On Saturday, June 24, at 4 p.m., Montclair Public Library welcomes legendary guitarist and author Lenny Kaye to discuss his latest book, “Lightning Striking,” an insider’s take on the music that rocked the 20th century, with Cindy Stagoff of NJArts.net and Outpost in the Burbs. The program is co-presented by NJArts.net.

Kaye and Stagoff’s conversation is part of Open Book / Open Mind, our popular, long-running literary conversation series. After the discussion, audience members will participate in a live Q&A session with the author. A book signing with Watchung Booksellers will follow the event.

Registration is required. Register at https://bit.ly/OBOM_KayeLive.

Lenny Kaye is an American guitarist, composer, record producer, and writer, and is a founding member of the Patti Smith Group. He has worked with such artists as Suzanne Vega, Waylon Jennings, Jim Carroll, Allen Ginsberg, Jessi Colter, Soul Asylum, and many others. His other books include “Waylon: An Autobiography; You Call It Madness: The Sensuous Song of the Croon.” His seminal anthology of garage rock, “Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era,” is regarded as defining a genre and is currently celebrating its golden anniversary. Kaye was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2021.

“We are really looking forward to Lenny sharing his thoughts about four decades of rock and roll from his front-row seat,” says Library Director Janet Torsney. “No promises, but maybe he’ll play a tune or two. Join us for an unforgettable afternoon!”


“Memphis 1954. New Orleans 1957. Philadelphia 1959. Liverpool 1962. San Francisco 1967. Detroit 1969. New York, 1975. London 1977. Los Angeles 1984. Norway 1993. Seattle 1991.

“Rock and roll was birthed in basements and garages, radio stations and dance halls, in cities where unexpected gatherings of artists and audience changed and charged the way music is heard and celebrated, capturing lightning in a bottle. Musician and writer Lenny Kaye explores ten crossroads of time and place that define rock and roll, its unforgettable flashpoints, characters, and visionaries; how each generation came to be; how it was discovered by the world. ‘Lightning Striking’ reveals the communal energy that creates a scene, a guided tour inside style and performance, to see who’s on stage, along with the movers and shakers, the hustlers and hangers-on–and why everybody is listening.”—Ecco Press

“We have performed side-by-side on the global stage through half a century….In ‘Lightning Striking,’ Lenny Kaye has illuminated ten facets of the jewel called rock and roll from a uniquely personal and knowledgeable perspective.” —Patti Smith

Cindy Stagoff currently serves as a writer and Vice President of NJArts.net, a New Jersey non-profit organization that offers independent arts journalism and supports the cultural vibrancy of New Jersey. Stagoff founded Montclair’s Concert for Haiti and co-founded Montclair’s first “MLK Day” of service in our public schools. She is a member of the board of trustees of Outpost in the Burbs.

The Open Book / Open Mind series is presented by the Montclair Public Library with the generous support of The Montclair Public Library Foundation, Watchung Booksellers, Josh Weston, Rosemary Iversen, an anonymous donor, The First Congregational Church, Amanti Vino and The George Montclair.