Date: September 1998
Contact: Ron Hammond
Ben Fong-Torres, a print, radio and television journalist whose eclectic interests include rock & roll, Chinese culture and television game shows, will speak at Colby College in Waterville on Sunday, Sept. 6, at 4:30 p.m. His talk, which is open to the public free of charge, will take place in the Page Commons Room of the Cotter Union. Fong-Torres's memoir, "The Rice Room: From Number Two Son to Rock and Roll," was selected as the summer reading assignment for Colby's Class of 2002, and Fong-Torres will speak during their orientation. The book "tells of growing up in two worlds-a Chinese world of close family ties and suspicion of strangers and the exploding West Coast scene of the '50s and '60s . . . of respect for ancestors and worship of Elvis . . of working in the rice rooms of restaurants and in the newsroom of Rolling Stone."
Fong-Torres began writing articles for Rolling Stone in 1968, interviewing the likes of Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Bonnie Raitt, Diana Ross, the Grateful Dead and Ike & Tina Turner. As a freelancer he has written for such magazines as Playboy, Sports Illustrated and Harper's Bazaar.
From 1983 to 1994 Fong-Torres was a feature writer and columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. He also has been a DJ in San Francisco and wrote and narrated a syndicated radio special on the city that won a Billboard award for excellence. He was scriptwriter for "Cycling Through China," broadcast worldwide. His most unique TV credit was a 1993 appearance on "Wheel of Fortune," where he won some $99,000 in cash and prizes. Fong-Torres currently is at work on a history of top 40 radio.