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?

8 comments:

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

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  2. 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!!!

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  3. 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

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  4. 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.

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  5. 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?

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  6. OMG! I've got an old Paxton LP!

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  7. Me too, Jeff. Liz, sounds good.

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

    [CDs are on sale in the lobby.]

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