for immediate release
contact: Gerry Fialka 310-306-7330,
Fialka bio:

MESSIN’ With MEZZ MEZZROW – Gerry Fialka & jazzbos reinvent the seminal music book Really The Blues by Mezz Mezzrow (Louis Armstrong’s herbalist) and Bernard Wolfe (cybernetics pioneer) with LIVE music, readings and rare film clips. Mezz influenced everybody from Henry Miller to the Beats to Tom Waits to gangster rappers. This book is the On The Road of its time.

SATURDAY, June 2, 2012 at 7:30pm at Beyond Baroque 681 Venice Blvd, Venice, CA 90291, 310-822-3006, free admission, donations appreciated.

Suzy Williams & Brad Kay doing “Reckless Blues” by Bessie Smith. This song plays a big part in the book, which Mezz dedicated to Bessie. See: Suzy & Brad Kay’s “Pinchbacks, Take ‘Em Away” by Bessie Smith

Chanteuse Mikal Sandoval sings “Sweet Marihuana”

Word artist Rich Ferguson

Ragtime Professor Andrew Barrett

Avant-Jazz-Funkateers Black Shoe Polish (with Fialka, poet Rex Butters and veteran bassist Tad Dery)

Seminal archivist Sherwin Dunner, who will display rare Mezz letters and photos in the lobby

Steve DeGroodt and Richard Wood inside the outness

Guitarist hipster Paulie Dee performs “Your Feets Too Big”

and more.

First published in 1946, this book was arousing call to alienated young whites to explore the world of African American culture and jazz. Their spiritual godfather was Mezzrow, jazz cat, bootlegger, and peddler of the finest smoke in Harlem. His story, written with Bernard Wolfe, tells of a white kid who fell in love with black culture, learning to blow clarinet in the reform schools, brothels, and honky-tonks of his youth. Drawn by the revelation of the blues, he followed the music to Chicago, New Orleans, and New York, into the heart of America’s soul. Told in jive lingo, this classic is an unforgettable chronicle of street life, smoky clubs, roadhouse dances, and the rites of reefer.

Wolfe’s words best describe what’s on tap in Really the Blues – “Not very many people have gotten a good look at their country from that bottom-of-the-pit angle before, seen the slimy underside of the rock. It’s a chunk of Americana, as they say, and should get written. It’s a real American success story, upside down: Horatio Alger standing on his head. In a real sense, Mezz, your story is the plight of the creative artist in the USA. To borrow a phrase from Henry Miller, ‘It’s the odyssey of an individualist, through a land where the population is manufactured by the system of interchangeable parts. It’s the saga of a guy who wanted to make friends in a jungle where everybody was too busy making money and dodging his own shadow.'”

”Really The Blues is a rapid ride on the soul train in a club car reserved for the hip, hep, hopped-up, hopeful, woeful, and joyful jazz cats of this or any age. It also happens to be Book One of the History of Crazeology. It’ll stretch out your brain.”
– Barry Gifford, author of Wild At Heart and Lost Highwway

“Really The Blues is the scatological soup bone of New Orleans. Mezz Mezzrow took me to Storyville.” – Tom Waits

“For me, the first signal into white culture of the underground black, hip culture.” —Allen Ginsberg