The Sporadic Beaver

The (8-Day) Week in Review

October 31, 2013

Tags: Linda Ronstadt, Vanity Fair, Mary Lyn Maiscott, Lou Reed, Velvet Underground, Beaver Street, Amazon

I was hoping to post on The Sporadic Beaver at least once a week, but it seems eight days have slipped by since my last transmission. That's because things have been happening. I will review some of the highlights.

· Mary Lyn Maiscott's well-received Linda Ronstadt interview was posted Monday on the Vanity Fair website. She was worried that "Linda," as we now call her in the Maiscott-Rosen household, talked too much about singing--something she can no longer do because of Parkinson's disease.

“That’s like interviewing Picasso and saying that he talked too much about painting,” I told her.

The reason I think the interview went so well is that Linda, in the course of promoting her new memoir, Simple Dreams, has probably spoken to hundreds of interviewers, the majority of whom did not read the book and asked her the same canned questions over and over. Not only did Mary Lyn read the book, but she, too, is a singer, and when I listened to the recording of the interview, I got the sense that I was listening not to a journalist interrogate a rock star, but rather to two singers having a heart-to-heart conversation.

· I don’t remember what provoked me to listen, from beginning to end, to The Velvet Underground & Nico last week. But for some reason, I did. So, when I heard the news Sunday that Lou Reed had died, it was both eerie and shocking. (He was, after all, a fellow New Yorker and a Brooklyn native who was born at the same hospital I was born—Beth-El, now Brookdale.) Stranger still was what I found out about Velvet Underground drummer Maureen Tucker as I was Googling various Velvet Underground things while listening to the album: Tucker, a member of one of the coolest rock bands ever, is now a Tea Party supporter! You can read all about her politics in this interview that ran in the St. Louis Riverfront Times. (And I will, at some point today, listen to Lou Reed’s eerily appropriate “Halloween Parade,” which happens to pass by my house.)

· Since its U.S. publication 18 months ago, Beaver Street sales can at best be described as a steady drip… drip… drip… But this week, for reasons unknown, that drip turned into a mild flurry, sending the book to its highest point on Amazon, and keeping it there for six days. In no way can this compare to the explosive sales that, from 2000-2003, propelled Nowhere Man onto bestseller lists in five countries. But it is a hopeful sign, and in the ravaged economy of 2013, that’s about all you can ask for.

How Not to Promote a Book

October 23, 2013

Tags: Jenna Jameson, book promotion, Beaver Street


In Beaver Street I say that Jenna Jameson may be the first porno billionaire. After watching this video, I've changed my mind.

On the other hand, her book Sugar is doing very well. Maybe I should show up trashed for my next interview.

Chapter 27

October 16, 2013

Tags: Nowhere Man, The Final Days of John Lennon, Chapter 27, J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Mark David Chapman, Michael Paul


Normally, I'm less than satisfied with my readings, but this one, last night at 2A, is one of my better performances, and Michael Paul did a nice job capturing it on video. I'm reading from my book Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon.

The first part is the opening section of the chapter titled "Being Rich." The second part is all of "Chapter 27," my eyewitness account of the sentencing hearing of Lennon's killer, Mark David Chapman, who believed that by shooting the ex-Beatle, he'd write the missing chapter of J. D. Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye in Lennon's blood.

Los Últimos Días de John Lennon

October 10, 2013

Tags: John Lennon, Nowhere Man, Eric Danville, Lainie Speiser

In October 2003, on the eve of the publication of the second Spanish edition of Nowhere Man: Los Últimos Días de John Lennon, I traveled to Mexico City to meet the press. I knew something extraordinary was happening, something that surpassed Nowhere Man's success when it was published in the U.S. and U.K. in 2000. For six months, reviews, excerpts, thought pieces, and interviews about Nowhere Man were appearing in the Spanish-language media virtually every day. I've described my trip to Mexico City as follows: "I felt as if I'd entered an alternate universe where everything I'd been working for, for 25 years, had come to pass in a language I didn't understand. The media treated me as if I'd written Harry Potter."

Ten years later, on what would have been Lennon’s 73rd birthday, the Spanish-language media continues to write about Nowhere Man. Here are three links to stories that appeared yesterday.

La vida inconclusa de John Lennon (Originally published in January 2011, Proceso made this available online yesterday.)
John Lennon y la numerología: su obsesión y destino (Un día como hoy)
Minuto a minuto. Las últimas 24 horas de Lennon (Radioacktiva)

If you’d like to see what all the fuss is about, please join me, Eric Danville, and Lainie Speiser, on Tuesday, October 15, 8:00 P.M., at the 2A bar in the East Village. I’ll be reading from Nowhere Man, in English.

The Lennon Vibe

October 9, 2013

Tags: John Lennon, Nowhere Man, Eric Danville, Lainie Speiser, Mary Lyn Maiscott, Title TK

Today, John Lennon’s birthday--he would have been 73--is a day that I always acknowledge in one way or another. In past years, I've often spent October 9 talking on the radio about Lennon's life and death, and how a few months after his murder I was given his diaries, which became a prime source of information for my book Nowhere Man. Other years I've wandered uptown, to Strawberry Fields, to pay my respects to a man who changed my life. Today, I intend to quietly observe Lennon's birthday at home, taking at least a few moments to Imagine Peace, as corny as that might sound.

But next Tuesday, October 15, at 8:00 PM, at the 2A bar in the East Village, I will be celebrating Lennon's life by reading from three chapters of Nowhere Man. Joining me will be my Title TK co-producers Eric Danville and Lainie Speiser, adult actress Alia Janine, radio personality Ralph Sutton, writer James Sasser, character actor David Healy, and writer and musician Mary Lyn Maiscott.

The event, as always, is free, and if you have an urge to tune into the Lennon vibe, 2A is the place to be on Tuesday night.

Lennonight

October 2, 2013

Tags: John Lennon, Nowhere Man, Yoko Ono, Eric Danville, Lainie Speiser, Mary Lyn Maiscott, Chapter 27, J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Mark David Chapman, May Pang, Bloomsday on Beaver Street, Lexi Love, Title TK

They were into wordplay, John and Yoko, especially when it came to their names, which lent themselves to a variety of combinations, like Lenono Music and Discono, a title John suggested for one of Yoko's LPs. In that spirit, I'm calling this post "Lennonight," which will take place at 8:00 PM, on Tuesday, October 15, in the upstairs lounge of the 2A bar in the East Village.

This is number four in the Tuesday night reading series that Eric Danville, Lainie Speiser, and I have been producing. We've christened our spoken-word collective Title TK, and Listen to This Reading is our celebration of John Lennon's birthday--he would have been 73 on October 9.

I’m going to read from my Lennon bio, Nowhere Man, specifically the opening chapter, “Being Rich,” the closing chapter, “Dakota Fantasy,” and “Chapter 27,” which is a reference to the nonexistent chapter of J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, the novel that drove Mark David Chapman to murder.

Mary Lyn Maiscott, who’s more accustomed to performing with a guitar in hand, will read from “Birth of a Song,” the Nowhere Man chapter that explores the inspiration behind Lennon’s “I’m Losing You,” which Mary Lyn covered at the first Bloomsday on Beaver Street.

Lainie will read from May Pang’s memoir, Loving John.

Other readers include actor David Healy, adult actress Alia Janine, actor James Sasser, and radio personality Ralph Sutton.

As always, admission is free and there’s no cover.

In other Title TK news, Lexi Love has created a long-awaited Bloomsday on Beaver Street page on her Website. The page features some very cool photos and the complete audio of her reading that night. Check it out for a taste of the unexpected drama you can expect on October 15, at 2A