What books are on your night stand right now?
Your biography of Jerry Nolan seems incredibly thorough—can you tell us something about the process for researching this book?
I tried to speak to everybody that had anything to do with him as well as get my hands on anything written about him. I started just e-mailing people I knew that knew him, like all the Rockats, a band Jerry and I both spent time in, Lesley Vinson, a friend who dated him for a bit, and a few others. Then there were people I had to do some internet sleuthing to find for interviews, like author Nina Antonia, and the late Leee Black Childers, who I hadn’t spoken to in over 20 years. Through the web I was surprised to get responses from Billy Squier and Suzi Quatro. I also searched out his mom and various other girlfriends, plus a number of people already mentioned hooked me up with phone numbers and email addresses of loads of other friends, band mates, and girlfriends. It was off to the races at that point.
I also used libraries, the web and services like rocksbackpages.com to find old articles. Nina, and other writers like Doug Simmons from the Village Voice and Andy Schwartz from the NY Rocker either sent me old articles or discussed whatever they remembered from interviewing him.
I slowly began transcribing the interviews and stringing them together into an oral history, and then filling in the empty portions with archival material. That formed the raw material I wrote the book from.
I also listened to everything I could get my hands on that Jerry had played on, including bootlegs and guest spots with other artists. I also contacted people in unrecorded bands that he’d played with. They were able to tell me what it was like to play and travel with him.
I took a trip to Stockholm and dove through 3 storage units owned by his ex-wife. I spoke a number of times with his biological son, who despite never meeting Jerry, shared many affectations as well as likes and dislikes. I contacted his old school district in Lawton, Oklahoma for photos. I contacted the Veterans’ Administration for information on where his step father was based in Hawaii and Oklahoma. I even poured through old phone books in the NY public library to find out where he lived and when.
And what was it like to dive so intimately into someone else’s life?
Without spoilers, what's your favorite Jerry Nolan story that we'll get to read in Stranded In The Jungle?
“What’s a mook?” Avis was confused and asked him to clarify. Jerry said, “You know, that song of yours ‘No More Mooks!’ What’s a ‘mook?” Avis just found a way to delicately change the subject.
What were some of Jerry Nolan's musical influences and why do you think they made an impression on him?
Tell us about your favorite New York story from the late 70's, either that happened to you or by an author who got it right.
What was the last great book you read?
Which book genres are you drawn to?
What were your favorite books as a child?
You're organizing a literary gathering. Which three writers, dead or alive, do you invite?
Now you're organizing a private concert. Which artists/bands do you invite?
Whom would you want to write your life story?
What do you plan to read next?
Do you have any readings or events coming up? Where? When?
It’s all on my website curtweiss.com under the “events” link:
- 10/18/17, 6P @ The Girl Can’t Help It , 3806 Grim Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
- 10/19/17, 7P @ Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069
- 10/23/17, 7P @ Books Inc. , 1491 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709
- 10/25/17, 6P @ Amoeba Music, 1855 Haight St. San Francisco, CA 94117
- 10/28/17, 7P @ Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 Tenth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122
- 11/5/17, 4:30P @ Som Records, 1843 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
- 11/6/17, 7P @ Brewery ARS (in partnership w/Sit & Spin Records), 1927-29 W Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19145
- 11/9/17, 7P @ The Delancey, 168 Delancey St. New York, NY 10002
- 11/10/17, 7P @ Iris Records, 114 Brunswick Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302
- 11/11/17, 3P @ Tres Gatos Books, 470 Centre St. Jamaica Plain (Boston), MA 02130
- 11/12/17, 2:15P @ Out of the Blue Too Art Gallery & More, 541 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
- 11/16/17, 7:30P @ Powell’s Books on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR 97214