Microcosm Publishing, 2752 N Williams Ave., Portland, OR 97227, Usa, www.microcosmpublishing.org
At first I was in fear this was some boring recordcollector book. But it is far from that. The author is from Florida and tells the story of him coming in touch with punk/hardcore about 30 years ago and what happend since then. Not only did he start a band, openened a record store and started a mailorder (Sound Idea) he also began to release records (Burrito Records) – of course he also did set up concerts and met tons of people and has plenty of great storys to tell. And of course he had a big record colllection that he sold in the end. What makes this narrative of Surens life even more readable and fun is its + 60 chapters, each one is never too long, some are super short. It just never gets boring. Also the way he structured the book (each chapter is named after a record he loves and tells a story that involves that record), on top of that there are the „where and who“ chapters, that explain about certain places/houses and charcters important in his life.
It is not all just punk rock, it is also about love and loss – it is Bob Surens life. He has great storys to tell, one I just almost could not believe. After a guy in Oregon ripped him off for three rare records. He first planned to go there by himself and raise hell, but his wife stopped him. „As much as I hated the idea, it seemed like I would have to involve the authorities to get my three records. I called the police in Oregon, assuming they’d just laugh at me, but the officer I got on the line was very concerned. He took some information from me and after considering it for a while said, ‚If you are in another state, and this involves the mail, it is a federal crime. I’m turning this over to the FBI‘. I figured that was the last I’d hear of it, but less than an hour later, an FBI agent called me at the record shop and asked me for the full story. He, too, was very concerned. He asked me to verify the guy’s adress and asked me about the value of the three records. ‚Well, no doubt about it, this is a felony on the federal level. I’m going there now to investigate.‘ I couldn’t believe the FBI was getting involved in a record trade gone wrong, but this hard-ass was on the case. Thirty minutes later, he called me from the guy’s house with his report. ‚I am here now. I have seen the records. Mr. M. is packing them up right now in front of me. He promised me he would mail them tomorrow. If you do not have them in one week, I want you to call me so I can follow up‘. Holy shit! The agent gave me his number at the FBI and his personal phone number. He wanted me to call him when the records arrived. A few days later, I got the records, called the agent, and thanked him for his help.“ There is not any „drunk punk“ story he has to share, simply because he does not drink. I just wonder how he managed to remember all these storys or if he had written them down at the time they happend, or diary – or not drinking helps? However, it is a great book, fun to read. The only thing I was missing was a bit of „political information“ to get an idea what the author things about these sort of things…. but that is just me. 190 pages, paperback broken up with many photos. $ 14,95 (dolf)
[Trust # 173 August 2015]