Nitro Nick Tosches
Eau de Newark- Tosches perfume label.
Nick Tosches has long been a, make that, the, most perspicacious observer of what is left of, dare I say it? Popular culture.
His latest book Save The Last Dance For Satan, published by Brooklyn paperback powerhouse Kicks Books (and perfume company) is essential reading not just for anyone who wants to know something about the history of rock’n’roll when it was actually fun, but as to why it no longer exists in today’s world. Both the rock’n’roll and the fun.
Expanded from a magazine article written for a publication so trite I refuse to type its name, Save The Last Dance For Satan examines the characters behind the scenes in the early days of rock’n’roll who were said to be “connected”. Old Town’s colorful Hy Weiss, motor mouth Philadelphia DJ Jerry “The Geator With The Heater” Blavant, one time promo man (and later Madonna and Jacko’s manager) Freddie DeMann, Morris “Moishe” Levy, George Goldner, a guy named Wassel, a guy named Bruno, and the true story of the Jaynettes’ ethereal classic Sally Go Round The Roses, are all present and accounted for. I shall not ruin what I promise is a quick and gainful reading experience by telling you what it actually says about them in its pages, but you will learn how made guys and degenerate gamblers, girls who spell their name Lezli and guys who wore Velour jump suits, and of course Wassel and Bruno, all colluded to perpetrate that music we remember as the real thing. The good shit. Rock’n’roll. And oh yeah, the pussy eating contest.
As our world falls apart around us (Says Nick– “I give it two years…at most“), and we watch those both at the top and at the bottom, both too dumb to and figure out where it all went wrong, scratch their assholes and moan; I quote from Save The Last Dance For Satan:
The true gage of the freedom of any community is the measurement of the degree of equality by which the fruits of malfeasance are shared by the rulers and the ruled, the cop on the beat and the man or woman on the street. The essence of democracy, as of capitalism is corruption. Only when the criminal in blue and the criminal in mufti, the peddler and the priest and the alderman and the drunkard–only when they are neighbors of common root and conspiracy is any neighborhood safe for the old lady on the stoop on a hot summer night, only then is there true charity, only then is there a justice that is real, and only then is there life in the air. As the social clubs close, so the churches empty. This is fact, not metaphor”.
Nick Tosches will be reading from his latest work on Friday, September 9, at the Jefferson Market Library (425 Sixth Ave at 10th Street, New York City) at 8 PM, admission is free. Tosches perfume (I kid you not) will be for sale.
In other Nick news, an article in Variety reported that art oaf Julian Schnabel will be directing Johnny Depp in a feature film version of In The Hand Of Dante. When questioned on the subject, Nick inhaled from his cigarette and grimaced.