The Sporadic Beaver

Michael Paul: Paparazzo of the Self

June 28, 2013

Tags: Bloomsday on Beaver Street, Michael Paul, Mary Lyn Maiscott

Many of the pictures you've been looking at on The Daily Beaver for the past ten days were shot by Michael Paul, whose work has appeared frequently on this blog, and who was, more or less, the in-house Bloomsday on Beaver Street photographer.

One of Michael's specialties is the group selfie. So, in case you've been wondering what the man behind the camera looks like--and who hasn't?--here he is, posing after the show with me and my wife, Mary Lyn Maiscott. Ain't we a threesome?

Stay tuned for more paparazzo shots of the non-selfie variety.

The Big Guy

June 27, 2013

Tags: Bloomsday on Beaver Street, Byron Nilsson

If the 11 Bloomsday on Beaver Street performers were a football team, he'd be the all-pro fullback, the guy who anchors the offense and who you build your game plan around, the one you give the ball to when it's fourth and goal on the one-yard line, and you're trailing by six points with time running out.

But we're not a football team; we're a ragtag group of writers, actors, and musicians, and besides, he probably hates sports metaphors, anyway. He is, however, the guy who anchors Bloomsday on Beaver Street and whom I build the entire show around.

If you were at the Killarney Rose on June 16, then you’ll recognize Byron Nilsson as the emcee, my surrogate host, the big guy with the radio voice who did the opening monologue, all the introductions, performed in his own play, and to top it off, sang a cappella a dirty Irish ditty about a photographer and his Nikon.

Yes, there’d be a Bloomsday on Beaver Street even if Byron Nilsson didn’t exist. But the fact that he does exist, and is willing to travel 200 miles to perform at the Killarney Rose, makes my job of organizing, promoting, writing the script, and preparing my own reading, a task that’s not completely overwhelming.

It’s profoundly liberating for me to know that when I’m putting together Byron’s monologue and introductions, he can be counted on to deliver the jokes as professionally as any late-night talk show host, and he’ll know exactly where and how to improvise—all with minimal rehearsal.

And in the hours leading up to the show, as I’m getting progressively more nervous about my own performance, worrying if anybody is going to show up, and thinking I just want to get this over with and never do another event again, there’s Byron sitting on my couch, tapping away on his laptop, looking about as nervous as a man getting ready to eat dinner.

He is, in short, a calming influence who raises Bloomsday on Beaver Street to a level of professionalism that I wouldn’t be able to achieve on my own, and he makes me think that in years to come, anything is possible. Maybe we can even save literature.

The Music of Transgression

June 26, 2013

Tags: Bloomsday on Beaver Street, Mary Lyn Maiscott, Hoop, Samantha Echo, Ulysses

Left to right: Mary Lyn Maiscott, Samantha Echo, and HooP, perform Angel Tattooed Ballerina at the Killarney Rose. Photo © Michael Paul.
Bloomsday on Beaver Street is a family affair in the Rosen-Maiscott household. I take care of the literary end of things, and Mary Lyn, whether she knows it or not, is the musical director.

This year, Mary Lyn and guitarist Gary "HooP" Hoopengardner--vice president of the New York chapter of Guitars Not Guns, an organization devoted to stopping school violence--returned to the Killarney Rose, along with backup vocalist Samantha Echo, who also sang two of her own songs.

The musical themes for the night were literature, Ulysses, and transgression, and every song performed referred to at least one of them. Mary Lyn opened with You Can't Do That, the Beatles classic that she sang 13 years ago, at the publication party for my John Lennon bio, Nowhere Man. (You can hear it on her CD, Blue Lights.) Samantha provided the soaring backup vocals for Mary Lyn’s next song, the just completed Angel Tattooed Ballerina, about a boy who wants to be a girl struggling with his (or her) sexuality. And she ended the set with Madam Olenska, a tribute to the scandalously divorced central character in Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocense, published in 1920, the same year as Ulysses.

The second set, which followed the readings, began with singer-songwriter Ray Fuld performing two originals, including a tune about a Brooklyn hooah, which seemed to be the perfect complement to my reading from Bobby in Naziland.

Next up was Samantha, who’d studied Ulysses in college, and sang her song about Gerty MacDowell, the character who was responsible for provoking Leopold Bloom to an act of public onanism, which was the passage that got Ulysses banned in the United States. (You can see Samantha perform regularly at the South Ferry Terminal in Manhattan, just a couple of blocks from Beaver Street.)

Finally, Mary Lyn and HooP returned for two more songs, Toxic City, Mary Lyn’s paean to Paris, where Ulysses was originally published, and Crucified, a religiously transgressive song about sex.

All in all, it was a night of good music and good literature, and you should have been there. But if you weren’t, we will have video in the coming weeks, and there’s always next year. Never too early to make plans.

Redefining the New York Literary Event

June 25, 2013

Tags: Eric Danville, Linda Lovelace, Bloomsday on Beaver Street, James Joyce

Eric Danville, author of The Complete Linda Lovelace, the original basis for the forthcoming film Lovelace, starring Amanda Seyfried, brought a touch of the avant-garde to Bloomsday on Beaver Street. Rather than read from his book, as he did at his own Whole Lotta Lovelace event last June, he read descriptions of Lovelace's 8mm loops from vintage '70s-era fliers put out by a San Francisco mail-order company, K.R. Enterprises.

Though Eric considers himself more of a "literary cover band" when it comes to live readings, his Bloomsday performance seemed to be an exercise in transforming objets trouvés into performance art. He read the flyers as if they were they were diverse bits of a surreal monologue featuring the sleaziest examples of illiterate porno hucksterism: ad copy for films about bestiality and "golden showers."

Like so much else that happened at the Killarney Rose, on June 16, Eric’s reading extended the parameters of what you might expect to see and hear at a New York literary event. The spirit of James Joyce, if I’m not mistaken, gave him a double thumbs up.

I thought that I heard him laughing.

New Horizons in Entertainment

June 21, 2013

Tags: Lainie Speiser, Bloomsday on Beaver Street, Lexi Love

Lainie Speiser, a public relations professional who spent a decade at Penthouse, and was instrumental in bringing Bloomsday on Beaver Street to the attention of the masses (and Lexi Love to Beaver Street), also writes books about what she knows best--sex and porn stars. Her titles include The Little Bit Naughty Book of Blowjobs, The Manhattan Madam's Guide to Great Sex, and Confessions of the Hundred Hottest Porn Stars, an X-rated trilogy that adorns the shelves of erotic literature fans everywhere.

Like many writers, getting up in front of people and reading from her books is something that Lainie prefers not to do. But she also understands that in today's book biz, writers are expected to be performers, too, and if you want people to read your books, then you have put on a show.

Confessions of the Hundred Hottest Porn Stars is not the kind of book that writers normally read at literary events. But it is the book that Lainie chose to read on Bloomsday—to a crowd at the Killarney Rose that consisted mostly of people unfamiliar with the adult industry, and who considered it genuinely exotic to be able to chat with a porn star like Lexi Love between performances.

Lainie read her interview with Mia Isabella, known to her fans as “the cutest little TS chick with the biggest candy stick,” which, in plain English, means she looks like a beautiful woman, but if you reach inside her lace panties, you’ll find a 10-inch penis.

Among the lines that Lainie delivered with aplomb, and that provoked uproarious laughter in the appreciative audience were, “I enjoy looking at my tiny hand holding my great big cock,” “I have a wonderful boyfriend, and he tries to fuck me at least six times a day,” and “Hold the doors open and treat us like ladies,” which is Mia’s advice for “tranny chasers.”

Nothing like introducing literature lovers to new horizons in entertainment.

Off-Off-Broadway? No. More Like "On-Beaver"

June 20, 2013

Tags: Bloomsday on Beaver Street, Laralu Smith, Joe Gioco, Byron Nilsson, Mary Lyn Maiscott, Lexi Love, Killarney Rose, James Joyce, Molly Bloom

Left to right: Mary Lyn Maiscott, Byron Nilsson, Laralu Smith, and Joe Gioco perform a scene from Byron's Mr. Sensitivity.
Bloomsday on Beaver Street began, last year, as a book launch party before morphing, this year, into a "celebration of James Joyce, banned books, and sex acts that have inspired great works of literature." If you're wondering where this event may be headed in years to come, look no further than Laralu Smith, Joe Gioco, Byron Nilsson, and Mary Lyn Maiscott's reading of a scene from Byron's play, Mr. Sensitivity, which debuted at the 2009 New York Fringe Festival.

The play is ribald comedy about a husband (Byron) who presents his wife (Laralu) with a porn stud (Joe) as a birthday surprise. (Mary Lyn read the stage directions.) Highlights included watching Laralu transform herself from the dramatically aggrieved Molly Bloom, whom she played moments earlier, to the comically aggrieved Tiffany Lawrence, and listening to Joe recite with feeling porn star Barry Woodman's doggerel, which contains the classic line, "You’re so refined, so full of class;/You taught me how to touch your ass."

Mr. Sensitivity made Bloomsday on Beaver Street seem like an Off-Off-Broadway revue of literature, music, comedy, and theatre, where the line between the audience and the performers is almost nonexistent, and as Lexi Love demonstrated this year (and Bernie Goetz demonstrated last year), the performances themselves are completely unpredictable.

I see the event heading in a more theatrical direction, something Saturday Night Live or Second City-like, with a touch of the avant-garde thrown in for good measure. But designations like “On Broadway,” “Off-Broadway,” and “Off-Off-Broadway” seem somehow inappropriate. How about we call it “On Beaver.” You know, just like the song: “They say the neon lights are bright on Beaver…”

They’re obviously singing about the neon lights of the Killarney Rose.

A Prayer to the Spirit of Joyce

June 19, 2013

Tags: Laralu Smith, Bloomsday on Beaver Street, Ulysses, James Joyce, Molly Bloom

Laralu Smith's reading of an excerpt from Molly Bloom's soliloquy in Ulysses, at Bloomsday on Beaver Street, was offered as a prayer to the spirit of James Joyce. The passage also serves as a graphic example of why Ulysses was banned in America.

In the scene, Molly is thinking about her lover as she lies in bed next to her husband, Leopold Bloom. It contains the following lines:

“I wished he was here or somebody to let myself go with and come again like that I feel all fire inside me or if I could dream it when he made me spend the 2nd time tickling me behind with his finger I was coming for about 5 minutes with my legs round him I had to hug him after O Lord I wanted to shout out all sorts of things fuck or shit or anything at all…”

The reading was an electrifying moment. When Laralu stepped up to the microphone, something changed in her eyes, as if a switch had been flipped. The spirit of Molly Bloom, Irish accent and all, flowed into her, and took possession. It was almost frightening.

In the hands of a lesser actress, such a reading might have sounded smutty. But in Laralu’s hands, it became the deeply moving cri de coeur of a woman who has come to symbolize all women.

Bravo, Laralu!

A Different Kind of Naked

June 18, 2013

Tags: Lexi Love, Bloomsday on Beaver Street, Lainie Speiser

"Bizarre" may sound like an inappropriate word to describe a woman's public breakdown. But that is one of the words I used yesterday in describing what happened to adult actress Lexi Love when she read from Cookie Mueller's memoir, Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black, at Bloomsday on Beaver Street. ("Stunning" was the other word.) To be clear, it wasn't Love's breakdown that I found bizarre. It's that I didn’t understand what was happening, and neither did a lot of other people.

Love seemed fine as she rehearsed before the event, reading the part about the narrator's lover suffering from infectious hepatitis--the part that would push her over the edge an hour later. Her main concern was the correct pronunciation of certain drugs and diseases referenced in the book.

“This is not the kind of book I usually read,” she said, professing a preference for the works of Malcolm Gladwell.

“You can feel pretty naked, sitting up there and reading,” I told her.

“I’m used to being naked in front of people.”

“It’s a different kind of naked.”

Love’s performance began smoothly enough, with the actress saying a few words about her career in X. She then turned to the book, and the breakdown began around paragraph three. That’s when I asked Mary Lyn Maiscott, one of the musicians, “Is she acting or is she really crying?”

“She’s acting,” my wife replied with certainty.

And I thought: Of course she’s acting. If she were having a breakdown, she’d stop reading and explain what was going on.

But Love bravely plowed on, finishing the chapter.

It was only afterwards that she explained that the scene reminded her of her own mother’s recent death from hepatitis, and that’s why she began crying.

“That’s what I loved about Lexi’s reading,” said Lainie Speiser, who read from her book Confessions of the Hundred Hottest Porn Stars. “That’s what readings used to be about—the excitement of not knowing what was going to happen.”

And that’s what Bloomsday on Beaver Street will continue to be about. Fortunately, we all have a year to recover.

Something Happened

June 17, 2013

Tags: Bloomsday on Beaver Street, Lexi Love

Too much happened last night, at the second annual Bloomsday on Beaver Street, at the Killarney Rose, to process right now. If I'm counting correctly, there were 11 performers altogether, and I shall give them all their due over the coming days. But the one that everybody's talking about is Lexi Love, and her reading from Cookie Mueller's memoir, Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black.

I'm not sure I understand exactly what happened, or why. But as she read the book's opening pages, a scene in which the narrator visits her lover in a hospital, where he’s being treated for infectious hepatitis, Lexi began to cry--and it was impossible to tell if she was acting or going to pieces in front of us.

I, for one, thought she was acting. Lexi is, after all, an adult actress with more than 500 films to her credit. But, as it turned out, she was having a breakdown. Apparently—and I’m sure somebody will correct me if I’m wrong—the scene reminded her of her own mother’s death from hepatitis.

It was a bizarre and stunning thing to witness, and for the time being, I’m just going to leave it at that.

Sneak Preview

June 15, 2013

Tags: Bloomsday on Beaver Street, Bobby in Naziland

The narrator and his non-fictional mother, circa 1957. Any resemblance between them and characters in Bobby in Naziland is purely coincidental.
I know certain people, specifically members of my family and perhaps some high school and junior high school classmates, are coming to Bloomsday on Beaver Street II: Father's Day Edition to hear me read the opening pages of my just completed novel, Bobby In Naziland, which is set in Brooklyn in the 1950s and '60s.

For them, I offer a preview of my introductory remarks, subject to modification:

For those of you familiar with my work, this is a bit of a departure. For those of you not familiar with my work, this is one way to get acquainted.

A lot of people have been asking me, “What’s this thing you’ve been working on for five years?” This thing is called Bobby In Naziland, and as this is my first public reading from the book, I’ll answer that question in detail in The Prologue, which I’ll read tonight along with the opening pages of the first chapter.

But before I begin, I want to say that this is the kind of book that I should prepare my mother for before I publish it, as there’s a character in the novel that the narrator, who might resemble me in certain ways, but is not me, calls “my mother.” I know there are some people here who talk to my mother and are related to my mother—my real mother, not the character in the book. I ask them: What you hear on Beaver Street stays on Beaver Street. So, please, let’s just keep this among ourselves for now. Don’t squeal on me, I believe, is the correct terminology. Or at least the terminology that the narrator would use.

One Night Only

June 14, 2013

Tags: Bloomsday on Beaver Street, James Joyce, Ulysses, Lexi Love, Hurricane Sandy

This event is happening five days after Bloomsday. But Lexi Love will be there, too, and she'll be auctioning herself off for a date to benefit the victims of the Oklahoma tornados. Check her out THIS SUNDAY in the more intimate Beaver Street setting.
By all outward appearances, this Bloomsday on Beaver Street thing is really happening in about 55 hours, and that means that I've got to put the finishing touches on emcee Byron Nilsson's script and remind my multitude of overbooked and date-and-time challenged literature-loving friends that the event is THIS SUNDAY, at 7:00 P.M., at the upstairs bar of the Killarney Rose, at 80 Beaver Street in New York City. That means if you're on my mailing list or a Facebook friend, you'll soon be receiving one last gentle reminder. And if you're a special case with a sense of time that can perhaps be described as "Majorcan," you can expect a personal phone call from me. So, pick up.

In the meantime, I'll share a fun fact about James Joyce's Ulysses, which is one of the books we'll be celebrating THIS SUNDAY: In episode 17, "Ithaca," in the wee hours of June 17, Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus's "nocturnal perambulation" through Dublin take them to Beaver Street. Joyce writes: "the visit to the disorderly house of Mrs Bella Cohen, 82 Tyrone street, lower, and subsequent brawl and chance medley in Beaver street (Armageddon)…"

And finally: Adult actress and CEO of Exotic Interludes, Lexi Love, who will be reading THIS SUNDAY, on Beaver Street, will also be auctioning herself off for a one-on-one date on June 21, Fleshbot Friday, at Headquarters, in Manhattan. The event is a benefit for victims of the Oklahoma tornadoes and all proceeds will go to the Red Cross. You might keep in mind that seven months ago, during Hurricane Sandy, Beaver Street and the Killarney Rose were underwater.

Read All About It!

June 13, 2013

Tags: Adult Video News, XBIZ, Bloomsday on Beaver Street, Lexi Love, Eric Danville, Lainie Speiser, Mary Lyn Maiscott, Byron Nilsson, Hoop

Thanks to adult actress and CEO of Exotic Interludes, Lexi Love, the widely read porno "trades," AVN, GT XXXTREME, and XBIZ, have given Bloomsday on Beaver Street II a little ink today. So, click on the above links and read all about how Eric Danville, Lainie Speiser, Mary Lyn Maiscott, Byron Nilsson, HooP, Ray Fuld, and me, your host, Robert Rosen, will entertain you this Sunday, at 7:00 P.M., at the Killarney Rose on Beaver Street in New York City.

Or click here to see the helpful mention that Media Bistro has given Bloomsday on Beaver Street, where low culture meets high, and you never know who the hell is going to show up.

An American in Copenhagen; A Dane in New York

June 12, 2013

Tags: Thomas E. Kennedy, Naja Marie Aidt, Brooklyn, Bloomsday on Beaver Street, Bobby in Naziland

Last night, for an infusion of inspiration, I went to a reading at 192 Books, a little gem of an independent store, about the size of my living room, in Chelsea. The event couldn't have been more different than what we have planned for Bloomsday on Beaver Street II, on Sunday.

The readers were Thomas E. Kennedy, an American novelist, originally from Queens, who's lived in Copenhagen for the past 30 years, and Naja Marie Aidt, a Danish writer, born in Greenland, who's lived in Brooklyn for the past five years.

While everything about Bloomsday cries “underground”—Porn Stars! Banned Books!—the sedate and respectful scene at 192 was more mainstream and literary establishment. Kennedy, probably best known for his Copenhagen Quartet, a series of novels set in that city, has published 27 books, and has been compared to James Joyce.

Aidt, whose novels, short stories, and poetry, are now being translated into English, was awarded what Kennedy described as “the Little Nobel,” the 2008 Nordic Council’s Literature Prize, for her novel Bavian, or Baboon, in English.

But the readings themselves, delivered to a crowd of about 30 people gathered around a table, were not sedate, and the availability of free Tuborg Danish beer, both light and dark, only enhanced the literary atmosphere.

Kennedy read from the opening pages his latest novel, Kerrigan in Copenhagen, a poetically rendered travelogue of a middle-aged writer’s efforts to “research” all 1,500 “serving houses,” or pubs, in the Danish capital, and he served up a good 20 minutes of irony, drinking, sex, and humor.

And though Aidt’s a short story, “Blackcurrant,” might have been a little on the sedate side, her poem, whose title I didn’t catch, contained a line about getting “fucked” against a wall, and held my attention throughout.

As Kennedy went to high school in Brooklyn, and Aidt now lives there, the readings were followed by a discussion about the enormous size and geographical complexity of New York’s trendiest borough. Aidt said that she’d like to get to know Brooklyn better, but no longer tries, because it’s too big and confusing. Kennedy then cited the Thomas Wolfe story, “Only the Dead Know Brooklyn,” reading the last line, “It’d take a guy a lifetime to know Brooklyn t’roo an’ t’roo. An’ even den, yuh wouldn’t know it all.”

The two writers both seemed like the sort of people who might enjoy what we have on tap for Bloomsday on Beaver Street. Kennedy, unfortunately, was leaving for Boston. But when I told Aidt that I’d be doing my first public reading of Bobby in Naziland, which is set in Brooklyn in the 1950s and ’60s, she asked, “What neighborhood?”

“Flatbush,” I told her, and handed her an invitation.

We’ll see if the Danish poet ventures across the East River for a taste of the New York underground, and to hear about a time when Brooklyn was a provincial burb and a place to escape from.

Sex! Comedy! Music! Drama! Celebrities! (And It's Free!)

June 11, 2013

Tags: Bloomsday on Beaver Street, Eric Danville, Lainie Speiser, Lexi Love, James Joyce, Jamie Maclean, Erotic Review

Bloomsday on Beaver Street II: Father's Day Edition is five days away, and it's starting to feel like the run up to D-Day around here. The musicians are coming in a few hours to rehearse. A backup singer is coming to audition. There are set lists to finalize, technical issues to sort out.

Elsewhere in the universe, actors, writers, and porn stars are preparing their readings; an emcee is practicing his monologue and his song. A lot of people are doing a lot of things to make Bloomsday happen. Because a simple literary event just doesn't cut it anymore. In 2013, you can't have a couple of 20th century authors stand in front of a microphone and read from dusty old books. You need more if you want people to pay attention. You need sex, comedy, music, drama, celebrities. You need it live, and if you're doing it for love, as we are, then you may as well give it away for free, as we are.

So come to the Killarney Rose on June 16. Meet me, Eric Danville, Lainie Speiser, Lexi Love, the spirit of James Joyce, and all the musicians and actors who, at this very moment, are working to provide you with the best postmodern literary event that money can’t buy.

And a big New York City thanks to Jamie Maclean at the Erotic Review, in London, for running our Fab 4 invite in his distinguished magazine.

Obsessive? Moi?

June 10, 2013

Tags: Bloomsday on Beaver Street, Eric Danville, Lainie Speiser, Lexi Love

I've heard it through the grapevine that some people, especially those who get my Facebook feed, are getting a little tired of hearing about Bloomsday on Beaver Street II: Father's Day Edition, which, in case you haven't heard, takes place this Sunday, at 7 P.M., at the Killarney Rose on Beaver Street. (You can download your invitation here).

In a perfect world, I'd prefer to be doing other things besides promoting a yearly literary/theatrical/musical event. There are books to write, bills to pay, groceries to buy, bathrooms to clean, meals to cook, cats to feed… Getting people to come to Bloomsday should involve no more than a couple of phone calls, maybe a group e-mail, and perhaps a handful of casual mentions to my neighbors when I see them in the elevator.

But in this overbooked world, where social engagements are in constant flux, and using a wall calendar to keep track of such engagements has become virtually obsolete, a constant social media and blog presence has proven to be a necessity, as I found out last year.

So, to those of you who’ve grown weary of my blog and social media obsessiveness, please bear with me. Bloomsday on Beaver Street is an event worth coming to, as those of you who came last year have been telling me all year. There are a lot of talented people working very hard behind the scenes to make sure that this will be the most entertaining Bloomsday party in New York. And if I didn’t think that was the case, I wouldn’t bother trying to get you to come. I mean, really, how often do you think I throw a party featuring writers, musician, actors, and porn stars?

Come to think of it, I never have, as the first Bloomsday lacked the presence of a genuine porn star. What more can I say?

Happy Anniversary, Deep Throat

June 7, 2013

Tags: Linda Lovelace, Deep Throat, Eric Danville, Bloomsday on Beaver Street, Richard Nixon, Watergate, Lexi Love, Lainie Speiser


Amanda Seyfried shows off her porno skills in Lovelace
.

How did an hour-long loop shot in six days for under $25,000, about a woman whose clitoris was in her throat, earn over $600 million, and become the eleventh-highest-grossing film of 1973? How did the ability to swallow an enormous penis without gagging become, that same year, America's #1 topic of dinner-table conversation? How did buying a ticket to a dirty movie become an act of revolution and political protest? And how did Linda Lovelace become the world's first porno superstar?

Blame it on Richard Nixon. It was June 19, 1972, exactly one week after Deep Throat premiered in porn houses across America (and three days after Bloomsday), that the Watergate story broke on the front page of The Washington Post, and Nixon, in an attempt to distract the country from the emerging scandal and unraveling cover-up, ordered the FBI to shut down every theater showing Deep Throat, to confiscate every print, and to arrest the actors and the filmmakers responsible for it. And "Deep Throat" became not only the title of a film and a renowned sex act, but the code name for Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's FBI source, who was feeding them the information they needed to bring down a president.

We will be celebrating this anniversary on Bloomsday on Beaver Street II, as Eric Danville, author of The Complete Linda Lovelace, the book that was the original inspiration for the forthcoming film Lovelace, starring Amanda Seyfried, reads from a collection of over-the-top vintage 1970s flyers advertising the late deep-throat artist’s 8mm loops. And we will come to a deeper understanding of how, though Ms. Lovelace’s athletic skills, Deep Throat would become a cultural touchstone, its commercial success in the pornographic arena still unsurpassed.

Joining Eric will be authors Robert Rosen and Lainie Speiser, adult actress Lexi Love, and a host of musicians and actors. The event is free, and you can download your invite here. Hope to see you on Sunday, June 16, at the Killarney Rose on Beaver Street, for the best Bloomsday party in New York City.

A Really Big Show

June 6, 2013

Tags: Bloomsday on Beaver Street, Ulysses, James Joyce, Eric Danville, Lainie Speiser, Lexi Love, Byron Nilsson, Mary Lyn Maiscott, Hoop

With ten days to go till Bloomsday on Beaver Street II: Father's Day Edition, I can now provide a rough idea of our literary, musical, and theatrical lineup.

Robert Rosen will read a historical passage from Beaver Street and the opening pages of his just-completed novel, Bobby in Naziland.

Eric Danville, author of The Complete Linda Lovelace, the original basis for the film Lovelace, starring Amanda Seyfried, will read from a collection of over-the-top vintage 1970s flyers advertising Lovelace’s 8mm loops.

Lainie Speiser will be read the Mia Isabella chapter of her book Confessions of the Hundred Hottest Porn Stars.

Lexi Love, AVN Award nominated adult actress and inventor of the board game Uncle Don’s Exotic Interludes, will read from Cookie Mueller’s memoir, Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black.

Actor and writer Bryon Nilsson will return as emcee and sing a song.

Laralu Smith will read a passage from the Molly Bloom section of James Joyce’s Ulysses that graphically demonstrates why the book was banned in America.

Joe Gioco, Laralu, and Byron will perform a staged reading of a scene Byron’s ribald play, Mr. Sensitivity, last seen at the New York Fringe Festival in 2009.

Singer-songwriter Mary Lyn Maiscott and guitarist HooP return to perform a selection of originals and covers.

Singer-songwriter Ray Fuld returns to perform original songs.

And if need be, we’ll go all night long.

The Real Joyces of County Killarney

June 5, 2013

Tags: Bloomsday on Beaver Street, James Joyce, Eric Danville, Lainie Speiser, Lexi Love

On the latest invite to Bloomsday on Beaver Street II: Father's Day Edition, you'd think we were the cast of a new reality TV show, Bob, Eric, Lanie, and Lexi: The Real Joyces of County Killarney. Tune in every week to watch James Joyce's dysfunctional, illegitimate offspring, each born of a different mother, squabble over who is the true heir to Joyce's spiritual legacy.

Bob's the "serious" older brother, the one who had the Lennon diaries all those years ago, and wrote a book about it, before going to work in porn.

Eric’s the “cute” younger brother, the one who knows everything about Linda Lovelace, and used to work at Screw. He writes books, too.

Lainie’s the “responsible” older sister, a public relations aficionado whose literary output includes books about threesomes, fellatio, and porn stars.

Lexi’s the “sexy” younger sister, the one with the degree in chemical engineering who became a porn star and invented an “adult” board game.

Okay, maybe we need to work on plot and character development a little more. And maybe we’re not really siblings, or half-siblings. Maybe we’re just four friends who are throwing the best Bloomsday party in New York City, at the Killarney Rose, at 80 Beaver Street, at 7 P.M. on Sunday, June 16. And we’d very much like you to join us in our celebration of banned books, James Joyce, and erotic acts that have inspired great works of literature. The admission will be free, the music will be live, and the readings will be provocative.

And, of course, the spirit of our patriarch, James Joyce, will be presiding.

It Takes a Porn Star

June 4, 2013

Tags: Lexi Love, Bloomsday on Beaver Street

Last year it was subway vigilante Bernie Goetz who galvanized Bloomsday on Beaver Street, not by his performance, or rather his non-performance, but by his very presence at the Killarney Rose. Bernie was what kept people talking about the event for the rest of the year, with new stories about his anti-social behavior surfacing long after the fact, and told with relish.

This year, for Bloomsday on Beaver Street II: Father's Day Edition, we're celebrating banned books, James Joyce, and erotic acts that have inspired great works of literature by having a more traditional celebrity join our distinguished lineup of authors, musicians, and actors. Our very special guest is a genuine porn star, one who has garnered seven AVN Award nominations in such categories as Best Oral Sex Scene and Most Outrageous Sex Scene, and has created an adult board game, Uncle Don's Exotic Interludes.

Ladies and gentlemen, please give it up for the gorgeous and talented star of Squirt Gangbang and Naked and Famous, Lexi Love!

Lexi will be reading from Cookie Mueller’s memoir, Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black, signing her board game (makes a great Father’s Day gift), and doing all she can to make Bloomsday on Beaver Street II a literary, musical, and theatrical event that you’ll still be talking about next year, when Bloomsday III rolls around.

Best of all, admission is free, and you can download your invitation here. So, mark your calendar now: Sunday, June 16, 7:00 P.M. at the Killarney Rose on Beaver Street in New York City. Lexi will be expecting you.

Scenes from a Bookexpo: Robertson Gets the Rights; Romney Writes a Cookbook

June 3, 2013

Tags: BEA, Robbie Robertson, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Nowhere Man, Ann Romney

"We got the rights to Beatles music and nobody gets the rights to Beatles music," said Robbie Robertson, who will turn 70 in July, and looks extraordinary for his age. "But everybody recognized how important this book is."

The former lead guitarist and lyricist for the seminal rock group The Band, which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1994, was talking about his forthcoming children's book, Legends, Icons & Rebels: Music that Changed the World, co-written with his son Sebastian Robertson, who was with his father on the BEA Downtown Author Stage Saturday morning, along with journalist Alan Light, who asked them questions.

Tundra Books will release Legends, Icons & Rebels in October, and it will contain a double-CD featuring the music of all 27 musicians and groups covered in the book. They include The Beatles (of course), the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, and Louis Jordan (but not the Rolling Stones or The Band).

Though other children’s books, such as The Book of Rock Stars: 24 Musical Icons That Shine Through History, by Kathleen Krull, and The Blues Singers: Ten Who Rocked the World, by Julius Lester, cover much of the same territory as Legends, Icons & Rebels, they don’t contain CDs (and didn’t sell especially well, either). So, when Robertson said, “There’s no other book like this,” he apparently meant that there’s no other children’s book about musicians, written by a rock star, that contains a CD with previously unattainable Beatles music.

The unattainability of Beatles music is something that’s driven home every week to anybody who watches Mad Men, as Don Draper and company live out the 1960s to a Beatles-free soundtrack. That a show this successful can’t get those rights speaks volumes. So, one can only imagine what hoops Robertson had to jump through, what rings he had to kiss, and how much money he had to spend to get the rights to those sacred songs.

I’ve no doubt that the final Beatles text had to be personally approved by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, and Olivia Harrison. And I think it’s safe to assume that the John Lennon section of this completely inoffensive, non-iconoclastic book will, according to the rules of Ono, praise her as a positive influence, and contain no mention of numerology, tarot, astrology, or Colombian witches. And though the book will say that Lennon was shot by a disturbed fan, it will not mention his name.

So, what we have in Legends, Icons & Rebels is a book that parents will buy for their kids, and with any luck at all, the kids, ages 8-13, will read the book, listen to the CDs, and be turned on to some great old music.

Then, when the kids get a little older, and they’re ready for some unvarnished truth about their legends, icons, and rebels, there are books like Nowhere Man that they can grow into. Makes me glad I wrote it.

***

I was coming from the booth of my distributor, SCB, where I’d picked up a copy of their erotic books catalogue, Revel, where Beaver Street is prominently featured on the same spread as Robin Bougie’s Cinema Sewer. The catalogue was tucked under my arm when I spotted, a couple of booths down, Ann Romney, wife of Mitt, signing advance copies of her book, The Romney Family Table, from Shadow Mountain, due out in October.

I got in line.

“Can you make it out to Bob Rosen,” I said to Romney, handing her the book. (Actually, it’s more of a brochure.)

“Is that R-o-s-e-n?” she asked.

“Very good,” I replied. “I know it’s such a weird and difficult name.”

“I always won the spelling bee,” she said, laughing as she signed book.

As we shook hands and I thanked her, I discreetly admired her beautiful and tasteful ring, sapphire if I’m not mistaken, and, shamefully, I was feeling a dusting of the Ann Romney charm—the charm that had been utilized in an attempt to “humanize” Mitt in his presidential campaign.

Ann Romney, I must admit, had a good vibe. I got the sense that, despite my scruffy and possibly progressive appearance, she genuinely enjoyed our little exchange. Still, there’s no way I’d ever vote for her husband, even if she gave me that sapphire ring.

***

On the way home from the BEA, I passed, on 10th Avenue near 17th Street, Yoko Ono, dressed in a sharp white blazer, talking to a couple of people on the sidewalk. It was an omen, I thought as I walked by, though an omen of what I have no idea.