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Rock Bottom Remainders

Rock Bottom Remainders
Origin Anaheim, California, United States
Genres Rock and roll
Years active 1992 (1992)–2012 (2012)
Website .com.rockbottomremainderswww

The Rock Bottom Remainders are an American rock and roll band, consisting of published writers, most of them both amateur musicians and popular English-language book, magazine, and newspaper authors. The band took its self-mocking name from the publishing term "remaindered book", a work of which the unsold remainder of the publisher's stock of copies is sold at a reduced price. Their performances collectively raised $2 million for charity from their concerts.

The band's members have included Dave Barry, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Cynthia Heimel, Sam Barry, Ridley Pearson, Scott Turow, Joel Selvin, James McBride, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount, Jr., Barbara Kingsolver,[1] Robert Fulghum, Matt Groening, Tad Bartimus, Greg Iles, Aron Ralston[2] and honorary member Maya Angelou[3] among others, as well as professional musicians like multi-instrumentalist (and author) Al Kooper, drummer Josh Kelly, guitarist Roger McGuinn and saxophonist Erasmo Paulo. Founder Kathi Kamen Goldmark[4] died on May 24, 2012.[5]


  • History 1
  • Quotations 2
  • Concerts 3
  • Guests 4
  • Songs covered 5
  • Discography 6
  • Books 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The Remainders was founded by Kathi Kamen Goldmark in 1992.[4] Kathi was then a musician whose day job was in book publicity.[4] Through this, she met many prolific authors.[4] One day while driving one of the authors around, she came upon the idea of making a band of them. It stuck.[4] The Remainders' first performance was in 1992 at the American Booksellers Association convention in Anaheim, California. A review of the concert in The Washington Post referred to it as "the most heavily promoted musical debut since The Monkees."[6]

The Remainders also played at the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio in 1995.[7]

In April 2010, they began the Wordstock Tour presented by the Pearson Foundation and We Give Books, benefiting the children and schools of Haiti.

The Remainders gave their last concert on June 23, 2012 at the annual conference of the American Library Association in Anaheim, where they played their first concert 20 years before. The event, cosponsored by ProQuest, raised money for library and information science scholarships.[8]

The Remainders last performed together on the August 6, 2012 episode of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, on which both Stephen King and Dave Barry were guests (although the segment was taped in June 2012 when the band was in town for the ALA concert).

In September 2014, it was announced that the Remainders would reunite to perform at the Tucson Festival of Books in March 2015.[9] On March 15, 2015, the band's reunion was referenced in Merl Reagle's syndicated Sunday crossword puzzle. Titled "Book Notes," the crossword included the band's name and several puns using names of writers who were members.[10]


  • "We play music as well as Metallica writes novels." – Dave Barry
  • "I picked up one of the two guitars I'd been using, and just as we were about to start, Stephen King tapped me on the shoulder and said, 'We have a special guest.' I turned around, and there was Bruce Springsteen. I still don't know how he came to be at this convention; I don't believe he's a bookseller. All I know is, he was picking up the other guitar. My guitar. 'Bruce,' I said to him. 'Do you know the guitar part to "Gloria"?' This is like asking James Michener if he knows how to write his name." – Dave Barry
    • "Your band's not too bad. It's not too good either. Don't let it get any better, otherwise you'll just be another lousy band." – Bruce Springsteen
  • "People are throwing panties at you. They certainly never do that at my book-signings." – Matt Groening
  • "There's an audience out there, and the key is to kick it in the ass." – Stephen King
  • "Roy actually coined the term for our genre of music; 'hard-listening music.' " – Dave Barry
  • "Most people seem to think critics are as useful as tits on a priest." – Joel Selvin[11]


  • 1992, Anaheim: American Booksellers Association convention
  • 1993, Various cities: The 'Three Chords and an Attitude' tour - 6 dates on the US East Coast
  • 1995, Cleveland: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (opening)
  • A version of the band with Barry and Albom and Ridley Pearson and Warren Zevon also played at the Miami Book Fair in 1997
  • 2012, Anaheim: American Library Association convention


Songs covered


Several RBR members are featured on the double album Stranger than Fiction ("Don't Quit Your Day Job" Records), along with other noted authors' comic attempts at song.[13]


Dave Barry, Tad Bartimus, Roy Blount, Jr., Michael Dorris, Robert Fulghum, Kathi Goldmark, Matt Groening, Stephen King, Barbara Kingsolver, Al Kooper, Greil Marcus, Dave Marsh, Ridley Pearson, Joel Selvin and Amy Tan, Mid-Life Confidential: The Rock Bottom Remainders Tour America with Three Chords and an Attitude, 1994, with photographs by Tabitha King

Mitch Albom, Dave Barry, Sam Barry, Roy Blount, Jr., Matt Groening, Greg Iles, Stephen King, James McBride, Roger McGuinn, Ridley Pearson, Amy Tan, and Scott Turow, Hard Listening: The Greatest Rock Band Ever (Of Authors) Tells All, 2013. The interactive ebook combines essays, fiction, musings, candid email exchanges and conversations, compromising photographs, audio and video clips, and interactive quizzes to give readers a view into the private lives of the authors.[14]


  1. ^ Rottenberg, Josh (August 6, 2012). "Stephen King's all-author rock band plays swan song on 'The Late Late Show' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  2. ^ Fujino, Ginny. "November 17, 2006 - 'Pink Elephants' benefits Voices for Children Foundation". Blacktie South Florida. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  3. ^ Hellstern, Melissa (April 14, 2010). "The Rock Bottom Remainders: Writers Who Rock for a Good Cause". Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e McGrath, Charles (June 4, 2007). "Rock On, but Hang on to Your Literary Gigs".  
  5. ^ Green, Lynn (May 24, 2012). "Kathi Kamen Goldmark". BookPage. Retrieved May 25, 2012. 
  6. ^ Streitfeld, David (May 27, 1992). "Hey! C.C. Writers; Authors Rock 'Em at Booksellers Convention". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Dave Barry Official Website". September 4, 1995. Retrieved June 24, 2013. 
  8. ^  
  9. ^ "Band booked: Rock Bottom Remainders reuniting in Tucson". Arizona Daily Star. September 13, 2014. Retrieved September 23, 2014. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ King, Stephen, with Dave Marsh, Ridley Pearson, Amy Tan, Dave Barry, Tad Bartimus, Roy Blount, Jr., Michael Dorris, Robert Fulghum, Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Matt Groening, Barbara Kingsolver, Al Kooper, Greil Marcus, Joel Selvin. Mid-life Confidential: The Rock Bottom Remainders Tour America with Three Chords and an Attitude, Hodder & Stoughton, 1994, 448 pages. ISBN 0-340-61754-3
  12. ^ Kingsolver, Barbara. "Confessions of a Reluctant Rock Goddess." High Tide in Tucson. New York: HarperCollins, 1995.
  13. ^ Don't Quit Your Day Job" Records Catalog Item""". June 14, 2002. Retrieved June 24, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Hard Listening". Coliloquy. Retrieved June 24, 2013. 

External links

  • Official website
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