Poseur: A Memoir of Downtown New York City in the '90s by Marc Spitz, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Poseur: A Memoir of Downtown New York City in the '90s

Poseur: A Memoir of Downtown New York City in the '90s

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by Marc Spitz
     
 

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Marc Spitz assumed that if he lived like his literary and rock ’n’ roll heroes, he would become a great artist, too. He conveniently overlooked the fact that many of them died young, broke, and miserable. In his candid, wistful, touching, and hilarious memoir, Poseur, the music journalist, playwright, author, and blogger recounts his misspent

Overview


Marc Spitz assumed that if he lived like his literary and rock ’n’ roll heroes, he would become a great artist, too. He conveniently overlooked the fact that many of them died young, broke, and miserable. In his candid, wistful, touching, and hilarious memoir, Poseur, the music journalist, playwright, author, and blogger recounts his misspent years as a suburban kid searching for authenticity, dangerous fun, and druggy, downtown glory: first during New York’s last era of risk and edge, the pre-gentrification ’90s, and finally as a flamboyant and notorious rock writer, partying and posing during the music industry’s heady, decadent last gasp.

Part profane, confidential tell-all and part sweetly frank coming-of-age tale, this dirty, witty memoir finds Spitz careening through the scene, meeting and sometimes clashing with cultural icons like Courtney Love, Jeff Buckley, Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, Chloë Sevigny, Kim Deal, The Dandy Warhols, Guns N’ Roses, Ryan Adams, Paul Rudd, Coldplay, Pavement, Peter Dinklage, Julie Bowen, The Strokes, Trent Reznor, Chuck Klosterman, Interpol, and Franz Ferdinand, as well as meeting heroes like Allen Ginsberg, Shirley Clarke, Joe Strummer, and Morrissey. Along the way he finds literary guru Gordon Lish is a long-lost relative, and erstwhile pal and sensation JT LeRoy is an even bigger poseur.

Spitz refuses to give up the romantic ghost until a post–9/11 breakdown and an improbable new love (fellow music writer Lizzy Goodman) finally help him strike the hardest pose of all: his true self.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Buffalo News, 2/10/13
Poseur is a marvelous spin through 90s New York…It is a truly moving study of a disappeared New York…[Spitz] is a needle-sharp, self-deprecating writer with pop culture coursing through his veins…This is criticism and memory merged, and it’s funny, beautiful and wise…It is the music memoir as art.” 

PopMatters.com, 2/22/13“Think of Spitz’s Poseur as the Life of rock memoirs, with less Stones and more typewriters. Spitz is a rare find: the self-aware bad boy, the articulate addict, the earnest punk, the wastoid with an excellent memory…This is an entertaining read for music lovers and ’90s fetishists and fans of addiction narratives, sure, but it’s also meant for those who enjoy learning everything about a person without expecting anything more. It’s a portrait, masterly and self-contained, and you have to be satisfied with the portrait alone.”

BackstageAxxess.com, 3/5/13
“[A] fascinating piece of history…It’s reflective, funny, thought-provoking and at times sophomoric in its use of dick humor, and it works.”

Blurt.com, 3/6/13

“A fun read…[with] amusing behind-the-scenes anecdotes.”

Village Voice, 3/12
“Part Gen-X love letter, part snapshot of the final glory days and collapse of the record industry and old media…in a tone that falls somewhere between Philip Roth and Lena Dunham.”

You’re Beautiful New York

“It's a riveting, bleak tale, exactly like the late nineties.” 

Time Out New York, 5/13/13
“Spitz captures the Lower East Side in its last days of authentic grittiness in this memoir.”

Kirkus Reviews
There is lots of name-dropping and post-punk heroin hipster cliché in this memoir by a rock journalist who seems to be a legend in his own mind. More of the self-deprecation suggested by the title would have benefitted the manuscript. Though Spitz has published biographies with titles such as Jagger: Rebel, Rock Star, Rambler, Rogue (2011), he's mainly familiar as a writer for Spin, where he jumped the sinking ship "in 2006 after nine years and fourteen cover stories." His account of the Spin years shows panache, as he rose from website blogger to gossip columnist to feature writer--where he developed a friendship and rivalry with the more successful Chuck Klosterman. He describes his first encounter with a reporter for that magazine, who described her beat as "a cool hunter…I spot trends and I write about them," and then he proceeds to gush that "Spin magazine was, in the late eighties and early nineties, a glorious thing. Running into a real Spin writer was akin to brushing up against a senator or congressman. These were people with real power." Ultimately, Spitz ascended to what he terms "a privileged view," interviewing rock artists and attending concerts for free. Beyond the scope of the subtitle, there is plenty about college, heroin addiction, unpublished poetry and novels, unproduced LA screenplays and an email friendship with Courtney Love. An opening disclaimer admits that "certain names and descriptions of individuals have been altered"--which is fine when referring to a generic junkie buddy as "Hazy Jane" but inexplicable in repeated references to a well-known scenester who signed the MC5 and the Stooges and inspired the Ramones' "Danny Says." Many of those who look for their real names here will feel they could have written a better book.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780306821745
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
02/12/2013
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 10.70(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author


Marc Spitz has written and produced numerous novels, plays, and biographies, including We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of LA Punk (with Brendan Mullen), How Soon Is Never: A Novel, Bowie: A Biography, and Jagger: Rebel, Rock Star, Rambler, Rogue. His writing on rock ’n’ roll and popular culture has appeared in Spin, Rolling Stone, Maxim, Uncut, Nylon, Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, and the New York Times. He blogs at marcspitz.com. Spitz lives in New York City.

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