Jerry Hopkins’s history THE HULA, out of print for more than 20 years, has been republished in Hawaii with a new design.
Editor of the new hardcover edition, Amy Ku’uleialoha Stillman, said in her preface, “THE HULA had its genesis in the late 1970s. Journalistic in language and tone, the book made no pretense to academic rigor or encyclopedic authority. It was, however, the first book to offer readers a comprehensive introduction to hula’s history. Astonishingly, three decades later, this book has not yet been superceded. The reissue of this book thus makes its overview available once again to new generations of hula dancers and fans alike.”
Hopkins was assisted in the book’s original publication by his then wife Rebecca Kamili’ia Crockett. The original publisher was APA Productions of Singapore and the reprint is from Bess Press of Honolulu.
Asia’s exotic reputation is well known, preceding its current growing economic clout, and many Western novelists can share the credit or blame. Conrad, Kipling, Maugham, Orwell, Forster, Greene, and Clavell are among the many names that top the list of bestselling authors who helped forge the Asian myth.
So, too, the creators of Shangri-la (James Hilton in LOST HORIZON), Suzie Wong (Richard Mason), Charlie Chan (Earl Derr Biggers), and The Beach (Alex Garland).
Some 30 to 35 authors will be profiled in what is tentatively titled TALES FROM THE STEAMY EAST: HOW THE WRITERS WE ALL LOVE SEDUCED US.
Hopkins says some of them got it right; some didn’t. “The Suzie Wong portrait was bang on,” he says, “but in MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA, Arthur Golden really didn’t know what he was talking about. An entire book was written to correct James Clavell’s mistakes. And the guy who imagined Shangri-la didn’t get any closer to Asia while doing his research than the British Museum in London.”
In addition to a review of the fiction and the authors’ lives, each chapter will tell readers how to walk in the writer’s footsteps today, view what Henry James called the “visitable past.”
The book will be published in late 2012 by Periplus Editions, publisher of five other of Hopkins’ books, EXTREME CUISINE, BANGKOK BABYLON and THAILAND CONFIDENTIAL among them.
Jerry Hopkins has written introductions to two books with links to the 1960s — a large format hardcover volume collecting the best photographs of Baron Woman, THE ROLLING STONE YEARS, and the e-book edition of Jim Morrison’s first books of poetry, THE LORDS and THE NEW CREATURES.
Wolman was living in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district and working as a photojournalist in 1967 when a fortuitous meeting with Jann Wenner, the founder of Rolling Stone, resulted in Wolman becoming the publication’s first chief photographer. He served in that capacity for under three years, but during that time photographed nearly all of the musical greats of the period — Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Mick Jagger, Jerry Garcia, Frank Zappa and many more.
On many of those assignments, Jerry Hopkins was the assigned writer, then working for Rolling Stone as its Los Angeles correspondent. They also collaborated on several of the stories in the issue of the periodical devoted to “Groupies” which later became a book.
As Jim Morrison’s first biographer, author of the multi-million selling NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE, Hopkins was the natural choice to write an introduction to the British e-book edition of the singer’s poetry. He also wrote a brief biography for the reprint.
Both books were published by Omnibus Press in London.
To mark the 40th anniversary of Jim Morrison’s death in July, the bestselling biography NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE will get a new epilog, bringing all the tumultuous posthumous events up to date for an e-book edition.
Since the book was last updated in 1995, the surviving Doors have experienced as many dramatic highs and lows as before their lead singer died in Paris in 1971 — battling it out in the media and the courts while at the same time getting inaugurated into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and sales of their recordings brought them greater wealth than they ever experienced when Morrison was alive.
NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE was published in 1980, went to No. 1 on the New York Times list and back to No. 2 when Oliver Stone made it a primary source for his film The Doors in 1991. It has sold more than four million copies and has been translated into sixteen languages.
The e-book will be published by Grand Central Publishing, formerly known as Warner Books, sometimes before the end of this year.
No One Here Gets Our Alive, the first biography of Jim Morrison, has been translated into Bulgarian, the book’s sixteenth language.
More than two million copies of the book are now in print worldwide, following publication in 1980. It was also a primary source for Oliver Stone’s film The Doors, released in 1991.
Other languages are English (with separate editions in North America and the United Kingdom), French, German, Italian, Spanish (with separate editions in Spain and Mexico), Portuguese, Japanese, Czech, Polish, Korean, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Russian and Chinese.
Jerry Hopkins returns to biography in what will be his 37th book, a family business chronicle that has its beginning in 19th century India and concludes in 21st century Bangkok.
Against the Grain, to be published privately in late 2009, marks the 140th anniversary of the GP Group of Companies, a conglomerate of trading and manufacturing firms that also includes Thailand’s second-largest shipping line, is owned by the sixth generation Shah family, originally from the Indian province of Gujarat.
Driven to Bombay in 1857 by a long drought in northwestern India, the company’s founder started trading rice, the firm’s sole business for more than one hundred years. Officially founded in 1868 in Rangoon (now Yangon) in Burma (now Myanmar), the family of traders moved their base of operations to Bangkok, Thailand in 1918 and have been headquartered there ever since.
It was in 1976 when the founder’s great-grandson began trading non-rice commodities and started forming new companies that manufactured latex products, pharmaceuticals, and fancy jewelry; opened a travel agency; built a hotel and highrise condominiums; and formed Precious Shipping Ltd. Until then, many Indians took their father’s first name as their surname. Now, to conform to modern times, Kirit and his family adopted the surname Shah, the Gujarati word for “merchant” or “trader.”
The core market for much of GP’s trading, dating back to the early 20th century, was in the Middle East and Africa, as the company focused its efforts in small “difficult” countries that larger firms generally ignored because they were too much “trouble” for too little profit. Here, Shah found great success.
Then came the currency meltdown in Thailand, in 1997, that led to a financial crisis that spread over much of Asia and as far away as Brazil and Mexico. At the time, Shah had 154 businesses in more than two dozen countries. The group was forced into bankruptcy and restructuring.
Within a few years, however, GP made a complete recovery and in 2009, Forbes magazine put Kirit Shah’s daughter, Nishita, and her family at the No. 19 position on its list of Thailand’s richest. Precious Shipping continued to be the cash cow of the GP Group and other firms ranged from the manufacture of aluminum, pharmaceuticals, and edible oils to the mining and trading of limestone and coal. The Shahs also were active in travel (with a hotel, a ticketing agency and the “franchise” in Thailand for Jet Airways, India’s premier airline) and in 2009 Nishita introduced a line of upmarket leisurewear under the Nsha brand.
The family’s story is told against the backdrop of the Indian diaspora’s movement from India across the Middle East and Southeast Asia and its role in regional and worldwide economic growth. In the early years, the Persons of Indian Origin, as they came to be called, were known as “closet capitalists,” but in the past decade they have gone public, with Bangkok’s Shah family one of the most prominent.
The family biography/corporate history will be privately published for the family, past and present employees, customers, and friends.
Jerry's new book, DON HO: MY MUSIC MY LIFE, a lavishly illustrated hardcover memoir/biography of Hawaiian music legend Don Ho, will be published in December.
In his introduction to the book, Jerry writes:
"In the early Summer of 2006, Don Ho employed two young women to record and transcribe some of the stories of his life. The idea was that the two-hundred-plus, double-spaced pages that resulted might be used in a book or provide background material for a film. When it was determined that more work was required, in the Spring of 2007 Don sat patiently for numerous additional interviews in what turned out to be---to the day---the final month of his life. In fact, some of Don's recollections of his early days in Waikiki were recorded as he relaxed with his wife Haumea and friends following what turned out to be his last performance. I left for my home in Thailand the next morning and before my plane landed, he had died.
"During those last weeks, many others were interviewed along with Don---family, friends, entertainers, business associates, even his physicians---the goal being to create an autobiography, illustrated with material selected from the Don Ho archives.
"What follows is not told in the usual manner for autobiography, wherein the subject tells his or her story in a first person narrative, either alone or with a professional writer's assistance. It is, rather, a kind of oral history of the man's life, a stitching together of memories shared in interviews, with the predominant voice being Don Ho's, accompanied by supporting voices, arranged chronologically. In other words, what follows is mostly pure, unadulterated Don Ho, complemented by the recollections of the same events and times by others who were there with him. When Don recalls his days as a boarding student at Kamehameha Schools, so too do his schoolmates; when Don talks about starting out at his mom's bar and restaurant, Honey's, Marlene Sai tells how she was discovered there. When I suggested this format to Don, I called it a "modern Hawaiian quilt." He approved it.
"Donald Tai Loy Ho was born of Hawaiian, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, and German heritage on August 13, 1930, in Kaka'ako and he died seventy-six years later, on April 14, 2007, in a house that he figured he would never finish tinkering with at Diamond Head. He quarterbacked a championship football team, earned a degree in sociology from the University of Hawaii, flew jets for the U.S. Air Force, fathered ten children, was given credit for electing at least one Hawaii governor, more than a decade ahead of Jimmy Buffett took the laid-back tropical lifestyle worldwide through his recordings and appearances both on television and in concert, and along the way became Hawaii's best-known and most beloved personality of all time.
"He also became the longest running act in Waikiki, a must-see performer for Hawaii residents and tourists alike for nearly half a century. Finally, in an effort to extend that amazing life after being flattened by a malfunctioning heart and conventional treatment failed, he made history by flying to Bangkok for experimental stem cell surgery that was forbidden in the United States, returning to the Waikiki stage soon afterward.
"Headline writers called him 'Mr. Hawaii' and 'The King of Waikiki.' His good friend Jimmy Borges said, 'When you think of Hawaii, there's Pearl Harbor, Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, and Don Ho.' Another friend, Brickwood Galuteria, said, 'Sun, sand, surf, Don Ho.'
"Don, of course, would've quoted a song by his friend Kui Lee: "Ain't no big thing, bruddah." More than most of us could dare or dream, Don Ho enjoyed life to da max…yet by his unquestioned status as a cultural icon, and by the fact that he probably was better known than Diamond Head, he seemed totally unimpressed."
Published by Watermark Publishing in Honolulu, DON HO: MY LIFE, MY MUSIC is Jerry's 36th book and his third this year. Two earlier works were ALOHA ELVIS, from Honolulu's Bess Press, and ELVIS: THE BIOGRAPHY, from Plexus Publishing in London.
The bestselling biography of Jim Morrison, NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE, has been translated into Chinese, the 14th language for this volume and the 16th language for Jerry's books overall.
What is now considered a classic by some, a "cult" book by others, the unauthorized biography of the late Doors singer was published in 1980, went to the No. 1 position of the New York Times bestseller list, and has remained in print ever since. It has been published in the most languages---English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French,Danish, Italian, Czech, Polish, Japanese, Korean, Dutch, Finnish, and, now Mandarin Chinese.
Jerry's biographies of Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, and Yoko Ono as well as a number of his other nonfiction works also have been translated for the overseas markets. Often different editions in the same language appear---for example, separate Spanish editions have appeared in Spain and Mexico, Portuguese editions in Portugal and Brazil, English editions in the US and the UK.
In addition, one book, IN THE NAME OF THE BOSS UPSTAIRS, the biography of Fr. Ray Brennan, has appeared in Thai, and another, EXTREME CUISINE, has been published in Russian.
Jerry’s two classic studies of Elvis Presley, long out of print, have been brought back to the marketplace in a single volume, updated to include a new last chapter describing the events of the past 30 years since the singer died and examining how he became No. 1 on Forbes magazine’s list of Richest Dead Celebrities five years in a row.
ELVIS: THE BIOGRAPHY, from London’s Plexus Publishing, made its debut during “Elvis Week” in August in Memphis, marking the 30th anniversary of Presley’s death. Jerry was the featured speaker at a seminar, “The Once and Future Elvis,” held on the University of Memphis campus and appeared at book signings for fans.
It was, surprisingly, Jerry’s first visit to Graceland, as well as to the Sun Records Studio where Elvis’s first records were made. When Jerry visited Memphis in 1969 to research the first biography of the singer, ELVIS: A BIOGAPHY (Simon & Schuster, 1971), the King was still in residence, and when Jerry returned 10 years later to write the sequel, ELVIS: THE FINAL YEARS (St. Martin’s Press, 1980), Graceland was not yet open to the public. And during both visits, Sun was an abandoned building.
Today, Graceland and Sun are part of a citywide network of tourist attractions that draw music fans from around the world. As many as 4,000 Elvis fans pass daily through the Graceland gates alone, with more visiting Sun as well as the Stax Soul Museum and a rejuvenated Beale Street, legendary “Home of the Blues” where B.B. King and others appear regularly.
Jerry’s new book is his fifth taking Elvis as its subject. A small volume called ALOHA ELVIS was published by Hawaii’s Bess Press, making its debut during Elvis Week at the box office of the Neal Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, site of the singer’s famed “Aloha Satellite” television show of 1972. The book went on sale at the same time a bronze statue of Elvis was unveiled nearby.
The fifth book, ELVIS IN HAWAII, was published in 2002.
Plexus also published the UK edition of NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE and THE LIZARD KING.