Award-winning author and journalist Tom Graves in "Louise Brooks, Frank Zappa, & Other Charmers & Dreamers" collects the best of his long-form journalism articles and profiles as well as his in-depth interviews with a variety of curious personalities. The lead piece is "My Afternoon with Louise Brooks" about Graves's encounter in 1982 with the reclusive silent film legend Louise Brooks. He was the last journalist ever to sit bedside with Miss Brooks, who allowed very few people into her life. Also included are Graves's 1979 sit down with the king of Southern grit lit, Harry Crews, his discovery of the first Elvis impersonator, his search with the help of Quentin Tarantino to find actress Linda Haynes, who had vanished from Hollywood. Included are also Graves's in-depth question and answer interviews with: Frank Zappa, Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones, Lee Mavers of the cult band the La's, Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders, and rock critic Dave Marsh. Some of Graves's best essays are also part of this anthology: his piece on the Sex Pistols in Memphis, an apology for biographer Albert Goldman, a revisit of Woodstock, interviews with CD remastering gurus, and more.
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Louise Brooks, Frank Zappa, & Other Charmers & Dreamers based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
From time to time, all of us think, “Wouldn’t it be cool to meet (fill-in-the-blank)?” For author Tom Graves, to think that thought is to make it happen. The stories of how he came to contact some of the remarkable figures he interviews in this book are often as good as the interviews themselves. Whether it is telephoning Quentin Tarantino on a wild hunch he is looking for the same obscure actress (Linda Haynes) Graves has been seeking, or showing up at Louise Brooks’ apartment with a bottle of wine (with a bow on it!) like some nervous gentleman caller—it’s these personal details that lend many of the stories a special charm. But the stories and interviews themselves are quirky and fascinating. The title pieces, on Brooks and Zappa, each represent journalistic once-in-a-lifetime “gets,” and both interviews deliver the goods. Readers will likely share Graves’ frustration that he could not have done a whole book on Brooks (an excerpt from his abortive biography is included) but there is plenty here to satisfy. The Zappa interview is great, but even better, perhaps, is the interview with author Harry Crews. Although I have never read a word of Crews’ work, I found the interview compulsively readable. It made me want to go right out and get one of his novels. One of the strengths of the book is that it gets you to read about people you never heard of or didn’t realize you might be interested in—whether it’s Bill Haney, the first Elvis impersonator, or Mick Taylor, one-time guitarist for the Rolling Stones, or Albert Goldman, the trashy biographer of Elvis and John Lennon. There are many more. Graves’ interests are far-ranging and idiosyncratic, making this a book you can browse through like the aisles of a flea market, looking for cast-off treasures.