Meet the Band

  • Mitch Albom | Keyboard
  • Dave Barry | Lead guitar
  • Roy Blount, Jr.
  • Greg Iles | lead guitar
  • Stephen King | Rhythm guitar
  • Matt Groening | Cow bell
  • James McBride | Saxophone
  • Janine Sabino | Vocals
  • Amy Tan | Vocals
  • Ridley Pearson | Bass
  • Scott Turow | Vocals

By day, they’re authors.

Really famous authors.

But once a year they shed their pen-and-pencil clutching personas and become rock stars, complete with roadies, groupies and a wicked cool tour bus.

The Rock Bottom Remainders is a band that includes some of today’s most talented authors: Mitch Albom, Dave Barry, Roy Blount Jr., Greg Iles, Stephen King, Matt Groening, James McBride, Ridley Pearson, Amy Tan, and Scott Turow. Between them, they’ve published more than 150 titles, sold more than 200 million books, and been translated into more than 25 languages.

For one week a year, they’re rock stars–artist-access-only, laminate-wearing, security-escorted rock stars with roadies and groupies. Four ringers help them out: drummer Josh Kelly, Erasmo Paolo on saxophone, Sam Barry on harmonica and Janine Sabino on vocals.

The Remainders were founded by the late Kathi Kamen Goldmark. 

“In the fine rock & roll tradition, the Rock Bottom Remainders were conceived in a car,” said Kathy. “As a semi-pro musician with a day job in book publicity, I spend a lot of time driving touring authors around San Francisco…I decided to form a band of authors!”

The group burst upon the world at the 1992 American Booksellers Association convention in Anaheim. A write-up in the Washington Post described it as “the most heavily promoted musical debut since the Monkees.

Hailed by critics as having “one of the world’s highest ratios of noise to talent,” the Remainders have no music videos, no record contract, no Grammy® nominations—but do have over 159,000 hits on Google.

In addition to the literary band members, rock legends such as Bruce Springsteen and the late Warren Zevon have done guest appearances.

Rock Bottom Remainders have raised more than $2 million dollars for charity through their concert tours.

Visit their official website at

Behind the Music

The Book

Over 350M books sold. Forty New York Times #1 Bestsellers.
One lousy band.
Now go behind the scenes to hear their stories firsthand.
In 1992, a cadre of the world’s bestselling authors formed a rock band called the Rock Bottom Remainders.  For two decades the band played proudly (and some would say, terribly) to sold out crowds across the country.  Now they’re hanging up their guitar picks, drumsticks and leather whips, but not without a look back at twenty years of friendship, love, writing, and the redemptive power of rock’n’roll.

Hard Listening is a voyeuristic view into the private lives of your favorite authors, combining essays, fiction, musings, candid email exchanges and conversations, compromising photographs, audio and video clips, and interactive quizzes for a groundbreaking ebook experience. See Stephen King, Scott Turow, Amy Tan, Dave and Sam Barry, Roy Blount Jr., Mitch Albom, James McBride, Ridley Pearson, Matt Groening, Greg Iles, and rock legend Roger McGuinn at their most unguarded.

“We play music as well as Metallica writes novels.” –Dave Barry

“Rock Bottom Remainders? Who the hell are they?” –Kirk Hammett, Metallica

“There’s an audience out there, and the key is to kick it in the ass.” –Stephen King

“Roy actually coined the term for our genre of music; ‘hard-listening music.’” –Dave Barry