Blurt Magazine – Lee Zimmerman

Richard Loren saw a side of the music biz that most of us can only imagine. Given his amazing experiences, sex, drugs and rock and roll weren’t merely the battle cries of a disenfranchised generation weaned on rebellion, but a personal and professional credo that drew him into that messy cultural milieu. As a manager and music agent, Loren dealt with the most tempestuous personalities imaginable – Jim Morrison and the Doors, the Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead and other ‘60s superstars whose legendary antics made any attempt to exert authority a futile mission to begin with.

Nevertheless, Loren managed to navigate through these difficult scenarios with a certain savvy and grace that was often at odds with the behavior of his unruly clientele. The cast of characters is varied indeed – John Lennon, Liberace and Bill Murray are among the many that play incidental roles in this curious saga. And as “High Notes” frequently points out, the situations Loren was tossed into were often tempestuous at best, and downright disturbing at worst. It was one thing to bail an unruly Jim Morrison out of jail, but quite another to endure this public salvo from Grace Slick at the beginning of what was to be an otherwise civil and sophisticated art exhibition by a mutual acquaintance:

“Hello, you fools!” You’ve got Rembrandts on the mantle and a Rolls in the garage, but your old man wouldn’t know a clitoris from a junk bond – if you had the guts to show him your twat in the first place!”

Such incidents are part and parcel of Loren’s extraordinary encounters as he navigates through the insurgency and insanity that permeated that decadent era. Yet, the author’s remarkable recollections and keen eye for detail make this book as memorable as it is mesmerizing. They say if you remember the ‘60s, you weren’t really there. Happily Loren not only recalls, but also enthralls.

Foreward Reviews – Sheila M. Trask

Many bands started out on the “long, strange trip” toward rock-and-roll stardom in the 1960s, but few could keep the bus on the road for long. For a handful of groundbreaking musicians, Richard Loren was the guy with the map. In High Notes: A Rock Memoir, the agent-turned-manager respectfully shares what it was like to be part of the behind-the-scenes machine that helped artists like Grace Slick, Jim Morrison, and Jerry Garcia make their indelible marks on music.

Loren’s frank memoir directly relates his memories of working with larger-than-life personalities, beginning with Liberace in 1966. The flamboyant performer made an impression on the twenty-three-year-old Loren, who paid as much attention to the pianist’s stagecraft as his music. Early on, Loren understood the connection between an artist and an audience, and he brought this perspective to his work with bands as dissimilar as the Doors and the Grateful Dead.

It’s the nuts and bolts of that work—from bailing Jim Morrison out of jail to arranging for the Grateful Dead to play at the Great Pyramid of Giza—that Loren focuses on in his memoir. There are reflective moments, as when Loren experiences a career-changing epiphany by way of LSD, but the emphasis is on business, not his personal life. Loren’s tone is fairly restrained throughout, and though he drops a lot of names, from John Belushi to Bobby Kennedy, he seems to strive to shed the most positive light possible on these complex personalities. His respect for Garcia is unshakable; even as he mourns Jerry’s unstoppable withdrawal into heroin addiction, Loren continually credits the Grateful Dead leader’s creativity and generosity.

Loosely chronological, Loren’s story jumps kaleidoscopically from scene to scene. One moment he’s navigating the closed circuit of the roadies’ subculture, then he’s on the Schuyler Hotel roof with Jefferson Airplane, and before you know it, he’s making deals with Clive Davis. Loren doesn’t deny that the negative side of the scene exists, or even pretend that he himself was above the fray, but things like the escalating drug scene are treated as part of the overall picture and never as a personal or moral failing. Perhaps it’s this nonjudgmental attitude that allows Loren to offer such a clear-eyed chronicle of some of the most tumultuous times in music history.

Infectious Magazine – Rachel Policano

Magic City Morning Star     – R. P. BenDedek
(High notes is listed as No. 11)

The Sandpaper – staff writer

Valley Planet – Ricky Thomason


High Notes was released November 2014 in hardcover and paperback editions and is available at and all major booksellers.

Hardcover books, autographed by the author, are available on this website.

eBook format available on

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