Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Charlie Six Page on Facebook

Check out my new Charlie Six page on Facebook

The Alley Tour continues in Sausalito on Thursday September 8

The Alley Tour 
Poppynoir is pleased to announce that San Francisco author, Brixton Key
will read from his novel, Charlie Six, on the El Monte Lane stairs in Sausalito
(Next to the No Name Bar)
Thursday, September 8, 2011, at 6:30 PM
Brixton Key’s reading will be followed by a party at the
No Name Bar, 757 Bridgeway, Sausalito, Marin County, California.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

lovely email from David Carlick regarding Charlie Six

A lovely email to start the day from an old neighbour, David Carlick.

I finished the book.
It was fabulous, and I am going to read it again.
The characters became my friends.
(Of course, I have real problems remembering names, so I had to work a bit to keep up, which is always the case when the story is complex, and I like that.)
The story was fascinating, and the way you unfolded was fascinating to me as well.
(Trying to figure out who the guitar player was that our hero was trying to sign.)
The coming-of-age in the period of post WWII/emergence of the British Invasion was so well done.
Congratulations on a remarkable achievement. 


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mark Plummer interviews Brixton Key

After Brain Surgery for Two Burst Aneurysms Chris Isaak manager is back
with new Novel “Charlie Six.”

            “He went into pre-op as Mark and came out of surgery as Brixton,” is how Brixton Key’s neurologist, Peter Weber, introduced the novelist at his recent reading in Jack Kerouac Alley, North Beach, San Francisco. The Alley Tour is Brixton’s latest twist in a career that has seen him manage Chris Isaak, during his hey-day as San Francisco’s favourite home town artist, work as a journalist for Britain’s Melody Maker music weekly, and the promoter for Carl Douglas’s “Kung Fu Fighting,” one of the largest selling 45s of all time.

Dr Peter Weber leans on a lamppost to the far right of the photo (Michael Zagaris)
            “I’ve never been too enamored by the obvious,” says Brixton Key. “There are routes one is expected to take. Then there is rethinking the past to create something new and fresh. When I managed Chris Isaak, local bands were encouraged to play once or twice a month. Apparently that created an aura of mystery. But I looked back to the bands I really admired in London, when I was growing up, and they played all the time. Both the Rolling Stones and the Who worked residencies, it’s where they built up their chops and their fan base. I thought if we took that back even further to the 1930’s when the big bands played one venue for a week or two it would be tremendous fun.
            “It was amazing how successful the shows were at the Nightbreak, on Haight Street, and Club Nine in SOMA. So much so that Isaak was welcomed into New York for a month run at the Danceteria, and into Los Angeles for a month’s stint at the Anti Club.”

Chris Isaak likes moldy  walls in obscure Alleys
             So why is Brixton Key now reading from his novel Charlie Six in Alleys and staircases in the Bay Area, rather than the usual route of bookstore readings and their formal formula of meet and greet?
            “To tell you the truth, my mind went back to Charlie Dickens. He read his books to large crowds of people at what one might call the dawn of literacy. You see, I’m always being told that people no longer read books. That’s absolutely ridiculous, of course people read books. But novels and novelists have to take it to their audience. We must rethink the whole publishing business.

I like moldy Alley concrete walls too (Photo Malani Khelif)

            “That’s why I signed to a small press, Poppynoir, who formed their business to promote Charlie Six, they are not stuck in the past, because they have no past. They’re looking at the future and it’s exciting.
            “When I thought of the Alley Tour, it clicked into my mindwindows. There’s a chapter in Charlie Six, where my picaresque character Charlie is expelled from school for reading Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ in an English class. So it seemed obvious that I should give my first reading inside City Lights Bookstore, the business built on Ginsberg’s brilliant poem. They hated the idea and thought I was daft, so fine, I’ll read it in the alley next door. 

Reading the "Howl" Chapter from Charlie Six for my urban camping friend (photo: Zagaris)

            “It was brilliant, a lot of the crowd turned up because of social networking through Facebook and my website, but a lot of people were just passing and got hooked, staying to see what was happening. It’s why I wanted a small party across the street at Specs bar. I wanted to break the barrier between people and artist, talk is looser after a beer or two. I made a lot of new friends signing books for the cats and daddyo's who got caught up in the moment, and were enticed to walk across the street to meet me.”
          Brixton Key’s Alley tour will continue in Marin on Thursday, September 8, in Sausalito at the El Monte Stairs next to the No Name Bar. Key’s reading will take place at 6:30PM, after which there will be a party at the famous Marin nightery. More readings in alleys and lanes will held in Berkeley, Northern Marin, Napa, Sonoma, Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Hollywood, downtown Los Angeles, and in swanky Beverley Hills.

Mark Plummer eating his breakfast at 9 PM with Barry White
                 Lastly, why did Brixton change his name from Mark Plummer? “When I woke up from brain surgery I felt like a different person. I’d never really liked my name for many reasons. Actually the fact that I survived the brain surgery was a miracle, thanks to my neurologist Peter Weber, so I decided I would do three things that I had always wanted to do. Change my name to Brixton Key; go to university to get a master’s degree, and to start writing the books that were lurking in me.”


Brixton Key's Charlie Six
is now available at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and bookstores near you as a Paperback, Kindle or Nook.

Brixton Key mentioned in San Francisco Weekly article about Nick's Lounge, Berkeley

I got a nice mention in the San Francisco Weekly in their article about the new monthly reading series Saturday Night Special, at Nick's Lounge, Berkeley. I'll be the  featured author on Saturday, August 27, the event is from 7-9PM, and I hear they've been getting some great talent at the open mic. I've decided to read the chapter "Eat the worms before they get yer" from Charlie Six.
Nick's Lounge is located at 3218 Adeline (at Fairview), Berkeley, CA


Monday, August 8, 2011

Fun reading "Charlie Six" in Jack Kerouac Alley, North Beach, San Francisco

I had great fun reading from "Charlie Six" in Jack Kerouac Alley, next to the fabled City Lights Book store in San Francisco's North Beach, last Thursday, August 4. It was amazing to look out into a ton of smiling faces. Some were friends, some were people I'd seen around, some I recognized from Facebook, lots were total strangers.

Reading in Jack Kerouac Alley 

I read the "Howl" chapter from Charlie Six, it was really a hoot with people laughing at Charlie's antics. At one point everyone clapped, and I lost my place, it was such a great feeling after three years of work to see people enjoying my writing.

Right after I'd finished, people were asking me if I'd be doing any more street readings, it got me to thinking spontaneously, and I told a young lady that I would indeed be doing more street events. I'm lining up suitable alleys right now, and thinking Sausalito, Berkeley, the alley where Michael Zagaris shot the "Charlie Six" cover, Point Reyes in Northern Marin,  and then Seattle and Portland, before going down south to Los Angeles and San Diego. There must be cool alleys all over the West Coast. Any ideas?. I'd love to hear from you.

Fun party afterwards in Spec's Adler Museum across the street in William Saroyan Place, lots of drinks, champagne, books to sign, and the best surprise of all, my neurosurgeon, Dr. Peter Weber, turned up to introduce me for an impromptu reading in the bar. "He went into surgery as Mark and came out as Brixton."

Peter is a funny guy and brilliant surgeon. He definitely saved my life, when I had two aneurysms burst in my frontal lobes, a dozen years ago.

It was a fantastic evening. Thank you to everyone who was there, and for those who weren't, I'll be seeing you in an alley somewhere soon.  

Video Cameras and Howl in the bookstore window

Could I get your autograph?

Relaxing outside Vesuvio's with "Mad" Andy Olmsted, my minder, who allowed me one last Rizla licorice
paper roll-up half an hour before the reading.

Thanks to "Mad" Andy my throat kept going throughout the reading of the "Howl" chapter from "Charlie Six"
and I still had a voice left to talk to people afterwards.

Outside Spec's with my neurosurgeon Peter Weber, without whom I'd never have been reading from "Charlie,"
let alone been alive to write the novel. A million thanks.

A good laugh with a good mate.

       The final reading of the evening at Specs. I'm so glad "Charlie" elicited so many smiles.
He's a funny little bloke.          
(All Photos taken by Michael Zagaris. Thank you Z-Man and bless yer cotton socks.)