I wrote The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus based upon my experiences playing in garage rock bands in college towns in the 1990s. According to a very nice email I received from a reader, things have, for better or worse, remained essentially the same for people playing in garage rock bands in college towns in the 21st Century. Here's the email:
Subject: I read your book and fucking loved it!
Date: Thursday, October 2, 2008, 12:41 AM
I don't know if you get emails from people often (hopefully you do) (EDITOR'S NOTE: NOPE! SO YOURS WAS A TREAT--THANKS!) but I'm not usually one to write such letters. However, I read The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus and wanted to tell you how awesome that book was. It was the closing day of our beloved local record store and everything was half off. My band even played a set of all covers of bands the two owners loved (Archers of Loaf Guided By Voices, Pixies etc.). Well I found your book on a shelf with a few other books and I guess it was really the picture of the drum set in the bathroom that stood out ... so on a whim I bought it.
I don't know if I could have read that book at a better time in my life. Me and four other guys were all seniors in our last two months of college in a shitty rented house surrounded by nice houses occupied by less than nice neighbors. While no real bands were ever started there was always a drum set and amps in what we dubbed "the couch room" where our hypothetical bands might have one practice and never play again.
But honestly your book summed up my college career. Playing in bands that never went anywhere and just meeting crazy people (a few of them probably saw it the other way around). In one band we practiced under the addition that was put onto our drummers house. We had to load in our equipment through a cabinet sized door and the only connection it had to the inside of the house was a little trap door under the kitchen table. The ceiling was so low I had to make sure my head was positioned between support beams while still watching out for nails sticking out of them. (EDITOR'S NOTE: GOOD WORK SURVIVING! GEORGE JAH OR ANOTHER OF THE EMUS WOULD HAVE PROBABLY GOTTEN IMPALED IN SUCH A SITUATION!)
This letter is already getting much more long-winded than I had intended so I'll end here. Luckily on our last day at the house we just put our fridge on the curb and told our landlords to fuck off after they refused to give us any of our $3,000 security deposit back for things that were already wrong with the house. Seriously though, your book was like the validation I needed for most of the shitty things I put up with this past year renting a house and depending on four other people to be responsible.
So I just wanted to say thanks and keep up the awesome work.
Patrick Gartland of South Jersey
PS This book seems like it could easily turned into a hilarious TV show, has anyone ever shown an interest in the idea before? (EDITOR'S NOTE: YES, BUT USUALLY THEY WANT TO MAKE AN EMUS MOVIE BEFORE THEY SOBER UP AND CHANGE THEIR MINDS. I THINK EMUS WOULD WORK WELL AS AN HBO SERIES MAKING EACH CHAPTER AN HOUR LONG EPISODE. THEY COULD DO TWO TEN EPISODE SEASONS FROM THE BOOK ALONE, THEN A THIRD SEASON FOLLOWING THE BAND ANTIGONE, GEORGE, AND TED FORM AFTER THE EMUS, THEN THEY SHOULD CALL THE SERIES A WRAP BEFORE IT GETS STALE. TELEVISION PRODUCERS BANKRUPT OF IDEAS BUT NOT BANKRUPT IN MONEY, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH ME.)
Thanks for writing Pat! You made my day! If any readers of the blog want to experience what Pat discusses, then I have plenty of copies of Emus for you! Unless I can convince the government to bail me out by buying my unsold books!
Back in Philly - I’ll be back in my second home town, Philadelphia, for several days, including this weekend. While I’m there I may look at some of the writings I have in...
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