DIRTY! DIRTY! DIRTY! A High Speed Book Tour (part III)
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THe Bee-yoo-tee-ful Fisher Michigan gets DIRTY!
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.
Jew vs. Hillbilly: the Day the Pornographer Came to Town
Nov 4, Pt. Huron, MI
Looks like Labatt’s Blue is going to be the Shower Beer of the Week. No problem, works for me. It’s a light lager with a little more taste than Budweiser, my preferred beer to drink while loitering under a life-giving blast of hot water and going through the semi-ritual process of Cleaning the Jew.
So it’s not exactly a micva, me drinking beer in the shower, but I do draw a lot of power from it. The thing about the beer is it has to be ice cold, and nothing fancy. I’m not in there sipping a pint of handcrafted IPA; I am enjoying the medicinal, spa-like effects of a cold beverage in me and super hot water on me, plus the regular cycle of wash, rinse, repeat, etc — it is not only a crucial hangover killer (even if you have to really gag back the Bud on some days), but the panacea for any sort of early morning blues, not to mention the best way to recharge the batteries, or simply relax, after a long day. Sometimes I like to linger and have a few while I listen to an entire Beethoven symphony, or a few sides of Led Zeppelin, which always sounds better in a small, tiled room. (In fact I have actually constructed a playlist for better shower drinking, reprinted below.)
I have been promoting the zen (and practical rewards) of the Beer in Shower thing for a few years now, and I get emails regularly, from men and women, who were skeptical at first and thought it was some kind of elaborate joke, who finally gave it a go and have had their lives changed by it. I suggest you give it a go and report back. And remember, cans only, for safety reasons — I’m not crazy.
OK, 12 liquid ozs. of Mr. Labatt’s Finest in me, Jew cleaned, clothed, and ready to grab Pt. Huron by the tail. Our hosts, Fisher Michigan and Dale Beavers, are generous to a fault, and have not only set up two great gigs this evening — the first, another reading/revue/performance in a bookish café that has a lot of alternative programming, and later, in a dive bar where I’ll plug in my electric guitar, Mickey will switch from accompanying me on piano to playing hard rock and gospel on a weaponized B3 organ, and our new best friend, Teno the Drummer (who used to pay with Bo Diddley and John Lee Hooker, a big plus considering my penchant for one-chord guitar boogie) will play louder than we have any right to and clean the brain pans of Pt. Huron’s most dipsomaniac punks.
1. Clowning around with Dale Beavers at the Raven. Common wisdom is that the pretty girl in the last photo is responsible for his shiner. 2. Also, the Fighting Cock.
Fisher gets back from the store with food to make us a healthy, home-cooked dinner (bless her very soul), and also a cache of Fighting Cock bourbon that seems like less than the best idea. It is 103 proof and talk about shit that could change your life, like waking up in the Pt Huron hooskow, this is it…. In fact when we got there, Dale had a black eye the size and shape of a chocolate frosted donut, which he would not discuss except to say it was Fighting Cock related. Fisher pulls out two fifths of Cock while I roll my eyes, but she tells me not to worry, she got one for me, too, and pulls out a third. The gig hasn’t even started and Pt. Huron is flashing before my eyes.
The gig at the Raven Café is a winner. Good crowd, a few friends and curiosity seekers, including the royalty of the town’s teenage slackers who initially blush when I start throwing the sexy talk around, discussing the joys of cocksucking and other summary pleasures learned, in principal, anyway, from reading men’s mags as a malleable teenager. But after a few rounds of filth from DIRTY! DIRTY! DIRTY! they are back to texting each other, even though they are sitting on the same couch right next to each other and as if there weren’t a JEW PORNOGRAPHER, SPITTING DISTANCE AWAY FROM THEM, TALKING ABOUT THE POETRY OF THE VAGINA. They do wake up, however slightly, when I berate them to not let the marvel of living in a sex-filled, pornified, you-can-see-anything-on-the -Internet world destroy the wonder and the very real blessing of the real thing. They toddle off giggling, but I am sure some day they will remember when the Jew Pornographer came to town and told them stories of how the girlie mags get made. One of the boys, at least, had the gleam in his eye, like maybe this could be a career.
1. & 2. Ripping it up at the Raven Cafe. This would be the “literary” part of the evening.
A couple of local college professors, a few rockers, and a woman who self identifies as “a lesbian who dates call girls” buy books. Pretty good haul, actually, for a small town, and they were all — except for the teenagers — very receptive, laughed at all the jokes, had lots of questions, and were genuinely happy to have a bit of outrage in their town.
Mission accomplished, The World’s Greatest Piano Player and I head over to the Roche bar around the corner to transform into the Edison Rocket Train, my long-running gospel/blues/punk rock/glam experiment, and get ready to chop some heads.
Dale Beavers, who is opening the show with his own brand of down-low, filthy blues, is already on the stage, and already half in the bag. “GODDDAMMMIT PORT HURON,” he bellows by way of introduction, trying to gather a crowd who is mostly in the bar drinking cans of Black Label, a beer I consider not even good enough to drink in the shower. “I’M DALE BEAVERS. DON’T THAT MEAN NOTHIN’ HERE NO MORE??? ASSHOLES….” Truth is Dale is a local hero, well, to some, at least, but he’s not winning any new fans with that gambit, no matter that he plays a set of fantastically gnarly blues that are much more charming than his stage patter might have you believe.
1. Rocking the Roche Bar: Have Theremin, Will Travel. 2. And with the World’s Greatest Piano Player, Mickey Finn
When it is our turn, we hit the stage loaded for bear and using our borrowed local drummer, TENO THE GREAT — Dale and I are in a friendly competition, which means I intend to bury him without mercy. Either because my dancing is so fine, or my singing so right-on, or my guitar playing so positively ass-drivingly shaking, we have a good crowd at the front of the stage right away, including Dale, who eventually plugs in his guitar into an unused amplifier, manages not to fall over, and starts wailing away right through our set. It is so loud I have no idea what key he is playing in, but I don’t think it matters as no one else knows, either.
No problem — this is the Guitar Battle I’ve been waiting for, New York Jew v. Drunk Hillbilly with Black Eye, and the chopping begins. Somehow we make it through “Starfucker” and a gospel jam where we go riff for riff, but the advantage is mine since my secret weapon Mickey Finn knows the changes and Dale is drunk and pretty much lost at sea while we blast away at the Staple Singers “Freedom Highway.” (Kind of cool how we can bounce between a song about groupie sluts and a churchy homage to Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, dontcha think?). Later he tells me, “Goddammit, Edison, why do you have to be like that? Why do you have to intimidate me??” He is six-five, twangs like a stretch of barbed wire, and looks like a murderer or worse, what with his black eye. I do not know what he is talking about.
TOP TEN THINGS TO LISTEN TO WHILE DRINKING BEER IN THE SHOWER
Physical Graffiti — Led Zeppelin
Zeppelin is all about the drums and they never sound better than blasting out of a boom box, bouncing around the bathroom. Side One is the default — crushingest guitars ever, and that gigantic beat. Runner Up: Led Zeppelin IV. The only part that sucks is when I have to get out of the shower to skip over “Going to California” to get to “Misty Mountain Hop.”
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony — Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic
This is what I listen to when I am getting ready for a date. The tympani part really kicks my ass. And I am always sure to turn it off before the “Ode to Joy” part begins (I can’t stand the sound of those voices), although I can drink an entire six pack before I get there. Always on deck: Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony (Kleiber and the Vienna Philharmonic), one of the few things in life that are not overrated. (Both on Deutsche Grammophon, of course, the best label ever, better even than K-Tel).
Walk Among Us — The Misfits
There has never been a better record to sing-along with. Period.
There’s a Riot Going On — Sly & the Family Stone
It was listening to this that inspired me to invent a method of snorting cocaine in the shower. It involves a version of Archimede’s lever and is far too complex to go into here.
Hank Williams’ Greatest Hits
Good hangover music. Actually, the whole drinking beer in the shower thing started as a hangover cure, but kind of grew into a lifestyle component.
It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back — Public Enemy
This was the best record of the entire 1980s. What a racket! I never get tired of this.
Tear It Up! — Johnny Burnette Rock’n’Roll Trio
I have been obsessed with this record since I was a teenager. How did they get the guitar to sound like that?? This features the original version of Train Kept A Rollin’, the best version, Aerosmith’s take on Double Live Bootleg notwithstanding.
Songs the Lord Taught Us — The Cramps
The last good record they made, before they got all paisley and chick friendly and ran out of ideas. Just a fuzzed-out, mean-spirited mess. Remarkably, the sound of the shower is actually in the same key as this record.
Plastic Fang — Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Another enormous-sounding, brain-smashing record that benefits from being played at top volume in a small, tiled room. The book on this is that it was too much “blues” and too little “explosion,” but it holds up next to any rock ’n’ roll record of the last twenty years. Great Saturday morning soundtrack, and much more fun than the cartoons they show on TV these days.
Green River — Creedence Clearwater Revival
When I listen to this I like to leave the fan off and get the bathroom good and steamy, an urban replication a Louisiana swamp.
(This list originally appeared on the excellent website/blog LARGEHEARTED BOY.)
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