Manbaby and the Crooked Road to the Big Time
Dust Jacket Hardcover
Yeah, it was fun to play and get crazy, to walk
the edge, the thin line between life and death, to challenge the forces, the universal powers. You had to test yourself. You did it to be cool, man. You had to be cool!
Manbaby reached into his coat pocket as though he was fondling the muzzle of a fi ne pistol but instead it was something much more powerful. When he showed me the small leather case and cast his eyes up to mine. I knew I was dead as if I had been shot through the heart.
The earth is bleeding…Rivulets trickle like ruptured vessels down the arms of the desolate self-crucifi ed in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Harlem.
The earth is bleeding, bleeding songs, bleeding anguished written lines, bleeding poets lusting death, bleeding days of hard hustle and cold cavernous rooms warmed by the spoon and the constant re-visit of the wound. The track lengthens the mind yields to the life and rivulets fl ow, inching down the fi nger tip in baleful consciousness. Destruction of honor, and tomorrow’s distant purple mountains are barren streets reverently crossed to sit at this table before the desperate solace, the inevitable
homage, the gleaming tip of seduction, the sharp pressing and bleeding on. And now it fl ows, the trickle of conscious participation as rivers fl ow to the cold pristine mix of the sea. And as the earth bleeds openly for brother and son, so goes the madness, so goes the war, so goes the man undone,
and so goes the Rushing. The inspiring story of the tough sub culture of drugs and jazz music in the 60’s and the “Crooked Road to the Big Time.” Through the depths of heroin addiction and jazz music one made it back and survived. THE RUSHING DON ALBERTS
DON ALBERTS BIOGRAPHY A jazz musician through most of his life, Don took up writing soon after leaving San Jose State College where he studied with concert pianist Thomas Ryan and majored in music composition and English. His early works of writing were inspired by writers Ken Kesey and Neal Cassady with whom he toured for a short time on the Joy Bus, and the work of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Charles Bukowski, Henry Miller, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Neruda, Billy Collins, Herman Hesse, Tom Wolfe and others. Ultimately, writing and music became his bittersweet joy. He continued to develop his skills spending more and more time writing, and playing music at night. In 1990, under the pen name Whitney Louis, he completed his first full-length novel, Beyond the Grand Matoeba. It is a wild outdoor adventure involving a young sheriff with a personal vendetta. With the experience of writing Beyond the Grand Matoeba, which consumed thirteen months of his life, he came to realize the dedication and responsibility required of an author and also the passion. �Play Melancholy Baby,� originally titled �Frankie and Pauline,� a work of fiction, first appeared in a group of short stories submitted to a San Francisco editor in 1994 but never published. It has become one of the author�s favorites. It possesses the power to be a great motion picture in the hands of someone like Francis Coppola or Clint Eastwood. �Play Melancholy Baby� has raw power, a story that moves forcefully through scene after scene, pushed on by the seductive power of the characters and their dubious intent. The collection of short stories and poetry are now available at the Internet site www.lulu.com/donalberts. Small Unrested Desires also includes �Play Melancholy Baby� and five other significant short stories: �Bain,� �Walking on Heaven,� �Desolation,� �Mooney,� and �Sassa,� plus a list of Affirms. �Ancient Warrior, Selected Poems from 1995 to 2005� is also available. In the period of the 1960s, Don found himself embroiled in the after-hours jazz night life, employed by Jimbo Edwards at the famous Bop City in San Francisco, playing piano until dawn. Don has documented much of these times in his novel The Rushing, describing the life of a jazz musician. Much of this experience prompted a work of nonfiction, �A Diary of the Underdogs, Jazz in San Francisco in the 60�s,�a work of social and historical documentation accompanied with musician�s interviews. Don has written ten volumes of original jazz compositions. Volumes 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 have won the ASCAP jazz composers award for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Don has taught jazz composition at the Jazz School in Berkeley California and has published a course book. He has recorded six CDs with his own groups. All CDs are available at www.cdbaby.com. He now lives in San Bruno and frequently plays piano at clubs in San Francisco.
Alberts' debut novel tells a story based on the true journeys of jazz artists and junkies in the 1960s. During a period of grand experimentation with drugs and music, San Francisco jazz piano prodigy Louis Parker yearns to share the spotlight with such greats as John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Chet Baker. To be more like his heroes, he experiments with "the narcotic state" to achieve the precision, sensitivity and focus he hears in the "thick rhythmic delight of jazz." Like them, he falls prey to addiction, confusing the excitement that floods his body when heplays music with the rushing sensation caused by injecting "the elegant toxic poison" into his bloodstream. Although the narrator claims that life's purpose is to seek out the "mystic glue" of friendship, Louis's sights are always on the next drug score-and a little bit of intimate companionship when the nod is over. His associates, some real and well known, Janis Joplin makes a cameo-and some not quite there, are mostly "dope fiends." Louis tries to get high from morning glory seeds, and uses meth, pot, LSD, PCP, MDA and other drugs, but nothing quells Louis' "hurt-the-deep, sealed-up loneliness" as heroin does. Despite Louis' repeated attempts at getting clean and harrowing stints in the justice systems of Oregon and California-as well as Gestalttherapy sessions-Louis, like his heroes, ultimately yields to a last temptation. Alberts sometimes channels a spontaneous poetry worthy of Kerouac's best, and his narrative, full of confusing, hazy, blood-spattered recollections and imaginary characters, recalls the writings of Burroughs.That said, the novel switches gears erratically from first-person to third-person points of view as the various drug induced states of mind speak their own language. Early on, Louis repeats the word, "exalted," when he refers to his desire to be one of them, and 204 pages later, Louis receives his "chance to be exalted."
A scattered, Beat-inspired novel featuring the best-laid schemes of jazz clubs and frenzied fixes gone awry- as Louis Parker ultimately, in a heroic foray, finds his way back to the music.
- Kirkus Reviews
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