ROCK THIS TOWN! Fran Belkin in conversation with Alec Wightman

Thursday, August 8, 2019 - 7:00pm
Gramercy Books
2424 East Main Street
Bexley, OH 43209

Fran Belkin will be in conversation with rock music aficionado Alec Wightman to share the backstage stories never heard before in Rock This Town!  Those tales include the biggest bands in rock music—from Janis Joplin to The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd to Fleetwood Mac, Aerosmith to David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen to KISS to Rod Stewart. The list goes on. Fran Belkin worked alongside husband Jules, a pioneer in the rock and roll music industry, as Belkin Productions grew to become one of the largest regional concert promoters and, quietly, one of the most influential in the nation. 

Fran Belkin’s collection of t-shirts wound up in boxes in the attic, until one day she realized these mementos—chronicling over thirty years of Cleveland rock and roll history—could illustrate the incredible story of a most unusual family business: Belkin Productions. The shirts paint a picture of the times, the music, the bands and the concert promotion company her husband Jules and his brother Mike built from the back room of their father’s clothing store into a powerhouse on the national music scene. And unlike the concert tees the rest of us wore, these shirts were designed and produced in very small numbers as “swag” for the bands and crew, rarely seen beyond backstage. In Rock This Town!, Fran’s collection is artfully woven together with vintage snapshots, concert photography, and intimate stories—shared by the Belkin Productions crew who lived them. A love letter to every fan of rock and roll, the book, says rock photographer Janet Macoska, is “one of the only memory albums ever made that gives an inside glimpse at concert production and promotion.”

Fran Belkin grew up in Los Angeles and attended UCLA. She moved to Cleveland for love—and fell in love with Cleveland along the way. In the mid ’60s, as she worked alongside her husband at Belkin Productions, Fran nurtured her passion for art and creative projects. Her 10’ mosaic Fender guitar appeared on the cover of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s first Guitarmania catalog, and she has studied at Anderson Ranch in Colorado. For over a decade, she’s served on the Cleveland Institute of Art’s Board of Directors. Rock This Town!is her first book.