A brief biography…
Jerry Hopkins has published more than 1,000 magazine articles and 36 books, including several international bestsellers---the cult classic No One Here Gets Out Alive, among them. This biography of rock singer Jim Morrison was a No. 1 bestseller in the New York Times in 1980 (remaining on that list for nine months) and went back to No. 2 in 1991 when it was a primary source for Oliver Stone’s film The Doors. There are more than four million copies in print.
His other biographical subjects include Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Raquel Welch, Yoko Ono, and Don Ho, collectively earning him the title “dean of the pop biographers.” His books have been published in twenty-three countries and sixteen languages.
His studies of both Presley and Morrison were the first biographies written about those icons and in both instances he says that when he began his research, virtually everyone greeted his interest by saying, “What do you want to write about him for?” It is now nearly thirty years later and his biographies remain in print and with the addition of two books about Elvis’s long connection to Hawaii, the Presley sales total is now more than three and a half million copies.
Best known for books about rock music and for his twenty years on the masthead of Rolling Stone magazine as a correspondent and contributing editor, he has since leaving his native United States and moving to Thailand in 1993 developed a strong reputation writing about food, travel, and various aspects of Asian life and culture. Strange Foods and Extreme Cuisine, published in 1999 and 2004, took the position that what is considered odd in the West elsewhere is often merely lunch. There followed Thailand Confidential, a collection of essays about life in that country; Bangkok Babylon, twenty-five profiles of some of the most interesting expatriates he met during his first ten years in Southeast Asia; and Asian Aphrodisiacs, the first definitive (and often humorous) survey of the region’s best and worst “turn-ons,” the first two published in 2005, the last in 2006.
His other books consider a wide range of subjects---history, the environment, humor, journalism, behavior modification, and Polynesian culture among them, the latter including a prize-winning history of the hula. His short pieces have appeared in numerous airline magazines and in such diverse periodicals as Condé Nast Traveler, GQ, Islands, Bizarre, Far Eastern Economic Review, Wine Spectator, Asian Wall Street Journal, Maxim, and The Village Voice.
He also worked as a feature writer, reporter, and music critic for daily and weekly newspapers in New Orleans, New York, and Bangkok, and as a writer-producer in television for Mike Wallace, Steve Allen, and Mort Sahl, as well as for ABC Television and Universal Studios. His 12-hour-long radio series based on his first Presley book, Elvis: A Biography (1971), was the first foreign documentary ever broadcast by the BBC.
The research material for his books about Presley is part of the Mississippi Valley Collection at the University of Memphis in Tennessee and much of his rock library is now at the Rock and Roll Museum & Hall of Fame in Cincinnati, Ohio. His Doors archives are on loan to the Doors in Los Angeles.
He and his Thai-Khmer wife divide their time between a flat in Bangkok and a house on a working farm an eight-hour train ride away near the Cambodian border.
He is a member of the Writers Guild of America, the Author’s Guild, the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand, and the Explorers Club.
P.O. Box 1224,
Nana Post Office,
Bangkok 10112 Thailand