Thursday, October 21, 2021

I Put a Spell on You

Episode 39: I Put a Spell on You

It turns out I never posted about this episode when it was fesh out of the podcast factory, but there's no better time than the Halloween season to return to it.

In the 2019 biography I Put a Spell on You: The Bizarre Life of Screamin' Jay Hawkins, journalist Steve Bergsman tracks the life of the noted shock rocker including his rise-and-fall-and-rise to fame, run-ins with the law, and rocky romantic life. Kate and Jack discuss the book as it relates to the biography as a literary form, the perils of the Big Rock Bio, and the challenges and responsibilities of research.

Does Jay's penchant for lying and self-aggrandizement make him an impossible subject for a biography? Where does "rock 'n' roll authenticity" stop and "novelty act" begin? Just how much damage can the Imp of the Perverse do to a person's life? Does anyone know where we can get jobs playing piano in a Hawaii strip club? These questions and a whole lot more will be discussed in this month's episode of Bad Books for Bad People.