Nick Tosches

                                 Nitro Nick Tosches

                                        His latest 

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”.
Amen. 
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. 

14 thoughts on “Nick Tosches”

  1. man, o man, all the belly achin' & moanin' 'bout the big bad no more kicks n' fun modern world. & here comes that pleasant 'ol chap, Mr. True Charity, whose bks sell for a penny on your Amazon link, grimacing all the way, to redeem ya.

  2. Ya beat me to it, Hound. Got the book today and finished it in one sitting. Vintage Nick: funny; grieving; researched; historic. I'm gonna write about it in a bit. And get me some cologne in November at Norton 25. My fave moment: the description of a promoter who's not of the defenestration-type.

  3. Ordered. Just checked the Norton site and saw they have books coming out by Harlan Ellison and Kim Fowley. They just gave me much needed reason to look forward to the coming months.

  4. Read it in one sitting last night. If you enjoyed the magazine article that was its source,as I did,still buy the book – there is enough new material to make it worth your money. Plus, Tosches takes you behind the scene for the recording of the Jaynetts Sally Go 'Round the Roses,one of the most unusual recordings of the era. Doug NJ

  5. Hy Weiss actually has a co-writing credit on The Velvet Underground's “Foggy Notion”, at least on the mid 90's box. I've always wondered what that was about. I kind of chalked it up to Lou and Sterling's love of 50's r&b and doo-wop, as a friendly nod of appreciation. Any thoughts??

  6. By the way, “Where Dead Voices Gather” is one of my favorite books on American Music. It is a fascinating ultra sound of the triplets that would grow up to be blues, country and rock and roll, as well as one of the little bastards many reputed fathers.

  7. “When they point their twisted fingersAnd say that I must bowAnd thank them all for nothingFor that’s all they will allowWhen the pieces of my nerve endsCome crawling up your stairsBut you take me in and you place your smileUpon my venom eyesYou read me, and you know I’m crushedand I’ll confessI’ve been out a-crusin’ for the young and pretty GodsThen your fingertips touch mineAnd I see Him in the skyWho’ll tell me of His garmentsAre they new and clean and whiteAnd tell me how He sufferedAnd take me to your bedBeat upon the pillow till it’s fluffed to greet my headYou’re the one who calms the angry soundsYou’re the one who bathes my lips in brandyLet me ride upon your back tonightFly me to the surf that’s warm and sandyYou’re the one who guides me through the lightAnd you’re the one who feeds meKentucky candyWhen they crawl upon each otherAnd squeeze out each others eyesBecause they have no time leftTo remember what they wereAnd in unison they turn to meThat I participateAnd I taste the serpent’s tongueAnd I freeze in all my frightsCan you tell them for me nowThat theirs is not my fightI’m busy building heavenUpon the shifting sandsThen He who walked on waterSaid ye not be turnedAnd why is this so hardFor them to understandThat a piece of molten iron never learnedThe soul of man will someday have to burn andYou’re the one who calms the angry soundsYou’re the one who bathes my lips in brandyLet me ride upon your back tonight andFly me to the surf that’s warm and sandyYou’re the one who guides me through the lightYou’re the one who feeds meKentucky candyNow they’ve given you a warningAnd all the world is deadIt’s on the upper levelWhere they’ll unscrew your headThe monkey people have begun to carry thingsThey’ll roll out an orientalThrough a corridor that’s darkAnd you will see nothingBut the purple bowl that shinesAnd there you meet all your childhood toysAnd someone who looks just like youWill strap you to your throneAnd with a rusty malletHe’ll beat your every thoughtUntil your mind is drained from all it knowsAnd then perhaps he’ll give you back your clothesAnd you’ll hear them all beneath youOh witches scream and laughAs they throw disgusting objects into a boiling potAnd you’ll beg your name is not upon their lipsAnd then you’ll remember JesusFor there’s nothing he can doYou’ll search your mind for prayersThat you can’t recallYou should have given all of them your shoesJust when you think it’s overFriendly lightning then remindsYou of the crawling serpentWhose body’s still on flames andGo crawl through the streets nowThey’ll all look the other wayThere’s no one there to climb inside your dreams andYou’re the one who calms the angry soundsYou’re the one who bathes my lips in brandyLet me ride upon your back tonight andFly me to the surf that’s warm and sandyYou’re the one who guides me through the lightAnd you’re the one who feeds meKentucky candy(heroin break)Ah but now it is the SummerAnd the sun surrounds the treesI’ll take you to the townWhere white houses kiss the sunAnd you’ll smell the grass that’s damp beneath your feetAnd there’s the friendly farmerWith his hair so white and cleanHe says that he remembersBut he just wants to talkHe’s tending to the things his hands have grownSo it’s out to picking mushroomsAnd then dry them in the sunAnd it’s off to Devil’s HopyardTo spark and laugh for funAnd I wish that we might live hereBut our money won’t affordSo we pack our things for going home again andYou’re the one who calms the angry soundsYou’re the one who bathes my lips in brandyLet me ride upon your back tonight andFly me to the surf that’s warm and sandyYou’re the one who guides me through the lightAnd you’re the one who feeds meKentucky candyKentucky candy”Roxana Purcarescu

  8. “Hy Weiss actually has a co-writing credit on The Velvet Underground's “Foggy Notion”, at least on the mid 90's box.”I never noticed that! On the VU LP it was credited to Reed, I assume part of the tune (maybe the Sally Mae part) came from some old doo wop tune and Weiss got himself cut in later. I know the reason Miss Joanie Lee was never released was because Reed could't remember if he copped any part of it from any old record. Oddly enough not one noticed the VU are playing Bo Diddley's Diddling under Sister Ray!

  9. Dammit, won't be back for another month or so. At least the Jefferson Library is still there (the old Women's House of Detention is a fitting place for Nick.) I need some perfume.

  10. Who's the “Anonymous” who posts long song lyrics in the Comments section? Latest was Springsteen's “Radio Nowhere,” of all things. Not the worst lyrics ever written – Hound and/or his readers may even agree with the basic sentiment – I was just surprised to see them here.

  11. Blavat NOT “Blavant””…Philadelphia DJ Jerry “The Geator With The Heater” Blavant…“Oh,,and… Nice pic… Think he's playin' “Summer in the City”???– B_B

Spit it out, partner...

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