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"Read this book immediately if you like truth, drugs, generation gaps, guitars, and lifelong quests for freedom and kicks." --Craig Finn, The Hold Steady Thomas Ransom, born to a severely dysfunctional southern family transplanted to New York City, is left to his own devices by neglectful parents, and spends his childhood shadowing his criminally-inclined half-brother and roaming the city with hard-drinking teenage pals. He eventually finds an outlet as the flamboyant singer of a downtown rock band, and later as the young editor of the Detroit-based magazine that invented punk, only to return to New York, at the height of the 1970s bacchanal, and crash. But it isn't music that saves him. It's a soft-spoken painter, who turns out to be the most outrageous character of all. With echoes of Almost Famous and Just Kids, LOUDMOUTH tracks an impassioned musician and writer out among the punks, hippies, and wild geniuses of rock when music was the center of the world. Author Robert Duncan was barely out of his teens when he started writing for the influential music magazine Creem, becoming its managing editor at 22. He went on to write for Rolling Stone, Circus, Life, and dozens of other publications, interviewing hundreds of rock stars at the top of their game. In the process, Duncan became a rock Zelig: he shares tales of his time with a young, scrawny Bruce Springsteen while driving him around Detroit; he introduces The Clash's Mick Jones and Joe Strummer to a broken-down piano player of dubious ability, leading to a hilariously disastrous recording session with the band; he works alongside legendary rock critic Lester Bangs, witnesses his tragic spiral, and finally discovers him dead of an OD in the apartment next door. These experiences, and many others, provide the fuel for his debut novel, LOUDMOUTH, making it what Brian Jonestown Massacre's Joel Gion calls, "A sonic wail of a tale about the youthful beginnings of one of the Mount Rushmore 'heads' of rock 'n' roll journalism."
Three Rooms Press, 9781941110928, 248pp.
Publication Date: October 6, 2020
About the Author
At 22, Robert Duncan was managing editor of the legendary Creem magazine, working in Detroit alongside his friend Lester Bangs. He has contributed to Rolling Stone, Circus, Life, and dozens of other popular publications. He was lead singer, songwriter, and producer for several rock bands, including 3DayBig&Tall. He is author of The Noise: Notes from a Rock 'n' Roll Era; Kiss, a tongue-in-cheek biography; and Only the Good Die Young, a collection of profiles of dead rock stars. He was story consultant and interview subject for the documentary, Creem: America's Only Rock & Roll Magazine, which premiered at SXSW in 2019. He is anthologized in Springsteen on Springsteen and Patti Smith gave him a shout-out in her memoir, Year of the Monkey. His poetry has been published in several issues of Maintenant: A Journal of Contemporary Dada Writing and Art (Three Rooms Press). He is founder of the advertising and design firm Duncan Channon and its Tip Records subsidiary. He was raised in a Southern family displaced to New York City and now lives with his wife, the artist and rock photographer Roni Hoffman, near San Francisco. LOUDMOUTH is his first novel.