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.
|Publisher:||Da Capo Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 10.70(h) x 0.90(d)|
About 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Why do we do this, this writing? To communicate, sure, but to whom? For writing is a strangely solitary art, fundamentally unlike dance or music or theatre. You sit alone. You arrange words into lines and blocks. You reach some level of satisfaction or weariness, and then what? For unlike the collaborative arts, there is no audience in the act itself. Once you’ve done it, you have to activate a whole other universe of skills to engage someone in it. And why? For approval? Agreement? Badge and Honor? The simple self-deception that the insight you’ve sat alone teasing out of your brain might flicker in other minds as well? In its way, this is what Poseur is really about. Not the bands or the drugs or the women or even New York City – though there are copious amounts of all in it. It’s really about someone who discovers (or believes) early in his life that he has some sort of way with words and who spends much of his subsequent time trying to figure out why that matters – to himself, his peers, strangers - and more importantly, what he can get out of it. Combined with this early realization is a passion for music - by and large the contemporary rock of the time (what we used to call “alternative” or “college radio” or “not what everyone else is listening to”) - and his almost subsequent realization that while it speaks deeply to him, he has little hope of ever making it himself. Thus Mr. Spitz embarks, after false starts, twists and turns (all chronicled here), on the career (to read the rest of this review, please visit http://the-agency-review.com/poseur)