Tag Archives: book

Memoir By Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon Due Feb. 2015 – ‘what partnership means—and what happens when it dissolves’

Cover of Gordon’s memoir.

Kim Gordon, formerly a key member of Sonic Youth and now half of Body/Head, will have her memoir, “Girl in a Band,” published on February 24, 2015.

From the press release:

Often described as aloof, Kim Gordon truly opens up in Girl in a Band. Telling the story of her childhood, her life in art, her move to New York City, her love affairs, her marriage, her relationship with her daughter, and her band, this is a rich and beautifully written memoir. At the heart of the book is the examination of what partnership means—and what happens when it dissolves. An atmospheric look at the New York of the 80s and 90s that gave rise to Sonic Youth, as well as the Alternative revolution in popular music that Sonic Youth helped usher in, paving the way for Nirvana, Hole, Smashing Pumpkins and many other acts. One of the most revered people in modern rock and roll, Kim Gordon is also a highly regarded fashion icon, visual artist, and the source of much fascination.

For more info, head to Pitchfork and/or Rolling Stone.

[I just published my rock ‘n’ roll novel, True Love Scars.” Rolling Stone has a great review of my book in the new issue. Read it here. There’s info about True Love Scars here.]

— A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post —

Complete Bob Dylan Song Lyrics Book Due Oct. 28; Dylan Sings ‘Do Re Mi’ With Ry Cooder, Van Dyke Parks

The book in all its glory.

On October 28, 2014 the first complete book of Bob Dylan’s lyrics will be published in a limited edition of 3500 copies. Priced at $200 for the 960 page, 13.3 pound book, Amazon is currently taking advance orders for the book at a discounted price of $126.74.

The New York Times can a story today, which said, in part:

The songs are presented chronologically, including alternative versions released as part of Mr. Dylan’s archival “Bootleg Series.” The album covers, front and back, are reproduced.

The way the songs are laid out is meant “to help the eye see what the ear hears,” Mr. Ricks said. “If you print the songs flush left,” he added, “it doesn’t represent, visually, the audible experience.” So refrains, choruses and bridges are indented. And where Mr. Dylan intended a line, however long, to be unbroken, it sprawls across the 13-inch-wide page.

How did the editors know which lines were meant to be unbroken? Did Mr. Dylan provide feedback or comments? Mr. Karp said he had heard that Mr. Dylan provided notebooks and manuscripts. Mr. Ricks refused to elaborate.

“I think the right thing for us,” he said, “is not to go into the question of the particular kinds of help and assistance and advice that we were in a position to receive.”

From Amazon.com:

“The Lyrics: Since 1962” (Hardcover – October 28, 2014)

by Bob Dylan (Author), Christopher Ricks (Editor), Lisa Nemrow (Editor), Julie Nemrow (Editor)

Hardcover: 960 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (October 28, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1476797706
ISBN-13: 978-1476797700
Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 12.4 x 2.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 13.3 pounds

A major publishing event—a beautiful, comprehensive collection of the lyrics of Bob Dylan with artwork from thirty-three albums, edited and with an introduction by Christopher Ricks.

As it was well put by Al Kooper (the man behind the organ on “Like a Rolling Stone”), “Bob is the equivalent of William Shakespeare. What Shakespeare did in his time, Bob does in his time.” Christopher Ricks, editor of T. S. Eliot, Samuel Beckett, Tennyson, and The Oxford Book of English Verse, has no argument with Mr. Kooper’s assessment, and Dylan is attended to accordingly in this authoritative edition of his lyrics.

In the words of Ricks: “For fifty years, all the world has delighted in Bob Dylan’s books of words and more than words: provocative, mysterious, touching, baffling, not-to-be-pinned-down, intriguing, and a reminder that genius is free to do as it chooses. And, again and again, these are not the words that he sings on the initially released albums.”

This edition changes things, giving us the words from officially released studio and live recordings, as well as selected variant lyrics and revisions to these, recent revisions and retrospective ones; and, from the archives, words that, till now, have not been published.

The Lyrics, edited with diligence by Christopher Ricks, Lisa Nemrow, and Julie Nemrow. As set down, as sung, and as sung again.

While you wait, here’s Dylan, Ry Cooder and Van Dyke Parks performing Woody Guthrie’s “Do Re Mi” at the Malibu Performing Arts Center in January 2009:

[I just published my rock ‘n’ roll novel, True Love Scars.” Rolling Stone has a great review of my book in the new issue. Read it here. There’s info about True Love Scars here.]

— A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post —

Eight Questions: Interview With ‘True Love Scars’ Author Michael Goldberg

Early this year I read an incredible book about self-publishing called “Write. Publish. Repeat. (The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success) by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant.

Turned out these guys, Platt and Truant, along with writer David Wright, have got a cottage industry going. They have written a lot of novels during the past few years and they’re selling books. Enough books that the three of them are making a living off the sales.

They have a website, Sterling & Stone, where, along with blogging about writing and their various projects, David Wright conducts interviews with writers and other artists.

He calls his interview series “Eight Questions.”

He asked me to participate in an interview, and I was happy to do so.

(By the way, from now until Saturday Octover 11, 2014, the Kindle version of my novel, True Love Scars, is on sale for $2.99 here.)

Here’s how the interview begins:

Michael Goldberg was a Senior Writer at Rolling Stone for a decade and wrote for Esquire, downbeat, Wired, Details, NME, British Mirabella, Creem, Crawdaddy, New York Rocker and many other publications. Goldberg founded the first web rock ‘n’ roll magazine in ’94, Addicted To Noise. Newsweek called him an “internet visionary.” Goldberg was editor-in-chief of SonicNet in the late ’90s, published Neumu.net during the first half of the 2000s and was editor-in-chief at MOG (now Beats Music) in the late 2000s. He currently publishes a popular music blog, Days Of The Crazy-Wild. Goldberg spent over six years writing the Freak Scene Dream Trilogy of which True Love Scars is the first book.

What is your daily creative routine like?

I’ve been a professional writer for nearly 40 years. For years I wrote stories about musicians and the music business. When I was writing journalism fulltime, there were days when I spent the whole day researching and preparing to interview an artist and did no writing. There were days when I just hung out with a musician or a band and took detailed notes and interviewed them. There were days when I spent the entire day on the phone doing additional reporting for the story. And there were days (and nights) when all I did was write. One time I flew to London, spent a week researching a cover story on Boy George, flew to New York and wrote the story on deadline in the New York Rolling Stone office in a borrowed office.

So I learned that I didn’t need a specific routine, or rather, the routine was that every day I got up and did what needed to be done to further the story. Prepare. Report. Write. But I’m an obsessive, workaholic. When I’m working on a project, I’m 150% focused on it and all my waking and sleeping mind is focused on is that project.

So when I started seriously working on what turned into three novels – the Freak Scene Dream Trilogy, of which True Love Scars is the first – I obsessively worked on that project. I brought my laptop everywhere. I wrote in cafes, airports, on planes, on hotel beds, in my office, on the dining room table…

When I went for walks I would make notes on my iPhone or on scarps of paper.

I probably wrote for at least six hours a day, sometimes eight or nine hours, seven days a week. I worked that way for over six years. I wrote and revised, wrote and revised, wrote and revised. When the first draft was done I went back to the beginning and wrote and revised, wrote and revised. Same for the third draft. Every word in the book was scrutinized. I probably spent three or four years getting the unique voice that tells the story just right.

I led a fiction writing group for three years – Sept. 2010 ‘til Oct. 2013 – and what I told the writers in my group, over and over, was they had to write every day. And I really believe that. When you write every day, your subconscious is working overtime on your book. Obviously it’s best if you can write for a couple hours each day, but even 15 minutes keeps the novel or short story alive in your subconscious.

Right now I’m in novel promotion mode which means I’m focused, 24/7, on promoting my first novel, True Love Scars.

I get up at 7:30 or 8 am and I get a bowl or uncooked oatmeal, blueberries, cut up apple, almond milk, and flax and eat it while I scan the New York Times. I’ve also got Feedly on my iphone with writing/publishing news. I scan through all the stories that happened after I went to bed. I run up to my office and do a quick blog post or two to my Days of the Crazy-Wild culture blog.

Then I go take my dog for a walk, go to the gym for an hour workout (very, very important to survive as a writer). Get home and work for an hour or two – emailing media people, doing blog posts about a new review of my book or an interview that ran somewhere, maybe come up with a new ad for Goodreads, research other sites where I might be able to promote the book, etc. etc. Eat lunch – an almond butter sandwich and a huge salad with vinegar and some vegan chili for a dressing, and then it’s time to get back to work. I’ll work from 2 to 6 or 6:30, have dinner and hang out with my wife and then by 8 pm we both get back to work and work on our projects until 10 or 10:30 and then I’ll read for an hour or so.

What are some of your best creative habits and what are some of the bad ones you struggle with?

I’m very self-disciplined. When I was working on the trilogy, I worked pretty much every day, seven days a week, for years and years. I read my work aloud every week to a veteran novelist who taught me a lot about writing fiction. I would read for two hours – he would stop me every 15 minutes or so and give me feedback. He was able to help me see what needed more work. Sometimes I’d be writing and revising a chapter for two months.

I don’t believe in writer’s block. I don’t really believe in the idea of inspiration. In other words, I sit down and I start writing. And if I don’t have anything to say, well I’ll start writing about how I don’t have anything to say. Weirdly, I always have something to say. And I don’t believe in waiting for inspiration. There are times when I’m totally in the zone and a scene is unfolding in this unbelievable way and the voice is perfect and words and phrases are appearing out of thin air and it’s mind-blowing. Other times it’s just all about getting my idea of what happens next down on the page knowing that I’ll be revising and revising and revising and so I never worry about whether the writing is any good ‘cause I know I’ll be fixing it anyway. Often, the next day, when I look at what I wrote, I find that much of it is useable, and even if some isn’t, it’s a hell of a lot easier to sit down to 3000 words and edit it into shape, than to sit down to a blank page. So the trick is to vomit what’s inside onto the page without any editing and then come back and edit.

Read the rest here.

I do want to note that at the end of the interview, I was asked: What do you want your legacy to be?

I answered the question, but after my final comment, I added :-), but that didn’t make the edit.

So when you read that final answer, keep in mind two things:

1) I’m smiling as I answer that question.

2) We all got a right to dream of greatness.

[I just published my rock ‘n’ roll novel, True Love Scars.” Rolling Stone has a great review of my book in the new issue. Read it here. There’s info about True Love Scars here.]

— A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post —

Photo Gallery + Music: The Great Woody Guthrie In New York

Photo by Lester Balog.

These photos of Woody Guthrie are part of a new three CD set, My Name Is New York; Ramblin’ Around Woody Guthrie’s Town.

Both Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen are just two of the many, many musicians influenced by Woody Guthrie.

The press materials for the set describe it like this:

‘My Name Is New York; Ramblin’ Around Woody Guthrie’s Town’ is a three-disc collection that offers an intimate portrait of Woody’s NYC life through storytelling and music. Produced by Steve Rosenthal, Michael Kleff and Woody’s daughter Nora Guthrie, ‘My Name is New York’ presents two discs of an audio tour and stories that contextualize Woody’s New York with new interviews, song snippets and a history narrated by Nora, plus a third disc of music, including some never before heard demos and previously unpublished songs from the Archives. THere is also a book which can be purchased with the CDs or separately.

These photos of Woody are obviously very cool. Below them is a new video made by the New York Times about Woody’s years in New York. It includes Woody singing songs he wrote while in New York.

Photo by Alfred Puhn.

Woody Guthrie, “New York Town”:

Photo by Eric Schaal.

Woody Guthrie, “Tom Joad”:

Photo by Eric Schaal.

Billy Bragg and Wilco, “Go Down To The Water”:

Photo courtesy of the Seeger family.

“Vigilante Man”:

Photo courtesy of Norah Guthrie.

Ry Cooder, “Vigilante Man”:

Photo by Eric Schaal.

“My Name Is New York” promo:

Photo by Marjorie Guthrie.

Woody Guthrie, “Jesus Christ”:

Bob Dylan and The Band, “I Ain’t Got No Home,” Carnegie Hall, 1968:

Bob Dylan and The Band, “Grand Coulee Dam,” Carnegie Hall, 1968:

Grand Coulee Dam by Bob Dylan & The Band on Grooveshark

New York Times video about Woody Guthrie in New York:

You can get the set here.

Here’s info on the CD set and book from the Woody Guthrie website:

The CD set:

3-CD guide to 19 locations in New York City where Woody Guthrie lived and wrote.

It’s the story of Woody’s 27 years living here in the city, and we visit 19 historic locations – in this 3-CD set – where Woody lived and worked. Now, for the first time, you’ll actually be able to hear these stories told by those who knew him best, in many different ways and through various encounters and circumstances; music partners Pete Seeger, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Sonny Terry, and Bess Lomax Hawes, Woody’s first wife Mary Guthrie, Woody’s merchant marine buddy Jimmy Longhi, Bob Dylan, Woody’s second wife Marjorie Guthrie, Arlo Guthrie, Nora Guthrie and many others share their memories with you first-hand.

3-CD Track Listing:

Disc 1: February 16, 1940 — November 1942
1. 59th Street at 5th Avenue, Manhattan
2. 101 West 43rd Street, Manhattan
3. 57 East 4th Street, Manhattan
4. 31 East 21st Street, Manhattan
5. 5 West 101st Street, Manhattan
6. 70 East 12th Street, Manhattan
7. 130 West 10th Street, Manhattan
8. 430 6th Avenue, Manhattan
9. 148 West 14th Street, Manhattan
10. 647 Hudson Street, Manhattan

Disc 2: December, 1942 — October 3, 1967
1. 74 Charles Street, Manhattan
2. 3815 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
3. 3520 Mermaid Avenue, Brooklyn
4. 49 Murdock Court, Brooklyn
5. 517 East 5th Street, Manhattan
6. Brooklyn State Hospital, 681 Clarkson Avenue, Brooklyn
7. 159-13 85th Street, Queens
8. Creedmore State Hospital, Queens
9. Final Resting Place: Atlantic Ocean, Brooklyn

Music Bonus CD Tracklist
1. “New York Town” (Woody Guthrie/Cisco Houston/Sonny Terry)
2. “New York Trains” (Del McCoury)
3. “Union Maid” (Almanac Singers)
4. “My New York City” (Mike + Ruthy)
5. “Tom Joad” (Woody Guthrie)
6. “Man’s A Fool” (Woody Guthrie/Sonny Terry) home tape
7. “Vigilante Man” (Woody Guthrie)
8. “Union Air in Union Square” (Lowry Hamner)
9. “Round and Round Hitler’s Grave” (Almanac Singers)
10. “Jesus Christ” (Woody Guthrie)
11. “Beatitudes” (Reverend Billy & the Stop Shopping Choir)
12. “This Land Is Your Land” (Woody Guthrie)
13. “Go Coney Island, Roll On The Sand” (Demolition String Band with Stephan Said)
14. “Howdi Do” (Ramblin’ Jack Elliott)
15. “My Name Is New York” (Woody Guthrie) home demo tape
16. “Go Down to the Water” (Billy Bragg & Wilco)

Total time: 167:34

The book:

A pocket-sized guide to 19 locations in New York City where Woody Guthrie lived and wrote.

Includes:

– Historic text and photographs from each location

– Chronological listing of songs written in NYC

– Original song lyrics and never before published documents from the Woody Guthrie Archives

– Excerpts from Woody Guthrie’s NYC address book

Dust bowl troubadour Woody Guthrie first arrived in New York City on February 16, 1940. Although he continued to ramble, for 27 years— from 1940 until his death in 1967—New York was the city he called home and always returned to.

For the first time, this wonderful New York story comes to life with historical photos, documents, and previously unpublished lyrics from the Woody Guthrie Archives. Highlighting 19 significant locations, this little guide provides an expansive yet intimate portrait of Woody Guthrie’s NYC life. We invite you to walk the streets, ride the buses and subways, or sit down and relax on some of the stoops, park benches, or beaches where Woody Guthrie did—always strumming away on his guitar, always working on a new song.

Many of Woody’s most popular songs were written in apartments, lofts, and other locations around “New York Town.” That song, along with “Jesus Christ,” “Vigilante Man,” “Hard Travelin’,” “Tom Joad,” “Reuben James,” “All You Fascists Bound to Lose,” and “1913 Massacre,” are among the more than 600 he composed in The Big Apple. Most surprisingly, his iconic “This Land Is Your Land,” was written at a small rooming house on 43rd Street and Sixth Avenue, on February 23, 1940 within a few days of his arrival. With new friends Pete Seeger, Lead Belly, Sonny Terry, and Brownie McGhee and the Almanac Singers he was at the center of a new movement—introducing and popularizing rural, roots, topical, and protest music to modern, urban audiences.

[I just published my rock ‘n’ roll novel, True Love Scars.” Rolling Stone has a great review of my book in the new issue. Read it here. There’s info about True Love Scars here.]

— A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post —

Another 5 Star Review: “‘True Love Scars’ adolescent narrator burns the pyre of hippie idealism”

Pixilated Cheap Hooch logo.

This was a great weekend for True Love Scars, my rock ‘n’ roll novel.

First Andrew Phillips, ex-Editor-in-Chief of Mog and a former editor at Flavorpill, posted this excellent five star review at Goodreads:

True Love Scars’ adolescent narrator burns the pyre of hippie idealism as a revelation to the dark face of its excess. His coming of age is not without its grand revelations, but, can any summer be one of love when the price of admission is friends, family, and sanity?

Any piece by Michael Goldberg has a post-beat, hippie-savant poetry all its own, but this is a rare work, a passionate, immersive experience in the sound, attitude and language of an era.

Then on Sunday afternoon I was interviewed on the very cool Cheap Hooch radio program on San Francisco’s underground Radio Valencia station by DJ Holly.

Cheap Hooch, which airs every Sunday from 4 to 6 pm, features a laid-back fluid crew led by DJ Holly. She plays the coolest obscure Punk, Garage, Trash, Soul, Rockabilly and Primitive Rock n’ Roll. To get a feel for the show, stream it here.

Here is a huge list of Cheap Hooch shows you can stream or download.

Soon the show I was on (October 5, 2014) will be available to stream and I’ll do a post with the link.

Finally, I’ve been meaning to post this cool review of True Love Scars by Days Of The Crazy-Wild follower John Dunne:

Just finished the novel and, apart from minor reservations about the protracted sex scene with Michael’s (NOT MIKE’S!) friends and the sisters, I devoured every page. I feel that, in a novel already fairly steeped in sex, that scene was gratuitous. That’s the bad news out of the way.

Otherwise, I was moved to laughter and, occasionally, something near tears by the narrator’s misguided antics. I loved all the music allusions and, rather childishly, felt proud of myself for ‘getting’ them all. It’s great to read someone unafraid to write in great depth about something he clearly loves, in this case, music. This is extra welcome in a literary world that too often panders to publishers’ demands and readers’ expectations.

As a Dylan fan – my wife would say nutcase – the references, both obvious and oblique, added another layer of enjoyment and satisfaction. If you have any interest in Dylan at all, read this book. If you haven’t, read it anyway. I loved it nearly as much as Angelina, my all-time favourite Dylan song.

[There’s info about True Love Scars here.]

— A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post —

World’s Best Roots Music Record Store Now Carries Rock ‘N’ Roll Novel ‘True Love Scars’

Known around the world for carrying the best in roots music (and world music) – and rootsy world music.

While you can always order my rock ‘n’ roll novel, “True Love Scars,” from any physical book store, I’m thrilled to have the book carried and in stock at one of my favorite record stories, the irreplaceable Down Home Music, located in the down home capital of the world, El Cerrito California.

El Cerrito, which is located between Berkeley and Richmond, has a reputation for great music.

Both Down Home Music and Arhoolie have been based in El Cerrito for decades.

Arhoolie was founded in El Cerrito in 1960, when the late Chris Strachwitz released Mance Lipscomb’s Texas Sharecropper and Songster.

Down Home Music, Strachwitz’s record store, has been at 10341 San Pablo Avenue in El Cerrito since 1976, and the folks there can be reached by phone at (510) 525-4827. The store is open each week Thursday through Sunday, from 11 am – 7 pm.

Also worth noting: the great John Fogerty grew up in El Cerrito, which is where Creedence Clearwater Revival formed and were based during their ’60s and early ’70s heyday.

Les Blank, the award-winning filmmaker who made many important music documentaries including “The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins, lived in El Cerrito. Bob Dylan thinks enough of Les Blank that he has included “The Blues Accordin’ To Lightnin’ Hopkins” as the only film recommended on his website.

The excellent community world music radio station, KECG, which is based in El Cerrito, can be listened to here.

And James Brown, of course, played in nearby Richmond in the ’60s.

For more on “True Love Scars,” head here.

Is ‘True Love Scars’ the Great Rock Novel? Simon Warner Considers the Pros & Cons

“True Love Scars” rises to #18 on the Amazon Bestselling Literary Satire chart.

Fantastic review by Simon Warner, author of “Text and Drugs and Rock’n’Roll: The Beats and Rock Culture.”

TRUE LOVE SCARS
Michael Goldberg (Neumu Press)

Review by Simon Warner

The great rock novel? The pursuit of that ultimate piece of fiction that distils the primal energy, the ecstatic power, the neurotic craziness, of popular music has been something of a holy grail in recent decades and, in True Love Scars – a deeply ironic nod to Buddy Holly’s ‘True Love Ways’ – one-time Rolling Stone journalist Michael Goldberg is the latest contender for this Lonsdale Belt of rock‘n’roll writing.

His protagonist Michael Stein is a Californian teenager in the later 1960s, tangled to distraction in the sound and image of his hero Bob Dylan, a paradoxical blend of cocksure kid and deluded hipster, bruising his fragile ego in the choppy shallows of high school romance, then sabotaging his increasingly complicated love tangles in a haze of drug indulgence and casual disloyalty, and all to a backbeat of Highway 61 Revisited, the Stones and the Doors.

It’s the story of a disaffected geek and self-imagined king of cool who turns out to be much more naïve nerd, as his promising upward trajectory hurtles into reverse. But True Love Scars, the first part of Goldberg’s ‘Freak Scene Dream Trilogy’, is as much about style – the way he tells the tale – as it is about content. Penned in a staccato amphetamine grammar, its narrative is fractured and deranged, often unsettling but frequently compelling, an unsparing portrait of the teen condition: assured then despairing, would-be sex god then impotent has-been, from erection to dejection, an only child battling the wills of his domineering father and interfering mom in the anonymous, suburban fringes of Marin County.

Goldberg’s work recalls a number of those post-war stylists who have tried to capture the uncertainties of adolescence into adulthood, the lure of escape and the quest for forbidden fruit. It has elements of Salinger’s Holden Caulfield, a flavour of Richard Fariña and his smart college satire Been Down So Long It Seems Like Up to Me, and more than a dash of that frenetic gonzo gabble that Hunter S. Thompson utilised to frame the madness of the modern world as the American dream unravelled, around the very time that Stein is doing his incompetent best to grow up. The great rock novel? Perhaps we still await it but, for sure, this writer has made a creditworthy tilt at this literary crown, and produced a very good one.

Simon Warner is the author of Text and Drugs and Rock’n’Roll: The Beats and Rock Culture. He’s a lecturer, Popular Music Studies, School of Music, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom

[I just published my rock ‘n’ roll novel, True Love Scars.” Rolling Stone has a great review of my book in the new issue. Read it here. There’s info about True Love Scars here.]

— A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post —

Review: Rolling Stone magazine digs ‘True Love Scars’ Novel – Goldberg Compared To Lester Bangs

Rolling Stone TLS review

In a review of my novel, True Love Scars, in the new Rolling Stone (Taylor Swift on the cover), reviewer Colin Fleming compares me to Lester Bangs!

Too much!

Here’s the review:

Getting Lost in the ‘Real’ Sixties

A veteran rock writer explores the crazy side of Sixties nostalgia

True Love Scars

Michael Goldberg Neumu

If Lester Bangs had ever published a novel, it might have read something like this frothing debut by longtime music journalist Michael Goldberg. (It’s part one of a series called The Freak Scene Dream Trilogy.)

The year is 1972, and the book’s chatterbox narrator, 19-year-old Michael Stein, is 
the kind of Sixties-besotted college kid who shaves his hair off because John Lennon and Yoko Ono did it. His quandary: trying to figure out how to reclaim the “authentic real” spirit of the 1960s as the decade fades into memory. Stein spends most of the book flashing back to one sex-and-drugs-steeped Sixties misadventure after another.

If you’ve ever obsessed over bootlegs or argued with your friends late into the night about which Beatles or Bob Dylan album is the best, True Love Scars will hit home.

Goldberg’s style recalls the rush of the earliest rock criticism. He was a senior writer at ROLLING STONE during the Eighties, and he founded Addicted to Noise,
 an important online music publication, in 1994. His intimacy with the classic records Stein fetishizes comes through again and again. Yet, unlike his protagonist, Goldberg doesn’t idealize the Sixties. Instead, he’s fascinated by the ways in which we crave authenticity.

Readers from any musical era will come away with a deeper appreciation of how nostalgia can shape our lives, for better and for worse. COLIN FLEMING

[There’s info about True Love Scars here.]

— A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post —

Audio: Listen as Michael Goldberg Reads From ‘True Love Scars’ at Book Passage

There I am, reading at Book Passage. Photo by Sam Barry.

Last night (August 21, 2014) I read from my rock ‘n’ roll novel, True Love Scars, for the first time in public.

Use the player below to hear the entire reading which consists of me being introduced to the audience, my brief intro about the novel, me reading for about 30 minutes, and then a question and answer session.

The reading took place at Book Passage, a fantastic book store located in Marin County.

I had quite a large audience and it was a great crowd. There were old friends, new friends and folks who I guess read about the reading in the Marin Independent Journal.

Dana Kelly, who works at Book Passage introduced me, and it was quite an introduction, You can hear it in the audio clip above. Dana really made things easy for me.

It’s quite an experience to stand in front of an audience, folks who have no idea what they’re about to hear, and start reading. I could not have gotten a better response. People laughed at the funny parts, got quiet during the section of the final sex scene that concludes the book that I read, and applauded when I finished reading.

Who could ask for more?

Questions were asked during the Q/A part of the reading, and many books were bought.

You can see some of the audience in this photo. Photo by Jeanne Lavin.

I was surprised and pleased that John Goddard showed up. All during my youth John owned the best record store in the world, Village Music in Mill Valley. I first heard Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith and many others in John’s store.

Me and my friends would hang out there and it was always an education. My openness to new music to some extent comes from hanging out at Village Music and hearing so much “new” to me music as a teenager.

John and his store are mentioned in my novel. It meant so much to me that John showed up.

That’s John waiting while I write something in his copy of my book. Photo by Jeanne Lavin.

The folks at Book Passage were fantastic. From the first time I contacted them, right through last night’s reading, they made everything so easy. Book Passage is an excellent store. I’ve bought many books there and if you’re in Marin, or passing through, they’re just off 101 in Corte Madera and I highly recommend you stop in. In addition to books, and readings almost every night, they have a cafe where you can get food and/or a glass of wine.

And they’re got autographed copies of True Love Scars for sale.

I’ve got a Goodreads. book giveaway going right now. Click here and enter.]

— A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post —

Books: Patti Smith Reviews (Loves) New Haruki Murakami Novel

This is a first for Patti Smith.

After rave reviews of her memoir, Just Kids, she’s now on the front page of the New York Times Sunday Book Review with an essay about the new Haruki Murakami novel, “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.”

Smith is an excellent writer, she knows Murakami inside and out, and her review is a joy to read.

Here’s the first few graphs”

A devotional anticipation is generated by the announcement of a new Haruki Murakami book. Readers wait for his work the way past generations lined up at record stores for new albums by the Beatles or Bob Dylan. There is a happily frenzied collective expectancy — the effect of cultural voice, the Murakami effect. Within seven days of its midnight release, “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” sold over one million copies in Japan. I envision readers queuing up at midnight outside Tokyo bookstores: the alienated, the athletic, the disenchanted and the buoyant. I can’t help wondering what effect the book had on them, and what they were hoping for: the surreal, intra-dimensional side of Murakami or his more minimalist, realist side?

I had a vague premonition this book would be rooted in common human experience, less up my alley than the alien textures woven throughout “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.” Yet I also sensed strange notes forming, coiling within a small wound that would not heal. Whichever aspect of himself Murakami drew from in order to create “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage,” it lies somewhere among the stones of his mystical labors.

He sits at his desk and makes this story: a young man’s traumatic entrance into adulthood and the shadowy passages he must subsequently negotiate. His protagonist’s name, Tsukuru, means “to make,” a metaphor for the writer’s process. He is 36 years old and builds and refurbishes train stations, continuously observing how to improve them. He has the touching habit of sitting in them for hours, watching trains arrive and depart and the symphonic flow of people. His love of railway stations connects him with each stage of his life — from toys, to study, to action. It is the one bright spot in an existence he imagines is pallid.

In a sense, Tsukuru is colorless by default. As a young man he belonged to a rare and harmonious group of friends wherein all but he had a family name corresponding to a color: Miss White, Miss Black, Mr. Red, Mr. Blue. He privately mourned this, sometimes feeling like a fifth leaf in a four-leaf clover. Yet they were as necessary to one another as the five fingers of a hand. As a sophomore in college, without explanation, he is suddenly and irrevocably banished from the group, cut off and left to drop into a murky abyss. Belonging nowhere, he becomes nothing.

Read the entire review here.

[I just published my rock ‘n’ roll/ coming-of-age novel, “True Love Scars,” which features a narrator who is obsessed with Bob Dylan. To read the first chapter, head here.

Or watch an arty video with audio of me reading from the novel here.

Of just buy the damn thing:

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