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05/21/17: I really need to delete the Bat Out Of Hell album from my phone. I recently loaded it because I hadn't heard it in a while, and I read an article in Classic Rock about how its essentially the soundtrack to a musical that Jim Steinman wrote years before, and is now being staged as a musical in London. I've listened to it couple of times in the car (typically singing along at the top of my voice) but now I can't get the songs out of my head. And it's not like a typical earworm, with one song that won't go away. It's almost all the songs, over and over. At work, at home, in the shower, in the car, it's driving me nuts! It has to go.
     I did, however, replace it on my phone with Bad for Good, the album Steinman recorded when Meat Loaf lost his voice after the Bat Out Of Hell tour. Let's see how that goes.


04/23/17: Another Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention has come and gone, and as usual, my wallet is a little lighter and my bookshelf a little heavier. The cool thing is two of the prizes of this year's haul I didn't even pay for! One was the fat Fredric Brown book you see in the middle of the picture. The reason I didn't pay for is at the show was that I paid for it over a year ago! It was published by this tiny press in Michigan that specializes in high-end volumes, and the first printing didn't meet the publisher's standards, so the entire run was destroyed! It took him a while to find another printer, but the results look to be worth the wait. I'm itching to start reading!
     The other treasure has an even better story. At last years show, I was browsing a table of paperbacks and saw one titled Johnny Havoc, written by John Jakes, who is better known for historical novels. I thought the cover blurb was hilarious, and the guy behind the table agreed with me, so I bought it. I read part of it that night, then went back the next day to try to find the rest of the series. According to the 'net, there were four books in the series, but I could only find three.
     So this year, I find myself at the same guy's table. He looks up at me and says, "Hey, you came back! I have something for you." He digs in a box behind the table and hands me a copy of the fourth Johnny Havoc book, Making it Big, and he wouldn't even take any money for it!
     Over the course of my four days there, I chatted with (and bought books from) many of the book sellers and authors I've spoken to in past years. I saw a really good movie, Gambling Ship, with Cary Grant and Benita Hume, and I sat in on some panels. I didn't stick around for any of the auctions this year, but there was one item from Friday's auction that caught my eye. It was a copy of Top Notch Magazine from 1913, over one hundred years ago, and the cover intrigued me. It was up for auction near the end of the night, and I didn't want to stay, but as the weekend wore on, I grew to regret that decision. I decided on Sunday to see if I could find that issue in the dealer room. I checked every dealer selling original pulps, and found the copy at the very last table next to the door. And at what I thought was a reasonable price, too.
     A few of the dealers said I should try to go to Pulpfest in July, which will be held for the first time in Pittsburgh. I doubt I can afford to go, but I certainly will be at Windy City next year.



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