February 13, 2019

It was as incongruous a sight as you could hope to see in the mid-afternoon light of the Burbank Hilton lounge—Lemmy Kilmister, the subsonic genius behind Motörhead, standing alone at the bar, hunched over a glass of whiskey like a bronze statue of Atlas sinking beneath the weight of a metal sky. He was dressed in black with two studded belts and a pair of white ankle boots with Cuban heels like Elvis used to wear onstage in Vegas.

T...

August 14, 2018

I’ll never forget being four years old and watching Elvis’s Aloha from Hawaii satellite broadcast back in ’73. My diaper days were behind me, I owned the fastest Big Wheel on the block, and now this: a comic-book man-god dressed in a red-white-and-blue American eagle suit and cape, singing “Dixie” with sweat running from his eyes like tears. It would remain the coolest image of my life until I caught my first glimpse of tit a year l...

August 14, 2018

In the coming months, you will be hearing a lot about White Boy Rick, which is the street name of Richard Wershe Jr., who, while still a teenager, managed to be sentenced to life for cocaine distribution. A large part of the reason people are now being hipped to Rick’s story is due to the journalism of Seth Ferranti, who himself did 21 years in prison on a drug conspiracy charge when he was a young man. And while the two have never...

May 16, 2018

As the monster cuts a path of death and destruction across Japan, Gene and John have more immediate problems.

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Morning among the custodial staff was the time to address the issues of the day. Politics, human suffering and everyday bodily functions were dissected as pants dropped, work clothes were donned, coffee was consumed and cleaning materials were gathered. Walking down the stairs, I already knew what to...

April 27, 2018

Mel Frank [aka James Goodwin], is the co-author, along with Ed Rosenthal, of the 1974 book, The Marijuana Grower’s Indoor/Outdoor Guide, and its expanded 1978 edition, Marijuana Grower’s Guide Deluxe. These two seminal tomes taught countless amateur botanists how to cultivate cannabis and fueled the homegrown revolution of the ‘70s and ‘80s in the United States. As a breeder, he developed the varieties Afghani # 1 and Durban Poison,...

April 19, 2018

I started doing drugs when I was a baby. I picked up a nicotine habit when I was a zygote, then a few months after my birth, I started hitting the barbiturates. My mother tells the story like this: I cried a lot, more than most. It was a raw deal, swapping out warm, amniotic bliss for the sights and sounds of living. She took me to the doctor and explained what was wrong with me. I was a malcontent, easily disturbed. He gave her a s...

April 8, 2018

Gene settles into his new life as a janitor, and the unexpected appearance of a 700-foot-tall monster in Japan causes the crew to question its origins.

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When I returned to work after Thanksgiving weekend, word was going around that I wasn’t exactly the Paul Bunyan of the cleaning industry that they had hoped I was going to be. My two-hour lunches had done a lot to sow unrest among the staff. Since he coul...

March 31, 2018

Welcome to the first in a series of excerpts from No Easter, a novel that tells the story of Gene Gumellis, a 22-year-old janitor whose life is given meaning when a 700-foot-tall monster attacks New York City in the 1980s. Illos by the great Stephen E. Lewis.

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Before the monster there was nothing. We almost blew it, almost came stumbling up to the millennium looking like the biggest bunch of jerks anybody...

February 28, 2018

Lee Perry is one of those artists but for whose existence life, for those of us in the know, would have been a bit less wondrous. Perry is the personification of Jamaican music: From the ska era to the present digital age, he’s been making music. Along with the late, great King Tubby, Perry pioneered dub music. Commanding the controls of a stripped-down sound system, an ever-present spliff in his hand, Perry produced career-high rec...

February 12, 2018

As a young man, Dennis Peron had a ringside seat to a few of the most traumatic events of late-20th century America. Having witnessed war, persecution, brutality, and disease firsthand, he became a staunch opponent to the war on marijuana, battling the forces of prohibition for decades. Any person who has ever smoked a legal joint owes a debt to Dennis Peron, whose 1996 initiative, Proposition 215, legalized medical pot in the state...

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