Saturday, January 10, 2009

A crazy week -- with bonus Jello!

Last week was one of the most ridiculous weeks I've ever had. Tuesday alone, when Appetite for Self-Destruction came out, I did 11 interviews, beginning with this interview on 9News in Denver (sorry it starts automatically; I had some trouble with that 9News video site). I had to arrive at 4:50 a.m.:

Also that day I had a wide-ranging talk with mercurial radio host Jay Marvin on AM 760 in Denver. He got to mention his fave singer-songwriter, Tom Russell, and I got to mention my band, The Propane Daisies.

Just before I left for my book signing at Tattered Cover in Denver on Tuesday, I found the review in the New York Times and Rob Harvilla's Q&A in the Village Voice. Rob called it a "fantastic book." The Times gave it lots of amazing coverage with a surprisingly large color photo, but it kind of freaked me out with a couple of negative things at the end. However, a buddy who'd had a similar NYT review experience made me feel much, much better with this:

A lot of radio interviews all over the place followed, including NPR's Marketplace and WNYC's Soundcheck.

The highlight for me, though, was Thursday night's signing at the Boulder Bookstore. My 72-year-old mom was there, even though she'd been evacuated the day before from her Boulder Heights mountain home due to a nearby fire. (She's OK, and so is the house, but it was scary and frightening for a few days there.) A whole bunch of old pals were there, including Bruce, Leland, Gil and Jim. The place was packed and I got to introduce my remarks with a hearty "Hello, Cleveland!"

The very last question came from the side, sort of behind the bookshelves and removed from the audience. The questioner looked familiar. Then I got it. I said, "Can I introduce you?" and he said it would be OK. So: "Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Jello Biafra!" I'd met Mr. Biafra a couple of times, and even interviewed him once for his hometown newspaper, the Daily Camera, but this was a surprise. He hung around afterwards and gave me some excellent CDs from his longtime record label, Alternative Tentacles. (You should check some of them out -- there's a great one of him fronting the Melvins.) I got to introduce the auteur of "Too Drunk to @#$%" and "California Uber Alles" to my mom, and we gave him a ride home afterwards.

Here's a photo taken by my friend Pablo. I'm sitting down, and Biafra is the guy in the green shirt standing behind me. (The guy in the foreground is Andy Schneidkraut, owner of my hometown record store, Albums on the Hill, which you should all check out. Andy is quoted in the book as well.) Sorry it's so blurry. I encourage you all to blame Pablo:

Thanks, everybody, for showing up to the signings and being so supportive!


Andrew P. Mills said...

I was wondering if your Mom was affected by the fire in Boulder. Glad to hear that she and the house are okay. I think you have a subject for a short story: the continuing adventures of your mom and Jello.

PK said...

Hey! You think my picture is blurry, have you seen your own Propane Daisies videos? Compared to those I'm Ansel Adams.

Steve Knopper said...

Re the videos: They're not blurry -- they're art!

Dogtrax said...

I just finished your book, Steve, and I am working a rant on my own blog against those old CD blister boxes.
Thanks for your book. It was fascinating to read and although I had pieces of the story in my head (from reading Rolling Stone, Paste, Musician, etc, over the years), you really brought the issue into a clear focus.
I wonder where the industry is heading. I just bought the new Bruce CD and I thought as I was doing it: this could very well be the last CD I buy. I said that because I was on Amazon, downloading a Killers' song and then hopping over to eMusic to check out some indie bands.
Thanks again for the book.
Kevin Hodgson

Anonymous said...

I have just read "Appetite...", in a word: amazing!
One cannot think about the digital revolution without feeling e little bit blue about a world that is over. You describe it in your book, it is not only a question of the poor industry losing money. Suddenly, everything is upside down. Well, time passes, and music´s been only the beginning.
Don´t you think?
Here it is a link to my blog, with a modest review of "Appetite..." written in galician, here in the north west of the Iberian Peninsula.
_Seso DurĂ¡n