In critic JD Stayfree’s Top Ten of 2022, he writes of my book,“Wicked Game: The True Story of Guitarist James Calvin Wilsey” (HoZac Books),” “If you have not yet read the Wilsey bio, do yourself a favor and get a copy as soon as you can. It is probably my favorite rock book of all time. Dirty story of a hard livin’ tone poet who was betrayed by his friends in the greedhead cut throat capitalist music business. …”
Earlier this year, Stayfree wrote this long gonzo review about the book. He ends that review like this: “I will be listening to those Chris Issak/James Calvin Wilsey records for the rest of my life, and I know many of my old garage band hombres will always be listening to the Avengers. I am ever so grateful that this sharp writer, Michael Goldberg put so much passion and dedication into telling Wilsey’s story–about 400 pages of highs and lows and winning and losing and heartbreak and the whole human drama. Only the lonely love Chris Isaak and James Calvin Wilsey like I do. Greatness to behold. Get the book, you’ll be glad you did.”
And, Americana Highways founder/editor Bill Bentley wrote of “Wicked Game”: “This is the rock & roll book to read this year. It is a thrilling, heart-breaking, mind-blowing, cautionary and in the end passionate tale of how a guitarist of infinite ability and absolutely addictive tendencies attains the highest success on the rock & roll merry-go-round, only to flame out in a desperate tale of heroin, homelessness and, in the end, suicidal escapades that killed him. Rock & roll can be the scariest game there is if the person isn’t wired for success. Failure is survivable, but for those not ready for it, success is the killer. …”
If you’re interested, the best place to get the Wilsey book, and it can make a great holiday gift, as can my newest book, “Addicted To Noise: The Music Writings of Michael Goldberg” (Backbeat Books), is from the HoZac Records and Books website. I’ve giving 25% of my royalties from each Wilsey book sold to Jimmy’s teenage son, Waylon James Wilsey.