The Rip Post                                                    Bio


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Rip Rense

Rip Rense spent five years reporting for the Valley News (now Daily News of Los Angeles) five years reporting for the L.A. Herald-Examiner under the legendary Jim Bellows, and ten more as a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times.

As a freelancer, his feature articles and commentaries have appeared in the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, Denver Post, San Diego Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Atlanta Constitution & Journal, San Jose Mercury News, Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Milwaukee Journal, Eugene Register-Guard, and other major U.S. dailies---as well as magazines including TV Guide, People, Los Angeles, Emmy (the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences magazine), Silver Kris, Musician, Performing Songwriter, and ICE

He was Hollywood columnist for TV Guide (Canada), and for five years official biographer of the Academy of Television's annual Hall of Fame magazine. Prior to founding The Rip Post in 2002, he wrote an award-winning weekly on-line column, The Rense Retort. His Greater Los Angeles Press Club-award-winning Riposte, is carried weekly on this site (currently on hiatus.) The column won four Greater Los Angeles Press Club awards for columns about the late historian, Iris Chang, a tribute to Jim Bellows, and (first place awards in the "Best On-Line Column" category) for his tribute to the late journalist Catherine Seipp, in 2007, and the story of a woman losing her home to gentrification, "The Last Mexican of Venice," in 2015.

Mr. Rense originated and produced albums for the great American a cappella group, The Persuasions, including a tribute to Frank Zappa, Frankly A Cappella---The Persuasions Sing Zappa, and one to the Grateful Dead, Persuasions of the Dead (on Zoho.) In 2009, he and Marc Doten produced the definitive live Persuasions album, The Persuasions Live at McCabe's Guitar Shop. Rense also coordinated  The Persuasions' multi-award-winning children's album, On The Good Ship Lollipop.

Mr. Rense has written extensive liner notes and essays for albums by Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, Grateful Dead, The Persuasions, Chuck E. Weiss, Jerry Lawson & Talk of the Town,  as well as concert program notes for Tom Waits and the Florida Orchestra. Founding classical music reviewer for the Valley News, he has also written about classical music for decades, and in 2002 broke the news in the New York Times of the restoration of a lost Chopin prelude by Professor Jeffrey Kallberg of the University of Pennsylvania. He is well known for having covered the Beatles extensively for a variety of publications, and is a longtime contributing editor to Beatlefan, the oldest Beatles publication in the U.S.. In 1982, while at the Herald-Examiner, Mr. Rense wrote the first comprehensive look at unreleased Beatles music, a nine-part series entitled "Off The Beatle Track," which generated international headlines and won the Valley Press Club Award for "Best Feature Series." He also founded, promoted, and hosted "A Night at the Opera," weekly live performances with members of Los Angeles Opera at the late, much loved West Los Angeles restaurant, Gianfranco Ristorante All'Opera, owned by his friend, Franco Altavilla.

Mr. Rense is the author four novels: The Last Byline ("One of the top 40 works of  L.A.fiction"---California Writer), a serio-comic fantasy about the decline of newspapers; The Oaks, the story of a boy growing up in a small town in the '60's with a dysfunctional family; and two mysteries about a hapa (mixed Japanese and Caucasian descent) detective in Los Angeles, The Death Sisters, and The Bronzeville Boogie. He has also written two collections of short stories, Strange Places of the Heart, and Cigars, two non-fiction works, Less Than Satisfying Encounters With Humanity, and Bad Words, and two collections of poems, Always Not There, and While Monsters. Mr. Rense is currently at work on a sequel to The Oaks, entitled Summers of Love.

Mr. Rense includes among his ancestors the Rippeys and Shearers of Ireland and England, who helped settle Pennsylvania, fight the Revolutionary War, and run the Underground Railroad, which smuggled slaves out of the South. His father, Art Rense, was a sportswriter and columnist for the original Los Angeles Daily News, and a poet. Mr. Rense enjoys Laurel & Hardy, W.C. Fields, Puccini, civility, and Obon dancing. He is a Jodo Shinshu Buddhist, and is kind to animals.

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