'Harmonica' wedding bells

"How to Play the Harmonica" author Sam Barry wed his long-time girlfriend Kathi Kamen Goldmark earlier this month.

Here's Shelf Awareness's report of the nuptials:

Last weekend the hottest invite in San Francisco was to the wedding of Kathi Kamen Goldmark and Sam Barry--authors and members of the Rock Bottom Remainders (Kathi founded the band).

As their band member and officiant, newly minted minister of the United Church of Life Scott Turow, said, they have seen "three times seven in the rearview" at least a few years ago, so why get married now? Answering the question, Turow said that they married for each other and to show all the guests who love them that they are in it for the long haul.

As is often the way with anything involving Kathi and Sam, the event was musical, and everyone got involved. A chorus of their nieces and nephews started by leading the several hundred guests in "Going to the Chapel" as the attendants--Amy Tan and Dave Barry among them--and the happy couple took the stage at the Swedish American Hall (which is actually a lot classier than the name sounds). Sam's teenage daughter Laura sang an inspired song she composed
that asked the question on everyone's minds, "Have You Ever Seen a Love Like This?"

Although the vows were relatively traditional, the service combined elements of Christian, Buddhist and Jewish marriage ceremonies--punctuated by a bride and groom fist-bump. Then it was outside and downstairs to the bar for a rockin' reception featuring Train Wreck (Kathi and Sam's regular band), who were joined on occasion by the bride and groom and several guests.

Nothing, not even parking provided by a funeral home up the street, could darken the pure happiness that permeated the whole event. "In some cultures, that's considered good luck," said Dave Barry in a toast to his baby brother and the bride.

As Chronicle Books owner Nion McEvoy pointed out, the wedding was more like a great night out with everyone you want to hang out with from the literary, publishing and rock worlds. Through their music, but also in their day jobs--Kathi as a former literary escort and now producer of West Coast Live (among many hats she wears) and Sam at HarperOne, and as authors themselves—the couple pretty much are one degree of separation from just about everyone in Bay Area books and music. (Kathi and Sam also write the Author Enabler column on
BookPage, where they advise others about the biz. They are currently collaborating on a book about the same subject due out next summer.) There were too many authors, agents and booksellers to name names. Somehow it was as if we all were part of the ceremony.

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