Author band the Rock Bottom Remainders calls it quits

The Rock Bottom Remainders, which includes writers Stephen King and Dave Barry, will play their last two shows this weekend in California.

Michael Dwyer/AP
Members of the Rock Bottom Remainders include writers Amy Tan (l.), Stephen King (center) and Scott Turow (r.)

Author supergroup the Rock Bottom Remainders will be playing their last concerts this weekend after two decades together.

The band will perform one show in Los Angeles on June 22, which is also the date of their twenty-year anniversary, and a second in Anaheim on June 23 at the American Library Association convention. Only those attending the ALA convention will be able to attend the second show.

The final lineup for the concert will be writers Stephen King, Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Sam Barry, Amy Tan, Mitch Albom, Matt Groening, Scott Turow, James McBride, Greg Iles and Roy Blount, Jr. All proceeds from the show will go to charity, which has been the rule for every Remainders show.

“A few years ago, Bruce Springsteen told us we weren't bad, but not to try to get any better otherwise we'd just be another lousy band,” King said in a statement. “After 20 years, we still meet his stringent requirements. For instance, while we all know what 'stringent' means, none of us have yet mastered an F chord.”

Barry said the group was originally brought together by writer, publishing consultant and musician Kathi Kamen Goldmark, who died last month. She was in charge of a business that brought writers to events and, when she realized that many of the writers she shepherded from place to place were music fans, she decided to see if the authors would be up for a charity performance.

“She sent a fax around to the [authors],” Barry told the Long Beach Press-Telegram. “And if you responded to the fax, you were in the band. You know, the same way the Beatles started.”

Barry said the band will be honoring Goldmark during the show.

“We will be paying our respects to her during the shows, but in a fun way,” he said. “She wouldn't have wanted some maudlin tribute.”

Barry told the AP that Goldmark’s death was part of the reason the band decided to disband.

“We sort of felt this would be a good time to end it because it just isn’t going to be the same without Kathi,” he said.

Guitarist for the Byrds Roger McGuinn, who became involved with the band through author Carl Hiaasen, will be appearing with the Rock-Bottom Remainders for the last two shows.

“They’re not as bad as they claim to be,” McGuinn told the AP of the band.

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