Sedge Thomson brings West Coast (A) Live

Justin Maxon for The New York Times

For the last 16 years, Berkeley resident Sedge Thomson has entertained hundreds of thousands of listeners on his radio show West Coast Live.

Broadcast on KALW 91.7 FM, usually from Freight and Salvage in Berkeley or the Ferry Building in San Francisco, West Coast Live features a broad array of musicians, artists, writers, and performers, all interviewed by Thomson in his distinctive baritone.

On one recent week, Thomson’s guests included the writers Scott Turow, Anna Quindlen, Roddy Doyle. Laurie Anderson, the performance artist, talked about her work and Wesla Whitfield sang.

And that’s a typical lineup for Thomson. Whenever an artist comes to the Bay Area, chances are good that Thomson will entice him or her to appear on the show.

And he’s also committed to bringing on local artists. Next week, for example, Thomson will interview the writer Kate Moses about her new memoir, Cakewalk, and the writer Laura Fraser about her memoir, All Over the Map.

Thomson lives in south Berkeley with his wife, the novelist Sylvia Brownrigg, and their children, Samuel, 8, and Romilly, 6. His son Henry, 14, lives there every other week.

I did a “Routines” story for the New York Times this week about how Thomson spends his Sundays. A few highlights: he and his children like to bike over very early in the morning to Amy Murray’s Venus restaurant. His kids like her 2x2x2 breakfast: two eggs, two sausages and two pancakes.

They read a lot. (That’s Thomson reading in bed with his kids in the picture above.)

There is a lot of sports paraphernalia in the house: lacrosse sticks, soccer balls, football pads and rugby gear.


They shop locally: Mrs. Dalloway’s in a favorite bookstore, and Summer Kitchen is a frequent haunt.

He has two iPads.

Frances Dinkelspiel is co-founder and executive editor of Berkeleyside. Email: frances@berkeleyside.com.