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Mid-Life Confidential: The Rock Bottom Remainders Tour America with Three Chords and an Attitude

Mid-Life Confidential: The Rock Bottom Remainders Tour America with Three Chords and an Attitude

by Amy Tan, Barbara Kingsolver, Ridley Pearson, Stephen King

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Rock Bottom Remainders, a group of celebrated writers smitten with rock 'n' roll glamour, gladly submitted when independent publicist Kathi Karmen Goldmark conceived the idea of forming a literary rock band to perform at the 1992 American Booksellers Association convention in Anaheim. The band members--including Dave Barry, Matt Groening, Stephen King, Barbara Kingsolver and Amy Tan--had so much fun with that gig that they decided to take their show on the road, playing clubs from Boston to Miami on a jaunt financed by the advance on this book. Each writer/rocker contributed an article on ``what being in a band has meant to me.'' Their various musings, ranging from the comic to the portentous, straddle the line between the charming and the pompous. The Remainders lapse at times into cliches and stereotypes--i.e., that ``real'' rockers are illiterate--which make them sound like frat boys and sorority sisters slumming. But even if this project is nakedly self-indulgent, for the most part it is self-aware. And Barry's and Groening's reflections are better than that--hilarious. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Organized by a literary publicist for a charity event at the 1992 American Booksellers Association convention, the Remainders are the world's most literate rock'n'roll band. Members (and associates) include Dave Barry, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Barbara Kingsolver, Roy Blount Jr., and Robert Fulghum; rock veteran Al Kooper served as musical director. In May 1993 the Remainders reunited for a nine-city "tour" of the East Coast. This is an account, with contributions by everyone in the band (and photos by King's wife, Tabitha) of that crazy month. As the title suggests, more than a few authors use the experience to examine seriously (or humorously) what attracted them to playing "Louie Louie" in public. The results are mixed; this will be of more interest to fans of the authors than music aficionados. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/94.]-Thomas Wiener, formerly with "American Film"
Mike Tribby
Here's a coffee-table book about a supergroup with a difference. Supergroups, of course, are amalgamations of already renowned singers and players. The Rock Bottom Remainders is similarly made up, but the renewal of its performers is as authors, critics, and cartoonists. Originally formed to play at the 1992 American Booksellers Association (ABA) convention, the Remainders had so much fun playing at being rockers that they decided to do a minitour climaxing in an appearance at the 1993 ABA convention in Miami. This is the loose history of the band, the tour, and the ABA shows. Critic Marsh edited and wrote one chapter, and fellow Remainders Stephen King, Dave Barry, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson, and Roy Blount, Jr., among others, wrote the rest. The rocker-writers tell band anecdotes and reflect on their connections to rock music, sometimes revealingly but mostly in a spirit of good, loose fun. If you liked the movies This is Spinal Tap and Meet the Rutles, chances are this book is for you.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.33(w) x 7.65(h) x 0.98(d)

Meet the Author

DAVE BARRY is a humor columnist and author. For 25 years he was a syndicated columnist whose work appeared in more than 500 newspapers in the United States and abroad. In 1988 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Many people are still trying to figure out how this happened. He lives in Miami with his family.

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