Charlie Watts (Rolling Stones) book on the way; author Mike Edison made a promo video, touring
Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts is subject of author/musician Mike Edison's latest book, Sympathy for the Drummer — Why Charlie Watts Matters, which comes out November 1 via Backbeat Books. In case you're on the fence about flipping through this one, maybe Clem Burke, Lenny Kaye, and Jim Sclavunos will help convince you:
“Charlie Watts lays it down, and the others follow. He is the Law. This book explains why.” — Clem Burke, Blondie
“Charlie Watts is the backbone of the Rolling Stones. In this affectionate yet unflinching biography, Mike Edison shows how integral his jazz sensibility makes them a true band: keeping time, creating space, and hitting the crash cymbal at just the right moment.” — Lenny Kaye, Patti Smith Group
“Sympathy for the Drummer is so much more than an incisive appreciation of Charlie Watts, it is an effusively infectious tribute to art in all of its myriad forms.” — Jim Sclavunos, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
As Mike Edison has done in the past, he made a video trailer to promote the book, which premieres in this post. It's a NSFW, mock TV ad, and -- among other things -- it includes this: "not everyone is gonna be happy, especially not if you are the drummer in Aerosmith." Here's what Mike tells us about the the video and book:
People look at music books differently than 'books' – they assume them to be fawning, or humorless. The idea that it is incumbent for a music writer to show some moxie and have an opinion and inject style into their work is very out of fashion. I tried to write a book that was both funny and appropriately filthy, as are the Stones, and to offer some original insight about Charlie Watts, and the Stones to start with, but I also think I am the only writer ever to call the Ramones virtuosos. I'm challenging the orthodoxy of what it means to be a virtuoso — Charlie Watts can't play like Neil Peart or Buddy Rich, but it isn't relevant, and anyway, Buddy Rich is an old turd who always put himself before the music. He took all the virtue out of virtuosity. Charlie is the least selfish drummer in the world, but he could swing a battleship. And he has to put up with Mick Jagger.
When it came to making a video to promote my book I wanted to get the spirit of the book across. I know what the fuck I am talking about, AND I am having a blast. A book about the Rolling Stones should be outrageous. The book speaks for itself, but first I have to get your attention — you need to know it exists, and you need to know it isn't coming from some square. This is my way of letting you know. This is real rock'n'roll.
Mike, who was an editor at High Times and Screw (and who used to play in '80s-era retro-sleaze band The Raunch Hands), is also doing some live book events, dubbed the Sympathy for the Author Book Tour, including a launch party at NYC's Lola (169 Ave A) on October 15 with "special guest mystery band" The Lucille Balls (presented by Coney Island Baby). That goes from 7-9 PM, and it's free with RSVP.
There are several other events in and around NYC after that, all of which are listed below. Regarding the tour, Mike adds:
I always work hard to bring my books to life, in my readings and performances, my language and rhythm and passion for my work doesn't just live and die on the page. The writing always comes first, but when it comes to putting the book in front of people, obviously I'm not trying to take myself too seriously. I wrote a rock'n'roll book, it is supposed to be fun. But I wasn't kidding about the drummer in Aerosmith. He is not going to be happy.
Mike Edison -- 2019 Book Tour Dates
Wednesday, Oct 15, New York City, Gala Book Launch Party, Lola, 169 Ave. A, featuring special guest mystery band the Lucille Balls! 7 – 9PM
Monday, Oct 21 Live on WFMU, with Very Special Guests! Noon!
Thurs, Oct 24 Listening Session, Vol 1. at Rebel Rouser Records, with DJ Josh Styles! 867 Broadway (Punk Alley), Bushwick, Brooklyn, 7 PM
Sunday, Oct 27 Quimby’s Books, 536 Manhattan Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 7PM
Friday, Nov 1 Barnes & Noble Tribeca, 97 Warren Street, 6PM
Thursday, Nov 7 ** Totally Unauthorized Charlie Watt’s Pizza Party** at Roberta’s Pizza, 264 Moore Street, Bushwick, Brooklyn, 7 PM. Free pizza and more!
Wednesday, Nov 12 Orphan Guitars, Reading and other Mayhems, 135 Huntington Street, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, 7PM
Thursday, Nov 14 Words and Guitars reading series, Pete’s Candy Store, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Sunday Nov 17, Rough Draft Bar and Books, 82 John Street, Kingston, NY, reading w special musical tribute, Dismember’s Children.