Bluestockings Zine Shop ReadingSince 2005 I have been invited to read from my zine at various events, book stores and zine festivals. The best show I ever did was a reading of an excerpt from, “Lost in the K-Hole,” at a bar called Pianos. The idea was that they would have a band come up and do a few songs, then a spoken word performer would read something, then another band. On the bill with me were a bunch of NYC institutions like the band Clap Your Heads Say Yeah and my former co-worker Jonathan Ames. I thought I was going to go too long but people seemed really into it. I thought a band was going to follow me but instead Jonathan Ames came up right after me. It made my night when he declared that he had a contact high just from listening to me read. I have read many of his books about his various adventures with drugs, alcohol and the trans sex-worker community. He is more dangerous than I am and I say that with no malice. I don't really get jealous but I do have a great deal of admiration for Jonathan because he is fearless, shameless and hopeless in the pursuit of his various appetites.
In 2007 I was asked to be part of a zine reading at a popular downtown zine shop called Bluestockings. NegCap #5 was still very much in progress but I wanted to read something new that I'd never read before. I ended up taking three different excerpts for this reading including a sample of “A.D.D. Movie Reviews,” I had recently gotten my first pair of glasses and I was not used to needing them but my zine is notorious for the small type (I wasn't thinking about future me at all when I made the type so small, I was trying to prevent my grandmothers from reading my most scathing comments). I used to have 20/15 vision but when faced with the choice of dying or slowly losing my vision, I realized I could live with wearing glasses. Now I am so used to glasses that it feels weird when I don't have them. I can still see and read without them but it's harder and the eye doctor said that the more I wear the glasses, the slower my eyes will degenerate. Could be bullshit but glasses have done more than correct my vision, they turn into sunglasses when it gets bright, they keep things from flying into my eyes and they make me look like a person who reads a lot.
This video is the public debut of my story, “Fuck Rick Springfield,” which my friend Marc Calvary ended up making into a very cool cassette-only zine. I am sure I will give them away with the Kickstarter for #6 when I get to that stage. The cassette includes the original song, multiple cover versions and the liner notes is the entire piece. It's a wonderful little artifact that took a lot of work and makes me proud. That piece on Rick Springfield was an immediate hit and I was asked to read it again at various other venues but each time I did it, I would find a way to tweak it so it felt fresh when I was reading it. I also got in a few Mini-Rants™, some from my wife and a couple of my own, which actually went over better than I expected.
My friend Peter sat in the audience with my wife and some other friends. Bluestockings is a very liberal, politically correct, woke kind of place and I did think for a minute that my reading might not be that well-received but honestly, sometimes a bad reaction means I have something good for the zine. I ended up using some of this footage to make the Kickstarter video that I used to raise money to print the issue. I was planning to use the original version of Rick Springfield's Jessie's girl but thought the record company would get it taken down so I used an obscure cover instead.