DLR, before CLR, Way before CLR. Another exhaustive search for an obscure 1st edition was Crazy From the Heat, by Mr. Showbiz Ninja Pants himself, Mr. David Lee Roth. Former lead singer of Van Halen and then solo artist, this book was his autobiography. It was also his chance to set the record straight about what really went down in Van Halen after 1984 that had him bounced out of the group for one Sammy Hagar. The cover alone was enough to make me thirst for its hardness in my hands. Oh wait, that was awkward wording there…then again, it is me. I had to have it. Oh wait, that wasn’t much better. The cover made me want it. Never mind, obviously a blog cannot be posted without a dirty mind sinking it beforehand. Onto the story.
In 1997, David Lee Roth’s hilarious autobiography, was released. 1997 wasn’t a good year. I was shackin’ up with Redneck Flats and fearing for my life. My mom had passed the year before, I was trying to save an addict and have some semblance of a “relationship”, and I was stuck in a job where i had recently taken a demotion based on grief. Not my finest hour, nor my happiest. I needed some cheer. There came along David Lee Roth’s book.
This one was one that the aforementioned Waldenbooks in Countryside had. However, every time I saved enough of my check and went over to buy it, it was sold out. I finally decided to act and call around for a copy. Orland Park’s Borders had it, and there’s where I finally got it. The first copy. I read it in 3 days, and passed it onto my brother. I don’t think I remember my brother laughing so hard after my mom’s death, or before that. He loved it and thought it was as great as I did. I think Jen got it next, and she thought it was hysterical. It made the rounds of my heavy-metal and classic rock loving friends, and then, I made the fatal mistake- I gave my precious, much loaned copy to Steven (aka Redneck Flats, The Poor Man’s Scott Weiland, Dumbass, Useless, BudMan, GoatMan, etc). That was the last I saw of it. He took it to Lawrenceville, Georgia, to see his uncle, aunt, and second cousin, who I later found out, he had some sort of relationship with (he is Southern, y’all). He returned with a suitcase full of Wizard comics (which i stole, in retaliation, for my book disappearing), a lizard (not in the suitcase, but oh boy, a pet!), some cassette tapes of him singing Creed, and other inadmissible forms of lunacy. I asked him where my book was, and never got a straight answer. There was some sort of mumbling about a poker game, moonshine, the cousin, denim skirts, cowboy boots, a rodeo, and money lost. So I gather from that incoherent pothead, drunk mumbling that he sold my book for moonshine. That wouldn’t have bothered me. But if he lost it in a poker game to the cousin he wanted to poke? That wasn’t allowed! Although some part of me thinks DLR would dig that kind of wild story and would maybe write a song or make a great video from it (the beginning of Yankee Rose, with the convenience store and the black lady and Tic Tacs- that’s what I’m talking about!), that didn’t mean he got off the hook for it. That, my friends, was really the beginning of the “Dawning of the Age of the Goat”. Meaning, the end of the relationship. No Southern-Fried Creed fan was stealing my book! Except that he had, and left it somewhere in an attic in Georgia.
I started by going back to that Borders. All they had were, by now, 3rd editions. I hit the new Barnes & Noble down the block- same story. The Crown Books in Oak Lawn (Irony!) never had it. The one in Western Springs? Stacey offered to order it, but I didn’t know when I would have the money again to get it. I decided to wait. Big mistake. No more luck was had- until finally, in 2003, i found a copy- on Ebay.
Ebay is a mystery I will never solve. Like Japanese noodles and old ladies’ knitting circles. One of my friends from the Orland BAM, Kevin S. Cook, pointed me to Ebay. He told me he had found a number of H.P. Lovecraft sci-fi books that were out of print, by bidding on them on Ebay. I liked a pissing contest, minus the appendage, so I created an account. Then all sorts of hell broke loose. I had too much time on my hands one day and got to searching for Boy George coffee mugs. I found one and bid- except I didn’t realize that it was like a live auction, and I had to sit there and reply to any and every bid to win. I did win, but the problem was, I was drunk when I bid and didn’t realize that the pounds were not converted to American dollars. Once it did, holy crap, that was more than one week of pay for a cup. Except I had won the bid, and they now wanted my payment info. There was no way I was paying $75 for a Boy George mug. I worship the man, but I had my limits. I sent an email saying I didn’t want the mug, and I would let someone else have it, etc. Next thing I know I get clobbered with a number of Ebay emails saying I have broken the Holy Grail of Online Ebay etiquette, Blah, blah, blah. I ignored it and went on my merry way. However, due to this juvenile miscreant behavior, I was BANNED. From Ebay! So there went my hope of DLR 1st editions.
Flash forward. 2007. I am at a closeout sale at Crows Nest in Crest Hill. It is, unfortunately, not long before the end of this location. Sadness fills my pores as pizza fills my face; but there, on a cart of “Closeout, No Returns”, is my long unfulfilled destiny. The book. It is not, sadly, in prime shape. It has a horribly bright yellow sticker on it with the giant crow that was the mascot and a giant “Closeout. No Returns” sticker with the price- $4.99- on it. The cover is slightly torn. It looks, like DLR himself, like it has seen better days. I can’t stand it. I open the cover and find the copyright page. And there it is. The 1st edition. I am one lucky midget that day. I purchase it, I have the clerk wrap it in plastic bag, doubled, and I walk out of there with Jen and a big smile. Almost as big as the one that I had the whole couple of hours it took me to re-read this. If you haven’t read it, borrow it from me, I guarantee you will laugh your ass off. Totally worth the long and winding days to finally find it and call it mine.