Return of the Jedi’s thirtieth anniversary is just one week away. I hope you’ve got your shopping done. I’m just kidding—we’ve all poured enough money into the Lucasfilm merchandising juggernaut already. If we melted down all the Chewbacca figures sold between 1977 and today there’d probably be enough plastic to make prosthetic limbs for every single person who’s stepped on a forgotten land mine since Star Wars first came out. Not to depress you or anything.
That reminds me of a hilarious story: I was four when Jedi came out and even though I was already amped on America’s number one space opera I didn’t want to see this final installment because Jabba the Hutt looked really scary in the tv commercials. My grandparents bought us all tickets to see the thing anyway, and I was just beside myself that entire morning. Kid logic told me I’d die of shock the moment Jabba came onscreen. Shortly before the movie’s showtime Grandma and I were wandering around K-Mart when I became instantly enamored of an Admiral Ackbar action figure on one of the toy racks. For whatever reason (he looked like a fish person and I liked fish?) this Ackbar toy was shifting the tectonic plates of my Jedi stance. I stood there in a weird daze.
“I’ll make you a deal,” my grandmother said as I clutched the Admiral’s blister pack like it was my only food for the day. “I’ll buy this man for you if you go see the movie with us. Okay?”
There was a brief pause.
“Oh-kay!” I shouted like one of the Little Rascals.
Nothing quells fear quite like spontaneous consumerism. The only memory I have from the actual presentation of Jedi that day is having to pee really badly during the speeder bike chase. Grandpa sensed this, trotting me out to the bathroom so as to prevent me from ruining the fine upholstery at the Sanford, Florida megaplex. I hated giving in, though, because the speeder bikes were so super cool. The theater bathroom was far less enthralling. Once you’ve seen Mark Hamill racing through the Redwood Forest on a space motorcycle self-flushing toilets seem less than outré.
I feel like I’ve told this story before elsewhere, but this version is really the best. Ewok image courtesy of Merchandising Is Forever. Stay tuned for more baloney like this in the coming days.
- the rules of squash
- the rules of racquetball
- when or where exactly Daniel Webster lived
- anything about the Gross National Product
- how to operate a yacht
- how to operate a bow tie
- anything about lacrosse
- how to make eggs benedict
- where to buy a salt lick
- reasonable prices for ascots
- the names of any famous Yale athletes
A compilation of queries from all the previous F.A.Q.s that people keep asking.
Q: The fudge yo’ book so expensive?
A: The hardcover of This Music Leaves Stains is something of a “limited edition” meant to be purchased in bulk by libraries and educators. As such, it boasts a rather steep price tag of $40-55 (don’t ask me why the Kindle price is also that high; it just is and I’m sorry, I had absolutely no say). I think I wrote a really great book, but certainly not one worth fifty bones to the average reader and/or Misfits fan. If you’re bursting at the seams to read this thing and wanna go to Amazon right now to pick a copy up, hey, I appreciate your enthusiasm, but please be aware a softcover version comes out in October via Taylor Trade that’ll retail for around $14-25. I encourage the majority of you to wait for what (if I were a record store in the 1980s) I’d call “the nice price.”
Q: The fudge are all the pictures?
A: Here. A budget was not in place to license all the photos I wanted to include (photographers like to get paid when you put their stuff in a book).
Q: But didn’t you get an advance or something with this book deal? Why didn’t you use that money, you greedy dollar-grubbing turd?
A: Don’t believe everything you see on all those glamorous prime time writer dramas. Scarecrow Press is an academic publisher; in lieu of some fat check upfront I got creative autonomy and later on I’ll get a piece of those sweet sweet royalties.
Q: If I buy the hardcover will you sign it?
A: If you see me somewhere, of course. I never ever thought I’d make something as cool as this book and I’m overjoyed that anyone would sink any kind of interest into it. If you buy it in any kinda format I’ll sign it! I’ll sign your e-reader, I don’t even care!
Q: When’s your book tour?
A: October-ish, when the softcover version is released. That’s the versh that’ll be in various fine book retailers for a regular book sum. Between now and then I’ll probably make sporadic appearances at libraries and colleges (if they’ll have me) to thump the hardcover, but the real “book tour” where I go to book stores, coffee shops, and Wal-Mart parking lots will happen in the fall.
Q: WHERE’S your book tour?
A: Definitely up and/or down the east coast. Further west to any major metropolitan area I can afford to reach.
Q: Can I find your book at my local library?
A: You might be able to find it at your local college/university library. According to all-knowing Internet biblioteca sources, This Music Leaves Stains is currently on the shelves at UMass Amherst’s W.E.B. Du Bois Library, U of Maryland’s Theodore R. McKeldin Library, NYU’s Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Library, Georgetown’s Lauinger Memorial Library, the library at the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in beautiful downtown Cleveland, U of Texas’s Fine Arts Library, U of Iowa Libraries, and libraries at Pierce, Cornell, Columbia, U of Pennsylvania, Bowling Green State, Duke, UNC, and U of California Riverside. Book dumps at Brown, Trinity, Indiana U, and Texas A&M have all allegedly ordered it.
Internationally, I’m told TMLS has made it to three libraries in Australia: Melbourne’s Box Hill, Sydney’s Canterbury City Council, and New South Wales’s Sutherland Shire. York and McGill U in Canada also claim they’ve ordered it. Sorry, Europe. No penetration yet.
I’m sure more institutions of academia are requesting my awesome Misfits book every day. Check with your local college/uni lie-berry. If they don’t have it, ask them to order it. If they won’t order it, well, I don’t know. Rent your Dustin Hoffman VHS tapes somewhere else!
Q: James R. Greene Jr? What does the “R” stand for?
A: It stands for someone made an oopsie inputting my name into a database somewhere. I don’t use my middle initial on the professional tip. Keep that in mind, though, when you’re asking around about This Music Leaves Stains; some listings have the “R.” For the record, my middle initial is D, and it stands for DEFFEST EMCEE IN THE GAME (HOOOOOO!!!). No, it stands for Dennis.
Q: Will it be available as an audio book?
A: Only if I can get someone really cool to read it, like Bernie Casey. Bernie Casey’s into the Misfits, right?
A: Yeah. The results were less than satisfactory. See below.
My facial hair is like a UFO; you’re not really sure what you’re seeing, but you know you’re seeing something. I’m not into it.
A few years ago I almost married someone whose only true flaw was a distaste for Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. She thought BTEA was incredibly dumb (I believe her exact words were “This movie, ugh…it’s soooooooooooooo dumb!”). Look, you can accuse director Stephen Herek’s sophomore effort of many crimes and be correct—it’s very dated in pockets, Ted’s brother doesn’t get enough screen time, Napoleon Bonaparte was not actually that short—but you can’t call the movie dumb. Not in my book. The concept is incredible.
What if the spiritual deity who could bring peace and balance to our world materialized as a pair of D+ suburban metalheads, and what if the key to their success involved time travel? It makes Wayne’s World look like the shallow ego party it actually is. What does Wayne stand to lose in his movie? A girl? A tv show? The fate of our universe is in Bill & Ted’s hands, and they’re not even smart enough to get on public access. I guess my point is Mike Myers kinda sucks and I’m glad I’m not raising children right now in a divided household.
News broke today that Disney has shuttered LucasArts, a.k.a. the part of the Star Wars business galaxy what’s been makin’ all the vidjuh games. I never really got down on that Monkey Island tip, but you better believe I spent what felt like feckin’ years in high school playing the living hell out of X-Wing Simulator and its follow up, TIE Fighter. Of course, back then PC games were spread across five or six floppies and you’d be lucky if the damn things ever loaded completely without any errors, but even when X-Wing was messed up it was still one of the greatest computer combat dealy-bobs ever made. I weep for the people who’ve lost their jobs and also for the dissipation of something that was once intensely relevant to me, but I also feel plenty of warm gooeys from all the joy LucasArts gave me in that stoned age before XBoxes and Playstations and even N64s. Thanx for the memories, LA. See you in the (death star) trenches.
Remember when stuff like this “ripped from the headlines!” Al Pacino Phil Spector movie was the exclusive province of network television, and you could freely shout “CAREER SLUMP” at all involved because it was airing on the same channel as “Talking Hamster, MD” and “Mall Dash ’86?” Now, since this nonsense is on
Showtime HBO, we have to pretend like there’s some kind of merit going on. There isn’t. Someone just decided saggy Al Pacino plus wigs equals ratings. Wig that fucker up, son! We’re up against Erik Estrada’s “Chupacabra Versus The Alamo” tonight!
I did not fabricate that last title.
My buddy Rollie H. describes himself as someone who’s into “television history, famous failures, and not laughing.” As such, Rollie recently waded into the dark territory that is “Saturday Night Live’s” sixth season to review and analyze what countless historians have tagged as the absolute nadir of sketch comedy. Please, do yourself a favor right now and read my friend’s hilarious, insightful recap of his experience wherein at the very least you’ll pick up the hot fashion term “heino rippin’.” You’ll also see photographic evidence of Eddie Murphy eating dog food.