News, Comments and a Whole New Book for 2010 and Beyond

First things first: Here’s a really funny look back at the career of the Beatles, from the year 3000. Check out the frog emperor.

More reviews of PMAL popping up hither and yon, along with stray mentions as in this marijuana culture piece in Seattle’s City Arts magazine.

The end of the year always puts me in mind of Dennis Wilson, whose sad, glorious, star-crossed life ended this week in 1983. A great songwriter in his own right, and the brother of Brian. Amazing.

In case you didn’t infer this already, from the Bruce-centric postings of these last few months, here’s the news: The next book is already up and running, or at least in the early stages: A biography of Bruce Springsteen, also for Simon & Schuster. Much more work to come on that one. It may take a little while. But there it is, and if you have any thoughts, ideas, suggestions or sources to pass on….well, by all means. Reach me, as ever, at: peteramescarlin@gmail.com

And on that note. . . . Happy 2010.

Write Your Own Christmas Story! PAC.com's first-ever Seasonal Competition!

The following is the exact content of a note left on the car of our (absent, generous) hosts here in Berkeley, California:

“Just in case you hit (or bump) the BMW in front of you know that I have both your VIN and plate numbers to report to police and insurance as a hit and run.”

I’m sure you feel the magic cast by its anonymous author. The paranoia. The self-righteousness. The self-involvement that precludes any rational knowledge of civic behavior, let alone the requirements of the court system. For instance, does he/she really believe that seeing one car near yours at one point in the day means that the owner of that car is responsible for any and everything that might occur to your car even if it takes places minutes or hours or days after they leave….well, you can see where this is going.

But can you see where it came from? Can you write a brief work of fiction and/or psychological analysis to describe the persons and/or situations that led up to the writing of that note? Or what happened after the note was written?

If so, write it up. Send it me at: peteramescarlin@gmail.com. The winner, chosen by pac.com’s editorial board (ahem) will win, well, something. To be negotiated, ranging from a kick in the crotch to (yes) a brand new BMW. Which assertion does not mean you, or anyone, will actually win a BMW. But it’s pretty to think so, isn’t it?

Enter now. The deadline is midnight Dec. 31. 

Holiday Wishes for You!

Drove to California for the holidays, dreams of sunshine and eucalyptus and Cali-tastic high temps in my head, and now we’re here and it’s raining and cold and there’s a broken Radio Flyer wagon just outside the window.

Life is so different in my blog filter. There it’s all endless sex and fancy watches. Gucci handbags and advanced degrees. High-salaried jobs working for Google at your own kitchen table. Last week I was introduced to Olga, my mail-order Russian bride. Now, I’m all for Russian brides, though I think I’d have mine Fed-exed in order to save on the travel wear-and-tear. But Olga? My bride is apparently 57 years old, bulbous, red-faced and muttering angrily about Stalin. As well she should, I guess. Maybe a new handbag and a watch will improve her mood.

Somewhere the sun is shining. Santa’s en route and a younger, less aggrieved Russian bride is in his sack, bearing free samples of Viagra and Cialis, Gucci bags and a Rolex just for all of us. Either that or a sparkly new Radio Flyer.

Happy holidays.

Paul Speaks on PMAL! Suzanne Vega, too!

David Bauder of the Associated Press writes a cool story about PMAL, along with the LA Times’ longtime rock critic Robert Hilburn’s “Cornflakes with John Lennon,” a set of memoirs about his experiences with and among some of the rock world’s biggest names, including the aforementioned John WInston Ono Lennon. Bauder also spoke to Paul for another story right around the time he was reporting this one, and asked him about PMAL. Here’s what Paul had to say:

And while McCartney said he’s grateful that people are interested enough to write a book about his life, he doesn’t plan to read it.

“I’m living it, not reading about it,” McCartney said in an interview. “There’s always something that I’ll see that isn’t true and I’ll either worry about it and say, ‘Oh, God, people are going to read this and think it’s true because it’s in a book,’ or I’m just not going to be a part of it.”

So there we have it.

Also to be had:  Suzanne Vega’s review in the New York Times Book Review. This is a bit tougher going, at least for us authorial types, given that she seems a bit lukewarm on the book she’s reading. I could present some kind of point-by-point defense-slash-refutation on some or maybe most of her beefs . . .oh I feel a parenthetical coming on. . .

(For instance, I’d disagree that the book turns entirely sour at the end, if only because the admittedly tart observation she quotes — the part about Paul’s ageless cute one pose, seen most vividly recently during his extremely ill-advised appearance on Brit reality show ‘The X Factor — is followed by an un-quoted, un-referenced and yet literally climactic 1,000 words or so about Paul’s far-more-cool-and-adventurous work on “Electric Arguments.” The book ends with a direct quote from that album’s lyrics — Everywhere a sense of childlike wonder! — that is meant to describe Paul and what strikes me as his truly ageless self… the artist working somewhere out on the horizons of his own imagination. That’s what matters to me about him. That’s what I was trying to describe, while also finding a way to reconcile that beautiful Paul with his at times less-appealing self.)

. . . okay, that’s over. Anyway. Vega didn’t see that part. Nevertheless, she read the book and put some thought into it and her response to it. And though she came away less happy than other readers, I’m honored she took the time and made the effort and wrote something so thoughtful and interesting.

Tiger's Original Sin: "He took the lower standard of humanity."

An unidentified caller left this message at my office the other day. He doesn’t care about golf either, and has a whole other perspective on Tiger’s original sin. He didn’t leave his name or number, but all of these words are his. I wish he’d call me back so we could talk more. I like how he thinks.

Hey, that was an interesting article about Woods’ world turning against him? Yeah well, what world was his world? The world that subscribed because he got money, that they’ll do anything for him? Or is it the world where he rejected his own heritage. because you got to remember that if you got even one ounce of black blood in this country you’re considered black. You can’t be the other race.

But for a lot of blacks who pay attention and know what this world is about, particularly in this country, when that fool chastised Rev. Sharpton and Warren Ballantine, 1480 early in the morning, from 6 am until 1 pm, black radio, when they defended him from that crazy white woman who said they needed to lynch him, and he came back and tried to dress them down in public, you know, that tells us right there and then that he had already went there. He took the lower standard of humanity, and that’s the white world.

So nobody turned against him, he turned into what y ‘all created, and he became one of you guys, so you know. So re-write it. Peace out.

I’d leave my number but y’all never call back. So, yeah. We knew that. Black people already knew that. A lot of people who defend him, like Charles Barkley and all that, all of them love white  women, too. And you know there ain’t never been no black women around him? Not even his maid! Not even the people who do his toilets!

Check it out! Be a real reporter! Peace!