“Wicked Game”: “…is probably my favorite rock book of all time. …”

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.

About Michael Goldberg

Michael Goldberg is a distinguished pioneer in the online music space; Newsweek magazine called him an ‘Internet visionary.’ In 1994 he founded Addicted To Noise (ATN), the highly influential music web site. He was a senior vice-president and editor in chief at SonicNet from March 1997 through May 2000. In 1997, Addicted To Noise won Webby awards for best music site in 1998 and 1999, and also won Yahoo Internet Life! awards for three years running as best music site in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Prior to starting Addicted To Noise, Goldberg was an editor and senior writer at Rolling Stone magazine for 10 years. His writing has also appeared in Wired, Esquire, Vibe, Details, Downbeat, NME and numerous other publications. Michael has had three novels published that comprise the "Freak Scene Dream trilogy": "True Love Scars," "The Flowers Lied" and "Untitled" which can be ordered here. His new book, "Wicked Game: The True Story of Guitarist James Calvin Wilsey," can be pre-ordered from HoZac Books. In November Backbeat Books will publish "Addicted To Noise: The Music Writings of Michael Goldberg," which can be be pre-ordered here.

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