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Posted January 1, 2003
Freedom is what Nobody Told Me is really about.
I bought Ken Geringer's Nobody Told Me as a gift for my husband, but after I heard hubby laughing all the way through it, I picked it up. And couldn't put it down. Not what I expected-not your standard rock 'n roll litany of what drugs we did on what days-but a sensitive and damn funny tale that has what most books of today lack-meaning. The author, although he did work with Lennon's people and did include much insight on John and others, opens the book with his growing up during a time when he learned it was OK to say '---- off' to racist adults, stupid teachers, and the goody-goody kids in his housing development. I am 48 years old and I remember feeling the same way he did (and still do). Nobody Told Me would still be just as great a book even if Ken never met the rock (Lennon, Aerosmith, plus) and reggae (Bob Marley) musicians he wrote about. Sure, there are drugs, but it isn't a 'drug book.' My favorite story is where the author-age 15-and a friend are hitchhiking home holding a 6 foot pot plant after plucking it from where they had it growing in a state forest when a park police car pulls up. But the ranger says only-'this is a state park, boys. It's illegal to pull out our plants.' And he drives away. Do you remember getting away with...everything? Remember hitchhiking--safely? Remember being 16 and walking down the street, unnoticed, puffing (how shocking!) a Marlboro? Remember those days of innocence and naiveté? I passed this book onto my 17-year-old son. I want him to understand the world I once lived in, a world I couldn't begin to explain, a world he wouldn't recognize. Okay, cigarettes are bad and maybe pot isn't great either, but we had our freedom. We were free-and encouraged- not only to be ourselves, but we had freedom from fear. Freedom is what Nobody Told Me is really about. I think we all have a lot to learn from this book (remember learning?) But it was so interesting, wild, and sorry, Ken-cute-it was the most fun I have had with a book in a long, long time. While reading it I got a lot of the same emotions I felt while seeing, reading or listening to: Almost Famous, The Graduate, Alice's Restaurant, Tom Sawyer, Catcher in the Rye, Cheech and Chong, The Smothers Brothers, Lenny Bruce, On The Road, To Kill A Mockingbird, Hair, The Woodstock Movie, To Sir With Love, Billy Jack, anything Hendrix, Dead, Beatles, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and, the Constitution of the United States. Thanks, Ken, for painting such a vivid picture of a time not-so-long-gone that today's generation will see, understand, and maybe, be inspired to re-create.
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Posted October 11, 2009
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