Posts from June 2012

OLD BOOKS, NEW AGAIN

Posted by Carole Stuart on June 10, 2012

 

After I wrote about Mike McGrady, there was a burst of interest in the book that Mike choreographed and became a best seller, NAKED CAME THE STRANGER.  After Hot News and the widespread report of his death, interest started coming in about the book.  As of this date we have made an arrangement for a digital edition to be rushed out by Jane Friedman’s dynamic new company, Open Road Media. There will also be an audio release by Audible.  Our edition has been available in the UK by Turnaround, our distributor. I expect they’ll see a bump in sales.  All in all, an old book has new life.

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What follows is a piece about a young man who worked for us for a brief time.

He was not the ordinary fellow. We were so impressed by Matt Kent, Lyle asked him to work for Barricade and he came on board as our youngest Publicity Director at the time, at the age of 22.  He was a very independent spirit.

Very creative, too.  We published his book “gasstationthoughts” demonstrating talent and a unique voice.  His employment didn’t last very long but we kept in touch.  Now 35, he has taken his writing career to the next level.  Although he still goes by his nom de plume, Wheeler Antabanez, Matt is making quite a name for himself these days writing for Weird NJ magazine.  His stories and videos about abandoned buildings have been featured regularly in the magazine and WNJ published a special issue about his adventures on the Passaic River.  The special edition called Nightshade on the Passaic follows Matt on his trips down the river in his canoe through urban blight and toxic pollution.  In his latest story for the magazine he recovers discarded gravestones from the banks of the Passaic River in Newark.  To find out more about Matt Kent's comings and goings take a look at his website. http://luckycigarette.com

 

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 I close this Hot News with a piece about Paul Krassner,  a friend of many years.

For the very few people out there who don’t know the influence of Paul Krassner, I’ll bring you up to speed briefly.

 Paul started publishing “The Realist” in 1958. This free thought  ground-breaking satirical magazine drew its audience from the very hip readers and writers of the time.  He was a key figure in the counterculture of the 1960’s with Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters…and was a founding member of the Yippies.

 Paul was a protégé of Lenny Bruce whose autobiography, HOW TO TALK DIRTY AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE he edited. His bold face, trouble making friends included, Abbie Hoffman, Tim Leary, Mort Sahl to name only a few.

He very briefly edited Larry Flynt’s Hustler ­magazine but when Larry got shot, there was a cash-flow problem and Althea, Larry’s wife, had to fire him.

 I got to know Paul by way of Lyle when I started working as a gal-Friday (there’s a term you don’t hear these days) for Lyle Stuart, Inc.  Paul was working on another floor at 225 Lafayette Street sometimes surrounded by cartons. I was good friends with Jeanne Johnson Paul’s former wife and mother of Holly Krassner, their daughter.  Even after they were no longer together, they had an amicable relationship.  Jeanne and I worked together and Holly was an occasional baby sitter for Jenni, my daughter. (When I think about how Holly was only a few years older than Jen I can’t believe it. But she was a very mature kid. That’s Holly, not Jen.)

The article that follows was written by Paul about his 80th birthday. It is how the expanded and updated edition of his autobiography, "Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut: Misadventures in the Counterculture," will end. The new edition will be published by Soft Skull Press in October and will be available in an audio version produced by Audible. I admire Paul’s energy.  He’s just put the finishing touches on "The Best of Paul Krassner: 50 Years of Investigative Satire."

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 “When I mentioned to my daughter Holly that on April 9, 2012, I would be eighty years old, she said, “Dad, that’s crazy.”

         “I know,” I said, “but you can’t fight chronology.” To celebrate the occasion, we had a family reunion. My brother and his wife came from Maine, my sister came from Florida, and Holly and her husband Dan came from Napa with their adopted-at-birth three-month-old baby, Talia Jeanne Dawson. Holly and Dan had been present in the delivery room, and he cut the umbilical cord.

The highlight of my birthday was meeting my granddaughter for the first time. While I held Talia in my lap, Holly put the radio on for some music, and Talia started conducting. Holly turned the radio off and Talia stopped conducting. Holly turned the radio back on and Talia began conducting again.

I showed Holly The Onion’s review of the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards:

“The first ‘pre-show performance,’ by someone called Cobra Starship. Because I am very old, I experience a shiver of terror at the thought that they might be the latest iteration of the cryogenically frozen leftovers of Jefferson Airplane. They turn out to be a briskly paced anthology of everything I thought was cool when I was nine: shiny pants, sunglasses insouciantly thrown aside, fog machines, lots of G-rated writhing. I am not entirely sure that the disembodied head of Paul Krassner isn't directing all this from behind the wings . . .”

I remarked, “To become a joke reference is even a bigger honor than my PEN lifetime achievement award.”

And Holly said, “A good joke lasts longer than a lifetime achievement award.”

 

    Until next time…..

 Carole  

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