Shy, socially-backward, book-reading child that I was, libraries were my first love, bookstores were my second. (True story: My senior year of high school in the prehistoric ages of 1970, a few of us cut school and went up to the river to hang out. My best friend Dave Blackburn & I were being the lives of the party and a girl named Christine George – who I had gone though 12 years of Catholic education with, at St. Aloysius and Bishop Ready – looked at me being a rock & roll clown, shook her head and said, “I can’t believe you’re the same person I went to grade school with. In third grade we were all absolutely SURE you were mentally retarded, but you still got straight A’s. We all thought the nuns just felt sorry for you.”)
My current favorite indie bookstore in Columbus (Bexley, to be precise) is Gramercy Books at 2424 E. Main Street, right across from the Bexley Public Library (how perfect). At 7 pm on Tuesday evening, June 19th, Gramercy will host a live taping of the Rock & Roll Book Club, presented by Mark Danzter, Patrick Buzzard, Chuck Johnson & Ryan Smith.
The subject of the podcast is the long-awaited Thomas O'Keefe book Waiting To Derail: Ryan Adams and Whiskeytown, Alt-Country’s Brilliant Wreck (co-written with Joe Oestreich). Joe – as many Pencilstorm readers are certainly aware – is the bass player & co-lead singer of Watershed: Columbus, Ohio’s power-pop dynamo. (Oestreich will be appearing at Gramercy Books for an author talk on July 13th.)
My previous experience with a live presentation of the Rock & Roll Book Club was an event at the Upper Arlington Public Library back in 2015, but next week will be the first time Dantzer, Buzzard & Co. will record their podcast LIVE for re-broadcast on July 2nd. (The book being covered in 2015 was Joe's Watershed memoir Hitless Wonder, and Watershed's other co-founder/co-lead singer/guitarist - and Pencilstorm mainstay - Colin Gawel played a live set that evening. Those Watershed boys are so literary.)
There will be an ample supply of Waiting To Derail on sale at the store during the Rock & Roll Book Club taping, so support a local business, buy your copy at Gramercy Books, and maybe skip Amazon for once, okay?
It's mid-June, not-quite-summer, we're done with rain, rain, rain, so get yourself over to Gramercy in Bexley on Tuesday for some books and rock & roll; it's easily my favorite combo, and I wish it could/would be yours. - Ricki C. June 16th, 2018.