[Jandek] Jandek Fictional Biography Forthcoming; Author to Read/Sign in Toronto & Chicago

Allen Rendel arendel at ripco.com
Sat Sep 2 18:03:18 PDT 2006


This sounds very interesting...

One factual error - the address for Quimby's where the Chicago reading is
scheduled for is 1854 W. North Ave - this is right in the heart of Chicago's
Wicker Park neighborhood and easy to get to in case anyone will be visiting
town to catch Jandek's performance (take the Blue Line el train to the Damen
stop, walk 1/2 block north to the intersection of Damen, North & Milwaukee
and go a couple blocks east on North Ave.).

Allen Rendel

-----Original Message-----
From: jandek-bounces+arendel=ripco.com at mylist.net
[mailto:jandek-bounces+arendel=ripco.com at mylist.net]On Behalf Of Danen
D. Jobe
Sent: Friday, September 01, 2006 12:19 AM
To: jandek at mylist.net
Subject: [Jandek] Jandek Fictional Biography Forthcoming; Author to
Read/Sign in Toronto & Chicago


So I've sent out dozens of press releases and spent a solid year now working
on this, and yet this is the email I've had the most difficulty composing.
Really - started and stopped it six or seven times in the last three weeks.
If you want the short of it, skip a paragraph or two. But for THIS list -
people I genuinely care about and trust - I want to give an idea of what
writing this has been like. So here goes:

As a few of you know, I've been working on a fictitious biography based on
Jandek, written with Corwood's cooperation and approval.  It uses the Jandek
name, song titles, lyrics, album covers, music descriptions, etc though it
in NO way is to be mistaken for the REAL story of Jandek.  Rather, this is
culled from - literally - HUNDREDS of hours of listening to the music,
discussions with a few people involved with Corwood at one point or another,
numerous back and forth letters to and from Houston, a chapbook publication
that caused me to destroy (by fire, thank you) EVERYTHING and start over -
this being exactly one week before my thesis reading at the University of
Arkansas (which I've been writing this project for). Coming up with the
RIGHT story, finally, for said reading and then spending the summer
hammering out some 200 pages of sprawling story, followed by me asking
Corwood if they thought it might be a good idea for me to read in Chicago
and Toronto (they agreed), an
d me thinking, "you know, it might be nice to have something published,"
followed by the WONDERFUL folk at Single Cell Press (out of Glasgow - so
fitting) agreeing to publish this first installment in what I see as a
"Jandek trilogy," three weeks of editing, re-writing, re-thinking and
ultimately agreeing on 63 pages of content, coming out this month on Single
Cell Press, and which I will be reading from the day after the Toronto show
and the day before the Chicago one.

And now for more specific details: in Toronto I'll be at Circus Books and
Music on Monday, September 18th at 6 PM. This is located at 253 Gerrard
Street East (I'll give better directions and a phone number in a following
email as I figure it out myself) and should be a blast. From there I get to
make a maddash back over the border to read at Quimby's Books in Chicago
(154 W Northern Street, Chicago - more info www.quimbys.com) at 7 PM Tuesday
the 19TH at 7 PM. I can promise the best excerpts I can come up with from
the book, which is closest to dark Southern Literature (it's what I write),
tracing the future Corwood Rep's life from childhood to his garage band
days, growing up in the Ozark Mountains admist much family turmoil (his
mother and father leave him to care for his developmentally disabled brother
at one point - his mother moving off to Kansas City and Dad going on a
six-month bender). There are also other fictiionally recast real people
here, most significantly one
 Frank Stanford, whose poetry you can check at www.alsopreview.com. Stanford
is the young narrator's shadow twin, so to speak, and also the person who
gets said narrator to take his musical roots and do something with them.
Frank happens to be married to Nancy, who ends up singing for the original
garage band (and John, the drummer, lifts many of the instruments from
"people who won't miss them). It includes sections of the narrator
developing the guitar sound (which, by the way, I picked out myself on a
40's era black Gibson acoustic, picking at the strings over Charley Patton
songs until it emulated what Jandek does on the early acoustic albums) and
falling in love - not with Nancy, but with Frank's fiery sister Jessica.
There's also "fictionalized' versions of Son House (he gets a great scene)
and a poet/novelist named James Whitehead who's well worth checking out.

Okay, that's enough. If you want more I've got a few excerots up at the
Myspace page I've created for this puppy: www.myspace.com/niagrablues. I'll
keep updates going there. Also, please check my publisher's website at
www.singlecellpress.co.uk, as this is where the book will be available
(unless you buy it direct from me). While you're there, pick up a copy of
Jackie Gilroy's slang-crazed "Thugs and Thieves." The writing style of our
books couldn't be any more different and yet there's a communal spirit
there. But seriously, Gilroy is the rightful heir to Bukowski, and I mean
that lovingly. My book is probably closer to Carson McCullers' "Ballad of
the Sad Cafe" or maybe a bit of Cormac McCarthy, but I've worked hard to
have it be it's OWN thing first and foremost. Hope anyone who reads it feels
the same.

Anyway, PLEASE contact me for more info. Now that I can relax (having
finally written this) I can say that I hope at least some of you can attend
these events - I intend for it to be a pretty wild tour: Jandek on Sunday,
my reading on Monday, another reading on Tuesday, Jandek on Wednesday and
then I sleep for a week. Somehow my employer at the University has decided
this is a good "academic" thing and is supporting this, so I feel all
"official." I don't know. Books will be dead cheap (I've got to move them -
you knew that was coming, right?) but the readings are free. And hey, I
intend to max out a credit card buying pitchers afterward. Seriously. Also,
if anyone has floorspace in Toronto or Chicago let me know. This was going
to be a family trip but looks like it's a solo thing now (a cost-efficient
idea - got the wife and kids' support but this is gonna be a bit intense for
young ones), so I find myself in need of floor space. I'll even bring my own
pillow and free books
 a'plenty. I also make a mean coffee.

Oh, and finally, there is a tour "pre-launch" radio show at 88.3 KXUA radio
from the University of Arkansas next Wed night at 9 pm CST. Fear not, non
Arkansans (which is what, all of you?) - it will be streamed on the net.
I'll get details for that in the next few days, but PLEASE, if you happen to
listen in, call and request. It's going to be a very loose show covering
what I feel is his key moments mixed in with some of the Summersteps'
tributes (including stuff off the new Corwood Variations handmade - I think
the "Om" is a must) and a few "Corwood influences" like Blind Willie
Johnson. This is going to be three hours long and something special indeed.
I'll also read a few short passages from the book.

Whew! Okay, I've done it. Thanks for your patience (those who made it this
far) and I hope a few of you can make the readings. I think you all know the
great respect I have for this artist so please trust that I've put
TREMENDOUS effort in making this as good a story as possible, staying true
to the roots of Corwood Industries.I'm proud to say that I got the "thumbs
up" from Corwood last week in a lovingly detailed letter that gave what may
be the world's first lyric correction from the source: the opening passage
from "Niagra Blues" should read: "Sometimes go to Niagra/sometimes go the
grave/crazy 'bout your dreamer/crazy 'bout your dark night." And here, for
thirteen years, I've thought the "uh" after dream was an inflection. Wow.

 And again, any questions please send my way. As I said, more detailed maps
and such as we get closer to reading dates. Books will be for sale until
Single Cell Press is so tired of me they toss the rest in the ocean. Thanks
again for listening, all!


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