Rocking the library: Author to present book on early days of Rock ’n’ Roll

Minnesota rock ’n’ roll had a great start with many bands in the late 1950s and the 1960s, and Rick Shefchik doesn’t want anyone to forget that beginning.

“I would like [people] to appreciate Minnesota’s contribution to rock culture in the 60s,” said Shefchik, author of “Everybody’s Heard about the Bird: The True Story of 1960s Rock ’n’ Roll in Minnesota.” “Minnesotans, of a certain age anyway, I think were aware there were some popular bands in the 60s.”

Shefchik

Shefchik

Shefchik will visit the Austin Public Library at 7 p.m. Monday to discuss his book and talk about rock ’n’ roll in the ’60s.

The book takes a behind-the-scenes look at how a handful of Minnesota rock bands erupted out of a small Midwest market and made it big. From Augie Garcia and Bobby Vee to The Trashmen and the Castaways, the book reveals how the era of Minnesota rock music in the 1960s evolved.

“I’m pretty happy to go anyplace to discuss my work,” he said. “I really enjoy being an author and people taking interest in what I write.”

Shefchik said those who grew up during the ’60s rock ’n’ roll era, and even younger people who simply have an appreciation for the music, will enjoy his talk and his book.

“I certainly would expect people who remember these bands — and remember hearing them on the radio — I would expect they would be interested to come and hear the backstories of these groups.”

“Younger people might be interested to know where some of the more contemporary groups got some of their inspiration,” he added. “Or at least what the conditions were at the time rock ’n’ roll was really getting a foothold in Minnesota, and how the road was paved that led to the era of rock ’n’ roll.”

Rick Shefchik wrote “Everybody’s Heard About The Bird: The True Story of 1960s Rock ’N’ Roll in Minnesota.” Photo provided.

Rick Shefchik wrote “Everybody’s Heard About The Bird: The True Story of 1960s Rock ’N’ Roll in Minnesota.” Photo provided.

He hopes people will have a better appreciation for Minnesota’s role in helping rock ’n’ roll become what it is today.

“There have been a number of accounts of various bands from that era and their success, but I had never seen a book … that tells the whole story from the roots of rock ’n’ roll up through the ’60s,” he said. “And integrating all the stories of these bands, there was a lot of cross over.”

He wrote the book because of his love for the music that he grew up with. Growing up in Duluth, he had music all around him, and even played in a high school band in the ’60s.

“For me, the ’60s era is just significant because it’s when I grew up,” he said. “The ’60s music was very powerful, and I really wanted to capture that and put it together in a cohesive narrative.”

“I’m just looking forward to being in Austin and sharing these stories with whoever’s interested in hearing them,” he added.

Shefchik currently lives in Stillwater and after a 26-year career as a journalist, he now writes books. This is his third non-fiction work. He also has four novels and writes golf-course histories.

“I’m pretty busy working on books,” he said.

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