Dusting Off My Drums

I started playing drums in my early teens and pretty much didn’t stop for twenty-five years. Picking up that first pair of sticks radically changed the course of my life. Not only did I make great friends, but I got to record and tour a little along the way.

Once drumming took a back seat, I was fortunate to find another passion in writing crime and mystery fiction. It’s been a real thrill getting to know that community as well, which—as luck would have it—includes several musicians. A few of us even tried to launch an ill-fated band featuring five crime authors. That project, like countless bands before it, was sunk by infighting over REO Speedwagon.

These days I still get the occasional chance to play. Most recently it’s with my good friend and former band mate, Jeff Whalen, who just announced his first solo record, 10 More Rock Super Hits. I was stoked to play drums for two songs on this stellar collection (pen name, S.W. Lauden; drum name, Steve Coulter). Having made two albums and a couple E.P.’s with him in the rock group Tsar, I can honestly say that the songs on 10 More Rock Super Hits are among Jeff’s best—but don’t take my word for it:

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Guest DJ—Josh Stallings

What do you do when one of your favorite LA crime authors writes “a ‘70’s glitter-rock disco heist novel”? You invite him over to your blog to spin some amazing music! Click the YouTube player up above and you’ll be treated to 16 songs hand-selected by Josh Stallings himself.

Josh Stallings is the author of the multi-award winning Moses McGuire crime novels, BEAUTIFUL, NAKED & DEAD, OUT THERE BAD and ONE MORE BODY. His latest novel, YOUNG AMERICANS, comes out Nov. 20—one week from today.

Here’s an excerpt from an interview that Josh and I did last June:

Young Americans

I saw you read  from YOUNG AMERICANS at the California Crime Writers Convention. What can you tell us about it? How does it differ from the Moses McGuire novels?

YOUNG AMERICANS is a Glitter Rock Disco Heist Novel set in 1976 San Francisco. It is a fun ride and a wonderful romp. One More Body (Moses #3) was the angriest novel I’ve written. And because it deals with kids sold into the sex-for-cash world, the anger was well placed. Erika (Josh’s wife) laughed when I told her YOUNG AMERICANS was light comedy. Ok, maybe it’s Josh light. I was a glitter rock kid, (Glam to most). All the young dudes and stunning dames would go to The City, a gay disco in S.F., and sniff poppers, munch Quaaludes and drink Cuba Libres. We’d dance and fight and fuck and generally act the fool. It has been wonderful to get to spend the last year back in those days.


And, if you’re in Los Angeles, don’t miss the YOUNG AMERICANS BOOK LAUNCH PARTY at Book Show on Sunday, Nov. 22. I’ll be there along with Josh, Danny Gardner and Tony Peyser.

S.W. Lauden’s debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, is available now from Rare Bird Books. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.