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Ted Long book lays it all out

What do John Denver, Evel Knievel, the Rolling Stones, Pizza Hut and EST have in common?

Apparently, South Lake Tahoe City Councilman Ted Long.

Long is running for El Dorado County District 5 supervisor against incumbent Norma Santiago and has mailed about 6,000 copies of his 82-page autobiography “Recycled” to county residents in Tahoe.



Santiago declined to comment on the book.

Long says the book is a response to incomplete or inaccurate news coverage of his life since he was elected to the council in 2004.



“I’ve tried to lay it out as honestly as I can,” Long told the Tahoe Daily Tribune on Tuesday. He hopes the book will help voters make an informed decision, because “you can’t always believe what you read in the newspaper.”

The book details a recall election early in Long’s political career and his relationship with EST, a company that gave controversial self-improvement seminars, where Long said he was once number two or three in the ranks.

It also mentions his company was the first to manage Knievel when the daredevil was just starting his career (page 26) and a friendship with singer and songwriter Denver.

In the book Long said he was with Denver at his home in Woods Lake, Colorado, watching a meteor shower and drinking Peppermint Schnapps with hot chocolate when the musician got his inspiration for the song “Rocky Mountain High.”

“The meteor shower was lavishly intense and went on for a long time. We took it in, awestruck, like a couple of kids at a Fourth of July fireworks display. At one point John said something about wanting to write a song about it.”

The song’s chorus line says “I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky.”

“I asked him about it the next time I saw him, and he concurred that he had gleaned much of the inspiration for the song from that memorable night,” Long wrote on page 42.

The two apparently met through EST.

Long said he was the youngest elected official in the state of California in 1969, when he was chosen to the San Bruno City Council. He was 30 at the time. He was later recalled on allegations that a council vote on a new city manager violated the Brown Act, California’s open meeting law, according to the book.

Long said the vote took place at a regular council meeting. He said the recall effort was led by developers whose projects he had opposed in Half Moon Bay and the San Bruno Mountains on environmental grounds (page 53).

Long said he did not take the recall effort seriously enough. While he lost the recall, he won the next election by 2,000 votes, he said. The first San Bruno election he won by 13 votes.

On page 65, Long said he represented the Rolling Stones in the Altamont Racetrack debacle after members of security force Hells Angels opened fire and killed a man who was allegedly wielding a gun.

Alameda County named the band in a request to revoke Altamont’s permit, Long said Tuesday. The matter was settled without anyone paying anything and all parties were pleased with the results, Long said.

Long was involved with promoting motorcycle races in the ’70s and offered Altamont Racetrack to the Rolling Stones when their other venue for the concert fell through, according to his book.

Long said he has been a registered Democrat most of his life, but has supported a few Republican candidates.


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