- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Viking USA (Sept. 1 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0670852341
- ISBN-13: 978-0670852345
- Product Dimensions: 50.8 x 50.8 x 50.8 cm
- Shipping Weight: 680 g
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,229,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Mid Life Confidential Hardcover – Sep 1 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
The Rock Bottom Remainders, a group of celebrated writers smitten with rock 'n' roll glamour, gladly submitted when independent publicist Kathi Karmen Goldmark conceived the idea of forming a literary rock band to perform at the 1992 American Booksellers Association convention in Anaheim. The band members--including Dave Barry, Matt Groening, Stephen King, Barbara Kingsolver and Amy Tan--had so much fun with that gig that they decided to take their show on the road, playing clubs from Boston to Miami on a jaunt financed by the advance on this book. Each writer/rocker contributed an article on "what being in a band has meant to me." Their various musings, ranging from the comic to the portentous, straddle the line between the charming and the pompous. The Remainders lapse at times into cliches and stereotypes--i.e., that "real" rockers are illiterate--which make them sound like frat boys and sorority sisters slumming. But even if this project is nakedly self-indulgent, for the most part it is self-aware. And Barry's and Groening's reflections are better than that--hilarious.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Organized by a literary publicist for a charity event at the 1992 American Booksellers Association convention, the Remainders are the world's most literate rock'n'roll band. Members (and associates) include Dave Barry, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Barbara Kingsolver, Roy Blount Jr., and Robert Fulghum; rock veteran Al Kooper served as musical director. In May 1993 the Remainders reunited for a nine-city "tour" of the East Coast. This is an account, with contributions by everyone in the band (and photos by King's wife, Tabitha) of that crazy month. As the title suggests, more than a few authors use the experience to examine seriously (or humorously) what attracted them to playing "Louie Louie" in public. The results are mixed; this will be of more interest to fans of the authors than music aficionados.
--Thomas Wiener, formerly with "American Film"
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
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I always knew Stephen King and Dave Barry were regular guys I would just love to meet and have a beer with, but what a shock to find out about the lovely, funny, human sides of Amy Tan, Barbara Kingsolver, Al Kooper (the musical director of this motley crew), Dave Marsh (rock critic and editor) and others!
I laughed 'til I cried over Barry's chapter. Everyone has his or her funny moments, but the chapters by Tan, Kingsolver, and Marsh are refreshingly touching and vulnerable, too.
--King calls himself "a kind of Norman Rockwell version of Freddy Krueger"
--Kooper: "The mere fact that you're reading this right now is a testimony to the selfishness of twenty-three bored people."
--Roy Blount, Jr.: being on stage in a rock and roll band is "like being inside a forest fire that you're helping, however modestly, to spread"
--music critic Joel Selvin: "Most people seem to think critics are as useful as tits on a priest."
--Barry: "Our groupie budget is kinda low, so we're not getting top quality -- at times, they get a little angry at us and throw their walkers at us and stuff like that."
--Barry again: "...you can imagine how excited I was when I discovered Buddy Holly. Here was a guy who had glasses at least as flagrant as mine; a guy who did NOT look like a teen heartthrob, but more like the president of the Audiovisual Club, the kid who always ran the projector for educational films with titles like _The Story of Meat_."
--Tabitha King: "Greil Marcus informed me Southerners think the (...) they call coffee is coffee."
--Kingsolver: "...we all knew no amount of rehearsal could ever make us into a first-rate, or even cut-rate, or irate, or reprobate, rock and roll band."
There are tons of photos, black and white AND color (the ones of Tan in her black leather, chains, and whip for "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'" and of Marsh in a white prom dress, spattered with ketchup and armed with a plastic knife to attack Stephen King during his showstopping rendition of "Teen Angel" are priceless), all shot by Tabitha King.
The book ends on a weak note: Ms. King is neither the writer nor the humorist that the others are, and Michael Dorris's fable-like reverie just kind of makes you go "huh?"
I'm kicking myself repeatedly for not buying the Rock Bottom Remainders video I saw in a cheapo rack at a Fred Meyer supermarket in Coos Bay, Oregon some years ago....
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