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Looking For Lady Dee: A Punk Rock Mystery Paperback – February 27, 2015
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About the Author
Johnny Angel Wendell is an actor/writer/musician and talk radio host in Los Angeles, California. He is presently broadcast over KEIB AM1150 and KFIAM640 in Los Angeles and authored a column called ''Outlaw LA" for the LA Weekly and a column called "Pissed" for the San Francisco Bay Guardian. He formed the second wave punk pop band Thrills in 1977, the American Indie band the Blackjacks in 1983 (who were the first act on Homestead Records, preceding Sonic Youth, Big Black, Dinosaur Jr. and others) and the comedy/performance art troupe Swinging Erudites who scored a worldwide novelty hit with "Walk With An Erection" in 1987. As an actor, he has appeared in music videos by Cher, Metallica and Marilyn Manson and played a variety of street types in commercials for VW and DirecTV. He lives with his wife and sons in Los Angeles.
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"Lady Dee" was a very real person who got caught up in the thrills- so to speak- of the music and the scene, and sadly didn't survive it. Johnny has turned a true story into a rocking good (novelized) mystery and I ripped through the book in no time.
Looking For Lady Dee is really a two-for-one deal here. You’re not just getting what it was like to be a punk rocker, where you see what it was like to have a band in the heydays of punk in the late 70’s to the early 80’s, you also get a mystery tale thrown in revolving around the fate of a former lover/band mate. The whole book actually takes place in the present and in the past, where the various points in time connect, which I have to say this is hard to do without easily screwing up the whole story, but the author manages to pull it off exceedingly well.
The author is actually a prolific writer of both articles and song. It now looks like he’s entered the realm of books. Johnny Angel Wendell, this reader hopes you don’t get lazy and stop writing more tales. Looking forward to see what else that chaotic cauldron of creativity comes up with next. To any prospective readers looking for literary good time, pick this book up, ‘nuff said!
Having known Johnny Angel Wendell back in the day (by his other alias) and having heard him play the one time in his mother’s (Barb, the retired RN) family room at her graduation party and he was awesome then. Did not hear him again till the DJ on afternoons at BCN started playing his stuff (thanks to the other Barb) on my commutes home from Cambridge. Lady Dee was like a refresher course in Punk, all the various Waves, Hardcore and all the rest of the musical genre blasting their way through the airwaves and clubs of late 70s early 80s Boston and the Northeast Corridor.
The narrative description of Boston in the day (as well as NYC) was dead-on accurate and made me nostalgic for a time when we didn’t have the worries about AIDS and before drugs were as dangerous as they are today.
Thanks to Johnny’s well-tuned prose – I learned to love Lady Dee, hard to believe I was rooting for a preppy who morphed her way into rocker – groupie chick. I won’t go into the whole story since you must read the book to find out, but the read is well worth it.
How much is biographical and dredged up from Johnny’s memory (which, given copious sex, drugs and rock and roll, is dead-on accurate) is yours to sort out, but it’s a wild ride throughout.
To paraphrase Sally Fields, I liked it, I really liked it, and it’s a book that lends itself to binge reading – so plan your attack accordingly.
Most recent customer reviews
Mr. Johnny Angel is an interesting, if not unusual character.Read more