By Lindsay Toler
By Chad Garrison
By Brett Koshkin
By RFT Staff
By Lindsay Toler
By Riverfront Times
By Danny Wicentowski
By Pete Kotz
Symphony for the Devil
"Warning! Combining ridiculous amounts of hard alcohol with prescription drugs before engaging in extramarital sex with mentally disturbed strippers could trigger multiple personality disorders in some people!"
Really? Unreal had no idea! That is, until a press release from a St. Louis cabbie named John Booker floated across our desk. Booker, an ex-alcoholic who quit the bottle nearly a decade ago, has penned the two-volume novel Bondage and Discipline, Sadism and Masochism, in which the above-quoted admonition is the moral. Writing under the nom de plume Lusipher, Booker recounts the tale of a 44-year-old black man leading a double life: devoted husband and cabbie by day, freaky sadist "dog" under the spell of a strapping, voluptuous masochist by night.
In advance of a July 11 signing at Not Just a Bookstore (5892 Delmar Boulevard), Unreal quizzed the cabbie about his opus.
Unreal: Tell us about your inspiration for these novels.
John Booker: I decided to concede to the fact that I was an alcoholic. I was able to look back and reflect what I did as an alcoholic, and I couldn't believe it was me. That's when the germ of BDSM began to gestate. After that I had a kind of scary encounter with a person, and from there it snowballed.
You didn't leave your wife at night for some sex-crazed sadomasochist?
I didn't do that. It was a situation I'd rather not elaborate on. One of those things that most men get into. With the character, I wanted his affair to be analogous with his relationship to alcohol. Sadie Sunshine is her name, and he only sees her at night.
Are you saying people who are into bondage only tie it up at night?
I chose BDSM as a metaphor, because it's perfect — although it wasn't necessary for me to know everything about the culture of sadomasochism.
You didn't do any field research?
Yes, I did! [Laughs] I don't want to go into some of the research I did. In order to achieve an effect of authenticity in describing some of the things — well, it's not like I actually —
Whipped somebody's tail feathers?
Well, no, I — you're trying to make me get into that, but I can't get into that.
Allow us to read you one of your passages: "Liquid bliss dropped out of Zack's eyes and fell to the floor. He mooed like a cow. Images flashed on the shadows of her wall. An image flashed — flies made thick patches on the corpse of a darkly bruised and shriveled fetus; another image flashed — a gang of naked, greasy, pot-bellied, black-hooded men surrounded a blindfolded hog-tied woman; another image flashed — a muscle-bound white man dog-fucked another muscle-bound white man."
That is some seriously fucked-up prose. Quite the vocabulary, though!
[Laughs] You know, thank you.
Are you sure you weren't drunk when you thought of "a darkly bruised and shriveled fetus"?
I can't recall what mental state I was in when I was writing most of this book. It shifted from scene to scene, day to day. Maybe I had a Starbucks before I wrote that scene. I was writing it, I was feeling it, I was in that scene with them. I could see everything. I could see the floor bristling.
Have you ever thought about writing children's literature?
I actually have some ideas outlined, believe it or not. But it wouldn't be under Lusipher, though. I think I'd probably have a problem selling books to kids under Lusipher.
That might be your first problem.
Yeah, that would be huge.
Twitter, Schmitter — Tony La Russa Sues Unreal!
Unreal has spent all of June breathlessly tracking the Tony La Russa v. Twitter brouhaha. OK, so we've actually just quickly spent the past few minutes skimming our columnist colleague Bill Streeter's two blog dispatches about the lawsuit, and also the one by Kristen Hinman. And even though those two are way more plugged in than your Luddite correspondent here, trust us, we're totally up to speed on this complex legal matter.
So we knew it was only a matter of time until Tony L sued Riverfront Times!
Well, OK, so he hasn't actually sued us yet. But it really is only a matter of time.
At least we're pretty sure it is.
We mean, Twitter wasn't even invented when this paper published "La Russa Palooza," an entirely fabricated (by then staff writer Randall Roberts, now of LA Weekly) rock-fan tour diary that imagined La Russa's totally factual five-show bender — a.k.a. "Five Nights in November" — in California through the prism of an also entirely fabricated "private rock blog," "Card Carrying Rocker."
Quoth Roberts (in Tony L.'s guise): Jethro Tull, Friday, November 11, Oakland, California, Paramount Theatre. Is there a more beautiful picture in all of rock & roll than flutist Ian Anderson, posing in a one-legged, foot-on-calf stand while tearing it up on the flute? The flute: In most hands, it's a utility instrument. In Anderson's hands, it's a mighty piece of steel. Know what it is? Foot position. Without a sturdy center, he's falling straight over. Fingers can't fly if he's unbalanced. Before Jimmy Page takes the violin bow to the Les Paul, he better have a consistent stance.