Save the Tapes!

This Sunday’s New York Times Magazine cover story revealed the Universal Studios fire that obliterated the repository of master tapes from an American century of music. Bean-counter executives that run the three remaining major labels care little about history. Herein, my own experience in the hopeless pursuit of protecting decaying master tapes–from my book, Tell the Truth the Truth Until they Bleed.

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Dr. John: Alla What I Do

Dr. John was my favorite piano player in the world. He made it to 77. This interview originally appeared in Tower Records’ Pulse! magazine in 2001, then was reprinted in my book, Tell the Truth Until They Bleed.

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Part 2: Floyd Patterson Vs. a Great Neck Psychiatrist

Floyd Patterson—my personal favorite heavyweight champ—moved to Great Neck Estates in 1965. Once nicknamed “Freud” Patterson by sportswriters, the fighter was now surrounded by Jewish psychiatrists. Here is a speculation on his inner life, from my upcoming novel, All Roads Lead To Great Neck.

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Part 1: Floyd Patterson Vs. a Great Neck Psychiatrist

Floyd Patterson—my personal favorite heavyweight champ—moved to Great Neck Estates in 1965. Once nicknamed “Freud” Patterson by sportswriters, the fighter was now surrounded by Jewish psychiatrists. Here is a speculation on his inner life, from my upcoming novel, All Roads Lead To Great Neck.

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Thunder Road Bites the Dust

Driving up the bend of Jacksboro Highway, retired cowpokes squint their eyes upon a familiar landscape unchanged in 50 years. It is the sepia-toned Massey’s 21 Club and the Rockwood Motel, a 1930’s motor lodge, surrounded by green hills and bathed in a massive horizon. Old farmers and former Fort Worth rodeo cowboys mosey on in around happy hour. This is the same bar they’ve been drinking at since they were young and wild, when Jacksboro Highway was known as “Thunder Road”—a 16-mile stretch between Fort Worth and Azle, Texas.
Jacksboro Highway attracted the meanest white people in all of Texas. Outlaws hid there and gangsters flourished within the 40-odd honky-tonk beer joints and lavish nightclubs. The 16-mile stream of neon offered a proliferation of illegal slot machines, backroom gambling, whores, dope, booze and constant shootouts.
By 1990 the Highway Department will be razing Massey’s 21 Club, along with most of the remaining old honky-tonks along the Jax.

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