Tonight You’re Misinterpreting Debauchery as Fun
posted by May 21 at 12:59 PMon
So for the past week or so, I have been falling asleep every night reading Mike Edison’s memoir I Have Fun Everywhere I Go. He’s reading tonight at the Sunset.
Let me summarize and complain a bit for ya.
Here’s a brief rundown of his life: grew up smart and anti-establishment in Jersey, moved to NYC where he dropped out of Columbia got a job writing porno paperbacks instead, ran around the country pissing people off in a few different ways (a hardcore band, an anti-Reagan Merry Pranksters analogue), became the editor of a pro-wrestling magazine, moved to Spain, did a bunch of crank, joined another couple of bands no one’s ever heard of, came back to New York and became the publisher of High Times magazine. Other stuff might happen to him—I’m not done with the book yet.
Here are the problems I have with this book:
1) Edison seems pretty smart, but he is using the most annoying memoir format ever—starting off every chapter with a short paragraph of where we’re gonna be in his life by the end of the chapter. This really bugs me, especially because it seems like that’s the only trick up his sleeve. For a long-time journalist and writer, he should know better than to recycle so hard.
2) It kind of seems like, at this point in the book, like the pinnacle of his life was being the one to tell High Times to put Ozzy Osbourne on the cover, and then calling Page Six and making a big deal about how tons of pot was gone after the photoshoot, which in turn got him invited on a lot of radio shows. Edison loves attention, and he knows that debauchery is the way to do it, but beyond that, he doesn’t seem to have any philosophies, or life-goals, or any redeeming qualities.
3) He’s really proud of opening for the Ramones in ‘92. That’s not really cutting edge, dude.
4) There is a really long part, with illustrations, of how you should manage people like they are monkeys. Surprise, surprise, his employees at High Times grow to hate him.
5) The worst offense, really, is that this is a gonzo memoir re-packaged into a firm structure. He had a crazy life, yes, but he writes like a librarian. It’s like when bad bar-rock bands repackage awesome bands like Led Zeppelin and whatever into 3 minute, verse-chorus-verse, yarl songs. This is a bar-book.
However, if you are totally into stories about strippers in New Orleans getting it on in cheap hotel rooms, or cokehead buddies that fly everyone to Vegas to marry off two people that don’t know each other, or you want to find out this guy’s philosophy on women (they should be more than just hotties!), it will be an entertaining read.
An aside, sort of: Paul Constant also gave me the cd companion to the book. His new band is called Mike Edison and the Rocket Train Delta Science Arkestra.
Here’s the picture from the inside flap:
Should I listen to it? I can’t decide.