Harvey Kubernik: Music, Literary, and Screen Biography

arvey Kubernik, native of Los Angeles and Fairfax High School alumnus, earned an A.A. Degree from West Los Angeles College, 1971; a B. A. Special Major Degree (Health, Sociology, and Literature), from San Diego State University, 1973. Harvey Kubernik has been an active music journalist for over 50 years and the author of 20 books. Kubernik is the Head of Editorial at Record Collector News magazine for more than a decade. His many other journalistic credits are too numerous to list here, but his noteworthy books underscore his career.

Harvey’s first books, This Is Rebel Music was published in 2002 for which Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys and music journalist pioneer Paul Williams provided testimonials on the back cover book jacket, and Hollywood Shack Job: Rock Music In Film and on Your Screen in 2004, featuring an endorsement by Dr. David E. James, professor at the School of Cinema-Television at the University of Southern California on the book’s back cover artwork were both published by the University of New Mexico Press.

Harvey wrote the critically acclaimed Canyon of Dreams: The Magic and the Music of Laurel Canyon, published by Sterling/Barnes and Noble in 2009, and again, in a 2012 paperback edition the Doors’ Ray Manzarek penned the introduction and record producer Lou Adler, the afterword.

Harvey is also a contributing writer of That Lucky Old Sun, a Genesis Publications limited edition (2009), title (signed), done in collaboration with Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys and Sir Peter Blake, designer of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album sleeve.

Harvey Kubernik and Kenneth Kubernik co-authored the highly regarded A Perfect Haze: The Illustrated History of the Monterey International Pop Festival, published in 2011 by Santa Monica Press

Kubernik penned the foreword to Travis Edward Pike’s Odd Tales and Wonders: 1964-1974 A Decade of Performance, published by Otherworld Cottage Industries in September 2013, and in March, 2014, Otherworld Cottage Industries published Harvey Kubernik’s It Was Fifty Years Ago Today THE BEATLES Invade America and Hollywood.

In April 2014, Harvey Kubernik’s book, Turn Up the Radio! Rock, Pop and Roll in Los Angeles, 1956-1972, was published by Santa Monica Press and garnered global praise. Tom Petty wrote the introduction and Roger Steffens supplied the afterword.

On September 21, 2014, Palazzo Editions published the heralded Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows, a coffee-table-size volume with narrative and oral history written by Harvey Kubernik. Currently published in six foreign languages, in spring 2016, the title was also published in China and Russia.

In June 2020, Harvey penned a book jacket endorsement for author Michael Posner’s book on Leonard Cohen that Simon & Schuster, Canada will be published in fall 2020, Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: The Early Years.

In 2014 Harvey and Kenneth Kubernik’s text and biographical portrait for legendary photographer Guy Webster’s first book of music, movie and television photos for Insight Editions; Big Shots: Rock Legends and Hollywood Icons: The Photography of Guy Webster, was published October 21, 2014, with an Introduction by Brian Wilson. In April 2015, Big Shots won the Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal award in Art & Photography from the Independent Book Publishing Association. In May 2015, the book garnered the Independent Publisher Award Bronze Medal in the category of Photography.

Palazzo Editions arranged Harvey Kubernik’s music and recording study illustrated history book, Neil Young, Heart of Gold published in November, 2015, by Hal Leonard (US), Omnibus Press (UK), Monte Publishing (Canada) and Hardie Grant (Australia) that coincided with Young’s 70th birthday. A German edition was published in May 2016.

During 2017, Sterling/Barnes and Noble published Harvey Kubernik’s 1967, A Complete Rock Music History of the Summer of Love in April, 2017. In July of that year, Harvey appeared at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio as part of their distinguished Author Series discussing his Summer of Love book. July 2017 is also the month that Sterling/Barnes and Noble published Harvey and Kenneth Kubernik’ The Story of the Band From Big Pink to The Last Waltz which chronicles The Band’ influential musical career from 1966-1976
Inside Cave Hollywood: The Harvey Kubernik Innerviews and Interviews Collection, Vol. 1, published by Cave Hollywood Books in October, 2017, is compilation of interviews, essays, and multi-voice narratives culled from Harvey’ on-line content at cavehollywood.com.

In February, 2018, Otherworld Cottage Industries published Harvey’s multi voice narrative book The Doors Summer’s Gone, that in March 2019 was nominate for an Association for Recorded Sound Collections Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research.

Harvey and Kenneth signed a book deal with Sterling/Barnes and Noble for a hard cover illustrated Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child published in November 2021 to stellar reviews.

The current Docs That Rock, Music That Matters is Harvey’s third book published by Otherworld Cottage Industries.

Somehow, while writing all these books, Harvey kept up his journalist effort and still managed to further his career as both guest speaker and consultant on radio television and motion picture productions.

In 1978 Kubernik co-produced and hosted 50/50, a weekly television music an interview program from Theta Cable in Santa Monica broadcast on the milestone Z Channel in Los Angeles and Manhattan Cable in New York. Guests were Michael Lloyd Todd Rundgren, Danny Sugerman and Murray the K.

Harvey was also a West Coast Director of A&R for MCA Records in 1978-1979 where he teamed producer Jimmy Iovine with Tom Petty for their Damn The Torpedoes and initiated the Del Shannon album Drop Down and Get Me which Petty produced.

In 2002 Harvey Kubernik received a Supplemental Writing screen credit for the documentary Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The Early Years (1955-1970 and Hollywood Rocks the Movies: the 70’s, a four-hour compilation of rock clips culled from film studio archives that debuted on the AMC television channel. Narration on the movie was by Ringo Starr and David Bowie. During 2007, Harvey Kubernik appeared on screen in the deluxe edition 40th anniversary DVD of Jailhouse Rock which starred Elvis Presley. He comments on the making of the infamous “Jailhouse Rock” musical number from the M-G-M Presley movie.

In 2010 Kubernik appeared as an interview subject on the award-winning PBS-TV series “Things That Aren’t Here Anymore” program produced by Saul Gonzalez initially broadcast on the KCET station affiliate in the Los Angeles market. Harvey appeared on screen with Jimmy O’Neill, the former host of the landmark TV series “Shindig!”

Kubernik served as Consulting Producer on the 2010 singer-songwriter documentary, Troubadours directed by Morgan Neville. The film was shown at th 2011 Sundance Film Festival in the documentary category. On March 2, 2011, PBS-TV broadcast the movie in their American Masters series.

Kubernik was a talking head in director Matthew O’Casey’s 2012 Queen at 4 documentary broadcast on BBC Television and released as a DVD Queen: Days Of Our Lives in 2014 via Eagle Rock Entertainment.

Harvey Kubernik, Henry Diltz and Gary Strobl collaborated with ABC-TV in 2011 for their Emmy-winning one hour Eye on L.A. Legends of Laurel Canyon program hosted by Tina Malave.

Harvey Kubernik was also spotlighted for the 2013 BBC-TV documentary on Bobby Womack Across 110th Street, directed by James Maycock. Womack, Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones, Damon Albarn of Blur, the Gorillaz and Antonio Vargas are featured.

In 2014, Kubernik was a consultant and interview subject for an hour-long examination of the musical legacy of Los Angeles for the Australia television series Great Music Cities for Australian subscription television broadcaster XYZ networks Pty Ltd (www.xyznetworks.com.au). Slash, Brian Wilson, Steve Lukather and Keith Richards were also lensed for the project. Senior Producer is Wade Goring for Australian music television channel MAX www.maxtv.com.au.

That same year, Harvey Kubernik and author Jan Alan Henderson were feature interviews for London, England-based BBC Radio 4 and their radio documentary California Dreaming, Laurel Canyon, produced by Andy Parfitt, which chronicled the California music scene of the late 1960s and early 1970.

During 2019 Harvey Kubernik served as consultant on a new 2-part documentary Laurel Canyon: A Place In Time. Alison Ellwood directed the documentary. Laurel Canyon: A Place In Time debuted in 2020 on the M-G-M owned Premium network television channel EPIX.

In summer of 2019, Harvey was a feature on-screen interview for director Matt O’Casey on his BBC4-TV digital arts channel Christine McVie, Fleetwood Mac’s Songbird. The cast includes Christine McVie, Stan Webb of Chicken Shack, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, John McVie, Christine’s family members, Heart’s Nancy Wilson, Mike Campbell, Neil Finn, and producer Richard Dashut. Debut broadcast was on Friday September 20th.

In 2019 Harvey Kubernik appeared as an interview subject in the Chris Sibley & David Tourje-directed short documentary entitled John Van Hamersveld: Crazy World Ain’t It. Van Hamersveld designed the iconic Endless Summer visual image and album covers for the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, the Beach Boys, the Kaleidoscope, and Blondie.

This decade Harvey was filmed for the in-progress music documentary about the former Hollywood landmark Gold Star Recording Studio and co-owner/engineer Stan Ross, produced and directed by Brad Ross and Jonathan Rosenberg. Harvey is also serving as the consultant for the endeavor. Brian Wilson, Herb Alpert, Mike Curb, Marky Ramone, Slim Jim Phantom, Steven Van Zandt, Michael Lloyd, Henry Diltz, H.B. Barnum, Richie Furay, Darlene Love, Chris Montez, Nino Tempo, Bill Medley, Don Randi, Hal Blaine, Don Peake, Charles Wright, Johnny Echols, Gloria Jones, Carol Kaye, Artie Butler, David Kessel and Bill Inglot were lensed.
During December 2021, Harvey Kubernik will be an on-screen interview subject and receive a consultant credit for the rock & roll revival music documentary in the works about the story of the Toronto Canada 1969 festival featuring the fabled debut of the John Lennon and Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band. Klaus Voorman and Geddy Lee of Rush have been lensed. Kubernik, Alice Cooper, Shep Gordon, Rodney Bingenheimer, John Brower, and Robby Krieger of the Doors scheduled for March. Pennebaker Hegedus Films is exec producing the project, which is produced by Vancouver’s Screen Siren Pictures, Toronto’s Chapman Productions, Paris’ Films A Cinq. Trish Dolman, Sally Blake and Ron Chapman produce the doc, which is written by Phyllis Ellis. Lennon, Ono and the band played songs including a cover of “Blue Suede Shoes,” as well as “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” The Beatles’ “Yer Blues” and a new song “Cold Turkey” as well as Ono’s “Don’t Worry Kyoko (Mummy’s Only Looking for A Hand in the Snow).” The doc will use rare cinematic archive that includes unreleased concert footage from D.A. Pennebaker’s original 16mm film, and a narrative primarily told through the eyes of those who were there. Production kicked off in August 2021 on the 90-minute film. Shooting is in Toronto, Los Angeles, New York, London and Berlin, ready for a spring release touring the festival circuit. It will air on Crave in Canada and Arte in France and Germany. Funding support was made possible by Telefilm Canada, Canada Media Fund, Rogers Cable Network Fund, Rogers Documentary Fund, Hot Docs Slaight Music Fund, and Hot Docs Ted Rogers Fund and the Centre National du Cinéma in France. The film is distributed in Canada by Photon Films, and Myriad Pictures is the distributor outside of Canada.

During 2020 Harvey Kubernik was the consulting producer and writer on a music documentary examining legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Del Shannon for the Stars North production company that Andrew Loog Oldham will narrate. Todd Thompson and Mark Bentley are directing and producing. Dan Bourgoise, founder and previous owner of the landmark Bug Music publishing company is Executive Producer. Bourgoise oversees the Del Shannon estate and for 35 years Shannon’s best friend and personal manager.

Kubernik recently appeared as an on-screen feature interview subject directed by GNP Crescendo’s Neil Norman in the documentary, The Seeds: Pushin’ Too Hard along with Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys, Iggy Pop, Kim Fowley, the Bangles and Johnny Echols of Love. During 2021 it premiered on retail platforms.

On January 29th, 2022, Harvey Kubernik joined Ian Punnett on “Coast to Coast AM” to discuss Meat Loaf’s life and career. Harvey penned the first Meat Loaf record label biography for the 1977 LP of Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out of Hell” album, initially released on Cleveland International Records, for which he received a Platinum album picture disc. In the 2014 BBC-TV documentary, “Meat Loaf: In and Out of Hell,” directed by Matt O’Casey, and featuring an on-screen interview with Harvey, who also provided supplemental narration in the film, first broadcast in the US on the Showtime cable TV Channel. The celluloid portrait of Meat Loaf, seen on BBC Four TV on March 13, 2021, that will be broadcast in the first quarter of 2022 on various cable networks.

Harvey Kubernik has lectured and conducted courses on the music business and film at UCLA and the University of Southern California. Today, Otherworld Cottage Industries hosts Kubernik’s Korner at www.otherworldcottage.com.