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Family Values: Rock and Read


By Anne Burke

Published Apr 1, 2006 12:03 AM

The Los Angeles Times Book
Fair is Saturday, April 29
10am-6pm and Sunday, April 30
10am-5pm. Add it to your
calendar through

The rock band hailed by Bruce Springsteen as "not too bad" and "not too good, either" returns to UCLA this month for the 11th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

The Rock Bottom Remainders is a rock 'n' roll band made up of a dozen or so authors who are mostly unburdened by musical talent. Band members appearing at the Festival of Books gig will be Dave Barry, Scott Turow, Matt Groening, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson, Mitch Albom, Greg Iles and Kathi Kamen Goldmark. The bandmates get together a few times a year to perform and raise money for a literacy cause.

Mediocrity seems only to encourage the Remainders' fans. Since debuting at the 1992 American Booksellers Association convention in Anaheim, the band has attracted a huge following. Female fans throw lace panties onstage, a gesture that Groening notes does not usually occur at his book signings.

In 1994, Springsteen joined the Remainders onstage to play "Gloria" and afterward warned them that if they got any better, they'd be "just another lousy rock band."

The band performs in a free concert at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, at the Etc. Stage. That evening, the Remainders will appear at 8 p.m. at Royce Hall for "Besides the Music," an evening of fun and conversation hosted by TV's Craig Ferguson. Joining the band will be Roger McGuinn, Steve Martin and Frank McCourt. General admission tickets are $25 and are available through the UCLA Central Ticket Office. Tickets to the Royce Hall event and a 6:30 p.m. VIP reception are $200. Proceeds will benefit 826LA, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that supports creative and expository writing for students ages 6 to 18.

Rock Bottom Remainders

Visit the Rock Bottom Remainders online at rockbottom Admission to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is free, but tickets are required to attend panel discussions and lectures. Tickets will be available at all Ticketmaster locations in Southern California starting noon, Sunday, April 23.

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 30. It is the largest book festival on the West Coast, drawing an average 135,000 people.