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"Jonathan Taplin has lived many lives and all of them have intersected with greatness. In this candid, insightful memoir, he chronicles his collaboration with seminal artists. This is a fascinating insider perspective of a time that forever changed music and film." -- Don Henley
"The Magic Years remarkably shares how Jon Taplin was on the front lines of so many pivotal and historic events. He has a helluva story to tell. I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen a lot of it with my own eyes." --Robbie Robertson
"Jonathan Taplin and I had our share of conflicts and disagreements, but he was the one who made Mean Streets and The Last Waltz possible, for which I will always be grateful. We had quite a few adventures on both projects, and they're all chronicled in this memoir of his colorful life in show business." --Martin Scorsese
Jonathan Taplin's extraordinary journey has put him at the crest of every major cultural wave in the past half century: he was tour manager for Bob Dylan and the Band in the '60s, producer of major films in the '70s, an executive at Merrill Lynch in the '80s, creator of the Internet's first video-on-demand service in the '90s, and a cultural critic and author writing about technology in the new millennium. His is a lifetime marked not only by good timing but by impeccable instincts--from the folk scene to Woodstock, Hollywood's rebellious film movement, and beyond. Taplin is not just a witness but a lifelong producer, the right-hand man to some of the greatest talents of both pop culture and the underground.
With cameos by Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Martin Scorsese, and countless other icons, The Magic Years is both a rock memoir and a work of cultural criticism from a key player who watched a nation turn from idealism to nihilism. Taplin offers a clear-eyed roadmap of how we got here and makes a convincing case for art's power to deliver us from "passionless detachment" and rekindle our humanism.
Jonathan Taplin is an author and director emeritus of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab. Taplin's book Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google and Amazon Have Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy, published by Little, Brown & Co., was nominated by the Financial Times as one of the Best Business Books of 2017. Taplin has produced music and film for Bob Dylan and the Band, George Harrison, Martin Scorsese, Wim Wenders, Gus Van Sant and many others. He was the founder of Intertainer, the first streaming Video On Demand Platform in 1996. Mr. Taplin graduated from Princeton University. He was a professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism from 2003 to 2016. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He currently sits on the boards of The Authors Guild, Americana Music Association, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's Council on Technology and Innovation. His commentary has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time Magazine, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, Medium, the Washington Monthly, and the Wall Street Journal.
William Deresiewicz is an award-winning essayist and critic, frequent speaker at colleges and other venues, and former professor of English at Yale. His writing has appeared in the Atlantic, the New York Times, Harper's, The Nation, The New Republic, The American Scholar, and many other publications. He is the recipient of a National Book Critics Circle award for excellence in reviewing and the New York Times bestselling author of Excellent Sheep and A Jane Austen Education.
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