What We Got Wrong About Ford Fairlane

I got the chance to speak with author Rex Weiner about his new book, “The (Original) Adventures of Ford Fairlane.” Fairlane was a rock n’ roll detective that emerged from the late 70s underground music scene and his adventures were originally serialized in the New York Rocker and LA Weekly. These days, people who remember Fairlane mostly associate him with Andrew Dice Clay’s performance in the 1990 movie, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane.

The truth is, that movie had little or nothing to do with Weiner’s original creation. So this new book is not only a chance to get (re)acquainted with Fairlane, but also an interesting tale about what happens to fictional characters after a decade spent banging around Hollywood.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes from the interview:

“What I liked about punk rock and New Wave in the 1970s was how it gave a middle finger to the corporate takeover of the music business. It felt like rock n’ roll—born out of young white middle class rebellion combined with black American culture—was making a last stand at CBGBs and the downtown New York clubs on the east coast, and at the Starwood and south bay clubs, and the Mabuhay in San Francisco on the west coast. It was dangerous and threatening to many of the musicians themselves, unfortunately, as much as to the society they confronted. But economics had a lot to do with its success, as the interviews in my book with Andy Schwartz and Jay Levin testify (publishers of the alternative papers that first serialized the Ford Fairlane stories). The cheaper cost of living in that era allowed those clubs to exist and gave artists freedom to create the music and culture that now seem so radical. I believe the same indie spirit is still alive and well in cities and town across the country and around the world—especially Hip Hop on a grass-roots level—but it’s more DIY than ever, and you have to look for it. If you’re in that mood. On my end, I’m listening to early Be Bop these days, mostly.”

You can read the whole interview right HERE at Crimespree Magazine.

S.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). Steve lives in LA.

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