Sunday, June 29, 2014

ROTTEN NO IRISH NO BLACKS NO DOGS by John Lydon with Keith and Kent Zimmerman

Finished Su 6/29/14

I had been reading this for a few weeks, and it wasn't my primary book. I had read it once several years ago, but it was well worth another look.

Johnny Rotten is a very intelligent person and his views on his life, the media/entertainment world, and 'The Sex Pistol Phenomenon' were sharp and very much on point.

The book includes many others who were very much apart of the 'scene' and nearly all sides of the story are presented. Even Malcolm is allowed his two cents worth. Actually, he doesn't come off too bad at all.

John Christopher Lydon, Rotten's father, also is well noted. Johnny cared very much for his four brothers and his parents. Who would have guessed that when the Pistols toured America, Rotten's mother asked to come along, and Johnny granted her request. And, while on tour she learned that she had cancer and Rotten stuck by her side until the end. This seems totally out of character for the 'madman' portrayed by the press.

I was surprised to learn that Rotten married a wealthy German woman many  years his senior, and they're still together.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Finished We 6/25/14
The June 2014 selection for The Contemporary Book Club

I thought the book was aimed at a 'Young Adult' audience, but maybe I was just looking for more complexity. Characters and situations were interesting, but not fleshed out or expanded upon.

Each of the characters have better or just as good entries on Wikipedia, and this is the mark of death for a successful historical fiction.
Not bad, just average, but the character of Vinnie Warren Bump kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Far too egotistical, but I guess she was the kind of 19th century woman who would stand up for herself and didn't allow herself to be pushed around, and for just that reason she would be worthy of note. But, very sexually repressed.

Links at Wikipedia

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Finished Tu 6/24/14

This is a fairly slim volume and I read and skimmed through all of it.

Interesting insights about how people start with the best of intentions, but the payoff is all wrong. Another way of saying, 'the cure is worse than the disease'.

Statutory law is strangling the nation. Each and every law tries to achieve a 'perfect outcome', but this is impossible. The author is trying to show that bureaucrats and even employees must be allowed to make mistakes. This is the only way we can learn what's really the right move, and then move on. If no one is allowed any responsibility to act, nothing can change.

If the library has got more by the author, I'll check it out. I saw him on Jon Stewart in late June, 2014.

Link to Amazon customer reviews-

Monday, June 23, 2014


Finished Mo 6/23/14

In the early 1980's the author was in a pick-up band called, CLAMBAKE and Chilton produced music for them.

The book was informative and enjoyable. And, I discovered that THE BOX TOPS was much more than a 'made-up' band (MONKEES) where Chilton just sang a certain way because his manager told him that it would sound nice.

His father was also a musician, Sidney Chilton. I was reading 'Wouldn't It Be Nice' Brian Wilson's biography  while reading this book, and it's interesting to learn that his father was also a musician.

Link to Amazon books-

Friday, June 13, 2014

THE GUTS by Roddy Doyle

Finished Fr 6/13/14

I had this book for about ten days, and read over half of it, and then skimmed to the end today.

Last night I watched an hour of Roddy Doyle at a book store in Ireland where he read sections from THE GUTS and then talked about how he wrote the book and writing in general. I liked the YouTube video more than the book, but the novel wasn't bad.

I have a tape of THE COMMITMENTS that I listened to last month, and I loved that, and will definitely read the book. I have it in the library que.

THE REAL FRANK ZAPPA BOOK Frank Zappa with Peter Occhiogrosso (1989)

Finished Fr 6/13/14

I liked this book a lot and it's a shame that it's so dated. I'm sure he would have been a vocal opponent in America's War On Terror.

He hates unions, and I can understand his problems with 'the musician's union', but when he says, 'unions might have had their place back at the turn of the 20th century', I think he loses it. It's clear that the corporations are trying to push back, and rewrite every single gain made by organized labor. Maybe Zappa would have seen this had he lived to this day.

He claims to be a conservative, but he feels the worst people in American history were 'Joe McCarthy, Nixon, J. Edgar Hoover, and Ronald Reagan.

Zappa was definitely One Of A Kind

Link to Amazon....Read the customer reviews-

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

CHANCE by Kem Nunn

Finished Tu 6/10/14

He is a surfer, has written six novels, and screenwriter who worked on DEADWOOD and SONS OF ANARCHY

Plot- Dr. Eldon Chance is in the process of a messy divorce, and falls for one of his patients, Jaclyn Blackstone. She tells him that her detective husband is abusive, and she wants out. He's a homicidal maniac and won't let he leave. Chance meets 'Big D' at the antique store and enlists his support. Several murders, and Chance finally frees Jaclyn (or Jackie Brown- one of her personalities), but she leaves and you don't really know if she was crazy  or had a hidden agenda.

Very well written, and I'd read another by this author.

Dr. Eldon Chance Forensic Psychiatrist He is called to testify as a 'psychiatric expert' in trial cases. One of his cases is a retired, 93 year old dentist (Dr. Billy) who gave a million dollars to his hispanic 'helper' and his family wants Dr. Chance to find him incompetent to protect their inheritance. This is a very minor subplot, but of interest to me.

Chance specializes in head injuries and what they can do

Jaclyn Blackstone- Disturbed but alluring. Probably a schizophrenic ex-prostitute. But she is married to a Berkley homicide detective, Raymond Blackstone.

This man is involved with a Romanian criminal gang and has interest in a massage parlor/whore house and they kidnap underage girls and make them prostitutes.

Dr. Chance sells a $70,000 antique, but finds out from the restorer that it is a fake, but he has him change it to make it pass as authentic.
Allan's Antiques- Elderly gay black man runs the shop. 'Big D' works there and claims to be a combat veteran of Afghanistan (he isn't). Huge body, shaved head with a spider tattooed on the crown of his head. Expert fighter in martial arts, weapons, and knives. Ax-tool, Tomahawk- weapon.

Jean-Baptiste A student of anthropology and medicine who sustained a head injury. Now, lives in Chance's building and makes photos of truly crazy individuals and hangs them in the building.

Monday, June 9, 2014

THERE GOES GRAVITY A Life In Rock And Roll by Lisa Robinson

Finished Mo 6/9/14

One of the best books about Rock that I've ever read. She makes 'the stars' seem like real people.

Wrote for CREAM, CRAWDADDY, and the NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS. NME is a British publication and her husband, Richard wrote for this paper. He told her that she could write, because, 'you can talk, can't you'.  He also was a producer for David Johansson, Lou Reed, and The Flamin' Groovies.

Keith says that Jagger is 'a great bunch of guys'.

Richards had an apartment on East 4th Street between Fayette and Broadway, Manhattan, New York, NY. Lives in Westport, Connecticut. (25 miles from Sandy Hook Elementary)

Elton John is very knowledgeable (ultra-hip) about breaking new artists, regardless of the genre.

John Lennon said that Ringo isn't even 'the greatest drummer' among the Beatles.

Bono greets her by singing, 'Lisa Is A Punk Rocker'.

She thinks Eminem and Lady Gaga are 'the greats'. Jimmy Iovine says that they are the kind of artists that only come around once a decade.

She's close friends with Patti Smith and Lady Gaga. Gaga made a meal for her at Gaga's parents house. The only time any interviewee had cooked for her.

She's not a fan of Madonna. Claims that she is 'business-like' and not an artist. A 'user'.

To managers and record executives, Michael Jackson talks in a normal and forceful voice. Not the whispery whimper that he uses for the public.

I almost wished that I owned this book, it's that good!

Sunday, June 8, 2014


Finished Sa 6/7/14

At the May meeting of the Contemporary Books Club we talked about this book for almost twenty minutes. One of the nurses had read it, and could not stop talking about it. It's worth the hype.

I put it on reserve when I got home, and there were eight people ahead of me. Several days after, I was in the library and saw the 'Large Print' version on display, and I picked it up. (Note- If you really want an item, make sure to also reserve 'Large Print' edition).


Sunday, June 1, 2014

NO ONE HERE GET'S OUT ALIVE by Jerry Hopkins and Daniel Sugerman

Finished Sa 5/31/14

Considering that Jim Morrison's career only lasted four or five years he made an unbelievable impression.

I was surprised that he had an IQ of 149 and he was a college graduate
Attended St. Petersburg College (Junior College) and transferred credits to Florida State University at Tallahassee. He attended the University of California at Los Angeles and Morrison completed his undergraduate degree at UCLA's film school within the Theater Arts department of the College of Fine Arts in 1965. He never went to the graduation ceremony, and had his diploma mailed to him.

It's widely believed that he died of an overdose of heroin, but no autopsy was performed.

This is questionable since it seems that booze played a much bigger part in his life than drugs.

He published poetry under his full name, James Douglas Morrison.

There wasn't much input from the other band members, and I wonder if in later years they have made their feelings known. Only Morrison did not have any connection to Transcendental Meditation. 

The book was written in 1980 and probably more has been uncovered since then. 

Link to wikipedia

ROAD MANGLER DELUXE by PHil Kaufman with Colin White

Finished Sa 5/31/14

This book is not very well written, but the photos and Phil's most unusual life more than make up for it.

The following phrase (by Phil) describes the book and his life most eloquently.
"If it weren't for drinking, drugs, and a dead guy......I wouldn't have had a career".

Wikipedia link-