Fortune in My Eyes

Fortune in My Eyes

A Memoir of  Broadway, Glamour, Social Justice and Political Passion

by David Rothenberg

“If you’ve ever wanted to change the world, read this book! David Rothenberg has done that . . . one life at a time . . . Starting with his!”                                                                                                                                                                                          –Linda Lavin, actress and member of the American Theatre Hall of Fame

“He was Elizabeth Taylor’s date to see ‘Hamlet’ starring Richard Burton, a mediator during the 1971 Attica prison riots and a founder of the Fortune Society, which helps former prisoners re-enter society. He produced plays about current and former inmates and, in his day jobs, was a theatrical press agent and a WBAI radio host. Now David Rothenberg has woven together the different roles of his career in a revealing and inspirational autobiography. . . . a profile in courage.”  –The New York Times

“David Rothenberg has been a progressive prophet for our times. For gay rights, for prisoner rights, for theater and the arts. David has been a strong voice of integrity. America is better for David’s courage; I’m better for having read his candid memoir of a valiant life.”                                                                                                                                                                 –Jim McGreevey, former governor of New Jersey

“David Rothenberg’s Fortune in My Eyes serves as a primer for all of us who strive to lead meaningful lives. His commitment to social justice is unwavering. The stories of the many who have been forever changed by the Fortune Society are told with honesty and compassion, and he illuminates for the reader the transformational power of love. Davis is a true American hero.”                                                                                                                                                                  –Christine Ebersole, Tony Award-winning actress

“David Rothenberg indeed is Superman hiding in the body and soul of a gentle man. This book tells his remarkable story with the warmth, good humor, and a sense of decency the world needs more of.”                                                                         –Martin F. Horn, executive director, New York State Sentencing Commission

David Rothenberg enjoyed a thriving career in theater during its golden age, working with icons, including Bette Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Lauren Bacall, and John Gielgud. But when he read the play Fortune and Men’s Eyes – a prison drama – it dramatically changed the course of his life. In Fortune in My Eyes: A Memoir of Broadway Glamour, Social Justice, and Political Passion (Applause Theatre & Cinema Books Trade Paperback; April 21, 2015; $19.99), David Rothenberg shares his inspiring journey from Schubert Alley to the Fortune Society’s Castle.

Rothenberg established The Fortune Society in 1967 to serve as a social service and advocacy organization, whose mission is to support successful reentry from prison and promote alternatives to incarceration. The merging of these two seemingly disparate worlds takes Rothenberg, and the people he meets along the way, on a fascinating and ultimately liberating journey.

At a time when criminal justice reform is more critical than ever before, Fortune in My Eyes sets forth the serious issue of corruption and brutality in jails, as well as the problems men and women face when they are released from prison and have to adjust to life on the outside.

More than an exploration of theater’s possibilities for social change, Fortune in My Eyes is a meditation on what it means to be human, and how we can create a society that values our shared humanity.

5.75″ x 8.75″
400 pages
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group

David Rothenberg has been involved with over 200 Broadway and off-Broadway productions, as publicist or producer. Rothenberg represented some of the most successful theater offerings in the second half of the twentieth century, including the original production of Hair, Richard Burton’s HamletBeyond the FringeBlue Man Group, Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party, and several plays by Edward Albee and Tennessee Williams. His production of John Herbert’s prison drama led to the creation of the Fortune Society, one of the nation’s leading advocacy and service organizations in criminal justice. Rothenberg conceived, directed, and coauthored the play The Castle, which played off-Broadway for thirteen months (2011-2012). He is a former member of the NYC Human Rights Commission, and he has hosted a weekly radio program on WBAI-/NYC for nearly forty years. He lives in New York City.


Power Tools for Synthesizer Programming

Power Tools for Synthesizer Programming

The Ultimate Reference for Sound Design: Second Edition

Foreword by Stephen Fortner


Synthesizers have evolved dramatically over the past four decades, and Hal Leonard, the musician’s best source of books on the music business, audio technology, instrument history, and more, is proud to now publish the updated second edition of the widely popular Power Tools for Synthesizer Programming.

The book covers everything today’s electronic music producers need to know to create new and exciting sounds with any type of synthesizer: from the preset-oriented instruments that faithfully reproduce piano or violin sounds and knob-covered analog offerings that produce synthesized sounds, to digital instruments and software programs that allow the user control every nuance of the tone. While manuals often tell the reader simply which button to press, they fail to explain what is going on “under the hood” or what it means musically and technically. Jim Aikin’s Power Tools for Synthesizers is currently the only book that covers the big synthesis picture while providing insightful details at the same time.

Jim Aikin is a synthesis expert and has had his finger on the pulse of the latest industry developments writing for Keyboard Magazine his entire career. On the writing of a second edition, he says: “This is not just an update but a wall-to-wall revised edition. A great deal has changed in the past ten years. Additive synthesis, granular synthesis, and physical modeling have gone mainstream, thanks to the power of today’s computers. The iPad is now emerging as a viable music platform. Alternative controller hardware is available in many shapes. And old-fashioned modular analog synthesis has made a surprising comeback.”

Power Tools for Synthesizer Programming is an essential resource for both musicians working with presets and for those who want to dig deeper and edit the presets or even design their own sounds. Chapters on oscillators, filters, envelope generators, LFOs, effects, and digital audio reveal how to get the most out of the instrument. To supplement the text, dozens of new illustrations have been added, and more than 30 streaming online videos, narrated by the author, explain the operational details of numerous software instruments.

7.25″ x 9.25″
256 pages
Hal Leonard Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group

Jim Aikin has been writing about music technology for more than 30 years. He is the author of hundreds of product reviews and tutorial features in Keyboard, Electronic Musician, and other magazines, as well as books on Csound, music theory, and cello technique. He also teaches classical cello privately and plays in community orchestras. In his PC-based home studio, he composes and records using software instruments from more than a dozen manufacturers. His music can be heard at and


How I Did It

How I Did It

Establishing a Playwriting Career

edited by Lawrence Harbison

How do playwrights get their start? Where does the idea of being a playwright even come from, and then how does one start?

These are among the questions asked and answered in How I Did It: Establishing a Playwriting Career (March 2015, Applause Books, $24.99). Lawrence Harbison has 30 interviewed successful playwrights who have developed relationships with theaters that regularly produce their plays, have had at least one major New York production, have their plays published by a licensor such as Dramatists Play Service or Samuel French, have received commissions, and have an agent.

Harbison asks each of them the same question: “How did you do it?”

How I Did It features an introduction by Theresa Rebeck and interviews with:

David Auburn                                 Daniel Goldfarb                         Itamar Moses Stephen Belber                               Kirsten Greenidge                     Bruce Norris Adam Bock                                     Rinne Groff                              Lynn Nottage Bekah Brunstetter                           Lauren Gunderson                      Aaron Posner Sheila Callaghan                             Michael Hollinger                       Adam Rapp John Carlani                                   Rajiv Joseph                              J.T. Rogers Eric Coble                                       Greg Kotis                                Lloyd Suh Jessica Dickey                                 Neil LaBute                                Carl Thomas Kate Fodor                                      Deborah Zoe Laufer                  Sharr White Gina Gionfriddo                               Wendy MacLeod                        Anna Ziegler

A valuable tool for playwrights daunted by the extremely difficult task of getting their work produced, as well as to playwriting students, How I Did It is full of stories of how it’s done.

Paperback Original
6″ x 9″
256 pages
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group

ABOUT THE EDITOR:                                                                            
Lawrence Harbison was is charge of new play acquisition for Samuel French, Inc., for more than 30 years. He edits annual anthologies of best plays by new playwrights and women playwrights, best 10-minute plays, and monologues for men and for women. His column “On the Aisle with Larry” is a regular feature at Harbison was a member of the Drama Desk Nominating Committee for the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons and is a member of the Outer Critics Circle as well as the Drama Desk. He works with individual playwrights to help them develop their plays at his website, He is the editor of Best Contemporary Monologues for Women and Best Contemporary Monologues for Men, both published by Applause Books. He lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.


Guitar Player

Guitar Player

The Inside Story of the First Two Decades of the Most Successful Guitar Magazine Ever

edited by Jim Crockett w/Dara Crockett | Foreword by Joe Satriani

The first 22 years of the seminal guitar

magazine, as told by the people who were there.

Guitar Player: The Inside Story of the First Two Decades of the Most Successful Guitar Magazine Ever (March 2015, Backbeat Books, $29.99) is a reflection on Guitar Player‘s often pioneering early days, from its 1967 founding through its 1989 sale by founder Bud Eastman and editor/publisher Jim Crockett. The book looks at the magazine’s evolution from a 40-page semi-monthly to a monthly exceeding 200 pages, with a gross yearly income that grew from $40,000 to nearly $15 million.

The story is told by many people important to Guitar Player‘s history, including Maxine Eastman, Bud Eastman’s widow, and Crockett, who edited this book with his daughter Dara. Also here are recollections of key personnel, including Tom Wheeler, Jas Obrecht, Roger Siminoff, Mike Varney, Jon Sievert, George Gruhn, and Robb Lawrence; leading early advertisers, such as Martin, Randall, and Fender; and prominent guitar players featured in the magazine, including Joe Perry, George Benson, Pat Travers, Country Joe McDonald, Pat Metheny, Steve Howe, Lee Ritenour, Johnny Winter, Steve Morse, Larry Coryell, Michael Lorimer, John McLaughlin, Stanley Clarke, Liona Boyd, Steve Vai, and many others.

Among the many illustrations are then-and-now shots of performers and staff, early ads, behind-the-scenes photos from company jam sessions (with such guests as B.B. King and Chick Corea), various fascinating events, and key issue covers.

Rich in history and perspective, and with a foreword by Joe Satriani, Guitar Player: The Inside Story of the First Two Decades of the Most Successful Guitar Magazine Ever is the definitive first-person chronicle of a music magazine’s golden age.

8″ x 10.5″
304 pages
Backbeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group


Jim Crockett was editor and then president/publisher of Guitar Player between 1970 and 1989. He also created the magazines Keyboard, Bass Player, Drums & Drumming, and Frets. His books include Fix Your Axe and The Why-To of Scuba Diving, and he has written more than 1,000 published articles. He lives in Acton, Calif.

Dara Crockett is a freelance writer, photographer, teacher, and artist manager. When she’s not surrounded by music and words, she is out in nature photographing the beauty of Southern Oregon. She lives in Ashland, Ore.


Soccer FAQ

Soccer FAQ

All That’s Left to Know About the Club,

the Players, and the Rivalries

by Dave Thompson


“For as long as man has had feet to kick with, he has kicked things.”

So Dave Thompson begins his latest contribution to the Backbeat Books FAQ series, Soccer FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Clubs, the Players, and the Rivalries (March 2015, 24.99). It is also the first book in the series to look beyond the world of music and into the wider world of pop culture. Future Pop Culture FAQ titles, to be released this spring and fall, include Cocktails FAQ, Pro Wrestling FAQ, Dracula FAQ, The Beat Generation FAQ, and Haunted America FAQ.

Soccer FAQ is a fast, furious, and opinionated guide to all that has made soccer the world’s most popular sport, an all-encompassing history that introduces readers to the biggest clubs, the greatest games, the finest players, and the fiercest rivalries. From Sunderland to Seattle, from Berlin to Buenos Aires, Soccer FAQ delves into every aspect of the sport, tracing its development from a victorious Anglo-Saxon army kicking the heads of their fallen enemies around a field to the multibillion-dollar industry of today. Along the way, Thompson devotes chapters to soccer songs, soccer quotations, and, as he describes it, “the unfathomable joy of being the underdog.”

Record breakers and giant killers alike file through the pages of Soccer FAQ, illustrating the beautiful game as it is played at every level, from the World Cup Final to the village green, with fully updated commentary on all the world’s major competitions, including the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

No matter what shape you like your footballs, you’ll find much to enjoy in Soccer FAQ.

March 10, 2015
Paperback Original
6″ x 9″
400 pages
Backbeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group


Dave Thompson has been writing about soccer for more than 30 years, contributing to the magazines Football Monthly, USA Soccer News, Total Football, Programme Monthly, and others. He is also the author of the acclaimed English soccer trilogy Those We Have Loved. He Lives in Newark, Del.




All That’s Left to Know About the

World’s True Rock ‘n’ Roll Band

 by Susan Masino | foreword by Chad Smith


In his foreword to AC/DC FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the World’s True Rock ‘n’ Roll Band, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith perfectly captures what has made AC/DC the masters of pure rock and roll for more than four decades. “I prefer my rock bands to the dangerous type,” Smith wrote. “The music that thrills me . . . is the kind that teeters on insanity.”

AC/DC FAQ captures that danger and that insanity. Rock journalist and author Susan Masino spans AC/DC’s 40-year career, starting from the band’s inception in 1973 and covering everything from their earliest days in Australia to their first tour of England and the United States. It also includes personal experiences, stories, conversations, and interviews by Masino, who has known the band since 1977.

Featuring 37 chapters, AC/DC FAQ chronicles the personal history of each of the band members, all their albums, tours, and various anecdotes. Rebounding from the tragic loss of their singer Bon Scott in 1980, AC/DC hired Brian Johnson and went on to record Back in Black, which is now one of the top five biggest-selling albums in music history. Taking a seven-year break after their album Stiff Upper Lip, the band came back in the fall of 2008 with a new album, Black Ice, and a tour that ran from 2008 through the summer of 2010. Once again breaking records, AC/DC saw the Black Ice Tour become the second-highest-grossing tour in history.

From the story behind Angus’s schoolboy uniform to the effect Beavis and Butthead had on the group’s popularity and their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, AC/DC FAQ provides the deepest look into the band available anywhere.

March 31, 2015
Paperback Original
6″ x 9″
364 pages
Backbeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group


Susan Masino has been a rock journalist for more than 30 years and has written six books, including Family Tradition: Three Generations of Hank Williams, published by Backbeat Books, and The Story of AC/DC: Let There Be Rock, which has now been published in 11 languages. She also appears in the Van Halen DVD The Early Years and the movie AC/DC: Let There Be Rock. She lives in Madison, Wis.


The Gretsch Electric Guitar Book

The Gretsch Electric Guitar Book

60 Years of White Falcons, 6120s, Jets, Gents, and more!

 by Tony Bacon


The Gretsch Electric Guitar Book is the latest book in Tony Bacon’s bestselling guitar series: A carefully researched text partnered with a gallery of full-color pictures of great guitars, rare memorabilia, and of famous Gretsch players from Chet Atkins to Eddy Cochran, Billy Duffy, Duane Eddy, and Brian Seltzer.

Gretsch electric guitars have a style all their own – a glitzy, wacky, retro charm that over the years has drawn players from unknown teens to timeless stars playing all kinds of popular music. No two old Gretsch guitars sound or feel alike: inconsistent crazy gadgetry – cool beauty – weird tone – stylish glamour.

The Gretsch Electric Guitar Book is an absorbing tale that takes the reader from the introduction of Gretsch’s first proper electrics, through to the famous Chet Atkins models and the White Falcon, and on to the recent guitars and the Fender era. Tony Bacon draws both from fresh and archived interviews with Gretsch players:

“Gretsch put together a prototype to show to Atkins, probably early in 1954. In a similar way to Les Paul and Gibson, Atkins had little input to the original design of his signature model. The label inside identified the sample guitar as a Streamliner Special, although it was more like a Country Club: it had a Melita bridge, a second DeArmond single-coil at the bridge, and Gretsch’s two-pickup control layout (four knobs plus one selctro). ‘That’s the first one I received,’ Atkins explained when he showed it to me in the 90s. ‘They sent it over and said: how about this? But I wanted a Bigsby vibrato on it and I especially didn’t like the f-holes, and later on we changed those.'”

The book tells the story through the people who design, make, and sell them – back then as well as right now. The book closes with a useful reference section with all the information a collector might want on original models, reissues, new guitars, artist models, serial number, and production details for every significant model, new and old, of this most enigmatic and revered brand.

8.5″ x 11″
160 pages
Backbeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group


Tony Bacon writes about musical instruments, musicians, and music. He is a co-founder of Backbeat UK and Jawbone Press. Tony’s books include The Ibanez Electric Guitar Book, The Ultimate Guitar Book, and History Of The American Guitar. He lives in Bristol, England.

Gretsch, Sg cover