First things came first for Howard Kaylan when he arrived at NYCB Theatre at Westbury for Friday night’s running of the Happy Together Tour 2013, starring The Turtles featuring Flo (Mark Volman) & Eddie (Kaylan), Mark Lindsay, Gary Puckett, Chuck Negron and Gary Lewis.
In Kaylan’s dressing room were two stacks of books—his new memoir Shell Shocked, published by Hal Leonard’s Backbeat Books imprint.
The book is getting outstanding feedback from fans and reviewers, and Kaylan has been working it tirelessly at home and on the road.
“We’re selling the s**t out of it!” said Kaylan. “I’m doing interviews and book signings all over the country.”
He’s also been tweeting and retweeting it constantly, and has devised a novel means of encouraging buyers.
“I opened up a temporary post office box, and if people send me their books with a self-addressed and stamped return envelope, I’ll sign them,” he said. “It’s the smartest PR thing I’ve ever done: I’ve got six bins of books waiting for me back home [in Seattle], with 40 in each, to be signed when I’m back for a day and a-half break.”
He’s only signing copies of Shell Shocked.
“Don’t send me your albums,” he warns on his website, as honest as he is in the book. “I don’t need photos or stories of myself or you or any combination of the above. I probably don’t want to really be your friend. Get over it.”
But do send your book in quickly if you want it signed, as Kaylan’s closing out the box at the end of the month.
But he’s also getting ready to write another book, though this time it will be fiction.
“I realize how much I need to write,” said Kaylan. “I love doing it so much.”
He particularly loves writing on the road.
“We’ll ride five, six, seven hours at a time,” he noted, then alluded to the Iggy Pop song classic “The Passenger.”
“I’m not a passenger who looks out the window and watches the scenery go by. I’ve been doing this for 50 years and I’ve seen Syosset [Long Island, near Westbury] and Toledo and Orlando and lived in most of those places and don’t need to see the same scenery go by again. I’m here to work and create something that transports me.”
Luckily, Kaylan, who turned 66 yesterday, will have plenty of time on the road to write. The annual Happy Together Tour gets bigger and better every year and has slowly but surely broached the Top 10 of current touring presentations, Kaylan marvels, citing touring tradepaper reports.
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