Posts Tagged ‘The Big Bang’

Returning to Perdition

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

I am back at work on Return to Perdition – strictly on the front burner now. I’m inspired by Terry Beatty’s great artwork. I hope this graphic novel, the conclusion to the Perdition saga, is out next year some time. Some of the characters and events intertwine with the Marilyn and Kennedy Nate Heller novels, which is tricky.

And negotiations to possibly film my screenplay from my novel Road to Purgatory are continuing apace. I never believe this kind of thing till the check clears and shooting begins, but it’s promising, very promising.

After a busy summer, Crusin’ has no bookings this September – next date is Oct. 1 at the Elms in Muscatine. But we have been booked back to Riverside Casino in December, which is very encouraging, and we are putting together our live CD to help show other venues what we can do. Any Midwestern mystery conventions would be wise to consider us.

Even now The Big Bang is racking up some nice notices. You’ll have to scroll down to read this nice one from the Lansing State Journal.

It’s a pleasure to see an Augusta Chronicle article about cult crime writer Ennis Willie getting widespread attention on the web. Considering Willie was a mystery himself for years, seeing his picture and reading an interview with him is almost surreal…definitely surreal is seeing my own name prominent in the article. A good job, though the writer seems to think Willie was a rich, famous writer in the ‘60s, when even then he was an obscurity, published by a minor softcore smut house (Merit Books) out of Chicago. Over the years, a handful of us realized we had been reading and loving and collecting Willie, and our enthusiasm turned him into a much-collected writer – the original paperbacks now go for a lot of money. The article, of course, covers the new Willie collection, Sand’s Game, from Ramble House.

Fun to see Dead Street (by Mickey Spillane with a little help from yrs truly) getting attention so late in the game with this really nice write-up.

Downright odd is seeing my Dick Tracy movie novelization getting attention, but here’s a pretty good article on my adventures with Disney on that project. You can get my version in the book Tied-In, available at Amazon on Kindle and print-on-demand.

I’ll wrap by saying Barb and I saw some very fun movies this weekend – Machete and Going the Distance, incredibly different films but similar in that they are entertaining and not cookie-cutter Hollywood. Machete is, of course, an outrageous B-movie ride, while Going the Distance is a really funny, uncontrived romantic comedy with Justin Long and Drew Barrymore. In addition, we got the blu-ray from England of the new updated Sherlock (Martin Freeman of the original Office is Watson) – it’s first-rate, really terrific. It’s coming out over here soon, and don’t miss it. In its way it’s very faithful, and by dumping the Victorian era, you get an idea of what it must have been like to encounter the Sherlock Holmes tales when they were first published, and were cutting-edge current, not fog-wrapped nostalgia.


X-L-lent Show

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

The Crusin’/XL’s concert for the Muscatine, Iowa, Great River Days celebration beat all the odds – we dodged rain, and a flooding riverfront (that sent us to the Muscatine Community College campus), not to mention a Thursday night date. Still, two bands specializing in decades-old rock drew 1000 people to the outdoor event.

Crusin' @ Great River Days 2010

It’s always a pleasure to play up on a big concert stage with a sound company, and a huge, responsive crowd always makes for an energetic show. The XL’s – who regrouped from all around the country for this – were a major band in the Midwest in the mid- to late-sixties, and they showed why, with two fun party band sets highlighted by outstanding renditions of “Kicks,” “Pretty Woman” and “Wild Thing,” with Iowa rock legend Joe McClean playing a Tonette solo. Yeah!

The XL’s and Crusin’, by the way, are both Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees.

Crusin’ did one of its best shows of recent years, I think, and performed some very challenging material – “Keep Me Hangin’ On,” “Hush,” “Cinammon Girl” – very well. A lot of people were there to see the XL’s and we had to really work to win at least some of that audience over…but we did. And the highlight was probably the very end when both bands took the stage to do a long, lead-filled version of “Louie Louie.” The crowd demanded an encore and the two groups pulled “Money” out of their collective nether regions.

Fair to say – both bands killed. I find it hard to imagine I’ll ever have the chance to play in many events so fun and fulfilling.

For those of you in eastern Iowa, you can get a taste by coming to the Riverside Casino in Riverside, Iowa (future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk) this coming Sunday, August 8. We will play an afternoon show starting at 2 pm.

Also, we have a double-feature event with the XL’s at Wilton’s Founder’s Day the evenings of Friday Aug. 27 (Crusin’) and Saturday Aug. 28 (XL’s). The bands will not appear on stage together but expect “guest star” appearances both nights.

Road to Perdition Blu RayToday (Aug. 3) is the release date of the Blu-ray disc of ROAD TO PERDITION. It’s a beautiful transfer and has many special features – including extensive interview material with both me and my brilliant artist Richard Piers Rayner – that make this a must purchase for any M.A.C. fan or, really, anybody with taste and a Blu-ray player. The reviews so far have been stellar, like this one from DVD Verdict, this one from AVS Forum, and this from Big Picture Big Sound.

And here’s one whose focus is an interview with yours truly.

Also, PERDITION continues to rank high in “best movies from comic books” lists.

Here is a really nice write-up about THE BIG BANG from the Murder Mystery & Mayhem blog.

You’ll have to scroll down for it, but here’s another nice BIG BANG review, nicely succinct.

You should check out my article on Mickey Spillane’s ONE LONELY NIGHT in my buddy David Morrell’s THRILLERS: 100 MUST READS.

I’m sure some of the mystery and comics fans who stop by are bewildered by the coverage here of my band Crusin’ (and sometimes Seduction of the Innocent). But writing and music have been intertwined in my life and career from the very beginning. Any of you involved with mystery and or comics conventions – particularly in the Midwest – might consider booking Crusin’ for evening entertainment. And comics cons in particular should know that Seduction of the Innocent is considering con bookings again. Contact me through this site.

By the way, at the Great River Days event, we did both the Daybreakers’ “Psychedelic Siren” and Seduction’s “Pussy Whipped.”


Love That Dirty Water

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

For those of you who might be attending the Crusin’/XL’S concert Thursday night at 7 p.m. in Muscatine, the venue has shifted from the Riverfront to the Muscatine Community College parking lot (due to flood conditions downtown). This will be a terrific, once-in-a-lifetime event for ‘60s garage band fans! Here’s some love we got from the Quad City Times.

We are back from the San Diego Comic Con and are exhausted, so our update will be brief.

However…for you guys who stop by for the weekly update, I did daily updates at the con, so scroll and see much cool stuff featuring the likes of the Riff Trax boys, Patton Oswalt and Tommy Wiseau.

Some wonderful reviews popped up while we were away, including this one about THE BIG BANG on Kindle.

Jeff Pierce at the Rap Sheet was kind enough to include THE BIG BANG among his favorite reads of the first half of 2010. He also mentioned the Nate Heller novel, FLYING BLIND, as a candidate for one of the best crime novels ever.

Another great BIG BANG review, and a really smart one I think, focuses on the audio book version read by the legendary Stacy Keach.


Post July 4 Bangs

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

I’m happy to report two more stellar reviews for THE BIG BANG.

That first-rate writer Mel Odom, whose Bookhound is a lively site combining prose novels and comics, has some lovely and insightful things to say.

Then from Charleston, South Carolina (Mickey’s adopted home state), the Post and Courier gives THE BIG BANG a down-home rave.

Charles Ardai’s latest Hard Case missive has (as usual) gone out to a number of sites, but I’m giving you like a link to my pal Bill Crider’s, which remains among my top, most-visited sites on the net.

A good new small press publisher called Perfect Crime is doing some interesting things, including books by two of my best friends in the business (or anywhere), Ed Gorman and Bob Randisi. Among several Randisi projects is THE SHAMUS AWARD WINNERS volumes 1 and 2. For Nate Heller fans, Volume One may fill in an important gap: included among the stories therein is the Shamus-nominated novella DYING IN THE POST-WAR WORLD, which has never been reprinted before (since its initial appearance in the very out-of-print collection of the same name).

And Quarry fans may be relieved to learn that I’ve signed with Perfect Crime books to reprint the first five Quarry novels in individual volumes. Cover artist will be a guy named Terry Beatty you may have heard of. We are using the re-titling from the Foul Play ‘80s reprints, and PRIMARY TARGET will get a new title, to make it “fit” the titling pattern of the others: QUARRY’S VOTE.

This week will largely be devoted to musical pursuits. I have a rehearsal with Crusin’ early in the week (still prepping for the July 29 Great River Days concert with the XL’s). Then the rest of the week will be spent prepping and rehearsing with the original Daybreakers – Mike Bridges, Buddy Busch, Denny Maxwell, Chuck Bunn and myself – with our first full gig together since 1968. We are playing the Class of 1970 reunion at the ballroom at Hotel Muscatine on Saturday night, July 10. Daybreakers fans who aren’t class of ‘70 grads are welcome to come and pay a five-buck cover…if so, show up around 8 p.m. The boys are coming from hither and yon for this, and it could well be the final appearance of the original line-up.

And, yes, we will be playing “Psychedelic Siren.”