05 June 2013

George Jetson, to the white courtesy phone

by Robert Lopresti

Last week I demonstrated my new webcam with a tune, but I didn't actually purchase it to fill your lives with the glories of music.  I had an ulterior motive, which I shall now reveal.

There is a group of folk  music fans in New Jersey called the Folk Project, and they have retreats twice a year where people go to a camp and play music together.  Good times.

Well, recently they added a new feature to these weekends: a book club. The coordinator chooses a book related to folk music and you can guess the rest.

A few months ago the title was announced for the spring retreat: SUCH A KILLING CRIME, a mystery set in Greenwich Village during the great folk music scare of 1963. 

One member of the Folk Project is Lori Falco, and she and I have been friends since we met while waiting for a bus on the first day of high school. quite a few years ago.  Lori asked the coordinator: "Do you know the author of that book used to be a member of the Folk Project?"

The coordinator had not known that.  But I was promptly invited to come to the retreat for the discussion.  That wasn't possible but I got a webcam and a skype account and made a virtual appearance.

It was a lot of fun.  Oh, the usual technical hiccups (no matter how long Lori and I spent prepping before the show started).  Interested people asking good questions.  My favorite: "What was it like putting words in Phil Ochs' mouth?"

My answer: not as scary as putting words in the mouth of Tom Paxton.  After all, Tom is still alive.  Therefore I was extremely careful to make him a sympathetic character.  (Even though he offered to be the murderer.  And he graciously gave me the following blurb:  "Spooky. If I'd have known he was watching us so carefully, I would have been MUCH  better."

Well, I had a good time and I would like the chance to chat with ALL the folk music book clubs in the world.  Unfortunately, I suspect I just did.

On a related note, Kearney Street Books informed me this week that SUCH A KILLING CRIME is now available on Kindle, for those who don't care to read their books, uh, acoustically.  

Not the future anyone was expecting in 1963, huh?


Zeke Hoskin said...

A lot better than the future that I expected in 1963, which was short and involved global thermonuclear war.

Fran Rizer said...

Rob, what a clever and interesting way to tell us the book is now available on Kindle. Can I still buy it in print? Gotta read it!!!

Robert Lopresti said...

Why Fran, are you suggesting I had a commercial motive? My motives, as always, are pure. But if you want a print copy of the book I am fairly certain my publisher could be persuaded to part with one for a reasonable contribution: http://kearneystreetbooks.com/crimeSummary.html

Robert Lopresti said...

Zeke, yesterday on Facebook I pointed out a depressing article from the National Archives magazine about just how close we came to that in 1962.

Elizabeth Zelvin said...

Couldn't resist, Rob. I just bought the book on Kindle. We have quite a bunch of musical SleuthSayers. We should do something about it one of these days. Um, virtual hootenanny, anyone?

Jeff Baker said...

OMG! I've got an old Paxton LP!

Robert Lopresti said...

Me too, Jeff. Liz, sounds good.

Leigh Lundin said...

So many of us are interested in music in one genre or another. How wonderful!

[CDs are on sale in the lobby.]