It was an interesting ride, writing a true crime slasher book, Nobody’s Women: The Crimes and Victims of Anthony Sowell, the Cleveland Serial Killer. The book hits October 2. Between 2007 and 2009, Sowell murdered 1 women, luring them off the streets and into his three-story house in the middle of one of Cleveland’s most squalid neighborhoods. He kept their bodies in his house and buried them in his basement and back yard. I talked with Sowell a few times while writing the book and will be sure to send him a copy. It was quickly apparent that he had no guilt over his actions. When he realized that I was not going to pay him for a conversation, nor would I treat him with any respect, he stopped calling and writing me. I’ll print some of his letters here after the book is released. For the necessary evil, the hardest part of any book, I’ll be in Cleveland for a week in October. On Saturday, October 6, a performance of The Violence of One, a performance/play about the sagas of Sowell and fellow Clevelander Jeffrey Dahmer will take place at Baldwin Wallace College, then again on October 11 at the east campus of Cuyahoga Community College. I’ll be at both of them; Tom Sutton and his crew at Baldwin Wallace do some ambitious work.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Lester Bangs, graced with an audience one night at his house on Brown Street in Birmingham, proceeded to play Raw Power and Tyranny & Mutation over and over. Bob Mulrooney, aka Bootsey X, who would become one of Detroit’s most prolific musical Men About Town, was working at a college radio station in 1974 and headed over to Lester’s after obtaining an obscure Velvet Underground tape from a NY collector with instructions to give a copy to Bangs.
“Dave Marsh lived there and so did Ben Edmonds,” Mulrooney said. “I went there with a couple friends. I wasn't even a drinker at the time, and Lester's hands were shaking. It was the early evening, but he was shaking when we met, and he goes, ‘let's go get some beer.’ I said, ‘whatever,’ so we got loaded. We put on the tapes for a minute and Lester goes, fuck this shit, let's put on Raw Power. So we played Raw Power like, over and over and over, for hours. Only that and Blue Oyster Cult, Tyranny & Mutation. Lester, his whole room was all albums, you couldn't even sit on the floor, and he had these huge speakers but only one of them worked.”
Yea, the second BOC album was part of that trio of greatness the band produced in the 70s, starting with the self-titled first one and ending at Secret Treaties. Like so many New York-area bands, BOC pounded Detroit, playing anywhere and everywhere, from the Michigan Palace to Pine Knob. The band always had this futuristic trip going, and was among the first bands to use lasers in its light shows, run by a trippy dude they affectionately called Larry Laser.
For Tyranny, it was possible to send a letter to an address provided to obtain the lyrics. This was before the days that every corporation sought to track everyone, and I can only imagine there was a mailing list angle. I sent for the lyrics and was never contacted by the Cult people again. I did get the lyrics, which are presented here. I dig the early 70s IBM printout, back when those crazy punch cards were the epitome of progress. Better yet, though, I got to read along to “OD’d on Life Itself.”