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Christopher Long’s A Shot of Poison Gets Tenth Anniversary Reboot!

A Shot of Poison Cover
“Another Shot of Poison . . .”

It seems like a lifetime ago that I was writing a monthly column (for the now long-defunct Request magazine) called Doctor Feelgood: A Remedy for the Rocks In Your Head, in which I discussed the continuing careers of various beloved ’80s Hair Metal Bands. During those years, I became friendly with a lot of musicians, including Rikki Rockett, drummer for the band Poison. It was this connection, I believe, that prompted an industry friend, Christopher Long, to ask if I would contribute the foreword to a tell-all book he was writing about the band, based on his experiences touring with them as a tech to bassist Bobby Dall. Coincidentally, a story I had just heard from another musician friend that had something to do with the band’s road cases provided me with unique creative inspiration to write that introduction, and Chris just flipped out when he read it, so it all worked out. You can read a little preview I wrote on A Shot of Poison when it was first published in 2010 right here.

Chris emailed me recently to let me know A Shot of Poison is being re-published in an updated version for its 10th Anniversary, and that my foreword would remain a part of the book, which is nice to hear. The new ‘Director’s Cut‘ edition dropped yesterday and is surely worth picking up for anyone who would love to get the dirt on a rock band as polarizing as Poison. I asked Chris if he would like to give me a quote on why he decided to update the story and here’s what he said:

“Since I was a kid, I’ve craved insider rock and roll books — a passion first fueled by Bob Greene’s Billion Dollar Baby — the riveting bestseller that recounted Greene’s unique first-hand experiences while touring with the Alice Cooper Band in 1973. A Shot of Poison came as a result of my own rather eye-opening personal experiences while touring with the band Poison in the early 2000s. Recently, I was inspired by author Anna-Marie O’Brien‘s dazzling debut memoir, Adventures of a Metalhead Librarian. A music industry insider, also with an amazing personal story, O’Brien ‘showed’ me that, while the original 2010 version of A Shot of Poison offered plenty of underbelly insights, I may have missed the bigger ‘story factor.’

In short order, I had a conversation with my publisher and it was decided that the 10th Anniversary was a perfect time to revisit the book — give it a good polishing and expand the narrative to include my array of Poison-related experiences that have played out since the release of the first edition. I think it’s a pretty solid reboot!”

A Shot of Poison: The Directors Cut is now available at Amazon or directly from CG Publishing (for a few bucks less) at This Link.

The Best Books About Horses for Any Type of Reader

national velvet
Scene From 1944 Film National Velvet Starring Elizabeth Taylor

Horses have long been a source of inspiration for writers. While they are often viewed as books for younger readers, the truth is that some of the finest equine stories are recommended for people of any age.

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

This is probably the most famous book about horses ever written. You might think that it is a children’s tale because of the animated film versions it has inspired. Yet, Black Beauty is a serious tale about the need to better look-after animals. The story is told by the horse itself. We learn that this noble animal has a variety of owners over the years, with some of them being kind to him and others treating him badly. He meets a variety of interesting characters and lives through some tense moments.

Black Beauty was the author’s only published book and it was a massive success. Black Beauty helped the public to gain a better understanding of animal welfare and possibly led to some of the legal changes that were introduced now long afterwards.

National Velvet by Enid Bagnold

You probably know of this book mainly because of the wonderful 1944 movie that featured a young Elizabeth Taylor alongside Mickey Rooney. Velvet Brown is a 12-year old girl who dreams of riding a horse in a race. She wins a horse in a raffle and learns how to ride it. At the end, Velvet wins the Grand National Steeplechase on her beloved horse. The story is unbelievable, but the book is slightly less dramatic than the movie. It is definitely worth reading regardless of whether or not you have ever seen the famous film version.

The Red Pony by John Steinbeck

This is one of the famed author’s earliest books. It follows the life of Jody, a boy who grows up surrounded by horses on a Californian ranch. While he loves being around horses, Jody also lives through a number of dramatic moments with them that teach him valuable life lessons. The Red Pony was first published by magazines in 4 different chapters, all between 1933 and 1936. All of the stories were then gathered together in a single book that was published in 1937.

Jody is the main protagonist, rather than a horse. However, many of the book’s best stories involve horses and their impact on the people around them.

Horse Heaven by Jane Smiley

This book takes a close look at the world of competitive horse racing. It is set in California and provides a fascinating insight into what goes on behind-the-scenes at big race meetings. A rich variety of characters – both human and equine – help to make this an interesting read from start to finish. The action takes place over the course of a couple of years and feels sort of like a glamorous soap opera in a type of setting we don’t normally get to see.

Horse racing fans will be pleased to find out some useful information on the sport and how it works. Even if you have never looked for the latest Kentucky Derby odds on horses, there is a lot to like about Horse Heaven, though.

The Kellys and the O’Kellys by Anthony Trollope

In The Kellys and the O’Kellys, we get to see behind-the-scenes of the Irish horse racing business. Since it was originally published in 1848, it is also a historical look at the sport and the country in those times. The main characters are called Martin Kelly, and Frank O’Kelly. While much of the plot centers on their money and love lives, the horse racing element helps to bring it to life. A well-worked hunting scene also adds to the excitement.

These are all terrific examples of books that feature horses, but there are plenty of others for you to explore, too.

Pink Thing of The Day: Happy Tank

Happy Tank Film Still
All Photos By Gail

A few weeks ago, we went over to  The Fashion Institute of Technology to check out the 2017 MFA in Illustration Visual Thesis Exhibition, which was entitled 13 Stories.  It is while visiting the exhibit that I discovered a cool Pink Thing created by FIT student and MFA candidate Necdet Yilmaz, who is a native of Turkey.  Necdet’s visual thesis, Happy Tank, is a story about a little machine built for war that doesn’t want to fight. Happy Tank must be sent to war, but refuses to fire at a large building where a child is seen crying. For disobeying the order, Happy Tank is decommissioned and melted down. The story concludes with Happy Tank being recycled and used to construct a playground years after the war is over.

Happy Tank Film Still

Screen Shots from Happy Tank Animated Film (Above and Below)

Happy Tank Film Still

Necdet explains that this project “is related to my written thesis, War Themed Childrn’s Books and Propaganda. In wars, children are often affected and exploited as a propaganda tool. However, my project is in opposition to what I researched in my thesis. Personally, I am inspired to create these piece because of my background. My home country, Turkey, is located near the Middle East where there is constant war. This instability affects people in the region, like myself, economically, socially and psychologically.

Happy Tank Book

“This body of work is executed in three different mediums: animation, print in the form of a children’s book and toy design. Using pdf software and animation for the first time while I was creating this work was an exciting challenge for me. I learned a lot about myself while discovering the intricacies of unfamiliar technologies. In particular, especially, when I created the animation I learned how designing three-dimensional characters, objects and environments, using different camera angles, lighting and sound in combination enhanced my creative skill.”

Given our political climate today, Happy Tank could be considered more relevant now than ever. You can see more projects by Necdet at his website, located at This Link.

Photographed in the Museum at FIT, Located on Seventh Avenue at 27th Street, as Part of the 13 Stories Exhibit, which is now Closed.

Happy Tank

Geoffrey Dicker Publishes Outrageous First Novel, Journal of Grievances

Geoffrey Dicker Journal of Grievances
Image Courtesy of Geoffrey Dicker

Full Disclosure: If you are an avid fan of Worleygig.com, you are aware that Geoffrey Dicker is my BFF/Partner In Crime, and that we have experienced many, many crazyfun adventures together; most of which are documented with photographic evidence right on this very blog! So, you already know that Geoffrey is one rad dude whose devil-may-care attitude carries over into every facet of his ass-kick in his life. Good for him, I say! Good for everybody!

With that introduction, it is my pleasure to announce the publication of Journal of Grievances, Geoffrey’s latest book and first novel! Warning: this book is recommended for immature audiences only, as it is riddled with ridiculous amounts of adult language and thoroughly twisted situations. Journal of Grievances is a ‘raw and uncensored’ look into the controversial ups and downs (both in and out of the bedroom) of a struggling, single gay male writer living in New York City!

Told through daily journal entries in a year-long approach to turning The Big Four-Oh, the Journal’s protagonist spills his guts with hilarious observations as he waxes philosophically: analyzing his raunchy sex life, drug addictions, debauched relationships, life encounters, and his frustrations with society. With razor-sharp prosaic hooks and brutal honesty, our narrator navigates through relationship drama and job-loss as he struggles to find his place in the world. Or maybe not.

Geoffrey suggests that if you are easily offended by profanity or graphic depictions of gay sex, please do not buy this book. Alternately, he advises the reader to flip to any page and promises that within 2 sentences, he or she will be laughing. “I’d like to think of this book as a gay loner version of Sex and the City meets Curb Your Enthusiasm meets Catcher in the Rye — in other words, it’s completely fucked up!”  Journal of Grievances is an unconventional coming-of-age story with no filters and absolutely zero fucks given!  The supporting characters in the story remain nameless, because what matters is how their words and actions affect our anti-hero. “Despite the story containing generous helpings of extreme gay sex,” Dicker continues, “I think the anyone – straight or gay –  will be able to relate to the situations and moral dilemmas in which the main character often finds himself.”

“I’ve read so many books that never teach me anything new, make me think differently, or, at the very least, make me smile, Dicker continues. Journal of Grievances will bring each of these experiences to the reader, hopefully repeatedly. There are 11 months of daily journal entries, and one month’s entries made up of random ideas; including a short story told almost exclusively via use of the F-word.” Ant any rate, he promises, “You’ll never be the same again, after reading Journal of Grievances!”

Journal of Grievances is Released Today, September 20th, 2016, and is Available to Purchase From Amazon at This Link!

Recommended Reading: Shootin’ The Shit, Volume One: Conversations with Rock Anti-Heroes, Icons and Metal Gods By Vinny Cecolini

Shootin the Shit Cover

Way, way back, when I used to interview Famous People for a (meager) living, I acquired a valued reputation as a bit of a Rock Star Whisperer for my ability to get musicians to open up and talk about anything — even subjects or revelations that they had never made before to another journalist. This happened all the time. And while I take full credit for honing this skill through interviews with members of bands like Motley Crue, Duran Duran, Alice Cooper, The Sex Pistols and Led Zeppelin, I did have a couple of valuable mentors in fellow rock journalist friends who showed me the ropes when I was just an egg, and who taught me to me fearless. One of those friends was veteran rock journalist Vincent “Vinny” Cecolini, a Metal God in his own right, whom I have been friends with for twenty years. Vinny is the bomb.

Vinny has just published his first book of his collected interviews with some of the biggest names in metal and extreme rock, which is called Shootin’ the Sh*t — Volume One: Conversations with Rock Anti- Heroes, Icons & Metal Gods. Unlike typical collections of rock star interviews,  Vinny’s first eBook is a compendium of conversations with artists  that were conducted during pivotal moments in each of their careers. Plans for pop culture domination; The truths behind long-debated rock ‘n’ roll legends; the inspirations for — and true meanings of — classic song lyrics; the decisions for leaving and returning to major bands; the struggles with such un-rock ‘n’ roll experiences as fatherhood and maturity: these are just a few of the revelations contained within the pages of Shooting the Sh*t Volume One: Conversations with Rock Anti-Heroes, Icons & Metal Gods. Each conversation focuses on the artist and not the writer. This is a must read book!

“Fans want to read the artist’s words,” Vinny explains. “They want to read exact, contextual quotes. They don’t care about a journalist’s musings and meanderings. If they did, they would immediately flip over to a magazine’s reviews or editorial section.” As the title suggests, the author never treats his artist chats as paint-by-numbers question and answer sessions, but as friendly, naturally flowing conversations.

“Straight-forward interviews are the kiss of death,” Vinny continues. “When promoting something new, most artists are subjected to a cattle call of interviews. And nothing will bore an artist quicker than hearing the same sterile questions over and over again; nothing will frustrate or turn them off quicker than watching a ‘hack’ journalist stammering as he or she fumbles with a list of questions.

“If a journalist lets the conversation flow naturally, it may take him or her in a different direction than intended, but that is fine. Even if given an agenda by a publication (to talk about a new album, DVD or tour), eventually, the conversation will find its way back to topic.” This practice has resulted in a number of amazing chats with artists such as Neil Young, Meat Loaf, Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson and the late, great Ronnie James Dio. Metal!

During his 25-year career, Vinny’s work has appeared in dozens of publications including Hit Parader, Metal Maniacs and Bikini. He was also the head writer for cable network VH1 Classic during the short window when that station actually played music videos. Like many veteran journalists, Vinny accumulated conversations that, for a variety of reasons, had never been published. Shooting the Sh*t is Vinny’s opportunity to help these amazing and often highly candid conversations  a new audience. The idea was born as the author lamented over an unpublished chat with a pre-American Nightmare Marilyn Manson.

Shooting the Sh*t Volume One: Conversations with Rock Anti-Heroes, Icons & Metal Gods is available now an e-book on Kindle now and will be available on other formats this week! Get it on Amazon right now atThis Link!

Christian’s Heroes Coloring Book

Christian's Heroes Coloring Book Cover
All Photos By Gail

It may have been as long ago as last summer that I met Christian, as he set up a table near the corner of 10th Avenue and 23rd Street in the Chelsea Gallery Distinct to hand out his amazing coloring /activity books that he makes himself.

Andy Warhol

On each of the book’s pages you will find an icon of the art, fashion or music world along with a famous original quote of theirs. Here is Andy Warhol, my favorite artist ever in the Universe of all time, also accompanied by my favorite quote of his, “Art is What you Can Get Away With.” That is so true.

Freddie and Grace

Here we see Freddie Mercury and Grace Jones (as seen on the cover of her legendary CD, Island Life).

Elton John

Elton John, I love him!

Bjork

I can feel Bjork on this quote, because people asked me the same thing when I got home from an Alaskan Cruise. Really people? Eskimos? It was cruise, not an anthropological expedition!

Andre Leon Talley

Andre Leon Talley is an eccentric fashion mogul who sometimes gets himself into trouble, because he has a very sassy mouth!

Andy Maze

There are alossome fun games and activity pages in the book, such as this cool maze to help Andy Warhol find funding for his art, or something like that!

Karl Lagerfeld Connect the Dots

Also, you can connect-the-dots to draw designer Karl Lagerfeld. So fun!

Find out more about Christian and see how he has colored and decorated some of these pages himself on his Facebook page, Christian Loves Sparkle!

Yes, It Exists: God, I Don’t Even Know Your Name, The Novel

God, I Don’t Even Know Your Name
All Photos By Gail

Eva is a hot mess. When her promising art career in New York takes a plunge, she enters rehab and finds sobriety—but not peace of mind. She escapes to Europe and loses herself in one hook up after another using Bangly, the newest dating app. She meets a run-of-the-mill Finnish curator and thinks it’s love. Or is it just wanderlust?

God, I Don’t Even Know Your Name by Andrea McGinty is the third installment of New Lovers, a series of short erotic fiction published by Badlands Unlimited. Inspired by Maurice Girodias’ legendary Olympia Press, New Lovers features the raw and uncut writings of authors new to the erotic romance genre. Each story has its own unique take on relationships, intimacy, and sex, as well as the complexities that bedevil contemporary life and culture today.

Each novella in the New Lovers series is an independent story of about 12,000 – 18,000 words in length. God, I Don’t Even Know Your Name is a Eurotrip of epic sexual and artistic proportions with stunning locales, a myriad of men, and one undeniably resilient heroine.

The design of New Lovers pays homage to the classic covers of the books published by Olympia Press. The “soft-touch” lamination and embossed lettering on the front covers of the paperback editions make these novellas a precious edition to any library. Both paperback and ebook editions feature special color endpaper artworks by Paul Chan.

God, I Don’t Even Know Your Name

Gail’s Classic Interview with John Paul Jones Appears in New Book About Led Zeppelin!

Led Zeppelin on Led Zeppelin

Some of you who have been fans for a while may know that, back in the day before I wrote about Rad Art and Delicious Food, I used to interview famous Rock Stars at a pretty steady clip and then publish those interviews across the globe. Those days are long gone, of course, but sometimes traces of my previous life live on!

A former Rock Journalist colleague of mine, Hank Bordowitz, has recently published a book of more than fifty collected interviews (from 1957 to 2012) with all four members of Led Zeppelin, appropriately entitled Led Zeppelin on Led Zeppelin, and it is just a fantastic read. The best thing about this book, however, it that my rad interview with Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, conducted in his NYC Hotel Room in Spring of 2002 has made its way into this fine Rock Tome.

Hank was kind enough to send me a copy of the published book and I was so excited to see my interview in there that I read it right away, and then I made a little squee. Let me tell you, it is a really terrific interview — and if mine is that great, imagine how excellent some of the others must be that were conducted by people who were fortunate enough to be able to make a living writing about music and didn’t have to get a day job working for the man. Led Zeppelin!

Buy the book at Amazon Dot Com!

Recommended Reading: I Won The Internet! By Geoffrey Dicker

Geoffrey I Won The Internet
Image By Troy Gua

Do you enjoy meeting Famous People? I’ll tell you who does: my friend Geoffrey. Geoffrey has met more famous people from every possible facet of celebritydom than most actually famous people have met – I’d bet money on it. Go ahead and Google the name of a famous person and hit “Images,” and you’ll likely find a photo of that celebrity with Geoffrey among the first 5 results. JUST BEING SERIOUS.

Being almost singlehandedly responsible for reviving interest in the art of taking the celebrity selfie, Geoffrey has spent the past five years documenting his near-daily photo safari conquests on his wildly popular blog, According 2 G Dot Com, where he shares them with a global audience for the enjoyment of everyone.

Recently, because not everyone can figure out how to click on a hyperlink, Geoffrey wrote and published an indispensable tome for the celebrity–obsessed and social-mediaphiles who simply cannot stop Instagramming photos of their lunch, entitled I Won The Internet!: Daily Wit, Wisdom and Selfies, According to G. This book is outstanding on so many levels.

I Won The Internet! chronicles some of the encounters of Geoffrey as a “Modern Day Zelig” who has met a celebrity born on each day of the year (including Oprah Winfrey, Bono, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Morrissey, James Franco, Lady Gaga, Joan Rivers, Bryan Cranston, Jane Fonda and Ringo Starr) and presents his witty and uncensored one-liners and words of wisdom disguised as Status Updates and Tweets.

This rad book contains two sections of thoughtful and hilarious ideas for people to ponder and share online to make them the most popular person in their social media newsfeed. Geoffrey encourages readers to use this book as a guide to put them at the forefront of pop culture.

Geoffrey Selfies
Know Thy Selfie

The third section is dedicated to Geoffrey’s unique Celebrity Selfies, which showcase only a fractional portion of his impressive celebrity selfie photos, and daunting autograph collection (30 years in the making). Using I Won The Internet! as a daily calendar, readers get the chance to view these superstars and legends-in-the-making in an entirely different light. The book features 365 exclusive color photographs of some of the biggest names in entertainment, music and art. Last but not least, I Won The Internet!‘s original cover art, which depicts Geoffrey as an adorable Cat Meme (because everybody loves cats!) was conceived and created by pop artist Troy Gua.

Pick up your copy of I Won The Internet! from Amazon Dot Com at This Link.

Book Review: Art & Place

ART & PLACE Cover
All Images Courtesy of Phaidon

Hundreds of books about Art are published every year and it’s challenging for even hardcore Art enthusiasts like me to keep track of the best ones. But I don’t think I’ve yet come across a coffee table-sized Art book that I wanted to peruse cover-to-cover for hours in the way I do Art & Place: Site-Specific Art of The Americas — a comprehensive collection of public art, due out from Phaidon Press in November, 2013.

It’s unfortunate that, due to the (understandable) copyright restrictions on the hundreds of gorgeous photographs contained in the pages of Art & Place, the publishers would only allow me to post three images from the book, because the photographs collected for this impressive publication are simply breathtaking and make Art & Place a must-own for collectors and fans alike. Whenever I travel, one of my favorite things to do is photo-documen public art; whether that be sculptures, installations, random street art or works created from and within nature. Art transforms the perception of reality in a way mere words cannot, and this book does an amazing job of both visually demonstrating and verbally relating the ways in which art elevates life. If you also enjoy photographing site-specific works of art when you visit a new city, this book is an indispensable guide to making the most of your travel experiences across the United States.

Star Tunnel By Charles Ross
Chupinas Mesa, Charles Ross, Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Anton Chico, NM, USA
Star Axis, 1976–, carved rock and masonry, H: 15.85 m / 52 ft 4 Star Tunnel Aperture

Organized geographically, Art & Place is an unprecedented overview of site-specific art across North, Central and South America from 10,000 BC to the present day. This one-of-a-kind book offers an in-depth and extensive look at major works from all periods that are inextricably linked with their site. From Isamu Noguchi at Storm King Art Center, Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate in Chicago, and Donald Judd in Marfa, to the Toltec Warriors at Tula and the Moai Statues on Easter Island, all the featured works are specifically made for, or installed in, a particular place – whether that be a landscape, an interior or an urban environment.

Bus Home By Dennis Oppenheim
Pacific View Mall, Dennis Oppenheim, Ventura, CA, USA
Bus Home, 2002, painted steel, acrylic, 10.9 × 15.2 × 30.5 m / 36 × 50 × 100 ft

“Art made for a specific place can be the most spectacular, uplifting and exciting art you can ever experience, and artists of the Americas have provided us with some of the most outstanding examples,” says Amanda Renshaw, editor of the book. “I’ve had the chance to visit many sites, but quickly realized that it is, unfortunately, impossible to visit them all in a single lifetime. Art sites have become increasingly popular destinations. The format of Art & Place aims to bring some of the most extraordinary examples to life and enable most of us to visit these amazing places from home.”

Museo de la Memoria
Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos, Alfredo Jaar, Santiago, Chile
Geometry of Conscience, Plaza de la Memoria, 2010, light installation, duration: 3 mins

Highlights include:

  • Works in over 60 cities – from Albuquerque to Washington, DC, and from Baja to Rio de Janeiro
  • 170 powerful and spectacular art works from North, Central, and South America
  • 800 large-format color images depicting the artwork in its surroundings along with a descriptive text written by a specialist
  • All forms of art including carving and painting, murals and frescos, mosaics, altarpieces, tapestries, integral sculpture, stained glass, earthworks, land art and more
  • Renowned artists such as Richard Serra and John Sargent, Donald Judd and Henry Moore, alongside art created by ancient civilizations, Colonial settlers and 19th Century muralists
  • Maps pinpointing the location of sites and specially commissioned plans show the layout of complex sites

With the holidays coming up, I can’t think of a more appropriate gift for the Art lover in your life than Art & Place: Site-Specific Art of The Americas (Approx. 368 Pages; Approx. 800 Color Illustrations), available as a Hard Cover collectible for just $79.95. Phaidon books are available at all major bookstores and retailers worldwide, as well as online at This Link!