The Triumphant Return Of The Goldberg Brothers Band…Plus A Rabkin

51bwbQd18mL._SS500_ From my brother Tod's blog

Yes, the rumors you've heard are true: My brother Lee and I are putting the Goldberg Brothers Band back together for a limited engagement summer tour. We'll be playing all of our hits, a bunch of the B-sides you used to love, the songs with the backward masking and, of course, we intend to do our patented Hot August Night show where we cover, in full, Neil Diamond's original live album of the same name. And despite Lee's late career marriage to Cher, his weight gain and the time he spent in prison for cutting a fan with his glass-beaded shirt, folks I swear he still rocks. It all starts this coming weekend and then all of August will be spent hitting some pretty major county fairs, parks with well-lit gazebos (Pioneer Park in Walla Walla, I'm talking to you!) and then one final night at the Cow Palace. Scorsese is filming that one for a concert film.

We'll be joined by William "Billy The Axe Man" Rabkin for a few dates, too, so keep your radio tuned to your favorite AM rock station for the details. 

Here's where we'll be this coming weekend:

Saturday, Aug. 7th, 1pm

Mysteries to Die For

2940 Thousand Oaks Blvd.

Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

Lee will be signing his new Monk book (his 109th, I believe), Bill will be signing his new Pysch book, and I'll be signing my new Burn Notice book.

 Saturday, Aug. 7th, 4pm

The Mystery Bookstore

1306 Broxton Avenue

LA, CA 90024 (that's Westwood Village)

Same as above, but we'll have perfected our jokes and witty banter from the previous event. 

 Sunday, Aug. 8th, 1pm

Mystery Ink

7176 Edinger Avenue

Huntington Beach, CA 

Just me and Lee this time. Bill has a parole hearing that day. This is a new store, so there's a good chance it will just be me and Lee and no one else, really. So if you've ever wanted to have a private conversation with us about, you know, whatever weird shit happens to be on your mind, this is your chance.


Read Me a Story

Lee-Cole-Tod Every author should be lucky enough to hear their story read by a professional actor. It makes you appreciate nuances of character, and feel the "beat" of the story-telling, in ways that sometimes doesn't come across on the page.  It's one reason I enjoy listening to the audiobook versions of my MONK books — they feel new to me even though I wrote them.

Tonight I went to WordTheatre's presentation of three short stories: TC Boyle's Three Quarters of the Way to Hell, James Salters' Such Fun, and my brother Tod Goldberg' s Walls. Gary Cole read Walls, Carla Gugino read Such Fun, and Gugino & Adrian Pasdar read Three Quarters of the Way to Hell. Cugino was the stand-out of the three actors, truly enlivening and enriching what she read, particularly in Boyle's story (where she was much stronger than the material she was reading). I am too close to Tod's story to be objective about it, but I thought Cole made some interesting choices, not all of them successful, but he still illuminated aspects of the story that I hadn't seen in the quite same way before, either when I read it or when I'd heard Tod read it. 

That's me, Gary Cole, and my brother Tod in the picture (you can click on it for a larger view, though it's hard to imagine me or Tod any larger than we already are). Cole and I chatted about a bit about MIDNIGHT CALLER — he can't understand why the show hasn't come out on DVD yet. I said there's no logic to how those decisions are made… if there was, utter shit like Dom DeLuise's flop sitcom LOTSA LUCK wouldn't be on DVD. Is there anybody who wants to see Dom DeLuise for God's sake?

Naturally, Michael DeLuise was sitting right behind me.

Cover Comparison

Which cover do you like better for my Mom's Kindle ebook Active Senior Living. Do you prefer the current one:

Moms Cover New

Or this new one?

Or should we start from scratch?

UPDATE 5/1/10:  We listened. We scrapped the new one and stuck with the old one. So what do you think of this one? Does it capture the humor and the heart?


Walking the Walk, Talking the Talk

159414110X  My brother Tod had the following conversation at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books:

A couple walked up to me after a panel on Sunday and looked very excited.

Man: We always come to the panels you're on!

Me: Oh, thanks, I appreciate it.

Man: We just loved The Walk! [a book my brother Lee wrote]

Me: Oh, uh, yeah, it's a good book.

Woman: Will you ever write another book like The Walk?

Me: Probably not.

Man: Is it even still in print?

Me: Yes. It's sold over 2 million copies. So I would think so.

Man: Really?

Me: Really.

Woman: It's so different from your other books.

Me: You think so?

Woman: It's nothing like Living Dead Girl.

Me: Well, I wrote The Walk when I was in recovery.



Me: So, I was a different person with that book. 

Sexually Active Senior Living

Who knew that retirement homes were a great place to pick up chicks? My Mom reveals the sordid truth in this short excerpt from her sequel-in-progress to  Active Senior Living, her fictionalized memoir:

I was sitting in the lobby lounge with my buddy Larry, just passing the time of day before we went in to dinner when Dale came over and sat down on my other side and began talking to me.

"Do you like movies?" he asked.

" Yes, " I said.

Dale was all smiles. " You know, they show a movie here every night upstairs in the media room. I could come to your apartment and get you and we could go together. How about if we do that tonight?"

" No thank you," I said.

" It's an hour before dinner. Let's go to the park. I still drive and my car is out in front. Come on," he said , reaching for my arm.

I pulled my arm away and said, " No, thank you, I don't want to go to the park."

Dale leaned in closer, as if he had a secret to tell me.  " Do you have a DVD player?"

" Yes, why?"

" I have a lot of movies. I could bring one to your apartment tonight. It's more fun if you watch a DVD with someone else. What time should I come over?"

" I'm not interested in watching a DVD with you," I said, leaning away from him.

" Well, then," he said, all smiles again, " Let's just go to the park together. They have benches and we could sit together and just enjoy the sunshine."

" My answer is still no," I said , hoping my tone showed that I had enough of his asking me to do something with him.

"What's your apartment number?" he asked. " I'll just come over tonight and we can visit or watch t.v. together."

"I'm not giving you my apartment number," I said , " I don't want you to come over so get that idea out of your head."

Larry who had been sitting quietly and listening to all this began to laugh. Dale looked at him, as if noticing him for the first time.

" And who are you?" Dale asked.

" I'm Larry and I don't want to watch a DVD with you, or go to a movie, or sit together to watch t.v. and don't ask me to go to the park, either."

Well, I burst out laughing at Larry's response to Dale.  Dale, on the other hand, didn't find it funny and stood up, putting his hand on my shoulder. " If you change your mind and you want to get together after dinner just give me a call. I'm in apartment 104."

And with that parting request he left the lounge area.

" I think you made a conquest, " Larry said.

We were still laughing as we headed in to dinner.

Do Fish Have Loins?

My Mom writes on her Active Senior Living blog about a marketing event at the senior living facility where she set her book:

It's so damn dumb. It's a senior prom and there are women downstairs dressed like they are preparing to walk down the aisle as the grandmother of the bride. Lots of pastel shaded lace suits and dresses. I almost got the giggles looking at them. All the furniture is out of the lobby and replaced with cocktail tables and it is decorated like New Year's Eve.. a five piece " orchestra" will play for dancing. The dance started at 5:30 an goes until 8 so we were all told we had to eat dinner at 4:00 and by 3:30 the dining room was full of people, me included. I wasn't even hungry which was good cus dinner was loin of cod. Do fish have loins? I ordered sausage and eggs, ate that and got the hell out before the public began arriving to wine and dine and dance with free champagne and bite size goodies like meat balls, which Jay said were probably better than our dinner. Ah ,the joys of this lifestyle! Guess I can always write about that for the sequel to Active Senior Living.

UPDATE: My Mom blogged about the post-cod loins menu and I laughed so hard that I hard to share it with you:

After baked loin of cod as our menu choice last night … and who ever knew cod had loins, I expected tonight's choice to be roasted leg of Rainbow Trout. Our chef is very creative and not always in a good way. His seasoning of choice is always jalapeno and gravy is on everything. Same gravy, no matter was the entree is. I've gotten used to eating cold mashed potatoes, over cooked beef and chicken that is less than tender but the good news is I haven't lost any weight. Maybe that is because I do the feeding tube for breakfast and most days for lunch , too, and that gives me some good calories.
When we are served a meal that is less than desirable I am reminded of what my friend Ed told me ( and I put in the book Active Senior Living) and that was that he figured the food budget per resident was about $7 a day. " it's like Boy Scout camp," he had said, " only here we have indoor plumbing."
I've talked to residents at other active senior complexes and it is the same story everywhere.. not just here and not just in California. The food tends to be the least most attractive thing about the place. But , as my friend Betsy says, " we didn't have to go get the groceries, cook the meal, clear the table or do the dishes. They can cook it any way they want and it's fine with me!"

You Go, Girl!

Mom's Cover for Amazon  My Mom, Jan Curran, is thrilled about the tremendous reader response that her memoir Active Senior Living has been getting on Amazon, the Kindle Discussion forums, and on the Kindleboard. Here are just a few examples. G Murphy writes:

This is such a heartwarming story. It helps to take the scaryness out of an independant living home. So many seniors have false impressions of the senior homes and negative ideas of living in one. This just confirms to me that having social contacts and friends as you age is so important to a person's well being. The friendships shared in this home give each resident a purpose in life and make living fun. I am 67 and have visited a senior living home in our area as a volunteer. I can so relate to the story in this book as see these people living in the residence in my town. I have told my family for years that this is the kind of place I want to live when I can no longer live alone. Friends and a sense of being needed and loved are such an important part of ones wellbeing. Jan has made us feel like we know each and everyone of these people. I look forward to another book continuing the experiences she is having. I found this book on the Kindle forum page. Good luck to you Jan. I feel I know you.

Lesley Suddard wrote:

I found myself laughing and crying with Jan, reliving her experiences moving in and settling into life at an "Active Senior Living Community", her encounters with the other "inmates", and the sweetness of the interactions with the residents there as they developed bonding friendships. Not only is this an entertaining read, but it is also an enlightening one. With my parents approaching the age where either an independent senior living facility or an assisted one may soon be required, the insights into the advantages and the pitfalls of these facilities provide kind of a guidepost for what to look for when evaluating various alternatives.

Cathy B wrote:

I bought this book for my Kindle yesterday afternoon and stayed up reading until I'd finished it. By the time I was done I felt like I knew all the people Jan met during her stay in assisted living and was as attached to them as she obviously is (and they to her). I am hoping that one day soon she will write a follow-up book so I can find out how all of "my" new friends are doing. After reading this book, I realized that even at 80 or 90 life is what you make of it. Like any other time of life, there are joys and sorrows, smiles and tears. AND there are "kooks" in every age group, LOL. Please, Jan, don't make me wait too long for an update. And give "Ed" and the others a hug from me.

Molly Cook wrote:

You'll laugh! You'll cry! You'll recognize human nature no matter how old you are, but if you're over 65, you'll probably recognize yourself and one or more of your friends. Jan is a wonderful writer who can make you laugh and shed tears in the same paragraph. Her personal account of life at "the Inn" and her courage in the face of mounting challenges show us she is the Energizer Bunny of writers. You'll be glad you met Jan Curran!

Kari Johnson writes:

Rarely do I laugh out loud while reading a book. Maybe while at home, but certainly not while reading in public. Today, I'm sure the patrons at the restaurant I lunched at thought I was nuts. Maybe it was reading about Mr. Jones and Carol Channing. Maybe because I can remember so clearly when my grandparents lived in one of these places at all the women swarmed around my very married grandfather, begging him to play the piano and sing with them. It brought back many of my own memories of hanging out with them at their facility. I cannot wait to share this book with my parents. And siblings. And children someday.

Congratulations Mom on touching so many lives with your book!

Don’t Forget Your Dentures

Here's an excerpt from my mom Jan Curran's memoir ACTIVE SENIOR LIVING. It's the list of "house rules" for the dining room at her Active Senior Living facility:

1. No sleeping in the dining room.

2. Please use tissues rather than the cloth napkins for blowing your nose.

3. No baseball caps or other head gear in the dining room.

4. Women should not dine with rollers in their hair.

5. No bare feet.

6. No pajamas, nightgowns or robes in the dining room.

7. No wine service with breakfast.

8. Motorized scooters in designated areas only.

9. Wait staff will not be responsible for partials or dentures left on dining tables.

10. Wait staff will not be responsible for hearing aids left on dining tables.

11. Second helpings on dessert only.

Oddly enough, those are the same rules they have at the CBS commissary.