Sunday, June 15, 2008

Rock & roll tours of the Jersey Shore

Well, I ain't giving them, but there are people who do, and you can find out about them here. In the meantime, the next best thing is the third edition of their book ROCK AND ROLL TOUR OF THE JERSEY SHORE, which has just been released. Stan and Jean are long-time locals, and this is one of the few books of its type not plagued with factual and geographic inaccuracies (another is Daniel Wolff's great 4TH OF JULY, ASBURY PARK: A HISTORY OF THE PROMISED LAND, which I wrote about at length when it came out back in 2005).

ROCK AND ROLL TOUR is both a great reference book and an evocative time capsule, tracing the glory days of the Asbury Park/Jersey Shore music scene past, present and (hopefully) future. Full disclosure: The book features two anecdotes penned by me - one about a chance 3 a.m. encounter in Asbury Park back in 1984, and the other about a confrontation with an angry and tired Clarence Clemons a year later, when I was a young reporter for The Asbury Park Press and subject to the stupid ideas and humiliating assignments thought up by senior editors.

More trivia and prizes later this week. Also, possibly, a small announcement about something people have been asking me about for awhile.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Thought for the day ...

... or maybe the decade.

"Perseverance is where the gods dwell."

- Director Werner Herzog, quoting a Peruvian saying.

Friday, June 06, 2008

More Stark raving

I've received a couple e-mails since last week, bemoaning the fact that my Forgotten Book Fridays choice - the 1967 Donald E. Westlake/Richard Stark novel THE RARE COIN SCORE - is not only out of print, but pretty much unavailable from used book vendors
for less than $30, and often closer to $100. Unfortunately, it's the same way with many of the later Stark books, especially from 1966's THE SEVENTH (aka "The Split") through 1974's BUTCHER'S MOON, which may be the rarest of them all (at right is the original Fawcett Gold Medal edition of 1969's THE SOUR LEMON SCORE).

Coincidentally, just this week comes news (to me at least) that the University of Chicago Press, of all people, plans to reprint all the Parker novels in chronological order, beginning in September with THE HUNTER (aka "Point Blank," aka "Payback"), THE MAN WITH THE GETAWAY FACE and THE OUTFIT. Not since the 1985 Avon paperback editions has someone actually pulled this off. In the early 1980s, Gregg Press published a handful of the early ones in limited edition hardcovers, and on the heels of the 1999 Mel Gibson film PAYBACK, Mysterious Press/Warner Books reprinted some of the earlier novels along with the most recent (with somewhat generic covers). Now even those are out of print. Here's hoping U of C stays the course.