Writer’s Block

I hope everyone is having a fun March. I know I am. My birthday was on the second, and I spent my day treating myself. Also, my friends Nora and Elaine treated me to a mini-vacay and it couldn’t have been better. I just adore my friends, and I can’t thank them enough for making my birthday extra special.

I’ve also been dealing with some busyness in my off-line life both professionally and personally. And I also have to brag, my film-related blog, Popcorn In My Bra, is doing well, and I’m gaining followers and fans.

But don’t worry, The Book Self, is still close to my heart, so look for more reviews shortly. I just finished the latest book from Caitlin Moran, Moranifesto, and it is a knock-out! You might remember me reviewing her novel How to Build a Girl a while back.

I’m also in the middle of a delicious novel that I can’t wait to review, too. It’s film-related so I’ll also post my review to Popcorn In My Bra.

Just so happy for great books and great writers!!!

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Book Review: Let’s Spend the Night Together-Backstage Secrets of Rock Muses and Supergroupies.

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“Most of us go to our graves with our music still inside us.”-unknown

Years ago, when I was starry-eyed girl in a vintage frock and a pair of Doc Martens, I picked up a unassuming paperback book. That book was I’m With the Band written by Pamela Des Barres. I completely devoured Ms. Des Barres lusty tales of backstage romance. I couldn’t so much relate to the debauchery and drugs, but I could relate to being consumed by rock music and wanting to be close to the people who created it. Apparently Des Barres and I are not alone. And “Miss Pamela” has written about this in her latest book, Let’s Spend the Night Together: Backstage Secrets of Rock Muses and Supergroupies.

Say the word groupie and what do you think? Slut? Golddigger? Bimbo? Des Barres looks beyond that damning word and gets to heart of several women’s (and one man’s) rock and roll confessionals. And in an odd way, I found many of these women to be strong feminists, eschewing the “lifescript” and striking out on their own unique paths.

One notable super groupie portrayed in Let’s Spend the Night Together is former burlesque dancer, Tura Satana. Exotic Satana (known as Miss Japan Beautiful) met a young Elvis Presley and claims to have taught the King of Rock and Roll how to move on the stage and in bed. To me, anyone who taught Elvis how to dance and how to give head deserves to be canonized. According to Satana, Elvis even proposed to her. Of course, we all know Elvis ended up marrying Priscilla, but that hasn’t stopped Satana from wearing his diamond engagement ring to this day.

You’ve probably heard of Cynthia Plaster Caster. She gained notoriety for casting the erect penises of famous rock stars, most notable being Jimi Hendrix. We even get a photograph of “recovering groupie” Plaster Caster holding the rock legend’s casted member also known as the “Penis de Milo.” In this chapter, Plaster Caster tells how as a shy artistic girl, she came up with her unique art form and how they were nearly stolen by Frank Zappa’s former manager.

Bebe Buell may be best known as actress Liv Tyler’s mom. But back in the day, she was also the alluring arm candy of such rock notables as Rick Nielson, Todd Rundgren and Liv’s daddy, Steven Tyler. Buell much prefers the term “muse” to “groupie.” And though that might sound pretentious, Buell does have a point. Many of these women aren’t necessarily easily disposable objects. Look at your music collection. Many of your favorite songs were probably inspired by girlfriends, lovers and wives.

I was very intrigued by Lexa Vonn. Ms. Vonn founded the LA-based publicity machine the Plastics. Vonn and her fellow glam-goth lovelies do a lot more than hang around backstage offering sexual favors. They are very instrumental in promoting up and coming rock acts. Ms. Vonn also works as a burlesque dancer and rock journalist, and confesses to having a very strong friendship with Marilyn Manson.

There are other notable groupies in Let’s Spend the Night Together. Cassandra Peterson, who you probably better as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, spent some time in the groupie trenches. So did belly dancer extraordinaire, Princess Farhana (born Pleasant Gehman). Actress Patti D’Arbanville shares her stories as does Gail Zappa, the widow of Frank Zappa. And boy groupie Pleather gives rock and roll girls what they’ve got coming. And yes, “sweet, sweet” Connie Hamzy, celebrated in the   Grand Funk Railroad’s song “We’re an American Band” (“Sweet, sweet Connie, doin’ her act/ She had the whole show and that’s a natural fact.”) also has a chapter. I’ll spare you the details on her shenanigans. You have to read it to believe it.

However, not all groupie stories are created equal. I found heavy metal groupies Patty and Lisa tiring and tedious, but that could be because heavy metal is not my thing. And somehow I couldn’t share Tina King’s pride and joy in giving Kid Rock a blow job. Kid Rock, people!

Let’s Spend the Night Together also gives intimate glimpses of the men who play the devil’s music. Apparently Kurt Cobain liked to dress up in women’s clothing, and Billy Idol likes to have stuff shoved up his butt. Who knew? However, I’m still trying to understand the appeal of Faster, Pussycat’s Taime Downe. He is name-dropped quite a bit in the book.

In the end, I found Let’s Spend the Night Together to be a fun, juicy read. I often stayed up way past my bedtime going from chapter to chapter. Des Barres gives her subjects a great deal of dignity and respect, and writes in a wonderfully breezy “just between us girls” style. You’ve got another hit, Miss Pamela!

Writer’s Block With a Dash of Brag Book

Little_Miss_BusyHello  my faithful readers. This is my 50th post at The Book Self Blog. Wow! I’ve been at this for over six months now, and I’m pleased with my progress and it’s great I’m gaining followers and likes.

Of course, I can’t rest on my laurels. Thank goodness I have been doing a lot of reading so look for more book reviews. I should have a book review for a memoir I just finished posted later this week. And I also plan to write and post reviews for a novel and a book of essays. And I’m revisiting a book I read ages ago for a retro review. Furthermore, I will post my first “Reading to Reels” feature within the next two weeks.

And of course, I’m always on the prowl for new books to read and review. If you have any suggestions leave a comment or drop me a line at thebookself@yahoo.com. I look forward to your suggestions. Just so you know, I usually get the books I review from my local library so I can save some money. Hopefully, your suggestions will be on my library shelves.

 

Brag Book

When I write a review, or anything for this blog, I always wonder how it’s going to be received. It’s nice to know people like my reviews and are following my blog.

However, it is quite another to have the actual author of a book you reviewed leave a comment at you blog. Mike Adelberg who wrote the wonderful novel Thinking Man’s Bully left a comment thanking me for writing a review. And I am kvelling, KVELLING!!!

Here is a link to the comment:
https://thebookselfblog.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/thinking-mans-bully-by-michael-adelberg/

I really enjoy supporting talented writers and to get that support right back is truly heart-warming. So thank you Mr. Adelberg.

Writer’s Block

Writer's Block PhotoWow, it’s been less than a month since I started this blog, and I’m gaining “likes” and “followers.” This is pretty awesome considering I haven’t done much publicity for this blog. I’ve put the social media aspect on the back burner for now until I put up more content. So thanks to everyone who has found this blog and is reading my posts. I really appreciate it.

And thanks so much to Joe Muto, whose book Atheist in the Foxhole was the first I reviewed at this blog. He tweeted a shout out to the review and my blog. Wow!

I have a couple of reviews already written that I’ll probably post shortly, and a couple more that are percolating in my brain. I picked up some novels at my library that I’ll read and review in the next few weeks. I’m also going to start a series I call “Retro Reviews.” In Retro Reviews, I will re-read the classics or bone up on classics I should have read. I will also use this series to re-visit some of my favorite books, including some fun trashy reads!

And if I have an interesting news regarding books, the publishing industry or writers and authors I’ll post them via Books Marks.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I actually have a life off-line. My contract has been extended and I start a new position with this company next week. That will keep me busy because I’ll be working some overtime. With the holidays coming up I can definitely use the money. Because I’m crazy and crafty, I will once again be making a lot of my gifts because that’s how I roll.

But this blog won’t be far from my mind. I’ve always been an avid reader, and I’m happy to share my love for books at this blog.

Brag Book

Aww, so sweet. I just took a look at my blog’s e-mail and found out I’m gaining followers and my posts are gathering a few likes. Thank you so much. Many of these people have blogs of their own so I’m definitely going to check them out when I have more time. Right now I’m finishing up some copy for a client, helping him with his fledgling non-profit.

Once again, thanks so much!