Monday, May 24, 2004

Jesse Sublett Returns !

Jesse Sublett makes his return to the world of books and back to Los Angeles with an appearance at the Mystery Bookstore in June.

I have read all the Martin Fender mysteries and I am looking forward to his new book Never the Same Again: A Rock and Roll Gothic.

Interestingly enough the man is a walking noir novel.

2 Comments:

Blogger Jesse Sublett said...

Hey Aldo,

We just got back to Austin from our LA trip. Thought perhaps I'd see you at Mystery Book Store, but you didn't appear. Or, I hope you weren't confused about the time. There was some kind of screw up about my time slot and for a brief time, the store was announcing that I'd be there at 5 PM instead of 1 PM a originally scheduled. I could do either but not both, so we got it back on the 1 PM slot, with James Lee Burke.

Had a nice small crowd, which included David Hendrick, drummer for Devo. As you may know, I launched all my Martin Fender novels at Shelly's Mysterious Bookshop when it was on Beverly, starting in 1989. We had a big crowd for Rock Critic Murders, with beer, Mexican food and loud blues music, and lots of musicians.

The night before (on THIS trip) I signed at Mystery & Imagination in Glendale and had a good crowd consisting of a lot of people who appear in the new book , including Carla Olson, Kathy Valentine, and others. Lee Lankford was there, too. He brought his son, Sterling, who met my own son, Dashiell, at the beach in Venice the day before. So they entertained themselves while I did my reading.

As you have hinted, this new book is very noirish even though it's a nonfiction book, a memoir. It is part true crime novel, part rock n roll journal, a real roller coaster.

In 1976, on August 16th, I went down to San Antonio to play what I was confident would be my first real, important gig of my music career. I'd dreamed of becoming a rock star ever since I saw the Stones on Ed Sullivan. It took a little time to get the right Musketeers together, though, and after several bad garage bands and false starts, I hooked up with the right guys and on the night in question, I played the gig and it went over gangbusters, and I came home the next day, ebullient and triumphant, and anxious to tell my girlfriend, Dianne Roberts, all about it. But instead I found her body in our bed. She'd been murdered by a serial killer.

I called the cops. They took me downtown. I was the prime suspect for a few awful hours. The real killer was found later on that night. I tried to block the nightmares & flashbacks with drugs, booze, rock n roll & lots of kind hearted women. My life was saved by rock n roll, just like the Lou Reed song.

In 1978 I was at the center of the punk / new wave scene here in Austin, as the leader of the Skunks, and the bass player for the Violators, two of the first punk/new wave bands in Austin, and the state of Texas as well. I had a great time, and did everything, just about, except to become famous and fabulously wealthy as a rock musician.

In 1987, my wife Lois (whom I met in late 77 and who was instrumental in my survival from the grief and horror), and I moved to LA so I could become the next Raymond Chandler, but with a rock n roll beat. I published 3 detective novels featuring Martin Fender, a bass player in an Austin blues band who moonlights as a detective, and I also wrote screenplays and documentaries.

In 1997 I was diagnosed with neck cancer, stage 4, and given a 4 percent chance of survival. I decided then to write about it, and about Dianne's murder, too. It seemed like the best way to get through this standoff with the grim reaper. Doing so seemed to help James Ellroy, whom I became acquainted with while living in LA and hanging out with crime writers.

By this time, I was back in Austin, and I also had a son, then 4 years old, to live for. So I started writing, and I reinvestigated Dianne's murder, and the other crimes committed by the monster who killed her. I went thru gruesome surgeries, chemo and radiation. Started playing rock n roll again. Survived. Finished the book.

Here it is. Hope you like it.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Jesse Sublett said...

Something new -- I'm being interviewed by an NPR reporter tomorrow afternoon. I'll keep you posted on when it is supposed to run.

By the way, my new website is up & running at www.jessesublett.com.

cheers,

Jesse

9:26 AM  

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