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Inside the Tribeca Film Festival’s World Premiere of Suzanne Joe Kai’s LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE & TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES; Now Streaming through Jun. 23

The Tribeca Film Festival is streaming “Like A Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres” through June 23. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here. 

Last Sunday, my first film experience post-pandemic took place on a large scale, complete with temperature checks, oversized plastic lawn chairs set up in pods to adhere to social distancing rules, and a jumbo concert sized screen at The Battery in New York,  where I watched the Tribeca Film Festival’s World Premiere of “Like A Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres”. 

Swag in the hospitality tent at The Tribeca Film Festival at The Battery in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
The hospitality tent at The Tribeca Film Festival at The Battery in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

It was great to catch up with my friend, Ben Fong-Torres, the subject of the documentary directed, produced and written by Suzanne Joe Kai. The film features exclusive interviews with Elton John, Carlos Santana, Steve Martin, Quincy Jones, Bob Weir, Cameron Crowe, Annie Leibovitz, Pulitzer-prize winning journalist David Felton, Holly George-Warren, Sarah Lazin, Laurel Gonsalves, and so many more.

Ben Fong-Torres and Publicist David Magdael at The Tribeca Film Festival at The Battery in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang

The idea for the documentary was birthed over 10 years ago. Suzanne and Ben were having dinner one night when Suzanne mused, “You’re in everybody else’s documentary. Why isn’t there one about you?”

Kai shared, “I approached it as a rock and roll documentary, which it still is. Being a journalist myself, I blocked myself away from the world of books and movies. I didn’t want to get influenced. I went straight to the sources like the great Rolling Stone‘s people here- Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Felton. He gave me incredible insight as did so many others. I was very lucky.”
Dian-Aziza Ooka, Laurel Gonsalves, Ben Fong-Torres, and David Felton at the World Premiere screening of Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES at The Tribeca Film Festival atThe Battery in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang

“I started this 10-12 years ago, so I could get the early sources that worked alongside Ben. I blocked out all of that, and I focused in on the sources. Then I started to look at books, film and everywhere else. To my shock, Ben’s story was really missing. There’s a lot about Ben out there, but in terms of Ben’s real true life story, I felt it was missing. Then, that became a mission of mine to tell the true story of Ben.”

womenandhollywood.com: Tribeca 2021 Women Directors: Meet Suzanne Joe Kai – “Like a Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres”

Rolling Stone music editor and journalist Ben Fong-Torres. Photo: Fred Morales, Jr.

Cara Cusumano, Festival Director and Vice President for Programming for The Tribeca Film Festival writes, “Soon after graduating from San Francisco State College, Ben Fong-Torres started writing for Rolling Stone in 1968. The next year, he was hired as an editor and writer. Fong-Torres’s cover stories on Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, and Jefferson Airplane helped to shape the way a country understood its counterculture, while Rolling Stone, under Fong-Torres’s guidance as a senior editor, became Rolling Stone.

Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary is much more than a time capsule of an era: it’s a portrait of someone who can’t be reduced to a profession. Fong-Torres walks us through his upbringing as the child of Chinese immigrants in the 1950s, his earliest interest in rock and soul as a way of belonging, and the remarkable career that followed. Through conversations with colleagues and friends like Annie Leibovitz, Cameron Crowe, and Steve Martin, as well as authentic recordings from Fong-Torres’s archives—including Elton John—we understand why Fong-Torres was the interviewer that most bands actually requested: he treated each musician with a deep admiration for their craft, and saw them as people rather than icons.”

Ben Fong-Torres at The Tribeca Film Festival at The Battery in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang

The Playlist’s Andrew Bundy writes, “Ben Fong-Torres is one of the essential music journalists in history. The man behind key cover stories on seminal counterculture figures at the height of a creative revolution (i.e., Bob Dylan, Jefferson Airplane, and Marvin Gaye), Fong-Torres, was the writer whom musical icons sought out. Growing up a Chinese immigrant in the 50s, rock ‘n roll and soul represented the sound of being heard for the future Rolling Stones editor, and, in the hands of director Suzanne Joe Kai, “Like A Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres,” looks to be one of the most impassioned docs of the fest. Talking to contemporaries such as Cameron Crowe and Steve Martin, ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ explores art as an expression of everyday values, not simply a means to a stack of greenbacks.”

World Premiere screening of Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES at The Tribeca Film Festival at The Battery in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang

It was a lovefest for Ben on the jumbo screen, and at the afterparty at The Diageo Cocktail Garden held at The View in Battery Park, sponsored by Don Julio Tequila. Below are highlights of the Q & A from Ben.

Ben Fong-Torres attends the afterparty for the World Premiere screening of Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES at The Tribeca Film Festival at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang
Q: Anything in particular really stand out for you?
Ben: I’m exhausted from all the hugging. That was a setup from Suzanne. She wanted a lot of hugging friendship. It was pre-pandemic so it was okay.
 
Surprises, yes. My associates and some of the musicians with whom I dealt, I really did not know. Cynthia Bowman said, “He probably doesn’t know about his power.” I did not. It was probably better that way. Just do your job and not worry about anything else.
 
Q: What advice do you have for budding music journalists for in conducting a great interview?
Ben: #1- find another field of work. I’m being your parent now. This will pay you nothing. But if you want to pursue it, in both music journalism and journalism in general, in conducting an interview, the first thing of course to do is research. There are so many more ways to do research now. Go out and find out about your subject. In that way, you’re showing her or him respect. That really breaks down some barriers that might exist between you, as a journalist, and them, as a story subject. Of course, preplan your questions, and then ignore them if the conversation takes you in a new and more interesting direction. Don’t be beholden to your research even though you are well equipped with it. Make it as much of a conversation as possible. Get all the details. What they are wearing. How they look. Look around the room, or the field or backstage area and take copious notes. There you are. You’ve begun a good interview situation.
 
Q: What do you think about the power of music right now in terms of critical politics?
Ben: Music has always been powerful, since before Rock and Roll. Even before the Folk movement. I think it goes back to church and other forms of music. In the 60’s, it became synonymous with protests and social activism. That has not changed. It is cyclical. it dips. it comes back. it dips. and now it’s actually more fierce than ever combining Rock and Roll, Hip Hop and other forms of music. Those early protest singers are still there and they still have a message for you. That will never die.
 
Q: People who read Rolling Stone back in the 60’s and 70’s, maybe their heart still remains in the music of that era. How difficult is it for you to stay up to date or current? You mentioned Hip Hop.
Ben: I’m basically retired from that gig. It’s not important for me to stay current except when I was writing a radio column, I’d flip up and down the dial and encounter all the contemporary as well as classic music. That reminded me of how vital the music stays. You don’t have to be a big fan of all forms of music but you can still appreciate the importance of music among all people of all ages.
 
Q: Who was your favorite person to mentor? Was it Cameron Crowe or another writer?
Ben: Wow. Favorite person to mentor. I never thought of myself as a mentor, first of all. I was his first editor and we have maintained our friendship obviously. No, he didn’t need me to teach him more than what any editor would have done, probably. He’s such a bright…, he’s still a kid really. He’s such a bright young man.
 
I’m always happy to talk to groups of journalism students and impart some of the lessons I’ve accumulated over several decades. No, I don’t have a single mentee and I never had a mentor of my own. Just role models and inspirations.
 
Check out my photo coverage of the afterparty below:
The View at Battery Park in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Diageo tequila brand Don Julio celebrated Cinco de Mayo with a campaign supporting bar and restaurant workers that includes giveaways of vouchers and charitable donations.

I collected a few “Don Julio Cincos,” from the “Automated Tequila Machine” at the afterparty.  

Don Julio Tequila was a sponsor of the afterparty for LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES in The Diageo Cocktail Garden at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021.  Photo by Lia Chang

Valued at $5, the vouchers have a QR code and PIN to redeem with payment app Venmo and the brand is urging people to spend at a bar or restaurant.

Lia Chang and the Automated Tequila Machine provided by Don Julio Tequila, a sponsor of the afterparty for LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES in The Diageo Cocktail Garden at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021.

And noshed on fish tacos, chicken sliders, beef sliders, flan and macarons.

David Felton, Laurel Gonsalves, Dian-Aziza Ooka, Ben Fong-Torres, Suzanne Joe Kai and Sarah Lazin attend the afterparty for the World Premiere screening of Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES at The Tribeca Film Festival in The Diageo Cocktail Garden at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang
David Felton, Ben Fong-Torres and Joshua Feigenbaum attend the afterparty for the World Premiere screening of Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES at The Tribeca Film Festival in The Diageo Cocktail Garden at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang
Sarah Lazin, Ben Fong-Torres and Holly George-Warren. Photo by Lia Chang
Karen Thorsen, Ben Fong-Torres and Douglas K. Dempsey attend the afterparty for the World Premiere screening of Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES at The Tribeca Film Festival in The Diageo Cocktail Garden at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang
Yayoi Sakurai, Ben Fong-Torres and Joshua Feigenbaum attend the afterparty for the World Premiere screening of Kai’s documentary, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES at The Tribeca Film Festival in The Diageo Cocktail Garden at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021.  Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang and Ben Fong-Torres attend the afterparty for the World Premiere screening of Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES at The Tribeca Film Festival in The Diageo Cocktail Garden at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021.
Marilynn K. Yee, Ben Fong-Torres and David Magdael.
Marilynn K. Yee, Ben Fong-Torres and David Magdael.
Suzanne Joe Kai. Photo by Steven Khan

Suzanne Joe Kai received two Emmy® Award nominations and was named Best Woman News Reporter while a broadcast journalist at San Francisco’s NBC affiliate KRON-TV. She worked at KCBS Radio (CBS) and television stations KTVU (FOX), KGO (ABC), KGUN (ABC), and RottenTomatoes.com. Kai holds a master’s in documentary film from Stanford University.

Ben Fong-Torres attends the afterparty for the World Premiere screening of Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES at The Tribeca Film Festival at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang

Ben Fong-Torres was born in Alameda, California, in 1945, and raised in Oakland’s Chinatown, where his parents owned a restaurant. He attended San Francisco State College from 1962 through 1966, majored in Radio-TV-Film and served as a reporter and editor of the campus daily.

He began writing for Rolling Stone magazine in 1968, in its eighth issue. He had a full-time job at another publication: Pacific Telephone’s employee magazine. By night, he was a volunteer editor at East West, a bilingual Chinatown newspaper. In May, 1969, Ben joined Rolling Stone as news editor. His interview subjects included Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Ray Charles, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Bonnie Raitt, the Jackson 5, Linda Ronstadt, Neil Diamond, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, the Grateful Dead, Ike & Tina Turner, Santana, Diane Keaton, and Steve Martin. The Ray Charles interview won the Deems Taylor Award for Magazine Writing in 1974.

Ben Fong-Torres attends the afterparty for the World Premiere screening of Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES at The Tribeca Film Festival at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang

Ben was also a weekend DJ on KSAN, a pioneer FM rock station, from 1970 to 1980. He wrote and narrated a syndicated radio special, San Francisco: What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been, which won a Billboard Award for Broadcast Excellence. He was the host of KQED-FM’s live, weekly arts show, Fog City Radio, and in 2016 created Moonalice Radio, an online station for the jam band. He programs the music and does a DJ show, 9 to 12 am and pm.

Dianne Fong-Torres and her husband, Ben Fong-Torres in a clip from the World Premiere screening of Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES at The Tribeca Film Festival at The Battery in New York on June 13, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang

Ben has co-anchored KTVU-TV’s coverage of the Chinese New Year parades since the Year of the Ox – or 1997. He and co-anchor Julie Haener have won five Emmys.

Also on television, Ben did profiles on Evening Magazine in 1977, and, in 1982, went to China as scriptwriter for a special, Cycling Through China. His most unique TV credit was his 1993 appearance on “Wheel of Fortune”. Over three nights, he won some $99,000 in cash and fabulous prizes. He also appeared on the nationally syndicated “Your Big Break” in spring of 2000, doing an impersonation of Bob Dylan.

Ben left Rolling Stone in 1981 and has since written for dozens of magazines, including Esquire, GQ (where he was pop music columnist for three years), Parade, Playboy, Sports Illustrated, Travel & Leisure, American Film, TV Guide, Harper’s Bazaar, Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter. He wrote the main biographies for People magazine’s tributes to Jerry Garcia and Frank Sinatra.

In 1983, Fong-Torres joined the San Francisco Chronicle, where he was a feature writer and radio columnist until 1992, when he left to write his memoirs, The Rice Room: From Number Two Son to Rock and Roll, published in 1994 by Hyperion (and in softcover by Plume/Dutton), which reached the San Francisco Chronicle’s best-sellers list.

Ben wrote the main text for The Motown Album: The Sound of Young America (St. Martin’s Press). In 1991, he published Hickory Wind: The Life and Times of Gram Parsons (Pocket/Simon & Schuster). The book was nominated for the Ralph J. Gleason Book Award, and St. Martin’s Press published an updated version of it in fall of 1998.

In 1993, on completion of The Rice Room, Ben joined Gavin, the San Francisco-based trade weekly for the radio and recording industries, as managing editor. He vacated that post in late 1997 to work on The Hits Just Keep On Coming: The History of Top 40 Radio, which was published by Miller Freeman Books in fall of 1998.

In 1999, Ben published Not Fade Away: A Backstage Pass to 20 Years of Rock & Roll, which was followed by a second collection, Becoming Almost Famous, in 2006. He wrote The Doors by the Doors (2007) and the Grateful Dead Scrapbook (2009). A book about the Eagles has been published in two editions. His 2013 book, Willin’: The Story of Little Feat, was released in an Audible version early in 2021, along with The Rice Room. Ben narrated both books.

Fong-Torres is frequently called on to emcee community and fund-raising events, and to conduct on-stage interviews at events like South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, and at the Mill Valley Film Festival. He is also known for his impressions of, among others, Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan. Both are featured in one song, “Rainy Day Bookstores,” on a CD entitled Stranger Than Fiction, featuring best-selling authors performing music.

He is a real-life character in Almost Famous, the 2000 film by Cameron Crowe.  www.benfongtorres.com

The Knockturnal: On The Scene: Ben Fong-Torres Attends “Like a Rolling Stone” TFF After Party the playlist.net: “Like A Rolling Stone: The Life & Times Of Ben Fong-Torres”: Is A Must-See For Music Lovers [Tribeca Review]

Rolling Stone: 16 Movies We Can’t Wait to See at Tribeca 2021

kron4.com: Rock ‘n’ roll royalty: Ben Fong-Torres reflects on his career

vogue: Here Are 4 Documentaries Not to Miss at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival

prnewswire.com: ‘Almost Famous’ Expanded Soundtrack In A Limited-Edition Uber Box Set Released July 9 Via UMe

Lia Chang attends the afterparty for the World Premiere screening of Kai’s documentary, LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES at The Tribeca Film Festival at The View at Battery Park in New York on June 13, 2021.

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative). She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2021 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.co

Jun. 13: LIKE A ROLLING STONE, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES, Directed by Suzanne Joe Kai, to Premiere at The Tribeca Film Festival

Rolling Stone music editor and journalist Ben Fong-Torres. Photo: Fred Morales, Jr.

I am thrilled to be attending the World Premiere of LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE & TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES, a documentary directed, produced and written by Suzanne Joe Kai, when it screens on Sunday, June 13 at 1:00pm at The Tribeca Film Festival at The Battery in New York.

The film will also stream beginning Monday, June 14 at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 and the film will be available on demand through June 23. Click here to purchase tickets for the stream.

Even if the name “Ben Fong-Torres” doesn’t ring a bell, you’ve probably read his work. Soon after graduating from San Francisco State College, he started writing for Rolling Stone in 1968. The next year, he was hired as an editor and writer. Fong-Torres’s cover stories on Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, and Jefferson Airplane helped to shape the way a country understood its counterculture, while Rolling Stone, under Fong-Torres’s guidance as a senior editor, became Rolling Stone.

Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary is much more than a time capsule of an era: it’s a portrait of someone who can’t be reduced to a profession. Fong-Torres walks us through his upbringing as the child of Chinese immigrants in the 1950s, his earliest interest in rock and soul as a way of belonging, and the remarkable career that followed. Through conversations with colleagues and friends like Annie Leibovitz, Cameron Crowe, and Steve Martin, as well as authentic recordings from Fong-Torres’s archives—including Elton John—we understand why Fong-Torres was the interviewer that most bands actually requested: he treated each musician with a deep admiration for their craft, and saw them as people rather than icons.
—Cara Cusumano

Cast: Ben Fong-Torres, Elton John, Carlos Santana, Steve Martin, Quincy Jones, Bob Weir, Cameron Crowe, Annie Leibovitz and many more.

Suzanne Joe Kai received two Emmy® Award nominations and was named Best Woman News Reporter while a broadcast journalist at San Francisco’s NBC affiliate KRON-TV. She worked at KCBS Radio (CBS) and television stations KTVU (FOX), KGO (ABC), KGUN (ABC), and RottenTomatoes.com. Kai holds a master’s in documentary film from Stanford University.

Ben Fong-Torres was born in Alameda, California, in 1945, and raised in Oakland’s Chinatown, where his parents owned a restaurant. He attended San Francisco State College from 1962 through 1966, majored in Radio-TV-Film and served as a reporter and editor of the campus daily.

He began writing for Rolling Stone magazine in 1968, in its eighth issue. He had a full-time job at another publication: Pacific Telephone’s employee magazine. By night, he was a volunteer editor at East West, a bilingual Chinatown newspaper. In May, 1969, Ben joined Rolling Stone as news editor. His interview subjects included Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Ray Charles, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Bonnie Raitt, the Jackson 5, Linda Ronstadt, Neil Diamond, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, the Grateful Dead, Ike & Tina Turner, Santana, Diane Keaton, and Steve Martin. The Ray Charles interview won the Deems Taylor Award for Magazine Writing in 1974.

Ben was also a weekend DJ on KSAN, a pioneer FM rock station, from 1970 to 1980. He wrote and narrated a syndicated radio special, San Francisco: What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been, which won a Billboard Award for Broadcast Excellence. He was the host of KQED-FM’s live, weekly arts show, Fog City Radio, and in 2016 created Moonalice Radio, an online station for the jam band. He programs the music and does a DJ show, 9 to 12 am and pm.

Ben has co-anchored KTVU-TV’s coverage of the Chinese New Year parades since the Year of the Ox – or 1997. He and co-anchor Julie Haener have won five Emmys.

Also on television, Ben did profiles on Evening Magazine in 1977, and, in 1982, went to China as scriptwriter for a special, Cycling Through China. His most unique TV credit was his 1993 appearance on “Wheel of Fortune”. Over three nights, he won some $99,000 in cash and fabulous prizes. He also appeared on the nationally syndicated “Your Big Break” in spring of 2000, doing an impersonation of Bob Dylan.

Ben left Rolling Stone in 1981 and has since written for dozens of magazines, including Esquire, GQ (where he was pop music columnist for three years), Parade, Playboy, Sports Illustrated, Travel & Leisure, American Film, TV Guide, Harper’s Bazaar, Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter. He wrote the main biographies for People magazine’s tributes to Jerry Garcia and Frank Sinatra.

In 1983, Fong-Torres joined the San Francisco Chronicle, where he was a feature writer and radio columnist until 1992, when he left to write his memoirs, The Rice Room: From Number Two Son to Rock and Roll, published in 1994 by Hyperion (and in softcover by Plume/Dutton), which reached the San Francisco Chronicle’s best-sellers list.

Ben wrote the main text for The Motown Album: The Sound of Young America (St. Martin’s Press). In 1991, he published Hickory Wind: The Life and Times of Gram Parsons (Pocket/Simon & Schuster). The

book was nominated for the Ralph J. Gleason Book Award, and St. Martin’s Press published an updated version of it in fall of 1998.

In 1993, on completion of The Rice Room, Ben joined Gavin, the San Francisco-based trade weekly for the radio and recording industries, as managing editor. He vacated that post in late 1997 to work on The Hits Just Keep On Coming: The History of Top 40 Radio, which was published by Miller Freeman Books in fall of 1998.

In 1999, Ben published Not Fade Away: A Backstage Pass to 20 Years of Rock & Roll, which was followed by a second collection, Becoming Almost Famous, in 2006. He wrote The Doors by the Doors (2007) and the Grateful Dead Scrapbook (2009). A book about the Eagles has been published in two editions. His 2013 book, Willin’: The Story of Little Feat, was released in an Audible version early in 2021, along with The Rice Room. Ben narrated both books.

Fong-Torres is frequently called on to emcee community and fund-raising events, and to conduct on-stage interviews at events like South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, and at the Mill Valley Film Festival. He is also known for his impressions of, among others, Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan. Both are featured in one song, “Rainy Day Bookstores,” on a CD entitled Stranger Than Fiction, featuring best-selling authors performing music.

He is a real-life character in Almost Famous, the 2000 film by Cameron Crowe.  www.benfongtorres.com

Credits

Director, Producer, Screenwriter: Suzanne Joe Kai

Additional Executive Producers: Andy Hsieh, Kathryn Everett

Cinematographer: Hiroshi Hara, Jason Joseffer, Fraser Bradshaw

Editor: Doug Blush, Dan Lawrence, Greg Byers, William Gilmore

Executive Producer: Freida Lee Mock, Doug Blush, Tony Hsieh, Bryn Mooser

Associate Producer: Justin Lacob

Co-Producer: Greg Byers

Rolling Stone: 16 Movies We Can’t Wait to See at Tribeca 2021

kron4.com: Rock ‘n’ roll royalty: Ben Fong-Torres reflects on his career

vogue: Here Are 4 Documentaries Not to Miss at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival

prnewswire.com: ‘Almost Famous’ Expanded Soundtrack In A Limited-Edition Uber Box Set Released July 9 Via UMe