Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New York City Images As Album/CD Cover Art #46: Suicide "Attempted: Live At Max's Kansas City 1980" (2004)

Suicide Attempted Live at Max's Kansas City 1980
(Image via NYCDreamin Archives)

Artist: Suicide
Title: Attempted: Live At Max's Kansas City 1980
Released: March 2004
Photography: Adrian Boot

*Not positive that this cover image was shot in NYC, but one could reasonably assume so due to the fact Suicide is, of course, a highly influential New York City band and Max's was a legendary New York City club. Too bad the cover doesn't feature an image of Vega/Rev standing right in front of Max's...but still, it's a great shot of the experimentally noisesome pair. I'd imagine about the only person who could solve the puzzle of precisely where the photo was taken would be Bob Egan of the insanely cool (Thanks to Alex at Flaming Pablum for the link!)

One From The Archives: 11/30/07 The Cult/ The Cliks/ Mindsight @ The Myth, Maplewood, MN

11-30-07 The Cult @ Maplewood, MN (Top)
11-30-07 The Cult @ Maplewood, MN (Bottom)
(Image via NYCDreamin Archives)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Modin's Rockin' Recollections #9: 10/31/97 Motley Crue/Cheap Trick @ USF Sun Dome, Tampa, FL

06-11-11 Metal Modin


OK! Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend! Welcome to this week's episode of Modin's Rockin' Recollections. You'll notice our "all new set" in this weeks video clip. It cost $0.00 and was constructed in about 5 minutes. I know it looks like it took less than that but, hey, give us a we know what we're doing or something, right? Anyway, the new backdrop is actually at the other end of the room where we filmed Series one...that's episodes #1 - #8 for those of you keeping up. So anyway, before you get back to the...uh...Monday routine...take a few minutes to savor your coffee, cocoa or Coors (hey, whatever get's you going, man, we're not here to judge) as we take a trip back to Halloween Night of 1997. The place is Tampa, Florida. The Venue: The USF Sundome. The talent? Motley fuckin' Crue, baby. And The opener? The pride of Rockford, know 'em, you love 'em...Cheap Trick! Got a ticket? We got ours!

Troy's Tickets (10-31-97 Motley Crue/Cheap Trick @ Tampa, FL)

And it's a comp, too! $0.00. Nice! Our guide? You know who it is!! Back for season two of a seriously spur-of-the-moment blog video series he never even knew he'd have, please welcome...Modin! (Modin!) (Modin!) (Modin!)

Settle down there, Skippy. Don't spill your coffee. OK, enough B.S., let's get on with it...

A hurricane threatens...and the Crue say "Fuck it, let's rock!"? Hell yeah!! That is rock and roll!

Anyway, join us next week for another of Modin's Rockin' Recollections. Mr. M. will discuss the very first big rock show he ever went to. We're obviously not gonna tell you who played or where the show was just make sure you check back right here next Monday and all will be revealed.

Bet'cha can't wait...can you?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tonight! 11/26/11 Quiet Riot/ Dorydrive/Horizontal Hero @ G.B. Leighton's Pickle Park, Fridley, MN

11-26-11 Quiet Riot @ Fridley, MN
(Image via NYCDreamin Archives)

Suggested Reading: "No Regrets: A Rock 'N' Roll Memoir" by Ace Frehley with Joe Layden and John Ostrosky (2011)

No RegretsNo Regrets by Ace Frehley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Three grades for this one...resulting in an overall grade of 4 stars.

#1: As A Member Of The General Public.
Let's say you're NOT a mega-Kiss fan, not a member of the millions-strong Kiss Army. It's OK...most people aren't. You do like to rock and roll all night and party every day...occasionally...and are a casual fan of the band. You might even know who Ace Frehley is but you haven't followed his career very closely. You know he was the cool guy from Kiss with the smoking, rocket-shooting guitar but you didn't even know he had a book coming out. But yet, there it is on the shelf of your local bookstore. So, being a rock 'n' roll kinda guy (who doesn't know much about Ace Frehley?! Hmmmm...) you smartly purchase the book and head home. Within 20 minutes of opening the book you're thinking to yourself, "Hey, self, this book is great!" Stories of how Ace became Ace and how he became a member of Kiss and all the craziness and dysfunctionality that ensued! Then several chapters about a solo career and more craziness throughout the 80's?! Great stuff! You weren't even aware the man wasn't a member of Kiss during that decade! Debaunchary and infidelity! Who knew the man was such a chick magnet?! Arrests! Destruction of cars! Destruction of boat docks! Destruction of brain cells! And to come through it all on the other side...still alive and to be able to tell the tale? Amazing - The stuff everyone wants in a good rock and roll memoir. As a member of the general, non-Kiss Army public, if I were such a person, I'd give this book a solid 4/5 stars.

#2 As A Jaded, 30 Year-Plus Member Of The Kiss Army.
You know those Kiss Army guys. Guys who just can't help themselves. Guys who age 40 (and beyond) can be found wearing a Kiss t-shirt nearly any given day of the week and who just can't refrain from from picking up the latest Gene Simmons Christmas Tree ornament (on sale NOW at a Walgreens near you!) or whatever other cheap, plastic Kiss doohickey is presented to them? The guys who can tell you how many people were at the band's first New York club shows back in 1973, the street addresses of the clubs the shows were held at and what each current and former member of the band ate for dinner last night? The guys who have Kiss cards, Kiss dolls ("They're Action Figures!!") and Kiss jigsaw puzzles? Guys with entire bookshelves filled with lengthy tomes about "The Hottest Band In The World?" Those guys. Say I was one of those guys. Kiss fans like this know waaaaay to much about the band. Especially since the advent of the internet. Back in the old days (like, you know, 1992 or so) you had to really dig for information on a band you loved obsessively. You had to join fan clubs. Several of them...from around the world. It was fun and a cool way to keep up with the band and former members like Mr. Frehley. So the Kiss-Army freaks have kept abreast of every movement the band has made and they know the histories and biographies and back stories and inside gossip on each current and former band member. For guys like this, who already know the story behind Ace's 80's era anthem "Rock Soldiers" and for guys who already know the "2 Fish Sandwiches" story...there is a feeling like there could have been so much more included in this book. Especially more stories that weren't already out there. Don't get me wrong, there are a few good ones to be had and Ace is surely an entertaining story teller. And it is great that Kiss fans finally get his side of the story after Gene and Paul have been regurgitating it ad naseum for so many years now. It's just that so much of what Ace finally presents here is already well documented elsewhere. As a Kiss Army Mega-Fan (if I were one...) I'd have to give this book only 3/5 stars. While entertaining and long anticipated, it falls a bit short of what many card-carrying Kiss Army members were hoping for.

#3. As An Ace Frehley Fan(atic).
Say you're the kind of guy who really loves Ace Frehley. Say his guitar playing is the reason you really got into rock and roll at a very young age. It goes beyond "he was in Kiss," to "he's probably one of the coolest humans to ever walk the planet." Say you've followed his career ups and downs closely, cheering him on and championing his talent to anyone who would listen, every day for over 30 years of your life. Say you look forward to any new sporadic recording and/or touring the man does. And then say you hear he finally has a book coming out that will recount, in his own words, his spectacularly crazy life. Your expectations for such a book are mixed. You know the much of the amazing story he has yet to tell his side of and yet you know too that your expectations of your hero for his biography are impossibly high. The book is finally released and you pick up your copy and devour it in the course of a few days, taking your time and savoring each detail and in some cases re-living some memories of reading about the exploits of your guitar hero in some old rock magazine from long ago...but feeling all the while that there could have been so much more included. But overall, who can complain? It's a book, finally, by your ultimate musical hero. A musical hero that you have long ago come to grips with the fact that he might not always deliver the goods just as expected. And that's OK. He's human after all, unlike some of his previous bandmates. What possible grade could I give this book other than 5/5 stars? It's Ace Frehley...for over 30 years now and sometimes still, the sound of a Les Paul in his hands is all I've really needed.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Suggested Reading: "Lobotomy: Surviving The Ramones" by Dee Dee Ramone with Veronica Kaufmann (2000)

Lobotomy: Surviving the RamonesLobotomy: Surviving the Ramones by Dee Dee Ramone

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dee Dee Ramone probably woke up the morning after he died and thought, "Thank God THAT'S over!" At least that's the impression I get from reading "Lobotomy: Surviving The Ramones."

Through 288 pages, Dee Dee describes his seemingly endlessly tortured but always amusing existence from his early childhood (mis)adventures in post-WWII Germany to his teenage delinquent years growing up in the magnetic orbit of late 60's/early 70's era New York City, his later touring days with the Ramones and, eventually, some of the various activities he got up to after he left the infamous and influential punk band he helped create.

"We're a happy family," sang the Ramones. But, as most fans of the band now know, that wasn't always the case. And Dee Dee lays it all out here in his book, how he felt at least, about having to deal with the sometimes difficult personalities of his bandmates and some of the friends and associates who worked closely with the band. Of course we don't get the perspective of the bandmates, freinds and associates about what it was like to have to deal with Dee Dee, which, something he himself admits freely in the book, was no easy accomplishment.

And then there were Dee Dee's friends. Cool and creative but difficult and sometimes deranged friends. Like Johnny Thunders. And Sid Vicious. We are treated, at one point, to a scene in some dank, disgusting late 70's era London bathroom where Dee Dee has just given Sid a handfull of speed and Sid's solution to the problem of how to ingest the speed is to produce, seemingly from out of nowhere, a used, bloodied syringe, which he proceeds to fill with nasty piss-puke-and-shit filled toilet water to dilute the drug. A second or two later Sid is on the floor foaming at the mouth and Dee Dee has managed to trip down a flight of stairs while trying to escape the scene, just for good measure.

Crazy people. Bandmates. Friends. Girl friends and groupies. Work associates. Hotel staff. Drug dealers. These people, at least in Dee Dee's life, were all crazy with a captial C, and why would the reader doubt him? There are a lot of crazy people out there...and it seems Dee Dee knew his fair share of them...they fill the pages of "Lobotomy."

Eventually, the book takes us through some of the further misadventures of Dee Dee's later years along with his attempts to clean up his act in various places around the globe, something that would take great effort and numerous tries. And tragically, we all know how Dee Dee's battle with substances ended on June 5th, 2002...

But for a few hours at least, he lives again as you sit and enjoy, in the perverse sort of way that one does with a book of this sort, the almost tragi-comic life of the incredibly creative and hugely funny Douglas Colvin a.k.a. Dee Dee Ramone, told in his own words. If you've heard enough old radio or TV interviews with the man, you can almost hear his voice as you read the book, something I tried to imagine as I continued reading, to great effect.

"Lobotomy: Surviving the Ramones" is a "can't-put-it-down" must-read for just about anyone - Ramones fan or not, but it sure helps to toss in a few of your favorite Ramones CDs and listen along while you read.

Rest In Peace, Dee earned it.

One From The Archives: 11/25/01 Slayer/ Chimaira @ First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN

11-25-01 Slayer @ Minneapolis, MN
(Image via NYCDreamin Archives)

One From The Archives: Rolling Stones @ BC Place, Vancouver, BC, Canada

11-25-06 Rolling Stones @ Vancouver, BC, Canada
(Image via NYCDreamin Archives)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

One From The Archives: "Punk Lives" - 07/18/85 Rolling Stone Magazine

Back in the summer of 1985 when this article originally appeared in Rolling Stone Magazine, I imagine I was burried deep in the pages of the latest issue of Circus, Hit Parader or some other metal magazine, reading of the most recent decadent and sleazy rock and roll exploits of Kiss, W.A.S.P. and Motley Crue. I'm not really sure I even knew of the existance of bands such as Black Flag, the Replacements or Husker Du at the time, and if I did, I certainly didn't want to be bothered with them. Now, all these years later, I find myself sometimes wishing I'd had someone to point out to me back in those days, just how great some of these "other" bands were and what I was missing out on.

Rolling Stone Magazine - 07/18/85

07-18-85 Rolling Stone Magazine (Punk Lives)01
07-18-85 Rolling Stone Magazine (Punk Lives)02

07-18-85 Rolling Stone Magazine (Punk Lives)03
07-18-85 Rolling Stone Magazine (Punk Lives)04

07-18-85 Rolling Stone Magazine (Punk Lives)05
07-18-85 Rolling Stone Magazine (Punk Lives)06

07-18-85 Rolling Stone Magazine (Punk Lives)07

The P.M.R.C. Files: "At A Loss For Words" - Rolling Stone Magazine 05/31/90

Rolling Stone Magazine - 05/31/90

05-31-90 Rolling Stone Magazine (At A Loss For Words)01
05-31-90 Rolling Stone Magazine (At A Loss For Words)02

05-31-90 Rolling Stone Magazine (At A Loss For Words)03

05-31-90 Rolling Stone Magazine (At A Loss For Words)04
05-31-90 Rolling Stone Magazine (At A Loss For Words)05

Click HERE for further reading in "The P.M.R.C. Files."

One From The Archives: 1985 = The Summer Of "Suck" On MTV

Rolling Stone Magazine - 04/11/85:

04-11-85 Rolling Stone Magazine (Heavy Metal On The Outs At MTV)

...of course this programming trend would reverse itself by the summer of 1987 when it was almost impossible to escape repeated daily airings of music videos by the likes of those "Monsters of Hair Metal" Whitesnake, Poison and Great White. I'm sure my old man remembers that summer, the first summer we had MTV in our home, with a particular disdain.

I can remember one afternoon while watching the "Top 5 at 5." For several days in a row, Poison's "Talk Dirty To Me" had been landing in the Top 5. On this particular day, as the song was announced and the video began to play (probably for the umpteenth time that afternoon), my father looked up in momentary annoyance from his newspaper and made some off-handed and surely defamitory remark as to the "manliness" of the "hair sprayed and made-up idiots singing this absolute garbage." After he'd said what was on his mind, without missing a beat he went right back to his paper. A few minutes later (after the Top 5 at 5 was over, of course), inspired to rebel against my fathers seemingly non-existant musical tastes, I was back downstairs in my room...trying to figure out how to play "Talk Dirty To Me" on my cheap Kay wood-grain flying-V guitar.

11/20/11 Lynch Mob/ Life Tragic @ Neisen's Sports Bar & Grill, Savage, MN

11-20-11 Lynch Mob @ Neisen's, Savage, MN (Poster - Top)
11-20-11 Lynch Mob @ Neisen's, Savage, MN (Poster - Bottom)
(Images and video via NYCDreamin Archives)

It's kinda hard for me to imagine, but the last time I saw guitarist George Lynch in concert was back in the summer of 1988. He was on stage at the H.H.H. Metrodome shredding it up with Dokken as part of the "Van Halen's Monsters Of Rock" tour. Dokken were not exactly setting the world on fire with their performance that day and I remember being a bit disappointed with them after they finished their set.

Of course, anyone familiar with the history of the band Dokken knows that George Lynch and vocalist Don Dokken have a rather...uh..."strained" working relationship, and just a few years after the Monsters Of Rock tour, Lynch left Dokken and soon debuted his own group, called, fittingly enough, "Lynch Mob." A pair of really great CD's and several tours followed. As did persistent rumors that Lynch would again join his former Dokken bandmates. Truth be told, I got bored with the whole Dokken soap opera many, many years ago. When I finally saw a Lynch-less Dokken in concert a few years ago I was again, unimpressed.

Fast forward a few years to my lunch break one day late last week and I was more than a bit curious when I saw that the Lynch Mob would be playing a Sunday evening set at Neisen's Sports Bar and Grill in Savage, MN, just a short 20 minute drive from my place. The ad I saw stated that Lynch's current band featured the undeniably talented "former members" of Ratt/Vince Neil Group (bassist Robbie Crane), Bonham (vocalist Chas West) and Brides Of Destruction/Ace Frehley Band (drummer Scott Coogin.) I was thinking to myself as I made plans to attend, that this lineup certainly seemed like a lot of talent on one stage for only $10.00. That, and the fact that I didn't have to get up early for work the following morning made it an easy decision to attend the show.

11-20-11 Lynch Mob @ Neisen's, Savage, MN 002

I arrived at Neisen's just after 7:00pm. I had a quick smoke ouside the front door and then went inside and paid for a ticket for the show. After ordering and then wolfing down a delicious pepperjack cheeseburger with seasoned fries, I stepped back out into the frigid cold and had one more quick post-dinner smoke. I then made my way back inside and down the hall from the bar into the large concert hall/room near the rear of the building. Once inside I spotted an empty table not far from the stage on the right side of the room. I hustled over and made myself comfortable, taking a few minutes to see if this was indeed a good spot to film from...turned out it was ideal with a great sight line and I was off to the side of the room far enough that I would be able to jump up on my chair to get an even better shot. As the opening band "Life Tragic" began their set, I ordered a Sprite and settled in. In all fairness to Life Tragic, they sound like a pretty talented band. But I was a bit distracted with other things and I have to admit to not really paying much attention to them for the duration of their set. Just before they finished up I decided to step outside for one more cigarette and by the time I came back inside they were done and the stage change was well under way. On the way back inside, I stopped by the "merch table" and had a look. Lynch Mob's merch table has nothing on a Kiss merch booth: One t-shirt design, 2 more recent George Lynch CD's and a guitar instructional DVD were all that were offered. I figured it had been a while since I'd heard any newer Lynch tunes, so I popped $15 for one of the CD's.

11-20-11 Lynch Mob @ Neisen's, Savage, MN (Merch Booth Price Sheet)

CD in hand, I went back to my table and waited rather impatiently as the stage crew finished setting up for the evening's headliner. Soon the overhead lights went out, people raced up to the stage and a few minutes later the band appeared. Things kicked right off with, as one might expect, a classic Dokken number...

*Breakin' The Chains

...and continued on with the following: (click links for video)

*Rhythm Of Love (Lynch Mob)
*Into The Fire (Dokken)
*Hell Child (Lynch Mob)
*I'm A Hunter (Dokken)

She's So Evil (But She's Mine)(Lynch Mob)

*Dream Warriors (Dokken)

Mr. Scary (Partial)

*Blues Jam
*It's All I Want (Lynch Mob)
*When Heaven Comes Down (Dokken)
*(New Song)(Lynch Mob)

Wicked Sensation (Part I & II)

*Tooth & Nail (Dokken)

"Tooth and Nail" was the final song of the evening - unfortunately no video as my camera was signaling me the battery was about to die. So rather than film only part of the finale, I decided to skip it altogether. You'll just have to imagine what the last five minutes of the show were like.

So, despite some recurrent sound and technical glitches throughout the evening, I thought this was a pretty good show. Robbie Crane was energetic and fun to watch as always and provided a nice, solid groove along with Scott Coogin's thick sounding, forceful drumming. It was really great to finally have a chance to see Chas West as I never got the opportunity to catch his former band, Bonham, who I still consider one of the finest and most underrated pop-metal bands ever. And, finally, it was great to see George Lynch again, after so many years, and to see that he is still as in love with his guitar as he was back in the 80's when his face could be found on the cover of most any guitar magazine you happened to pick up a copy of.

Given a chance, I'd definately go see Lynch Mob again...something I can't really say about the current incarnation of Dokken.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Modin's Rockin' Recollections #8: 09/04/97 Boston @ USF Sun Dome, Tampa, FL

06-11-11 Metal Modin
(Images and video via NYCDreamin Archives/Troy Modin Collection)

It's Monday...time for another Rockin' Recollection courtesy of your old pal Modin. But first, this word from Modin for Manic Panic...

...and now that we've got that out of the way, on with todays episode. This week we take a look at those classic FM radio rockers Boston, who were back out on tour once again in September of 1997. The tour made a stop at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida. Our man Modin was there and ready to rock...

Troy's Tickets (09-04-97 Boston @ Tampa, FL)

I spent some time with Modin this past Saturday filming 8 more all new segments of Modin's Rockin' Recollections (consider it "season II") and he said to let you all know he'd like to wish everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving holiday. See you right back here next Monday for another round of musical craziness.

One From The Archives: 11/21/03 Flipp/ The Fighting Tongs/ Sue Generis @ Medina Entertainment Center, Medina, MN

11-21-03 Flipp @ Medina, MN
(Image via NYCDreamin Archives)

*A sad, sad day in rock history. This was the last ever Flipp show...[sniffle]...

One From The Archives: 11/21/07 Vince Neil/ L.A. Guns/ Hericane Alice/ Downtread @ Myth, Maplewood, MN

11-21-07 Vince Neil-LA Guns @ Maplewood, MN
(Image via NYCDreamin Archives)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

11/19/11 Scenes at the Laura Kennedy Memorial @ Nick & Eddie, Minneapolis, MN

11-19-11 Laura Kennedy Memorial, Minneapolis

11-19-11 Scene at Laura Kennedy Memorial, Minneapolis
(Images via NYCDreamin Archives)

11-19-11 Laura Kennedy Memorial, Minneapolis

11/19/11 Laura Kennedy Memorial @ Nick & Eddie, Minneapolis, MN

01-17-09 Laura Kennedy Benefit, Minneapolis, MN 054
A previously unpublished photo showing Bush Tetras drummer Dee Pop enthusiastically cheering on his close friend and long time band mate Laura Kennedy, who was at the time on the mend and making a brief and spirited "thank you" speech to the crowd assembled for a fundraiser concert held on her behalf at Nick & Eddie in Minneapolis, MN on 01/17/09.
(Image via NYCDreamin Archives)

From City Pages:
"A memorial for Laura Kennedy will take place at Nick and Eddie this Saturday morning, November 19, from 11 a.m. to noon. Nick and Eddie will also be opening the kitchen early for lunch service after the memorial. Nick and Eddie is at 1612 Harmon Place, Minneapolis 55403."

Tonight! 11/19/11 - 15th Annual Toys For Kids /W/ Division Nine @ Bonfire Bar & Grille, Litchfield, MN

Just a reminder in case you're (a) in the area and/or (b) looking for something to do tonight.

11-19-11 D9 @ Bonfire Bar & Grille, Litchfield, MN
(Image via NYCDreamin Archives)

Visit Division Nine on Facebook

One From The Archives: 11/19/99 Alberta Adams Autographed 8X10, Venue Poster

A couple of remnants from my days working for an outfit called Paulstarr Distribution. They had, as part of their various music distribution interests, their own blues label. Among the artists recording for "Cannonball Records" was blues legend Alberta Adams. On 11/19/99, she played a show here in the Twin Cities and a few co-workers of mine went to see the show and one of them brought back these autographed goodies for some of us who couldn't make it. I was able to finally se Alberta Adams a year or so later at the Famous Dave's BBQ/Blues Fest in Minneapolis where she was still kicking it up and belting it out...

8X10 Glossy B&W Promo Photo
11-19-99 Alberta Adams Autographed 8X10
(Images via NYCDreamin Archives)

Alberta Adams (born Roberta Louise Osborn, July 26, 1917, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States), is an American Detroit blues, jump blues, and Chicago blues singer. Adams was raised in Detroit, Michigan by a relative, and began performing as a tap dancer in the 1930s. In 1942, she appeared at the B&C club, amidst other artists such as John Lee Hooker.

In 1952, she landed a recording contract with Chess Records and recorded alongside Red Saunders for the record label. Adams toured alongside Duke Ellington, Eddie Vinson, Louis Jordan, Lionel Hampton, and T-Bone Walker amongst others. Her solo career saw her secure a recording contract with the now defunct Cannonball Records, and she recorded two albums for them: 1999's Born With the Blues and 2000's Say Baby Say. Her 2004 album, I'm on the Move, was released on the Eastlawn Records label.

"Blank" Tour/Venue Poster
11-19-99 Alberta Adams Autographed Venue Poster (Top)
11-19-99 Alberta Adams Autographed Venue Poster (Bottom)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Suggested Reading: "On The Run - A Mafia Childhood" by Gregg & Gina Hill (2004)

On the Run: A Mafia ChildhoodOn the Run: A Mafia Childhood by Gregg and Gina Hill

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

This book, written by the son (Gregg) and daughter (Gina) of infamous Mobster-turned-stoolie Henry Hill, makes a teriffic companion piece to the book "Gangsters and Goodfellas," penned by Henry Hill himself (as told to Gus Russo), which despite being a pretty good read itself, is no doubt a bit...uh..."creative" with it's truths. Here, in the pages of "On The Run - A Mafia Childhood," we hear the nothing-to-lose voices of two persons whose entire young lives were shaped and very nearly ruined by the criminal dealings of their gangster father and the circumstances he put his family in after he turned informant against his previous criminal underworld associates.

Imagine being 8 years old or 12 years old...or any age really. You're a kid. Your father has supposedly given up his criminal ways and is now telling all he knows about infinately numberless crimes to the Feds. His former "business associates" all want him dead. Your dad...people want him dead. How does a kid cope with that? And what does a family do? They assume a new identity and move far, far away and try to blend in. But your father isn't exactly being low-key about his new life and soon word is out and you and your family may have been found by those causing to seek harm. So the feds pack you up again, uprooting you from your new friends, without warning and you move again, to another part of the country. A year or so happens again. Your father, the one people want to kill - and may be willing to kill you too to get to him - is basically a serious drunk with an equally serious drug habit and is living his life to please himself, despite the dangers and disruption to his children and his wife, much to the exasperation of the Feds in charge of handling his case.

This is the "other side of the story" that you wouldn't get from reading the Sr. Mr. Hill's book. While he was out being Mr. Gangster and/or "That Rat Bastard Stool Pigeon," his exploits bragadociously recalled in his book, his children were at home, where ever that was at the moment, hurting. And they hurt more when, on occasion, he'd beat them in a blind drunken rage brought on most likely by cocaine psychosis. And all this stuff went on...and on...and on. For years the Hill kids were subjected to the worst possible adults-only scenarios and this is their version of what it was like...and how they came out OK despite it all.

Heavy stuff...definately not "fun" reading, but very compelling all the same.