Peppermint Twist

by John Johnson, Jr. and Joel Selvin

The never-before-told story of The Peppermint Lounge, the famed Manhattan nightspot and mobster hangout that launched an era

The Peppermint Lounge was intended to be nothing more than a front for gambling and other rackets but the club became a sensation after Dick “Cami” Camillucci began to feature a new kind of music, rock and roll. The mobsters running the place found themselves juggling rebellious youths alongside celebrities like Greta Garbo and Shirley MacLaine. When The Beatles visited the club, Cami’s uncle-in-law had to restrain a hitman who was after Ringo because his girlfriend was so infatuated with the drummer.

Working with Dick Cami himself, Johnson and Selvin unveil this engrossing story of the go-go sixties and the club that inspired the classic hits “Twisting the Night Away” and “The Peppermint Twist.”


The Sopranos meets American Bandstand! I love it. The Peppermint Lounge is where it all started for me and the Ronettes.”—Ronnie Spector, The Ronettes

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Published in Music

Joel Selvin

Joel Selvin has covered rock and pop music for The San Francisco Chronicle since 1970. He is the author of numerous books, including Sly and the Family Stone: An Oral History (For the Record) (Harper Perennial); Summer of Love: The Inside Story of LSD (Cooper Square); San Francisco, The Musical History Tour: A Guide to over 200 of the Bay Area's Most Memorable Music Sites (Chronicle Books); Photopass: The Rock & Roll Photography of Randy Bachman (SLG Books); Monterey Pop (Chronicle Books); and Ricky Nelson: Idol for a Generation (Contemporary Books), which was nominated for the Ralph J. Gleason Award as Music Book of the Year.

Published in Authors

Ricky Nelson: Idol for a Generation

by Joel Selvin

Of the top '50s rock-n-roll stars, only Elvis Presley could boast a name and face better known than Ricky Nelson's. The star of TV's top-rated Ozzie and Harriet. Nelson burst into stardom as one of TV's first child actors. His death in an airplane crash shattered America's dreams.

This revealing biography exposes the truth about the teen idol, detailing Nelson's desolate years of depression, his determination to establish an adult identity and gain the respect he deserved as a musician, the years of his drug addition, and his frustration with the disastrous end of his nineteen-year marriage to California golden girl Kristin Harmon.

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Published in Music

Treasures of the Hard Rock Cafe: The Official Guide to the Hard Rock Cafe Memorabilia Collection

by Joel Selvin and Paul Grushkin

This oversized faux-leather hardcover with gold gilt titles contains beautiful photographs of the collection of rock-and-roll memorabilia owned by the Hard Rock Cafe.

Published in Coffee Table

Summer Of Love

by Joel Selvin

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the West Coast, particularly San Francisco, was the epicenter of rock music. Culled from more than 200 interviews with all the major players, including Jerry Garcia, Grace Slick, David Crosby, and Steve Miller, Summer of Love is the definitive book about the Psychedelic Era. Selvin provides an uncensored look at the acid-laced jam sessions, bacchanal parties, crimes of passion, run-ins with ruthless promoters and lawmen, overdoses, rivalries, deaths, and, of course, the music. Filled with never-before-told stories of The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Janis Joplin, Country Joe and the Fish, Creedance Clearwater Revival, and non-musicians like Bill Graham and Ken Kesey, this book presents an unforgettable, kaleidoscopic portrait of a crucial era in American music.

Published in Music