Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Gods Hate Kansas!

 My friend Lisa,also known as Ms. A, sent me a book this week I've known only from its cover being used as a snarky post card.

The description sounds like something by my friend and protegé Troy Cutcross:
 The Astrophysicist's enslaved Girl Friend ! Temple gasped aloud! Whither Joseph Millard?
I have to say I really love the fact that some long-ago owner of this copy (presumably not Lisa) used the cover to practice his or her paper punching skills.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hatch Show Print in Nashville

Here's the great old neon sign for Hatch Show Print, the legendary letterpress plant:

It's on Broadway in Nashville TN and is famous for having made posters for country music shows, all kinds of stage productions from vaudeville to opera, all with a remarkable flair for snappy design that's always professional but never slick. Here's the showroom:
  Click to enlarge! You'll be glad you did. These small posters are all for sale at quite reasonable prices, and they sell t-shirts too. The people who work there are very friendly (at least the ones who were there the day I went), just make sure you don't let the store cats out when you walk in. Look online at

Thursday, October 18, 2012

New Book! And Trailer!

My newest book comes out in France today:
That's my eye on the cover, taken right in my publishers' office. It's part of a series of thirteen novels, all set in Paris and all taking place in part on Friday the 13th. (Nothing to do with the series of horror movies of the same name, although my friend Scott Phillips of New Mexico wrote a Jason tie-in novel a few years back, so this is really going to confuse the shit out of people.)

Three of the novels are already being turned into TV movies, and I'm hoping this will be the fourth. It's loosely based on a period in the early nineties when my friend Lane Davies and I were running around Paris trying to raise money for a movie. Lane was the star of a soap opera, "Santa Barbara," that was broadcast with great success during prime time in France, and was such a celebrity there that we were certain we could get this thing made. We didn't but hijinks ensued and when les Éditions la Branche asked me to write something for the series I asked Lane if he'd object to me depicting him as a murdering psychopath (in the novel, things go slightly more haywire than they did in real life).

Hell, no, I don't mind, he replied, can I play myself in the TV movie?

We just got done shooting a book trailer and are just starting to edit. Here's a shot of one of the sets, showing tireless cinematographer/editor Jenna Marguerita with indefatiguable grips Tony and Nathan, and seated at the bar, Anita Romero, playing Esmée, the femme fatale:
And here's the lovely Anita in character:
The book will be out in July of 2013 from Counterpoint Books under the title "RAKE," with one of the best covers I've ever had. Until then, you can get the French version here: http://www.furet.com/nocturne-le-vendredi-2084107.html

Monday, October 15, 2012

Noir at the Bar 2--the Anthology!

There's a trailer for the second Noir at the Bar anthology, edited by Jedidiah Ayres and, nominally, by me. Featuring a whole bunch of terrific writers and filthy stories!

Unfortunately Blogspot won't let me upload the video itself for reasons I don't quite understand. The music is by Modern Silent Cinema, also known as Cullen Gallagher! Here's the cover by Erik Lundy:
And it's available at Subterranean Books at 6275Delmar in St. Louis MO, or from the link below:


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fire Eater

This guy was a regular fixture around the Centre Pompidou in the eighties and early nineties. He was a fire eater, and he also had a repulsive specialty: he could suck his abdominal organs upward until you could damn near see his spine sticking through the skin of his belly (no, I didn't get a picture.) He was French and I believe he'd been a paratrooper (note the tattoo on his biceps) and he was quite gracious about having his picture taken.
This was originally half of a stereograph pair. Until I started cleaning the dust off of this negative digitally I hadn't ever noticed the burn scars on his arms, back and sides.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A WHATload?

My friend Jedidiah "Noir Bar" Ayres has just released a very dirty book of short stories entitled A Fuckload of Shorts, or to please the prudes who police American bookstore shelves looking for msut and foul language, A F*ckload of Shorts.
There's necrophilia and murder and all kinds of wrong types of intercourse, social and sexual, in this here collection, for which I penned a rather excellent introduction. Two of the stories have been adapted into films, including "Viscosity" and "A Fuckload of Scotch Tape," which is every bit as brilliant as its title, which is my favorite short story title ever. You can get the book here:

If you don't buy it, you won't be "In the Know" like the cool kids on the playground who smoke and swear!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Old Writing Space

In the interests of posting random and uninteresting pieces of my past, here is the door of the tiny squalid fetid cramped dusty room I used to rent on the rue Yves Toudic in the 10th arrondissement in Paris for 500ff per month, about $100 at the time:
My next door neighbors were an elderly woman and her middle-aged daughter, who always smiled sweetly in the stairwell but who shrieked the vilest of obscenities at one another inside their apartment. They ended up in a novel and a short story both, as did the junkie who used to leave his works in the communal toilet down the hall. In the lower right hand corner you can see part of my porno trunk, a "must" for a young lusty bachelor!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Taxidermied Sewer Rats, Twenty-five Years On

 Here's what the Arouze Pest Control company in Paris looks like today.....
 And here it is around 1985. As you can see the muskrats at the bottom of the display have been moved over to the other side, and the hanging sewer rats raised.
And here's a closeup of the right side:

Sunday, October 7, 2012

More of Cape Girardeau

 Coca-Cola Ghost Sign!
 Stag Beer Ghost Sign!
 Spooky Abandoned Restaurant! Inside and Out!
 And finally, the Cape Wiggery Shop, sadly defunct but with its sign intact.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


In the late fifties, "Confidential" was the magazine that named the names and dished the dirt. I'd read a book about the magazine's tumultuous legal history (they got sued a lot) but I'd never seen a copy.
 That's Lana Turner on the bottom!
 Look! Edward R. Murrow had a missing tooth! And there's another one of Liz Taylor's husbands!
Queer Shenanigans! Reducing Pills! Louella Parsons! Man. Those were the days.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Ernest Tubbs's Record Shop, Nashville

 Ernest Tubb had a record shop on Broadway in Nashville Tennessee. It's still there! Here are some clothes that belonged to Ernest and his singing pals:
 Pete Drake's amplifier! And a Nudie Suit belonging to Texas Troubador (Ernest's band) Jack Drake!
Holy Moley! Pete Drake's talking steel guitar itself!
Dig the standup cutout of Marty Stuart, rocking his own Nudie Jacket and holey blue jeans! Lots of memorabilia and a great selection of CDs. I got a Connie Smith, a Rockabilly compilation with lots of great obscure tracks and--are you ready for this? A Stringbean CD. When in Nashville, go check it out and buy some music.