his first DJ job, thence beginning a lifelong career that began on slightly false, if not duly licensed credentials, he did all that and more as he got into the dark side of the mus ...more
Jeff Wetherington
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Before reading this book I'd never heard of Kenny Weissberg, had no idea who he was or what he had done or why I would want to read a book about his life thus far.

But an offer for a free Kindle version of his book came my way and since I have a small interest in music, I thought I would give it a shot. I'm so glad I did.

Weissberg has led an interesting life and almost all of it has centered around music and the music industry. From his youth as a fan, to a DJ to a performer himself and then as
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music
Kenny Weissbergs life, twisting through the most important years that defined rock'n'roll as we know it is a story well worth spending time with.

He went to Woodstock, he had his own radioshow (on several major networks), he was a music critic, and he met any critical musicians half way by fronting his own band. But most importantly, he was a concert promotor.

His stories of meeting the nicest people in the business are just what we hoped for. His stories of meeting the worst assholes of the busin
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If any of you lived in the 60's, then you knew who Kenny Weissberg was. My husband and I both read this book that I won in a Goodreads giveaway, and we loved it. It brought back so many memories of concerts we went to, headliners that most of the younger generation were unfortunate enough to miss, and just the whole atmosphere that was rock and roll. There will never be another generation like it. If you were there or just want to experience the times, read the book. You won't regret it and you ...more
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Amazing!!! Once I started it I fell in love!! I was always told I was born in the wrong decade and this book proved it!! I would have loved to have experienced music in that way :) Thank you for writing this :)
Jill Tappert
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Entertaining and engaging! This true story about one person’s career (or more accurately—careers) in the music industry is a great read. The industry seems so glamorous and beyond reach that it’s somehow satisfying to know a bit of what goes on behind-the-scenes and to feel the tension between workaday business and entertainment glamour. The hardcore music information in the first chapter (which I admit was over my head) established the author as extremely knowledgeable. Highly recommend for bot ...more
Kate Colvin
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Entertainer Extraordinaire

A rollicking roll through the eyes of a man in the entertainment industry. As a lover of the "classic rock" genre I was introduced to more. More songs by old favorites and more favorites in the form of so called obscure artists. Plus being reminded of jazz artists that I had forgotten I loved. Insights into the industry that entertains us all.
Jeff Collins
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, biographies
pretty good story of a music-lover who gets into the music business and sees how crazy some of these folks are.
Oct 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's rare that I stray from my favorite thrillers and police/legal/medical procedurals, but when I saw this one offered free with my Kindle Unlimited membership, I took a second look. Maybe it was the first three words of the title - goodness knows I can identify with that phrase. Maybe it was the awards the book earned when it was published in 2013 (such as the 2014 IPPY Award for Best Personal Nonfiction Ebook). More probable, though, is the mention of rock-and-roll and names from a generation ...more
Feb 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Love music? Crave a peek behind the scenes of concert promotion? "Off My Rocker" is a compelling look at the career of longtime radio host and promoter Kenny Weissberg, founder of the renowned "Music Without Boundaries" broadcast. This curiously subdued memoir is by turns entrancing and stodgy, but ultimately endearing.

Make no bones about it: Weissberg's life is run by music. From his early days as rabid fan and aspiring DJ to the final musings of a biz sentinel, it's music that keeps Kenny goi
Mar 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I found this for free on Amazon and liked the idea of taking a peek behind the scenes of radio and concert promotions so I picked it up. There are some "draggy" parts but overall this is a very good book. Especially for someone who likes music from all genres. Kenny has lived one wild and long life. He gets into situations that are dangerous and you have to wonder if he knows how lucky he is to still be alive. He describes his drug years factually, not as something glorious to draw you into tha ...more
H.d. Jones
Oct 09, 2014 rated it liked it
After reading Off My Rocker the main message received is that Kenny Weissberg's three favorite things in the world are himself, music, and, for at least much of his life, drugs. Apparently for the past few years he's eliminated his passion for drugs and consequently been able to transfer that much more idolatry to himself.

It's pretty easy to tell near the beginning of most chapters whether it's an all-Kenny chapter or also involves people you've heard of. Unless you're from an area where you've
R.Bruce Macdonald
Nov 24, 2013 rated it liked it
The author is a self-avowed 'music junkie' and has made a career and a name for himself in many aspects of the music business including stints as a radio host, musician, and promoter. The latter provides the meat of the story and provided the most entertaining parts of the book for me.
I found the author's behind the scenes look at what it takes to promote a show, in his case at an outdoor San Diego venue, quite fascinating. Weissbeg goes into detail how a performer or band is contacted, the cont
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed reading this book by and about someone I've known and liked for a long time. I was especially entertained by the part where Kenny met Helen, that description of his first glimpse of her gardening in short shorts. I'm also in admiration of how early on and how clearly Kenny knew his passion in life and how boldly, how assiduously, with what determination and grit he worked to keep it at the center of his universe. The story is well and quite modestly told, which must have been some ...more
Tom Schulte
Starting with Boulder scene around Firefall, etc. Weissberg enjoys as a fan, exults in music journalism and leading his band Kenny & the Kritix, and falls into freeform radio. This exciting and unpredictable format bookends the concert booker/promoter career that is the meet of the book, but made me wistful and nostalgic for my own past year on WXOU, Internet etc. with my own program Outsight Radio Hours. Kenny's recollection of booking Humphrey's San Diego concert venue is a revealing insider’s ...more
D. Thrush
Aug 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book delivers. Kenny relays his lifelong love of music and his forays into music related careers as a disc jockey, performance artist/musician, and concert promoter. He has the opportunity to meet many legends and up and coming artists. It’s always interesting to hear how celebrities really are as people. He also tells the story of how he met his wife and shares a bit more personal information. I would’ve liked a little more of this. He mentions that his wife is an artist but gives no detai ...more
May 04, 2014 rated it liked it
i'm not sure why i wanted to read a biography of someone i'd never heard of, but it was fairly interesting. the author was involved in music and the music industry over the decades when they held my interest most. from his college days, which included a trip to the woodstock music festival, to his days booking acts for a venue in san diego california. along the way he takes side trips as a disk jockey, music critic and rock star. the book is pretty self-indulgent, but what biography isn't? his p ...more
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A surprisingly great read, and gets better and better as we 'grow up' alongside Kenny Weissberg and meet many fruity characters along the way. Holding nothing back, this is a colourful look into the backstage world of music, and all that happens behind the scenes to bring music, both live and on radio, to our ears. At first I expected not to enjoy the book as it started in typical 'drink drugs women' talk, but once we started meeting musician after musician the book came to life, and truly bloss ...more
Brendan Creecy
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir, music
This is the music memoir I've been dreaming about. I vaguely remember listening to Kenny Weissberg on the radio in San Diego in the 90's but I had no idea what an incredible life he lived. Starting out in radio and music journalism in Boulder in the 70's, Kenny moved to San Diego in the 80's and became the promoter for the famous Humphrey's Concerts By The Bay series. I attended a few of these shows. Amazing venue. Kenny is an open book and has some amazing stories to tell. As a guy who dabbled ...more
Oct 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: autobiography, music
As a DJ Kenny Weissberg had the enviable job for years of playing his favourite tunes by great artists every day without today's playlists. As the radio industry became more corporate he moved into concert promotion (via some entertaining interludes) and proceeded to meet many of his heroes.

Warning - his tales of precious and often greedy artists may put you off many of your favourites. I think it's common knowledge that Chuck Berry can be difficult but Aretha Franklin and Dionne Warwick! Who k
Weissberg gives you a behind the scenes look at the world of music from the viewpoint of a DJ and a music producer. I liked hearing which stars were easy to deal with and which provided plenty of fodder for the "a-hole" section of this book. I know the part about the crazy demands of the various performers had some truth in it since our friends produce concerts locally and have to do some intense shopping before the bands get there. I was not interested in the obscure bands that were beyond my i ...more
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great book! I've sometimes wondered how a person might become a concert promoter. I've also wondered what such a person does from day to day to earn that big salary. Now I know! (And I'm not sorry I didn't go into that business.)

The author, who has worked in the music business pretty much all his life, has written a terrific memoir. He recounts some amusing and surprising interactions with music celebrities. The writing throughout is really strong. It made me want to stretch out the book so it w
Mar 04, 2015 rated it liked it
In contrast to "We Are the Road Crew", I felt like I got plenty of details in this memoir. I didn't get the sense that too much was glossed over—if that were happening, surely the author would have left out the part where his future wife was married to someone else when they met and started their relationship. I didn't know all the names that were dropped here, but knew enough of them to stay interested. I appreciated the section where the author reflected on the changes he's seen in music and o ...more
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rock history and more from one in the trenches

Finding an autobiography that gives us a snapshot of history is always a joy for me. Kenny Weissberg had the luck of being born in the perfect time to witness the birth of the popular music industry when innovation and balls got people dream jobs. Great inside stories and memories of a time when the scene was trying to figure itself out. It's sort of a shame it did.
Todd Glaeser
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. At first attracted by the cost (free) and the San Diego connection, as I read I found Weissberg funny, knowledgeable and entertaining. After thinking about it, Off my Rocker is not only Weissberg's story, it's also the story of ROCK and how the twin vines of greed and corporatization has slowly been ruining the music and scene that so many of us grew up loving. I'll be recommending this book. A lot.
Motez Bishara
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
Most readers will want to skip to about the 60% mark in the book. You can then start reading some insider stories on how a live music venue manager had to deal with the egos of aging R&B crooners. This wasn't the meatiest of books, I had to skip around quite a bit and limped my way towards the finish line. ...more
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Kenny has been a music junkie since he got his first transistor radio at age seven. Born and raised in New Jersey, he headed west in thousand-mile increments.

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin, he moved to Boulder, Colorado, in 1971, quickly becoming an integral part of the music and media communities. He spent six years as a morning DJ/talk show host at KRNW and was an original on

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“I had enough of a story churning in my head that combined all the elements of the day—the interview, the concert, the after-party’s private session—when he put his guitar away and asked me if I had ever experimented with homosexuality. Talk about unexpected segues. Letting him know that I had not and wasn’t about to, I successfully changed the subject by asking him to give me a condensed account about traveling to Mississippi in search of Bukka White.” 1 likes
“announced that Otis Redding and the Bar-Kays would be performing in Madison, two friends and I cut class and raced to the Factory, where we plunked down three bucks apiece for tickets. In the weeks leading up to the concert, Steve Kruvant, Rick Kleiner, and I wore out the grooves of Otis’s Live in Europe LP. From the emcee’s introductory cheerleading (“Gimme an O!”) to the final horn blasts” 0 likes
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