04 Mar 2015 No Comments
Ladies and Gentlemen: Adam Wolf and the Cook Brothers: A Tale of Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll by Joe Schwartz
Looking for a story that’s gritty, a little messy, in-your-face, sometimes sad, and always real? Joe Schwartz has you covered with his new book, Ladies and Gentlemen: Adam Wolf and the Cook Brothers: A Tale of Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll.
Ladies and Gentleman: Adam Wolf and the Cook Brothers – A Tale of Sex, Drugs, and Rock&Roll is your personal invitation to tune in, turn on, and drop out as you ride the tour bus through the night and into the next town with Paul, Ronnie, Adam and Mark.
Paul is old school rock ‘n’ roll but he knows a hit song when he hears one. When he gets a demo from a St. Louis metal band, he is not impressed until he hears a track unlike all the others. He may have to make a deal with the devil to find the kid for his last chance ticket to rock glory.
Ronnie is a brutal, delusional alcoholic and prescription fiend. In spite of his amazing technical guitar style, he has no talent. He can never be an original like Adam. For vengeance, Ronnie will follow a dark path of violence and destruction to the bitter end.
Adam is a musical prodigy. He simply hears music in his mind while the notes naturally come through his guitar. Young and utterly naïve, music will change his life but his regret is a wound that will never heal. Mark couldn’t play a piano if it had only one key, but he doesn’t need to. Unlike Ronnie and Adam, Mark is hoping he can find the balance between his brothers though a musical bridge connecting them all forever. Paul, Ronnie, Adam, and Mark all have one thing in common – they would rather die than give up on their rock ‘n’ roll dreams. Walking down this wicked, twisted road each man will realize one important thing – this music can save them all.
Ladies and Gentlemen: Adam Wolf and the Cook Brothers – A Tale of Sex, Drugs, and Rock&Roll will leave your ears ringing long after you’ve read it for the first time!
Published: March 1, 2015
Here’s Joe, sharing the inspiration behind this book:
Ladies and Gentlemen: Joe Schwartz
When I sat down and first decided to write about ten years ago, I had almost a hundred pages single-spaced in about six weeks’ time. The idea that I couldn’t just pound out The Great American Novel never really occurred to me. A friend of mine hired me around page 89 as a blog reporter and eventually I figured I’d to get back around to it. Two years later, a half-dozen blog postings and one screen sold play later, I remembered the novel I was going to write about a famous and long-dead musician (see: Jimi Hendrix) becoming reincarnated to finish a song, possibly the greatest rock song ever written. My first editor read it and rightly declared it crap. That, however, didn’t dissuade her from taking me under her wing, lending me her MFA as we used to joke, and teaching me how to write – hold the ego. The idea of writing about being in a rock band, though, never left me.
Like Stephen King says, you can’t expect to be a good writer if you aren’t first a good reader. I had read Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying and Chad Kultgen’s The Lie. I loved the compound points of view telling the same story but from each characters perspective and decided to try my hand at the same kind of multiple-narrator style myself.
The story is actually quite simple. Brothers in competing rock bands will do anything it takes to make it in the music industry. The key for me to write the story was not to try and pretend that, in some alternate universe, exists a band bigger than The Beatles or Bob Dylan, but rather try to give readers a voyeuristic adventure of what it’s really like to be in a working rock and roll band.
I spent every day from the time I was sixteen to thirty-two years old playing music. In that time I roadied for other bands, played music in more bars than I can remember, met a few famous musicians and lots of struggling nobodies like myself, and basically wasted fifteen years of my life pouring every spare moment into a dream almost guaranteed to fail. The common thing I found, sitting in some car or in an anonymous basement, smoking weed with others like myself, was that everyone had these great stories about the business.
The idea of some guy sitting in an office somewhere and discovering the next big thing was inspired by actual submission services who promote themselves as helping musicians, for a nominal fee, of course, get their music to the next level. I often wondered if something really great did come in, why in the hell wouldn’t you just steal the demo and go sign the band yourself? Thus, a story was born.
I have been in a few great bands, a bunch of terrible bands, and never made any money. That was the story I wanted to tell, of just how goddamn awful it can be when you can’t afford to buy a hamburger and how fricking awesome, too, like when you headline a show to a packed house for the first time. About the hours invested in rehearsal and the tons of money it takes just to be mediocre. The misery of being in a band with guys you hate and the joy of making music with people you love like family.
If you ever thought being in a band is cool, well, it is, but it sure as hell ain’t easy. At any time the whole thing could implode and everyone is screwed, forced to start over again. And yet, that’s the great thing – there’s always a chance that this time could be it, this band could get signed, famous, rich and all our troubles are over… but that is another story.
Meet the Author:
“My name is Joe and I write stories for men. Of course, some of my biggest fans seem to be women who seem to find my writing insightful, even a bit shocking, as to how men really think. I assure you no matter how awful a thing I’ve written about, worse things have been done by you friendly, next-door neighbor.”
Joe Schwartz has written three collections of short stories and a previous novel. He works as a booking agent for a public library and in his spare time he likes to lose video games to his kids, watch movies with his wife, and read. All of Joe’s stories happen to people in the City of St. Louis. According to Joe, you can walk in any direction for eight blocks and everything will change. ‘It is not the evil men do that is fascinating,’ he says, ‘but the almost dire, predictable outcomes.’ Life is short. Stories are forever.
Joe has written and recorded the playlist that goes with the book. Here he is singing and playing These Seasons:
Grab a copy, join the band!
Thanks for reading.