DIRTY! DIRTY! DIRTY! A High Speed Book Tour (part II)
Hotter Than the Sun: At Leopold’s Books in Detroit.
Editor’s Note: Mike Edison has been out on the road promoting his new book, Dirty! Dirty! Dirty! — Of Playboys, Pigs, and Penthouse Paupers, an American Tale of Sex and Wonder, on what has been a book tour like no other, perpetrating a mix of literary mayhem and music in bookstores, pizza parlors, dive bars, and art museums, and will be sharing his tour diary and road tales here in this exclusive blog. For more info on DDD and all things Edison, please visit www.mikeedison.com. Click here for the full tour diary.
“Motor City’s Burning”
Day 2: New York City/Detroit
Every day on tour starts off with a beer in the shower. It is the answer to all of life’s little problems, not least of all the cotton ball tongue and sandpaper brain that comes with an early morning after an evening of ranting about the vagaries of blow jobs and bi-curious pornographers, chased by frequent flights of bourbon. It is the breakfast of champions, and the secret to my success, such as it is.
Here’s the tic-tock.
7:30 a.m. EST — Hot shower, ice cold Bud. Was up late repairing the theremin and packing for four days on the road. Flight to Chicago leaves LaGuardia at 9, and must leave time to check the gear and get breakfasted (eggs, potatoes, Bloody Mary), because we intend to hit the ground running in Chicago.
11:40 a.m. CST — Plane is late getting in, and we lose an hour because we are going to drive straight to Detroit. Later this will play in our favor — coming back to Chicago we get the hour back, plus Daylight Savings Time is over, so really we get TWO hours. I call it time slippage and I love it.
12:30 p.m. CST — On the road to Detroit. Took forever getting rental car due to a charming combination of kindness and incompetence on the part of the rental car girl, who eventually upgrades us to a BMW, which is wired for sound, has separate climate controls for driver and passenger, heated steering wheel, and does 90 mph like it’s standing still. Off to Detroit we go.
1. World’s Greatest Piano Player Mickey Finn at the Guardian Building, thanks to Jeff Meier and Betty Brownlee for best tour of Detroit ever! 2. Standing in the Shadow of Love: Edison and Finn visit the Psychedelic Shack.
4:00 p.m. EST — We lose the hour, but The World’s Greatest Piano Player, Mickey Finn, who is driving the first leg while I get it on with the sandman in the climate-controlled passenger seat, is driving 100 mph the whole way, making a mockery of the Interstate Highway system.
6:00 p.m. EST — We’re set up and ready to rock Leopold’s Books in downtown Detroit. Feels good. I have oddly never been here before — to Detroit that is — and am digging being in the Midwest, out of New York, and ready to start some trouble. My all-time favorite wrestler, the original Sheik, is from here. He was the most hated man in the sport at one time — his idea of wrestling was to stab someone in the arm with a pencil and throw fire in his opponent’s eyes. It is also the home of the MC5, Stooges, et. al. AND the legendary Bong Guitar which has made me something of a YouTube star. I feel like I belong here.
1. “And in Detroit, they have these little glasses of whisky, and you can drink dozens of them with NO EFFECT!” 2. Ye Olde Skoole: Open Mic Night at Bert’s in Detroit.
7:30 p.m. EST — We killed it. Threw it like a hand grenade, and devastated a room full of smarty-pants Detroiters who came out to get DIRTY. In the crowd are a few old friends from Detroit, including Jeff Meier and Betty Brownlee, both rock solid Motor City blues players, who take us out for the nickel tour of Motown, including the insanely ornate Guardian Building (well worth looking a the website, which is a sick mix of deco, art moderne, and Native American design), and then Bert’s Bar, where it is open mic night, and a small parade of old black ladies in funky hats, all dressed as if there were going to a funeral, take turns singing standards with a jazz band. After a few more rounds of bourbon it is time to go have our pictures taken acting like idiots out in front of the old Motown house. Mission accomplished, we point the car towards Pt Huron where we are staying for a couple of days — the next night is my favorite kind of gig, a double header. First we’ll whip the DIRTY REVUE on some friends and curiosity seekers at a bookstore café, and then we’ll tear their heads off with a full-tilt rock n’ roll set (using a local drummer) at the local dive bar. For better or worse when we get there our hosts are in party mode, happy to see us, eager to share their hospitality. It is five a.m. Eastern time when I finally crash, bombed, and happy.
Click here for the rest of Mike’s high speed book tour entries, or, for more mayhem, buy his book: Dirty! Dirty! Dirty! — Of Playboys, Pigs, and Penthouse Paupers, an American Tale of Sex and Wonder
— Mike Edison is the former publisher of marijuana magazine High Times, and was the editor-in-chief of the irresponsibly outrageous Screw. Edison has worked as a correspondent for Hustler and a high-paid gun-for hire of the legendary Penthouse letters. In addition he is an internationally known musician and professional wrestler of no small repute. He is the author of 28 pornographic novels and the cult classic memoir I Have Fun Everywhere I Go (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). He speaks frequently on free speech, sex, drugs, and the American counterculture, and is “proof positive that one can be both edgy and erudite, lowbrow and literate, and take joy in the unbridled pleasures of the id without sacrificing the higher mind.”
by Mike Edison