As a frustrated, ersatz writer, I’m prone to laboriously spin a weepy yarn with some frequency about how I once came within shouting distance of a credible book deal. This was based on the tenuous-at-best idea of composing the authoritative story of Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers. You may remember an epic-length post about that endeavor from several years back. Long story short: It didn’t happen.
In a nutshell, it all fell apart as someone had capitalized on the very same idea a year before me (with frankly underwhelming results), but –- more crucially -- the notoriously private and arguably eccentric Richman is pointedly guarded about his privacy and not at all interested in re-hashing the past. He hadn’t cooperated with that previous book, and wasn’t likely to entertain the notion any further. Without his participation, it was a stillborn effort, and –- thus -– abandoned.
I remember having a deflating discussion about it with an agent over lunch at a pricey TriBeCa bistro, and he tried to turn things back around by suggesting that, instead, I write a book about Radiohead, a notion that prompted me to ask for the check and get the Hell out of there.
Over the years, I’ve had several well-intentioned and supportive friends tell me I should write a book, but I’ve always said that I haven’t been sure if I actually have a book in me, so to speak. I harbor zero interest in writing fiction, and continue to feel that I need to be resonantly struck by that one, solid idea in order to make a book even conceptually feasible. Beyond that Jonathan Richman one, until recently, I haven’t felt that inspiration.
More to the point, after writing this silly blog for over a decade, the impetus to get a book going became even less of a likelihood. I’d found both my outlet and -- when I managed to not alienate or bore them – my audience, however select.
Anyway, you might be wondering, at this point, why I’m bothering to draw out this self-indulgent preamble. Well, as it happens, I’ve been tapped to write a book, and it looks like it’s actually going to happen.
Spend a random week reading this blog and you’ll doubtlessly comes across at least one or two florid invocations of two specific bands. One of those bands, of course, is Killing Joke. The other is the now long-defunct ensemble I’ve penned myriad posts about, that being Cop Shoot Cop.
It’s sort of a complicated backstory, but the gents approached me, given our long-standing friendship, my ardent fandom and the numerous bits and pieces I’ve already written about them, and asked if I’d be game to supply the text to what can only be described as a “coffee table book” about the band.
Now, before you click your tongues and remark about how a coffee table book packs all the insouciant, underground rock fury of a fastidiously curated collection of decorative ceramics, it should be underscored that Cop Shoot Cop was a band with a finely honed visual aesthetic. Pairing the do-it-yourself approach of hardcore punk with the jarring graphic style of early Foetus, early Cop Shoot Cop flyers and gig posters (some of which pre-dated the actual existence of the band beyond a mere concept) could literally stop you dead in your tracks (pardon the unfortunate pun). I myself was entirely preoccupied with one of their early posters for a 1989 gig at CBGB (as discussed --- and partially revealed –- on this post). With that in mind, to do that aspect of the band’s legacy justice, a full-paged, garishly illustrated, large-sized format is required. After a a brief period of consideration, I took the bait. So clear off those coasters, ornamental tchotchke and distressed stacks of Garden & Gun Magazine, `cos goddamn COP SHOOT COP IS COMING TO YOUR MOTHERFUCKIN’ COFFEE TABLE, BITCHES!
To that end, being that I’ve been the surreptitious webmaster of the unofficial Cop Shoot Cop Facebook page (hey, I told you I was a hopeless fanboy), I composed the following call-out to similarly inclined acolytes of the band. Follow the directions to the pertinent link.
There’s something in the works over in the long-dormant cabins of Camp Cop $hoot Cop. I'm working — in conjunction with members of the band — on their official history. It’ll be a handsome tome rife with myriad images spanning Cop Shoot Cop’s oh-so-illustrious career. It’s still in its early stages, but we need your help!
If you’d be good enough to share your photographs, artwork, posters, flyers, anecdotes, tattoos, homemade t-shirts and any other related ephemera with us, you — *YES, YOU!* — might be duly immortalized for your efforts for the great cause in some indeterminate fashion in the conceivably not-too-distant future. We promise it’s something cool. Have we lied to you yet (as far as you know?) If you’re sending us images, please note that we are looking for an ideal scan resolution of no less than 300 dpi at 100%. As is often suggested, bigger is indeed better.
To insure that you get the proper credit for your time and effort, please do include photo credit information, date and location that we properly acknowledge your contributions.
Let’s do this!
Anyway, so while it's still in its very early stages, the project is still very much underway. Part of the reason I'm posting about it here is not only to solicit more possible content for it, but also to cement the deal. It's put up or shut up. Now that I've invoked it, it has to happen, right?
Watch this space!