May 1, Bangkok – Riffing on music history, literature and his own experiences as a musician, Jim Algie’s new book, On the Night Joey Ramone Died: Tales of Rock and Punk from Bangkok, New York, Cambodia and Norway (Magic Bullet Press, 2017), takes readers on a wild joyride through the euphoric highs and abysmal lows in the life of an aging rock star, who is trying to stage a comeback in a business obsessed with youth.
As with music, the timing of the book’s release is key. “The 40th anniversary of punk that’s continuing through 2017 with all the reunion tours, music festivals, photo exhibitions and rereleases of influential records like the Ramones debut seemed like a good time to reflect on the movement and how it changed rock history,” says the author, “but music is such a personal and deeply emotional experience you can only get to its essence by showing its effects on one person’s life.”
That viewpoint character is Lek, a Thai musician born on an American military base in Thailand who was turned on to rock and punk by the GIs during the Vietnam War. By the time Joey Ramone, his mentor and former correspondent, passes away, he’s a fallen star producing boy bands. Divorced from his wife, estranged from his musician son, and out of rehab, he is struggling to get his family life and music career back on track.
In “The Genocide Girls and Boys,” Lek meets a younger woman from Norway who is obsessed with extreme metal and the Cambodian genocide. Smart, pretty and deeply troubled, Edana will push his creative and self-destructive streaks to the limit as she forces him to deal with his own mid-life crisis, and question his commitments to her, his family, his old demons, and his band-mates as he works on a comeback album.
On the Night Joey Ramone Died is available from Amazon Kindle as an ebook for a paltry US$2.99.
THE AUTHOR: After playing, touring and recording with some of Canada’s most influential indie bands, Jim Algie launched a career as a journalist, travel writer and author in Bangkok, penning such internationally lauded books as Bizarre Thailand.
More about the author here.
REVIEW COPIES: Book reviewers can feel free to request a review copy for Kindle or ePub by emailing the author.
BOOK EXTRACTS: Bangkok 101 magazine is running a series of exclusive book excerpts from On the Night Joey Ramone Died in four parts.
RAVE REVIEWS: A number of positive reviews of the books are online at Asia Life Magazine, the Khmer Times daily in Cambodia, The Nation newspaper in Bangkok, the Bangkok Post and on this bookseller blog, written by the wonderful Janet Brown.