It was a good question. It’s always a good question with the “r” or the “l” sound. It was asked by my regular taxi driver in Bangkok, Thailand the day after the midterm results for the USA came in. Normally his questions are simpler like, “Where you go?”
I thought, but didn’t say, “You wait until the next one, of course.”
Our Noir Commander-in-Chief by the artist, Chris Coles – waiting for 2020
I remember, as a senior in high school when Duane Thomas was playing in the Super Bowl for the Dallas Cowboys and was asked if he thought the game was the ultimate experience. Duane replied, ““If the Super Bowl is the ultimate game, how come there is another one next year?”
That answer always stuck with me. Events tend to matter to the extent that we give the event meaning. Life goes on, win, lose or EPL.
There is a new event with meaning happening for me. I have a second book out called, Different Drummers. Subtitled, Bangkok Beat Redux, it follows upon the formula of Bangkok Beat, which was released in June of 2015.
Stephen King just came out with a new book called Elevation. He tweeted his 5 million Twitter fans that he’d like them to read it. I did the math and figured out that if just 1% of his followers did what Mr. King asked it could result in 50,0000+ sales. Now that’s a meaningful event.
I am happy with Different Drummers and I hope, like Stephen King with his new book, that people read it. I hope people read it for the lengthy interview I conduct with my co-author, John Gartland and the 50+ poems written by John. I hope they read and enjoy the wonderful story by T. Hunt Locke about a young Mama Noi arriving in Bangkok in 1960. I hope they take the time to look at the dozens of photographs taken by Eric Nelson, Alasdair McLeod, Ken Sieczkowski, Steve Porte, and Mark Desmond Hughes. My favorite one is of Chris Catto-Smith asleep on the red couch at Checkinn99 (taken by Eric), after a hard day’s night, under the large framed photograph of Mama Noi and flanked by two Chris Coles portraits. That’s a teaser.
I hope you read Different Drummers for the profiles, reviews, and interviews with interesting expats and Bangkok visitors including Tim Hallinan, Doug Stanhope, Collin Piprell, J.D. Villines, Lawrence Osborne, Joe Cummings, Jim Algie, John Burdett, Christopher G. Moore, Peter Klashorst, Hugh Gallagher (AKA Von Von Von), Colin Cotterill, and many more. Jeez, lets be honest, I hope you get the paperback just so you can study the great Colin Cotterill cover art.
Click photo to go to Amazon USA
Available NOW as Ebook or paperback
The book is currently available as an eBook at many of the usual outlets, including Kobo, Barnes & Noble and Tolino. It is available at Amazon world-wide as a paperback. Amazon offers a nice feature: any reader who purchases the paperback will be immediately eligible to download the eBook for free – no charge. When the paperback arrives in Thailand it will also be available at Checkinn99 on Sukhumvit 33 and Queen Bee Tavern located on Sukhumvit 26. Go there for the book or the live music. You can’t lose.
Different Drummers acknowledges a talented squadron of artists, writers, musicians, and painters. Four of them stand out. They are Chris Catto-Smith, John Branton, Keith Nolan, and Jerry Hopkins. Without these four there would be no Different Drummers or Bangkok Beat. More importantly, there would be a lot fewer memorable events in my life. Read the excellent Bangkok Babylon by Jerry Hopkins if you want to know where my book ideas come from.
In the Author’s Note of Different Drummers I quote Christopher Hitchens, “Everyone has a book inside them, which is exactly where I think, in most cases, it should remain.” I would never relish the opportunity to debate Hitchens on this point, but I will disagree with him, now that he is dead and buried.
Writing and publishing a book is not the ultimate experience. There are too many authors and too many books, nowadays, for that to be the case. Like the Super Bowl, books keep on coming. But there are only two books written and published by me, with John Gartland’s poetry and a short story written by T. Hunt Locke. That makes it an event – a good event. Unlike the Super Bowl, it will never be an annual one.
Elections come and go. A good book or live musical event will stick with you if you are lucky. Happy reading in 2018 and beyond.
Go to Amazon or your preferred online retailer and buy Different Drummers today.