24 September 2020

Mind Over Matter: The Myths & Mysteries of Detroit's Fortune Records

Dateline: Sept. 24, 2020 Kicks Books  NYC 

The Myths And Mysteries of Detroit's Fortune Records
by Billy Miller and Michael Hurtt

Kicks Books celebrates ten years in the business of "hip pocket paperbacks" with our massive 576 page, full color, hardcover book about Detroit's sensational, seminal Fortune Records label, a tome that has been in the works for... you guessed it, ten years!

Kicks Books began at the request and behest of two individuals: Fortune Records star artist Andre Williams and Ohio's greatest literary spawn, Harlan Ellison. Andre had never written a book; Harlan had written many. Andre's SWEETS, written in court ordered rehab, became the first hip pocket paperback from the new Kicks Books imprint, and was quickly followed by many others.

This blog entry will expand in a few days. But today, we are delighted to inform you that our first hardcover book is upon us: MIND OVER MATTER: THE MYTHS AND MYSTERIES OF DETROIT'S FORTUNE RECORDS by Billy Miller and Michael Hurtt. This is a massive 576 page hardcover book, full color, printed on heavy semi-gloss stock, with stitched Smythe binding. 

03 June 2015

Tiger Moody w/ Luc Sante June 25 NYC Book Blast

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What happens when a Luc Sante inducts a Tiger Moody into authordom at the infamous NYC women's prison court house on the anniversary of one of the joint's most famous murder cases? One might respond loudly, "MAYHEM!" Join us in this open rally at historicJefferson Market Courthouse a/k/a Jefferson Market Library NYPL on Thursday, June 25. The event is free of charge and is open to the public. Doors are at 7. Proceedings at 7:30. Limited space. Books and perfumes will be available for sale and signing. The authors are prepared for cross examination. INDUCTION OF THE SYCOPHANT, shall we refer to it shortly as IOTS, is a hip-pocket paperback fictional tale set in the anti-comics nightmare alley days of yore, with characters drawn (and quartered) from the Frederic Wertham Supreme Court news reel atrocities. Moody has been described by beat poet/Zap Comix granddad Charles Plymell as follows: "Tiger brings back the Times Square of Burroughs and Huncke…his lines are full of anticipation, like balloons in comic frames going off in time release blasts os Dexedrine spansule. Brilliant!" Killer writer Luc Sante will induct Herr Moody this night, and shall expound on crime, comics, and courthouses . Sante is the mind behind masterpiece including LOW LIFE: LURES AND SNARES OF OLD NEW YORK, EVIDENCE and KILL ALL YOUR DARLINGS.
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acquire IOTS
Here is the first new act of writing with the ability to force the reader into the streets to shout HELP… the first new printed effort to deliver total mayhem and ritual ruthlessness, remolding 20th century popular culture into its original dead-end slur... Tiger Moody weaves his deadeye polemic with a cynical charm reserved for a darker, better era. Join us in celebrating the publication of INDUCTION OF THE SYCOPHANT, the greatest new book since the Gypsy Witch Book Of Numbers.
"Having 'Induction of the Sycophant' next to 'The Red Book' of Carl Jung and the 'Codex Seraphinianus' by Luigi Sarafini completes my Trilogy of Insanity...in spades."
Richard Lloyd, Television
"Moody is the best thing to happen to writing since I figured out you can cop a buzz huffing correction fluid."
Gillian McCain, Please Kill Me
"Moody has the nerve to confront the reader with the notion that the old farts and witch hunters may have really been onto something, and that lives may have been ruined. Then he further goads the reader to perseverate over whether they should even give a shit."
Adam Woodrow Nathanson, Born Against
"A very good writer...I am happy that he doesn't DRAW cartoons! He doesn't, does he?"
Arnold Roth, Trump/ Humbug/ Help!
Tiger by James Harvey
Tiger Moody by James Harvey
Photo: Avedon Studio
Tiger Moody was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1971 and reared in the suburbs of Trenton, New Jersey. His past occupations have included fry-cook, tattooist, bouncer, and janitor. He lives in New York City and has not visited a dentist since 1987.


kb11 perfume
SYCOPHANT PERFUME An arrogant, impetuous concoction with an undefinably defiant flair. An interfusion of lily of the valley and must, it is set to intrigue all comers. Bottled in a half ounce Italian flacon with a pair of red gamblers dice and enrobed in black crepe within a numbered presentation box. Lovely for gifting at Beltane and all occasions, and most suitable for anyone in or out of a red velvet swing.
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Join us at the BLACK AND WHITE BAR after the library throws everyone out for libations and loud records, the kind that continues to make comic book kids even crazier and more prone to antics. The Black and White is located at 86 East 10th Streetbetween 3rd and 4th Avenues, New York, NY 10003
Paige Turner of Kicks Books is available during daylight hours at (917) 671 7884 and during twilight and moonlight hours via teletype at
Paige Turner Afterhours.

31 May 2015

Royston Ellis London May 29!

"Royston had a particularly powerful impact on me when I first read Gone Man Squared. It was nothing like I had ever read before and it conjured the essence and energy of its time."
Jimmy Page
royston launch poster v2


royston beatles
Royston Ellis arrives in London to read and greet big beat fans old and new on May 29th with two chances to celebrate the new edition of his hip pocket mod marvel BIG TIME, the latest edition from the Royston Ellis Monthly Book series from Kicks Books. Royston will also be reading his iconic early beat writings collected in GONE MAN SQUARED. He last read in London at the Mermaid Theatre 54 years ago, with Jimmy Page in tow on guitar! Join the man who inspired the Beatles "Paperback Writer"-- they backed his inventive rock and roll "rocketry" back when they were leather boys!


KICKS BOOKS poet and novelistROYSTON ELLIS, the inspiration for the Beatles’ hit Paperback Writer, is returning to London for a one-night stand 54 years after his performance reading his rock and roll poetry to guitar playing by 16 year-old Jimmy Page at London’s Mermaid Theatre.
Acknowledged as Britain’s first beat poet after the publication of his selection of poems, Jiving To Gyp, in 1959, when he was 18, Royston Ellis was also the spokesman for Britain’s teenagers on television programmes like Living For Kicks. In 2014, Time Out named Ellis as No.4 of London’s Top Ten Teenage Rebels of the past.
Ellis retired from performing in 1962 and left England for a life of writing and travel, eventually settling in 1980 in Sri Lanka.
His collected poems, Gone Man Squared, was published by Kicks Books of New York in December 2013. Ellis will be reading from that book on Friday 29 May 2015 at 8.30pm at The Poetry CafĂ©, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9BX, admission £8.00.
On the same day, Friday 29 May, he will make a pre-reading appearance organised by Tales From The Woods magazine(www.tftw.org.uk) from 5.00pm at Kings Head Private Theatre Bar, Westmorland Street, near Oxford Circus, speaking about his days as a beat poet with Cliff Richard, The Beatles and Jimmy Page, and signing copies of his books.


Friday May 29 5pm-7.30pm
Kings Head Private Theatre Bar, Westmorland Street, Off New Cavendish Street,
Nearest Tube Station: Oxford Circus (10 min walk).
This is a Tales From The Woods function (www.tftw.org.uk).
Friday May 29 8.30pm
The first British Beat Poet reads at The Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9BX. Admission £8.00.


Royston reads to his
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kbb1 Sweet Ebony-1
kbb2 rush


kb7 perfume
Rave perfume… the world's only BEAT perfume!
Royston's second book circa 1960, inspired this beaty fragrance, infused with the uncanny ability to transport the possessor directly onto the Benzedrine backstreets of Soho. Suitable for beat girl or beat lad alike.
kbb1 perfume
Sweet Ebony perfume… dangerously delightful!
kbb4 perfume
Big Time perfume… for MODern men and mamselles!
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Maldives Adventure perfume… exotically invigorating!
kbb2 perfume
Rush At The End perfume… delicately devilish!


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Incredible footage of Royston interviewing 19 year old Jimmy Page!
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"Living For Kicks" 1960
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Neil Christian & The Crusaders With Jimmy Page - I Like It


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Royston ranked in the Top Ten Teenaage London Rebels of all time in TIME OUT -- click image to read!

Mark Lewisohn on Royston and the Beatles

Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn on Royston and the Beatles: Also dropping into the Gambier Terrace pit was a special guest, Royston Ellis, “King of the Beatniks.” The bearded bard, who featured in TV documentaries and press articles whenever an offbeat teenage angle was needed, was in Liverpool to read his poetry at the University on June 24/25, and he swiftly found himself drawn into the Beatles’ company. The conduit was George, who (with nothing else to do while John, Stu and Paul were in school) was hanging around the Jac when the wandering coffee-bar poet traipsed in, drawn by hip radar to “the happening place.” Avowedly “trying everything,” Ellis was an active bisexual in this period of his life and he took an immediate fancy to George: “He looked fabulous with his long hair and matelot-style striped T-shirt, very modern, which is why I deliberately spoke to him. I was nineteen and he was seventeen and we clicked right away.” George took Ellis, his typewriter and his duffel bag back to Gambier Terrace to meet John and Stu. A rapport was quickly established and Ellis was invited to “crash” for a few days - yet another occupant for the filthy back room.
Born in February 1941, Ellis was younger than John and Stu but had broader life experience, having grooved around the country, appeared on TV and radio, been published as a poet and writer, and experimented with sex and drugs. To the Daily Mirror he was “a weirdie from weirdsville” but to John Lennon he was “England’s answer to Allen Ginsberg,” speaking something like their language. He’d said young people not seeking work weren’t layabouts but “prospectors,” and that no self-respecting teenager should marry a virgin. (“That remark alone generated fees to keep me comfortable for a year,” he recalls.) Also, he was friendly with Cliff Richard and, in particular, with Cliff’s backing group the Shadows (formerly the Drifters). They provided a rock soundtrack when Ellis recited his poetry at occasional public readings, sessions he called “Rocketry.”
His Liverpool University audience didn’t dig him at all. The Beatles were much more his kind of people, and - in an unadvertised appearance down the Jac - they stepped into the Shadows’ shoes and backed him in a spot of Rocketry. Paul really enjoyed the experience but was taken aback by some of the words, like this stanza from the poem “Julian”:
Easy, easy,
break me in easy.
Sure I’m big time,
cock-sure and brash,
but easy, easy,
break me in easy.
Surely this was queer sex he was talking about! Paul worried it was about “shagging sailors” while attempting to find the right guitar notes to set it off.
Ellis’s bisexuality was an eye-opener for the Beatles, as he remembers: “There was an expression, ‘Do you still love me?,’ and I think I must have said it to John because all the eyebrows went up ‘What?!’ And I gave them a lecture about the Soho scene and said they shouldn’t worry, because one in four men were queer although they mightn’t know it.” The remark bit deep. As Paul says, “We looked at each other and wondered which one it was. ‘It must be one of us, because there’s four of us…Oh fucking hell, it’s not me, is it?’”
Most memorably of all, Royston Ellis gave the Beatles their first drugs experience. Not long afterward, he would write of his amazement that they didn’t know of the Benzedrine-impregnated cardboard strip curled inside a Vicks nasal inhaler, and how it produced a high when chewed. Several were present in the flat, including John, Stu, George, Paul, Rod Murray and Bill Harry, but the idea of taking something to feel euphoric, or in some way altered, appealed most especially to John. He was the closest to Ellis in outlook: he wanted to try everything life could offer, and maybe, only maybe, ask questions later. His art school friend Jon Hague vividly remembers a night in the Cracke when John poured pint after pint down his throat and remarked, “If only we didn’t have to drink all this liquid” - in other words, “Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a quicker way to get out of your head?”
John always recalled the Benzedrine event with enthusiasm: “Everybody talked their mouths off for a night and thought, ‘Wow, what’s this?’” George was keen too: “We cracked open a Vicks inhaler, ate it and sat up all night until about nine o'clock the next morning, rapping and burping up the taste.” But Paul was reticent. “Probably they didn’t give me that much, probably they kept it for themselves,” he says, indicating he passed up the opportunity…not entirely, but more or less. He was by nature more cautious than George and considerably more so than John, the great experimentalist who always tried everything with complete abandon. (Something’ll happen.) Paul knew a little about drugs because his mum had been a nurse, and again he was also mindful of his age in this company. Ellis, although just sixteen months older, seemed far more mature; Stu was no longer a teenager, having turned 20 the week before; and John was on the cusp. George was never concerned by his youth but Paul was. “I was…thinking 'I’m really hanging out with a slightly older crowd here.’ So I was always cautious.”
The night passed in a blur of banter. Ellis says he developed a particular rapport with John and Stuart and that they discussed poetry, art and London. When he left, they spoke of doing it again sometime: “We were talking about how I wanted a band to come to London and back me on my Rocketry performances, and they were thrilled at the idea.” Art school studies finished the following Friday, July 1, marking the end of Stu’s fourth year and John’s third and last because the college was waving him goodbye. […] As for Ellis, so much was he enthused by the possibility of appearing with them again that he soon got the Beatles their first mention in a music paper. It was the July 9 edition of Record and Show Mirror, where a supercilious little article about “the bearded sage of the coffee bars” ended “he’s thinking of bringing down to London a Liverpool group which he considers is most in accord with his poetry. Name of the group? 'The Beetles’!”
▪ Mark Lewisohn, “1960”, The Beatles - All These Years: Tune In

13 February 2015


Fuller book launch poster



The Los Angeles book launch for I FOUGHT THE LAW: THE LIFE AND STRANGE DEATH OF BOBBY FULLER is set for March 7 at La Luz De Jesus Gallery at the fabulous Soap Plant-- one month after the BF4 recording of I FOUGHT THE LAW is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame on February 7.
…on July 18, 1966, at the age of 23 and with a Top 10 hit on the charts, Bobby Fuller was found dead in the front seat of a car doused in gasoline outside his Hollywood apartment. ‘I Fought The Law,’ named after Fuller’s most iconic recording, is the first ever authorized biography of the ill-fated 1960’s Texas music legend. Norton Records/Kicks Books co-founder and Fuller biographer Miriam Linna, has teamed up with Bobby’s brother and bandmate Randell, to reveal the true story of the short life and strange death of Bobby Fuller.
Randell opens up for the first time about growing up with Bobby-- from their idyllic Southwestern childhood in Texas, New Mexico, and Utah, to their teen-age years in the burgeoning El Paso music scene, to the Hollywood helter skelter that would claim Bobby’s life. His death remains a mystery, with much conjecture and misinformation on al fronts.
Bobby Fuller was immersed in all aspects of music—writing, performing, recording, and marketing. He first appeared on record in 1958, at the age of fifteen. While still in his teens, he started his own band and record company, and built a home studio with Randell. By the age of 21, he owned his own teen club in El Paso, with his group, the Fanatics, as the house band. The club closed in ’64, and the group lit out for Los Angeles. They were soon recording for the Mustang label as the Bobby Fuller Four. Enormously popular locally, the BFF landed two singles in the Billboard charts - 1965’s “Let Her Dance,” and the iconic “I Fought The Law” in 1966, which vaulted them to the national and international stage.
Though recorded by everyone from the Crickets on down, Bobby Fuller’s version of “I Fought The Law” remains definitive version. Next month it will be inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame.
Miriam Linna has written extensively about Bobby Fuller, particularly for several collections of his recordings, which appear on New York’s Norton Records label. She collects and catalogs true crime magazines, paperback books and pulps, and edits Bad Seed, a compendium of teen-age crime in pop culture from 1949-1959. She has written about music and crime since 1975. Her articles have appeared in several publications including Crime Beat, the Guardian, Spin, Seventeen, Loops Journal, and Kicks.
Randell Fuller is Bobby Fuller’s brother and band mate. Only two years apart in age, they were often mistaken for twins as children. As bass player for the Bobby Fuller Four, and the El Paso Fanatics before that, Randell and Bobby were inseparable. The gruesome death of his brother sent Randell into a tailspin from which it would take him years to recover. He has rarely given interviews, and only now opens up to reveal untold information.
A book launch with the authors in Los Angeles is set for March 7 at La Luz De Jesus Gallery. Hollywood denizen DJ Howie Pyro is set for presentation, and a pre-book blast hair event is scheduled at Sweeney Todd's Barber Shop two doors down from La Luz De Jesus Gallery. Join the authors (and make an appointment!) as the expert hair hoppers at the hair emporium perform maneuvers that will result in Sebring-esque 60's joys such as the "Exeter", the "Mustang", and the "Eastwood", suitable for style conscious individuals of all persuasions. Exeter perfume will be demonstrated as a hair freshener, and will be available exclusively at the shop.
Randell Fuller and original Bobby Fuller Four drummer Dewayne Quirico will perform songs of the Bobby Fuller Four that night as their "Let Her Dance" goes head to head and toe to toe with "Let's Dance", as Chris Montez also performs a rocking' set, with Deke Dickerson as band leader. Deke and Howie Pyro are scheduled to DJ with mid sixties floor fillers.
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First and only authorized biography of West Texas legend Bobby Fuller, "Rock And Roll King Of The Southwest", as told through the eyes of his brother and tFuller's teenage home garage recordings are pure, wild and heartstopping anthems that pushed him into the Hollywood big leagues where he was no longer in control of his music and career. The title song, plus Let Her Dance, Another Sad And Lonely Night, Shakedown and so many others are all world-class rock and roll favorites. He wrote the songs, recorded them in a garage studio that he built with Randy, released them on his own record labels, promoted and supported them himself, and opened his own teenage night club in El Paso. He was the king of the scene, and soon found himself bound for the coast where he wanted to bring his vision to a larger audience. This book tells the story of his early years, through the Texas teen days, and into the last eighteen months of his life when his career skyrocketed into the music charts, television and the movies, and he became an unwilling pawn to powerbrokers with little regard for his talent. He was found dead in a car, doused in gasoline, in July of 1966.
This trade paperback (6" x 9"), printed in a 330 page first edition of 1,966 copies, is now also available as an Kindle Kicks ebook.
I FOUGHT THE LAW: The Life and Strange Death of Bobby Fuller 1942-1966
By Miriam Linna and Randell Fuller
Kicks Books (KBM1) ISBN 978 1 940157 95 5
EXETER FRAGRANCE One precocious avoirdupois half ounce, equal parts Texas glory, Hollywood glitz and NYC sizzle. Ltd promotional fragrance. Bodacious allure for both he and she, not for the timid! Named for Bobby's own Texas label, packaged in signature Kicks Perfume gift box with a record spindle, of course.


BOBBY FULLER - I FOUGHT THE LAW(Original 1964 demo version) / A NEW SHADE OF BLUE (187) 1964 version recorded in Bobby's El Paso home studio! Pre-dates Exeter and Mustang releases! First time on 45!