Hundreds waited in line as the casket stood front center, in the second floor conference room, at the Seaport Marina Hotel in Long Beach Saturday night. TSOL front man, author and fellow Heard Mentality Columnist Jack Grisham set up a mock funeral for Marla, the teenage character in his latest book, Code Blue, a short story based on one of the band's most well known songs about Necrophilia.
Fans gathered for this book release party, which included the fake coffin, candles, and even a string quartet playing. Grisham brought his wife and children to the free event, which was open to all ages, although all throughout promotion process online disclaimers warned that the book contained graphic sexual themes and language, and a reading would take place.
The bar provided the booze, and complimentary cookies, pastries and a giant cake with an image of Grisham's book were offered to guests, as Grisham and illustrator of the short story book, Scott Aicher numbered and signed each personalized book, and took photos with fans. The entire room was adorned with giant posters of the book's dark and twisted, but colorful almost cartoon like illustrations.
Some families with teens and small children were present but so were a group of old school punks, bikers and even some of the AA members, from a meeting downstairs, who mingled in to grab a book. One elderly gentleman told Grisham, "Yeah, my grandson's into punk, it's for him!" as he had his book autographed.
After more than 90 minutes of singing books, Grisham came to the front of the room, and told the story of how he got the concept when a friend gave him a copy of Bring Me Your Love, written by Charles Bukowski and illustrated by cartoonist R. Crumb.
Code Blue is done in a similar fashion with cartoonish drawings depicting the scenes of the story, which involve a teenage punk in high school who going at it with the corpse of a girl from school.
As Grisham began reading several sample paragraphs form the story, many laughed and gasped in horror, but most cheered and clapped. Let's all be adults, this is a love story," Grisham said. Moments later after quietly reading to himself in a mumbled voice, he blurted out to the crowd," HOLY SHIT! I just realized how really fucked up this shit is!!!"
The crowd burst out in laughter and Grisham read several graphic parts, only censoring by spelling out certain phrases like C O C K, or telling his kids quickly, "Cover your ears!" for the word Cunt.
The evening turned out to be a memorable time, and great chance for fans of the veteran punk singer, and author, to meet and greet and take pictures and hang out in an informal setting. Grisham will also be working with Susan Dynner for a short film based on Code Blue, sometime in the near future.
For more information on how to order a copy of Code Blue, please visit www.jackgrisham.com