Bards of the Inland Empire
Bards of the Inland Empire
True stories of tone-deaf singers, meth heads, ghosts, murders, and concerts unravel in each chapter of Bards of the Inland Empire.
For 10 years, Daniel Rolnik attended shows at DIY music venues like The Smell and Pehrspace to hear songwriters wail about the cities stapled to the Eastern edges of L.A. To better understand their lyrics, which were filled with allegories of smoking speed and battling mental illness, Daniel collected strange, yet true stories of their hometowns. Cities like San Bernardino and Pomona intertwine with narratives about the underground music scene of Los Angeles, giving these songs and their writers more context than ever before. John Thill, Whitman, Jon Barba, Kevin Greenspon, I.E., and a few others are the Bards of the Inland Empire. Daniel Rolnik is just their unauthorized biographer.
Read about the hellhole of the Inland Empire and the bards' escape from it through the heavenly gates of Los Angeles' music scene. Journey into myths surrounding Mount Rubidoux, the Toxic Lady, the Riverside Catacombs, the Chicken Coop Murders, and more. If you love underground music and want a catalog of the 21st Century's best characters like Karen Centerfold, Monkey Bucket, and Almighty Opp then this is the book for you! Explore venues like The Smell, Pehrspace, and Echo Curio without getting threatened with a knife by the security guard. Full body leotards, Tuvan throat singers, and a guy that smashes glass over his face – it’s all inside BARDS OF THE INLAND EMPIRE - and all of it is true!
This Book is slightly less than 211 Pages.
"A puddle amassed below him and the salty water splashed around as he flailed his arms and legs in meth-induced bouts of liquid dancing. We couldn’t get out of there fast enough." - from the Introduction
"The strangest part of the lounge wasn’t the wet books, or the dirty couches, it was the snack area...It was where you could usually see the owner, Jim Smith, who looked more out of place in his own club than we did." - from Chapter 2: The Smell
"He kept his priceless relics in an array of tunnels called the Riverside Catacombs, which he had constructed underneath the hotel." - from Chapter 5: The Shaman of Mount Rubidoux
"When I think of the world’s greatest songwriters, I think of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and John Thill." - from Chapter 6: John Thill
"As an act of desperation, the doctors cut open Gloria’s shirt and decided to use a defibrillator on her in a procedure known as electrical cardioversion...Soon afterwards, staff members in the room began feeling ill and either passed out, vomited, or needed to sit down. Meanwhile, Gloria was convulsing on the operating table and struggling for her life." - from Chapter 7: The Toxic Lady of Riverside
"The heat inside was also driving everyone to the brink of insanity, especially a girl named Ajax who had mummified eyes and was rolling about the audience in a sort of haze with her arms at her side." - from Chapter 12: Pehrspace
PRESS: The San Diego Jewish Journal
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