Notable Point Loma music promoter pens autobiography
by BART MENDOZA
Mar 26, 2014 | 4507 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KENNY WEISSBERG
KENNY WEISSBERG
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There have been many notable music promoters in San Diego over the decades, but few have had the impact of Kenny Weissberg.

The Point Loma resident is perhaps best known for the 23 years — beginning in 1983 — that he spent promoting concerts at Humphreys by the Bay. However, he is one of the few to have seen all sides of the music biz, having lived a life immersed in music, with time as a disc jockey, journalist and even frontman for his own successful group, Kenny & the Kritix.

Weissberg recently penned his autobiography, “Off His Rocker,” detailing his illustrious career. It’s a fun, warm, conversational read, chock full of terrific anecdotes.

Weissberg has worked with many big names in music and the autobiography’s stories, featuring the likes of Whitney Houston, Anita Baker, Fats Domino and other stars, are captivating reads that really give an idea of both the situation and the performer were really like.

Born in 1948, Weissberg grew up in New Jersey, following his muse across the country before stopping in Boulder, Colo., putting in 12 years as a radio DJ and music critic and getting the offer to come to San Diego and book shows in 1983.

He said he considers the book to be a logical extension of his adventures.

“Before I moved here, I was a journalist, I’ve always kept journals and taken notes on every concert I’ve been to in my life, every movie that I’ve seen,” he said. “ I’m sort of obsessive along those lines.

“When I moved here in 1983, I stopped writing, but I didn’t stop logging in notes on shows that I’ve seen,” he said. “I had to learn this new profession at Humphreys. So, I stop playing music. I stopped writing.”

The catalyst for his putting it all into book form came from personal tragedy, he said.

“My mother was dying in 2005 and she had always wanted me to write a book about my life,” Weissberg said. “But I said, ‘I don’t know. It’s too cliché. It’s too trite.’

“On her death bed, literally, she said to me, ‘When are you going to write your ‘ And I replied, ‘I’ll get around to it.’ Then she went into a coma and died three days later. So that last thing she had said to me was that,” he said. “And I literally came home after she died and sat down and started formulating ideas for the book.”

Looking back on his amazing career has given Weissberg clear perspective on the last 40 years.

“My absolute favorite, mind-blowing transition was from having a degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin to showing up in Boulder and becoming a free-form disc jockey,” he said. “I allude to it in the book, but at my eighth birthday, I announced to all my friends and family that I was going to be a DJ because I had a love affair with AM radio on the East Coast in the late ’50s.”

“I ended up getting this job in radio and I would look forward to waking up at 5 a.m. every morning so I could get to the station by 6,” he said. “I couldn’t wait for the next day to begin. That was probably the most passionate I’ve ever been about anything. But the gutsiest thing I ever did was putting a band together at 32 when I had never been on stage before.”

Though Weissberg no longer books concerts, he said he’s keeping busy and there may be more books in the future.

“I’m working on this now, but probably the hardest thing for me in this whole process is that it’s such an honest memoir,” he said. “I did change the names of people that I was negative about. I even called a bunch of them.

“I always thought in the back of my head, ‘This is weird. What if (so and so) sues me?’ I did see lawyers,” Weissberg continued. “Writing a memoir had an overriding fear for me to be as honest as I was. So I think I’d like give fiction a try.”
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