A Surprising Intersection

What do Lawrence Block and garage rock have in common? Well, both were around in the 1960s and have persisted into the present day, and I’m a big fan of both, but the intersection is more specific.

Back in the early 60s, Mr. Block was supplementing his income by writing for a publisher called Nightstand Books. The publisher specialized in books to be read with one hand, if you get my drift, and it provided paying work for a number of genre writers, including Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg, and yes, Lawrence Block, all of whom wrote under pseudonyms. In fact, Ellison was an editor for Nightstand, which Block relates was something of a closed shop, in that only clients of the Scott Meredith Literary Agency were hired for these gigs. These days, the books are classified as vintage erotica/sleaze, but at this point, there’s probably nothing there that Miley Cyrus won’t be doing on MTV next week, so hey…

Anyway, one of my Christmas gifts was a collection of some works Ellison did for Nightstand, and another was an album from 80s Anglo-American garage revivalists The Barracudas. As it happens, one of the better tracks on the album shares a title with one of Larry’s Nightstand publications, and the video I found on YouTube even includes the book’s cover. So without further ado, here are The Barracudas with “Campus Tramp.”

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About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
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