Q: How Goes Work On Your Book About Punk Rock’s Development In Regions Outside The United Kingdom & United States?
A: Work is constant. I wake up thinking about the book. I hit the bed thinking about it. The time between is a big loop of researching, reading, and writing (don’t worry, I give myself time off to eat and monitor Misfits reunion rumors). The whole thing can feel overwhelming but in a very positive way. It is exactly what I want to be doing right now. Also, Clowny Clown has been to this rodeo before. The abject fear that pressed down on me as I worked on This Music Leaves Stains a few years ago is gone. I know what to expect, not just from the process but from myself.
In case you’ve forgotten the pertinent details of this tome, the Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group will be releasing my nearly 400 page exploration of punk rock’s development on the international level in October 2017. Learn all about the shape of ferocious underground rock music as it grew in places like Russia, Japan, China, Africa, Belgium, Brazil, Nepal, Poland, and even the Canary Islands. Like Stains, the first edition will be hardcover, and if that son of a carpenter pops off sales-wise they’ll do softcover. No title yet but I assure you it won’t be Mr. Jim’s Mondo Punko.
Dangerous Rhythm, one of Mexico’s first punk outfits, circa 1979. That same year they released their first single, “No No No.” Clack here to hear it.
If you’d like to help out with some of the costs that accompany researching a project of this nature (and believe me, there are costs), feel free to visit the GoFundMe page for this friggin’ thing. Every cent is appreciated.
What else can I say? Thanks to youse all for the support and interest, it’s a hell of a thing and I’m happy to have it. Hope you enjoy the book when it’s done. Can’t wait to see it in your grubby little hands.
Recently I visited the cozy urban confines of Oslo, Norway to chew through research for my coming book on punk rock’s development outside the U.K. & U.S. (thanks, crowd funding). I found the people friendly, the food exquisite, and the water pressure in most bathrooms adequate. Here are a few images from my journey with the requisite commentary.
The bucolic Norwegian countryside as seen from your plane as it soars into Oslo. Unless my geography is total excrement, that body of water is the Vorma (Warm) River.
The days are long during Scandinavian Summer. Some argue they never really end. This photo was taken at three in the morning in downtown Oslo. My internal clock was definitely thrown by the lack of dark. I ended up sleeping in shifts of three or four hours throughout my stay.
Oslo’s Grand Hotel, where they award the Nobel Peace Prize. You would be surprised how close this esteemed building is to a T.G.I.Friday’s. I looked at the menu; they have the same Jack Daniels-battered crap as the T.G.I.F.s here. It all probably tastes better in Norway though since they have such strict regulations against preservatives and chemicals.
A group of teenage-looking guards at Norway's Royal Palace. There’s a whole protocol to be sure but it seems less intense than guard situations in England or the U.S. Getting a decent picture of the palace and its impressive surrounding vegetation is a little difficult—at least it is if you're me, a real not professional photo-taking guy.
Concrete proof they have more than one car in Norway. Let me also take this opportunity to dispel the myth that Norwegian money is wooden. It is not. It is paper and coins just like everywhere else.
My go-to breakfast spot on this trip was Kaffe Brenneriet, where you can get many a delectable item (like this ham sammy). They have a few locations around Oslo and their staff is quite pleasant enough I must say!
Indeed, we all demand den beste pølsa (the best icing) for our hot dogs. Your guess is as good as mine regarding the contents of this grocery store item. Not pictured: the Heinz brand American Hamburger Sauce.
Vibrant trees in Grønlandspark Botsparken, a recreation area just behind Oslo Prison. It’s the country’s largest prison but they only house three hundred fifty inmates. Might as well be an elementary school. America’s largest prison, Louisiana State Penn, is home to five thousand.
Everybody speaks English in Norway, as evidenced by this hilarious graffiti.
The fountain that anchors Sørli plass, a nice little area for reflection that rests near the intersection of several traffic arteries. Only the adrenalin junkies on mopeds gave me any kind of pause.
There’s a great three story record shop in Oslo called Råkk og Rålls and it’s the only place I’ve ever seen this beautiful piece of crap on vinyl. Didn’t buy it because I needed a concrete reason to return.
A: HEY MAN, I got some freelance work that requires I hang around until my November book tour (yes, I will post dates here soon). You know what they say—go where the money is. Well, I guess in this case, go where your parents are, and if you see some money, stay to check it out, and once you have the money, then go find some other money someplace else.
Q: So, how’s work going?
A: Good. Allow me to expand.
My main focus these days is the Misfits book, the final manuscript of which is due to the publisher in a few months. I feel it’s coming together very well. I feel this tome will honor the band’s story and impact while also offering die-hard fans a smattering of interesting, unexpected revelations. Hopefully the various communities I’m aiming to please/impress will accept it. If not, I can always slink back to snarking on pop culture oddities who don’t deserve it and writing sub-Onion satire.
A more short term project I’ve been working on as of late is an e-book—a brief one, consisting mostly of material I produced in the past four years for publications that no longer exist. Also to be included: expanded versions of one or two of the more interesting blog entries I’ve posted here, and something utterly, disgustingly brand new. I guess you could look at this e-book as a JG2 sampler of sorts. I look it as a way to get some lost work I’m really proud of back out there while also giving you loyalists a chance to support me (yeah, this e-thing will cost money, but not much).
I haven’t contributed anything to Splitsider.com in a while, but that’s not for lack of trying. An ensemble player from one of Canada’s most popular comedic television enterprises blew off numerous interview requests early in the year, as did one of the stars of late nineties stoner epic Half Baked not named Dave Chappelle. Similarly, I could only locate one willing participant for a planned oral history of “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose.” C’mon, guys, I think I was pretty fair to Ernest Thomas. Gimme a chance.
OMG CORIN NEMEC I WILL NOT BRING UP YOUR GUMBY HAIR I SWEAR TO FUGGIN’ JEEBUS.
Right now I’m paying the bills writing copy for a European travel guide. Did you know they don’t really use exclamation points in Sweden? The king banned them or something. Now you know why that girl in Dragon Tattoo was so moody. She couldn’t express herself!