New book examines the seamy underbelly of
the alt-rock explosion, and some of its decline, too. To my eternal fortune
(or misfortune…), I was there, too.
A Personal Testimonial: They say if you
can remember the ‘60s you weren’t actually there, but by my way of thinking, if
someone says they remember the ‘80s and on into the early part of the ‘90s,
they weren’t there – or at least they weren’t having any fun!
I’m not going to get into matters of rampant chemical indulgence, excessive alcohol
intake or ridiculously over-the-top sessions of unprotected sex (I date
myself…). This is, after all, a fucking family-oriented website. But when I have the opportunity to relive some of my censored past
vicariously, I jump, and nothing is making me jump more right now than the
imminent publication of Kill the Music.
a book by an old friend and co-conspirator of mine, Michael G. Plumides, Jr. –
and before you ask, hell yeah, I can plug projects of friends in this space if I
wanna. The gentleman WAS there during the ‘80s/’90s, and he apparently DOES
remember, thereby being the exception that proves my rule as outlined above,
and for the rest of you out there, that means that you’re in for a fun ride.
next week by Booksurge.com, Kill the
Music is described by the publisher as “the true story of a girl crazy
college radio idealist and his relationships between family, friends, enemies,
and the politics of the music scene. Set in the ‘Bible Belt’ during the late
1980’s and early 1990’s, this poignant account explores his experiences as a
college radio deejay at WUSC-FM, and the owner of the ill-fated and
controversial 4808 Club in Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina. Through
entertaining conversations with legendary rock stars, tales of sexual liaisons,
and the ins and outs of concert promotion, Kill
the Music is a no-holds-barred comedic, skewed, enlightening, and sometimes
sad look into a past not so long ago, and how oddly our society is connected.”
indeed – boy howdy to that. As one of the recurring characters in this
true-life book, I can personally testify to those connections and how “odd” –
maybe more like “bizarre” or “twisted” or “debauched” – they were. Ask me
sometime about the G.G. Allin babysitting scene in Mike’s book. Or perhaps the
legendary GWAR obscenity bust at the 4808 Club, which I reported on for the
Charlotte alternative newsweekly and for Billboard magazine, and which set in motion the demise of the venue and, in a larger
sense, the decline of the local music scene in the Charlotte area. It was an
interesting, and very strange, and at times disturbing-exhilarating time.
you may agree with that or not. It depends on how punk you are, or how much you
value the DIY ideals of punk, and the notion that rock ‘n’ roll should always
carry with it the whiff of danger and the stench of controversy – otherwise, it
ain’t rock, just some limp-wristed approximation thereof.
used to put it when covering the music scene in Charlotte back in the day:
Whattaya want, a bunch of whitebread dipshits up on stage doing polite Police
and Bob Marley covers, or a band that’s loud enough and obnoxious enough to not
only draw the ire of residents several blocks away but piss off the club owner
who booked ‘em in the first place! What would YOU pay for, hmmm?
consider this an unsolicited plug for Mike’s book. I suggest you get your
credit card handy, starting next week, when it becomes available at booksellers
everywhere. Well, maybe not all those nice little mom ‘n’ pops book shops, but
at least it’ll be available online at Amazon, Waldenbooks, B&N and Target
if you can’t spot it locally. It will be available for Kindle, too.
if you happen to be in the Charlotte
area next week, on April 25 there will be a book release party and signing at
the local Alley Cat venue. Full details HERE – and below are some highlights:
From 8 P.M. to 9 P.M. there will a book
signing, and afterwards there will be live performances by: Leisure McCorkle
(Alt. Pop), Something about Vampires and Sluts (Alt. Dance), and The
Independents (Punk/Ska), and Pattrick McKenna will perform acoustic on the
deck. The featured bands are celebrated North and South Carolina performers in their
Performance Artists, Dancers, Fire
Breathers, and Deejay provided by Single Cell Productions.
Some proceeds will go to Americans for the
Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With
more than 45 years of service, they are dedicated to representing and serving
local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate
in and appreciate all forms of the arts.
Copies of Kill the Music will be available in paperback at the book
release party for purchase.
if any of this piques your interest, Mike will be on the radio Sunday night
from 10 pm to midnight EST on 106.5 FM in Charlotte,
talking about the book. You can stream the broadcast HERE.
has been a public service announcement – with guitars.