Category Archives: Books and Periodicals

Book Reviews and More!

Book Review: Made in California Revisits the Nostalgia-Inspiring Restaurants of The Southland

made in california book cover photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

I lived in Southern California until I moved to NYC at age 27; and from ages 3 to 19 (1964 to 1980) I resided in the city of Orange. The main street in my neighborhood was Tustin Avenue, which was populated with countless fast food and casual restaurants including McDonalds, Taco Bell, Marie Callender’s, A&W (Root Beer) Drive Up, Arby’s, Jack In The Box, Winchell’s Donuts, Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor, IHOP, Baskin Robbins and others whose memories have been lost to time.

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Pink Thing Of The Day: Mommy, Why Is Your Hair Pink? Book

mommy why is your hair pink book photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

It’s times like this — spotting a children’s book entitled Mommy, Why Is Your Hair Pink? — that I almost regret (but not really) never having  kids, because this book was made for pink-haired ladies like me! The book’s author is Shannon Bahake Happe with illustrations by Ingrid Ochoa. Find out more about Shannon, and buy the book, at This Link!

Photographed On-The-Road in Park City, Utah!

Reccomended Reading: Alice Cooper in the 70s: Decades By Chris Sutton

Alice Cooper in the 70s Book

In September of 1970 the band called Alice Cooper had been living out of their suitcases for a year; playing gigs across the country nonstop since leaving California in 1969. Choosing to put down roots in just outside of Detroit, in the center of the Midwest rust belt, proved to be one of the best decisions the band ever made, both creatively and financially. With two commercially unsuccessful albums behind them, Michael Bruce, Glen Buxton, Vince Furnier (aka Alice Cooper), Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith were at the threshold of turning their music into Gold and Platinum for the first time. In the dawn of a decade bookended by The Beatles and Punk Rock, Alice Cooper exploded as a revolutionary force in theatrical American Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Alice Cooper in the 1970s: Decades, a new book by UK-based author Chris Sutton explores the story of Alice Cooper  from their early years as band of five guys through to the end of the decade, when Alice launched a solo career after the band dissolved.

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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.

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