I’m closing in on the end of a chapter, and have time to say hi — Hi! — and give you some more longreads for the weekend.
One of my favorite web writers — Roy Edroso at Alicublog — used to write for another webzine, the Alicubi Journal, back when we spoke of things like webzines. (Or even blogs.)
The archive remains online and the other day I looked up the articles archive and found one of my all-time faves of his, “The Ballad of the Reverb Motherfuckers,” a memoir of his time in, well, let him tell it:
In 1986, I was living in the East Village. Naturally I was in a number of bands.
But of course he was. Here’s part one, part two, part three and part four. You’ll notice part four ends with “to be continued.” It doesn’t. I emailed Roy and asked him where the conclusion was, and he said he never got around to it; this was a webzine, after all, not Esquire or Playboy. If you’re worried that Roy was never OK again, well, he’s fine and I had a drink with him just last fall on the sun-kissed banks of the Detroit River. Lives in D.C. with his lovely wife Kia.
Every part of this saga cracks me up. It’s like Coozledad, only longer than a blog comment:
Once we had decided to proceed, drummer or no, it only remained for us to get gigs. For an unknown band comprised, for all the world knew, of aging losers, our best chances were among the local, low-rent performance spaces where junior-grade sonic youth yowled and gibbered nightly. Our first booking was in the last slot on a Saturday night at Neither/Nor, a bookstore and illicit club on Sixth Street between Avenues C and D.
Neither/Nor was owned by a moneyed young aesthete (as were most of the alt-rock spaces east of Avenue A then), but effectively managed by an unflappable black hustler known only as Billy Sleaze. Billy never opened his eyes more than halfway, nor smiled more than enough to show grudging approval, and he practiced similar energy conservation techniques in his management of the acts that tumbled through the venue. He told the players where to put their amps and then languidly patrolled the perimeter, sometimes shaking his head at the shrill foolishness onstage. But he had expressed mild appreciation for the professionalism of the Deadbeats when we had played Neither/Nor in that guise, and he was almost friendly when we lugged our pathetic, cumbersome gear through the door.
“Here, man,” he said to John, “take my card.”
The card was homemade and bore a photo of an black penis entering a white, puckered anus.
“Guess he likes us,” I said.
Enjoy. I’m off for a weekend, and will see you here next week, again in scanty form, but with a weak signal prevailing.