1977

1977 is here! It’s my new book, a collage of poems and charts and maps that re-creates the feeling I had when I first heard punk music.

You can be first to have a copy by heading over the Ravenna Press and buy online here. Or …

Those of you who can make it to the release party 4/21 may want to wait … the first 77 get a bonus cassette and poster that evening when you buy a copy from the author.  #merchandising

Thanks for supporting small presses and independent bookstores!

Like a wild drummer or your heart skipping a beat. Like a mind opening. Like howling at the moon or reliving apathy. Like old scars. Like a new tattoo. 

Not so much a history lesson as a shout out to the future. An artist picking through what we discard to make it new.

Complexity alternately unravels and tangles with context. These poems embrace the risk of obscurity.

 

1977
Cover art for 1977 coming from Ravenna Press in April 2018. Design by Jack Burgess.

Smashes history, both textbook and memory, into fragments and then reassembles it into an anti-chronological “narrative” (in quotes), this collage of memoir, charts and sampled text is tied together by the thinnest of threads for the reader to pull or be pulled by.

Taking nostalgia to its root in battle and sickness, the writer/illustrator challenges the notion that time that has passed between then and now.

If I had to sum this up in one word, I couldn’t.

 

1977
Cover art for 1977 coming from Ravenna Press in April 2018. Design by Jack Burgess.

As my artist friend David says: “The internet is magic.”

Subs

The catalyst: “Gimme Your Heart” 45 by the Subs (Stiff Records 1978).

How it happened: 1) I posted a newspaper clipping my Grandma C sent me in the waning days of first-wave punk. It told the story of a punk band that saved a couple trapped in their car during a snowstorm. (See story here.)

2) David added a comment linking to the song “Gimme Your Heart” by the Subs, the punk band mentioned in the newspaper clipping.

3) David’s friend Mike added a comment linking to Discogs with the Subs record (shown above) for sale.

4) I bought the 45 (made in Scotland) off the internet that evening. It arrived about a week later.

The result: The internet is indeed magic!

 

1977
Cover art for 1977 coming from Ravenna Press in April 2018. Design by Jack Burgess.

Fired up! Here’s the cover art for my next book 1977. Big thanks to my son Jack for another great design! Thanks too to Ravenna Press, who will be publishing the collection of drawings and poems this April.

1977 is about history and memory, about revising and forgetting. 1977 is about how I was a hippie and became a punk. 1977 is about the year I bought my first punk LPs at the House of Guitars.  1977 is about capturing that feeling we had.

TalkingHeads77Four reasons why a 40-year-old* LP still matters to me:

  1. Psycho Killer 
  2. It’s one of four punk albums I bought at House of Guitars in late 1977 that I still have. (My turntable is still hooked-up too.)
  3. It’s before Brian Eno produced them.
  4. We scalped our Styx tickets to buy Talking Heads tickets instead, 1978.11.09, (true story).

*Released from Sire on Sept. 16, 1977