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Too Weird for Ziggy

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In “Pussy,” the girl singer of the eponymous band cracks up after her lover and the band’s creative center dies. When her manager tracks her down she is living anonymously in an East Village tenement, rarely going outdoors, and hoarding her own discarded hair, dead skin and other physical castoffs.In “Greetings from Finsbury Park,” a British rock star comes home from L.A. only to find that the customs agent going through his suitcase is an embittered ex-schoolmate whose wife once slept with the star before he was famous.In “A Happy Ending,” a deeply shell-shocked ex-superstar (think Brian Wilson) struggles to keep the voices in his head quiet during a meeting with a hot new producer for a comeback album the A&R boss envisions as an unholy alliance of Neil Young and Public Enemy.“Love Stain” charts the emergence of devotional offerings, cottage industries, and a pecking order of proximity to the spot where an up and coming young rocker dropped dead on speedballs outside a London club—and his best friend chats up a rock journalist about the tragedy and the conspiracy to murder his friend, all while trying to get her to cover his own band.In “Rhinestone Tombstone Blues,” country music singer-songwriter LeeAnn Starmountain copes with the disappearance of her inspiration—the violent fantasies of her abusive mother’s death, which she can no longer indulge in after her mother actually perishes, cooked to death by her electric blanket after a stroke.In “Close to You,” a cult devoted to Karen Carpenter springs up after the singer’s image appears in the paint on the wall of a London kebab shop.In “From a Great Height,” controversy erupts when the frontman of America’s biggest rock band urinates off his hotel balcony, soaking a crowd of adoring fans.In “And Alien Tears,” a California limo driver with a gift for Jim Morrison impersonation becomes a star in his own right in Germany, hosting a talk show as “Jim.”The hottest band of cock-rockers in America finds their tour going off the rails in “Allergic to Kansas” when the misogynist lead singer starts growing breasts.In “Diet Cola Cancer” Pussy, the lead character in the first story, returns—post-breakdown, and racking up the younger boyfriends—and even gets sued when one of said boyfriends commits an indiscretion at an LA rock club, and Pussy douses the paramour in “carcinogenic” Diet Coke.In “I Kissed Willie Nelson’s Nipple,” LeeAnn visits England on command performance for the Queen, and tells the story of her many marriages, the “greatest hits” of her abusive relationships, and the self-explanatory Willie Nelson film role that put her career back on track.In “Spitting Image (The ‘80s Retro Track),” the famous British television show (they made the puppets for Genesis’s famous “Land of Confusion” video) agrees to sell one of their puppets to the star it comically represents—but when the puppet is “kidnapped” on the way to its new home, and someone sends the star the puppet piece by violently detached piece, he finds himself cracking up.In “Too Weird for Ziggy (A Dream of Holes),” a famous rock god is dead, and MTV isn’t content to let him rest. So in an unprecedented live television séance at the palatial home of one of LA’s most overcompensated rock managers, they hire a voodoo practitioner to raise him from the dead, on live television.In “Jeremiah 18:1-10” the band from “From a Great Height” returns and now the drummer has a stalker, who claims God has commanded her to become his wife. The trouble is, she seems so innocent and naïve, no one takes her seriously until the drummer’s stripper fiancée suddenly turns up dead.In “The Audience Isn’t...

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 06, 2004 – British music journalist Simmons has taken the years she spent interviewing rock's most outrageous personalities and compressed them into this lurid, engrossing collection of stories, gracefully linked like the incestuous world of rock itself. Alternating between first person and omniscient narration, she chronicles the transcendent weirdness of the music world. In one creepy story, "Pussy," a Blondie-esque pop goddess, disappears; years later, she's found in an East Village tenement surrounded by cabinets and sandwich bags stuffed with her own fingernails and excrement. The devastating effects of fame on personal identity are on display in almost every tale, from "Spitting Image," in which a megalomaniac rock star is ravaged by the kidnapping of his life-size look-alike puppet, to "Autograph," about an insolent rocker whose ex-girlfriend gives him a permanent comeuppance. The stories are at their best when Simmons depicts a scenario that doesn't read like a tabloid dream. In "I Kissed Willie Nelson's Nipple," a tough-living country star delivers a soliloquy so rich with hard-won wisdom that it trumps the too bizarre "Allergic to Kansas," in which a sexed-up lead singer mysteriously grows breasts. On these pages, fictional rock stars mingle with real ones, reminding readers, as with those ubiquitous Elvis sightings, that true rockers never die. They're just preparing for a comeback.
Too Weird for Ziggy
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Short Stories
  • Published: Dec 01, 2007
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC
  • Print Length: 272 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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