Wednesday, June 19, 2024

GABBA GABBA HEY! Appreciation Appreciated

When Googling myself recently (as one does, especially if one has created a book or some other endeavor and one wonders how one's labor o' love is faring in this vast world of wonder), I discovered a specific item of interest regarding my 2023 book Gabba Gabba Hey! A Conversation With The Ramones:

A bookstore in St. Louis has my little Ramones book listed among its staff picks. Maybe not a big deal in the grand scheme, but I tell ya, I felt immediately taller upon this discovery.

Subterranean Books is an independent shop located in the University City section of St. Louis. The About Us section of the store's website proudly proclaims:

"We opened in October 2000 and then moved down the street and expanded in March 2021.  We focus on independent book store best sellers, small presses, timeless fiction and timely non-fiction, as well as anything else that catches our fancy. Our big categories are fiction, essays, poetry, music, science, nature, history, children’s, cultural studies, memoirs... Our smaller (but no less important) areas include graphic novels, film, cookbooks, travel, and more.  We also stock journals, t-shirts, cards, pins, tote bags, and whatever else we think you might like. One thing you will not find, despite what the internet may have told you, are used books.  We still field calls on that account about every day, even though we phased out that segment sometime around 2004.  There are other stores in town, though, that have fantastic assortments of used books.

"The entire staff has input on what we stock, so the store is always evolving and improving.  We listen to our customers, as well, eavesdropping on what books they’re talking about.  We listen to the radio, read newspapers, magazines, the internet -— we’re always looking for tips on what’s out there and what our customers might like.

"We’re woman-owned with a tiny staff of 6.  We’re all avid readers and are always excited to make recommendations or talk about what you just read —- that you just hated or that you think absolutely everyone should read -- and take it as a personal affront if we’re not able to figure out what that book was that you heard about on NPR two weeks ago that had something about family and Africa in the title.  Seriously.  We LOVE those challenges.

"So, thanks for checking us out.  And please come back."

My kinda place! I love bookstores even more than I love record stores. And I love record stores! And it was such a kick to see that Gena Brady at Subterranean Books had listed Gabba Gabba Hey! A Conversation With The Ramones among her recommended picks.

So I wrote her a thank-you note. This was her response:

"Hi Carl,

"Kelly, the owner of Subterranean Books, passed on an email you had sent
thanking me for recommending your book. I'm thrilled you saw the
recommendation. I can honestly say that it was the best book I have
read in a long time. I love non-fiction, biographies and music books
anyway, but it also helps I'm a massive Ramones fan. The way you weaved
the interviews seamlessly together, so it sounded like a conversation,
was so well done and showed their personalities so much. I was laughing
out loud at Johnny. I had to read passages aloud to my friend. It was

"I hope being on my staff picks will help sell more of your book and turn
more people on to the rock 'n ' roll game changer that was the Ramones.

"We accept you, one of us!

"Cheers! Gena"

Wow. I am very nearly humbled. I forwarded the note to Rare Bird Books boss Tyson Cornell (publisher of Gabba Gabba Hey!), and he was likewise pleased. I sent yet another thank-you note to Gena, reiterating my gratitude, asking permission to quote her here, and mentioning my new book The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1)

Gena responded:

"Your new book sounds right up my alley. I'll keep an eye out and order it in for the store...We do events at the store, so if you are ever interested, please don't hesitate to reach out."

Road trip to St. Louis? The logistics may be daunting, and perhaps--probably--not really something I can do.

But I won't rule it out. 

Gabba Gabba! And once again: THANK YOU, Gena!

If you like what you see here on Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do), please consider a visit to CC's Tip Jar

Carl's book Gabba Gabba Hey! A Conversation With The Ramones is available, courtesy of the good folks at Rare Bird Books. Gabba Gabba YAY!!

If it's true that one book leads to another, my next book The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1) will be published in July. Stay tuned. Your turn is coming.

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl airs Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, streaming at SPARK stream and on the Radio Garden app as WESTCOTT RADIO. Recent shows are archived at Westcott Radio. You can read about our history here.

I'm on Twitter @CafarelliCarl