“Voices” author Robert Yehling to appear at Haight St. Fair

“Voices” author Robert Yehling to appear at Haight St. Fair; New Novel Embraces the Summer of Love on 50th Anniversary


SAN FRANCISCO — As the Haight Street fair celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love on Sunday, June 11, author Robert Yehling will be on hand with his new novel, Voices, an ideal summer read that salutes the music, freedom and community that characterized the period.

Yehling, the editor of the Billboard Music Awards and American Music Awards publications, will sign and discuss Voices during the Haight Street Fair, from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tens of thousands of people and hundreds of vendors will celebrate the day, as well as live bands with musicians from the 1960s.

Voices originates during the Summer of Love, when lead character and rock legend Tom Timoreaux and his band, The Fever, get their start. It retraces rock music’s 50-year odyssey since, through The Fever’s reunion for a one-off summer tour. For that tour, Tom hires his daughter, Christine, to sing backup vocals — and she becomes a star under her father’s mentorship. But there’s a deep personal secret that threatens to upset the camaraderie — and that secret is exposed in a way that permanently changes all their lives.

Yehling combines forty years of experiences as a music journalist with the central story, weaving in tales based on those experiences as part of The Fever’s flashback on their long, legendary career.

“Everyone loves rock and roll stories,” he said. “After interviewing and hanging out with hundreds of musicians, I realized the stories and things I experienced were the heart of why we embrace rock and pop music. We often define ourselves by the stories we hear and tell; so it is with the characters in Voices.

Like so many other ideas, Voices was first conceived on Haight Street, during the 2001 Haight Street Fair.

“I was walking down Haight Street with Marty Balin, the founder/lead singer of Jefferson Airplane, on our way to the stage where he was headlining with Jefferson Starship, playing on the back of a flatbed truck like the good old days,” Yehling recalls. “I told Marty I wanted to write a music-based novel, and we batted my idea back and forth during our walk. It’s been years since, but the essential story line we discussed is the backbone of the novel.”

Voices will also be available in bookstores throughout the Bay Area. You can also find in on Amazon and from the publisher, Open Books Press.

Yehling is an award-winning journalist, and the author and co-author of 20 titles, most recently When We Were The Boys, written with former Rod Stewart Band lead guitarist Stevie Salas; and Just Add Water, the biography of autistic surf star Clay Marzo. From 2004-2008, he was the editor of American Idol Magazine.

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