Skip to product information
1 of 1
Elliot Tiber (Author) See More (4)

$24.95 USD
Square One Publishers
6.25 X 9.25 in
192 pg

View full details

*** IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award WINNER (AUDIOBOOK - Nonfiction category) ***

Palm Trees on the Hudson is the hilarious prequel to Elliot Tiber’s bestseller Taking Woodstock. Before Elliot found financial success by bringing Woodstock Ventures to his upstate motel, he was one of Manhattan’s leading interior designers. Then Elliot’s career came to a halt due to a floating society party, Judy Garland, and the Mob.

In April 1968, Elliot was hired to throw an elegant dinner party aboard a luxury yacht on the Hudson River. Included on the guest list were New York’s rich and famous—politicians, financiers, and even Elliot’s icon, Judy Garland. The big night arrived. But when a fight broke out, resulting in the destruction of everything including rented palms, Elliot’s event turned into financial disaster. Things couldn’t get any worse—or so it seemed until the Mob paid a visit.

By turns comic and tragic, Palm Trees on the Hudson is the take-no-prisoners memoir that gives readers a more intimate look at the man who went on to fight back at Stonewall and who helped give birth to the Woodstock Nation.

Elliot Tiber
Author Bio

Elliot Tiber (April 15, 1935–August 3, 2016) was a gay rights pioneer who wrote and produced numerous award-winning plays and musical comedies. As a professor of comedy writing and performance, he taught at the New School and Hunter College in Manhattan. His first novel, Rue Haute, was a bestseller in Europe, and was published in the United States as High Street. The novel was made into a 1976 French-language feature film adapted and directed by coauthor and partner André Ernotte. As a humorist, Mr. Tiber appeared on CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, BBC, and CNBC, as well as on television shows in Franch, England, Tokyo, Moscow, Berlin, Belgium, and elsewhere throughout the world.

Mr. Tiber's memoir Taking Woodstock, which he wrote with Tom Monte, was first published in 2007 and was soon after turned into a feature film by director Ang Lee. He is also the author of another memoir that explored his life before Woodstock called Palm Trees on the Hudson: A True Story of the Mob, Judy Garland, and Interior Decorating. In addition to his work as a writer, Tiber was a highly sought-after lecturer who appeared in many international venues. In his final years, Mr. Tiber lived in the Miami Beach section of Florida, where he continued his work as a writer; a painter; and a humorist.

Table of contents


1. Judy and the Free Dish

2. Meet the Teichbergs

3. We’re Not in Bensonhurst Anymore!

4. Elliot Tiber, Decorator

5. Momma and Homos and Shrinks, Oh My!

6. The Judge and the Bar

7. Somewhere Over the Hudson

8. A Toll on the Road

9. Back to WhiteLake


Review Quote - Publishers Weekly

"Tiber's rollicking prequel to Taking Woodstock has all of the prime ingredients of a madcap literary comic sendup with an enterprising, hapless narrator taking on chic Gotham city with mixed results . . . Tiber balances belly laughs and sincere emotion as he recounts how his infamous birthday party aboard a Hudson River Day Line steamboat went sour, a revealing talk with his beloved Garland during the mayhem, and the antigay sentiment in New York City that led to the 1969 riot at the Stonewall." 

Review Quote - Kirkus Reviews

"A young man's coming-of-age amid the glitzy backdrop of mid-20th century New York . . . a humorous tale." 

Review Quote - South Florida Gay News

"Palm Trees on the Hudson flows so lyrically it should come as no surprise to learn that Elliot Tiber has also written and produced musical comedies . . . This is a story that talks about the alienation gay people experience in youth, and the issues many of us go through with our families in terms of acceptance." 

Review Quote -

"Exceptionally well-written . . . [a] rags-to-riches-and-back-again riveter." 

Review Quote - Feathered Quill Book Reviews

"Thought-provoking, fun, meaningful, educational, and historical . . . supremely fantastic writing." 

Review Quote - Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Denver Post

"[Carries] the weight of social history. Among a dwindling number of first-person accounts recalling urban-American life before the great liberation movements found their voice. Tiber has a way with a tale . . . a surprising read for all." 

Review Quote - Vinton Rafe McCabe, The New York Journal of Books

"[A] whopper of an anecdote—one that most surely has earned [Tiber] rapt attention, shocked laughter, and thunderous applause at many a dinner party table during these last 30 years. That Tiber is himself quite a character is a given. He is the genuine item, the real deal." 

Review Quote - The Bookworm Sez (nationally syndicated review columnist)

"[A] hidden gem . . . Tiber, who once dabbled in stand-up comedy, tells a good story, and his recollections of Manhattan society and being gay in the 1960s are priceless . . . [Palm Trees on the Hudson is] very much worth the look. Once you start this book, you'll have a dickens of a time putting it down." 

Video Media