These names defined the mayhem, excess and glory of American rock for half a century, but only Neal Pollack was there for every note of every show, except for the shows he missed. Only Neal Pollack saw Memphis with Elvis, the Village with Dylan, and the depressed Pacific Northwest with Kurt Cobain. Only Neal Pollack had the extra-potent cough syrup that they all so desperately craved.
From the twisted mind of America’s most-photographed satirist comes a raw protean yawp from the depths of nowhere, a hilarious trip through time that savagely parodies the history of rock-‘n’-roll and its grandiloquent journalism.
The fictional Neal Pollack, born Norbert Pollackovitz before being renamed, by Elvis, at his Bar Mitzvah, first hears the blues as a child. The notes come from the guitar of Clambone Jefferson, an ancient, mythical character who Pollack spends the rest of his life chasing as the source of music’s primal allure. In that pursuit, Pollack becomes a renegade rock journalist whose screeds appear in such high-profile publications as Hillbilly Hot Rag! and Broken Testicle. He seduces Patti Smith and Joan Baez. He discovers Kurt Cobain. He goes on pharmacopoeial binges that put the most reckless, bloated rock star to shame.
Through it all, the real Neal Pollack, the greatest American novelist of his generation, manages to echo the style of overeducated blowhards while tackling the history of blues, rock, punk, post-punk and post-post-punk with equal enthusiasm and disdain.
Never Mind the Pollacks is a rock novel that really rocks. Like a classic album, it opens with a kick in the guts, proceeds to a bite in the shins, and ends with an uppercut to the jaw, leaving you bloodied, awed, and grateful. Along the way, it manages to uncover America’s sellouts and false idols. So drink some cough syrup and put on Iggy and the Stooges’ Raw Power. Better yet, burn your copy of Raw Power and listen to something new. Because rock, like literature, must destroy itself. Thankfully, Neal Pollack is here to kill them both.
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Neal Pollack is the author of the bestselling memoir Alternadad and several books of satirical fiction, including The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature and the rock novel Never Mind the Pollacks. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son.From Publishers Weekly:
In his latest satiric bid for immortality (after The Neil Pollack Anthology of American Literature: The Collected Writings of Neal Pollack), humorist Pollack details the life of a famed rock critic named, predictably, Neal Pollack, and takes swipes at scores of legends along the way. Styled as a series of interviews by rival rock critic Paul St. Pierre, conducted after Pollack's untimely death, the novel charts the history of Neal, born Norbert Pollackovitz in 1941 Memphis, Tenn. Norbert's love for music is evident early on, and soon he and neighborhood pal Elvis Presley are making noise in town. When Elvis accidentally backs over Norbert's father with a truck, Norbert is on his own and is christened Neal Pollack by his pals; he soon flees town to discover the world. St. Pierre's progress in examining the life of the "grizzled monster" is slow until he visits Bob Dylan in Woodstock, N.Y. As Dylan tells it, he met Pollack in 1961, at Woody Guthrie's bedside. The incorrigible Pollack goes on to steal Joan Baez away from Dylan and then moves to Liverpool to become a star rock critic. By the mid-'70s, Pollack returns to Manhattan; Johnny Rotten, Iggy Pop, David Bowie and, later, Kurt Cobain make cameos. Saturated with original song lyrics and pop-up appearances by rock music's greatest legends, Pollack's novel has a swinging appeal. Not everyone will want to tune in for the author's manic tongue-in-cheek self-canonization-his kitchen-sink approach sometimes makes for garbled reading-but Spinal Tap fans and groupies everywhere will be delighted.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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