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Tonight: Pere Ubu frontman David Thomas to lead punk rock book panel at Grammy Museum

April 14, 2011 | 11:13 am


The dirty, dangerous and demented side of punk rock will be exposed tonight in a conversation at the Grammy Museum when some old hands sit down to talk about their new books.

The conversation will feature an appearance by David Thomas, frontman of Pere Ubu. He may talk about his script for the stage performance "Bring Me the Head of Ubu Roi," which is available on the Kindle, and he may talk about his experiences on the vanguard of punk and rock.

His roots go deep in the Cleveland music scene, and he's joining three musicians-turned-authors whose careers all overlapped there; they've been traveling together as the Cleveland Confidential Book Tour. Thomas and Cheetah Chrome both played in Rocket From the Tombs, breaking off into different bands in the 1970s. Chrome became guitarist for the Dead Boys, as the title of his memoir makes clear: "Cheetah Chrome - A Dead Boy's Tale From the Front Lines of Punk Rock." It recounts his ups, downs, very loud music, epic drug use and improbable survival.

Also on the bill is Mike Hudson, who turned to writing after his stint in the band the Pagans. He'll be reading from two of his books -- "Jetsam" and "Diary of a Punk" -- expect more ups, downs, very loud music, epic drug use and improbable survival.

Slightly off that path is Bob Pfeifer's debut novel, "University of Strangers," a fiction of murder and celebrity. Pfeifer was president of Hollywood Records and an executive at Epic/Sony who worked with a diversity of bands: Alice Cooper, Ornette Coleman and Screaming Trees.

The authors will read and then have a conversation with moderator Chris Morris from Variety. The event, which begins at 7:30 p.m., is free, although reservations are required. Details and reservations are available here.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: David Thomas in 2003. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times