Johnny Goldstein is a Woodstock Generation New Orleanian, forced (long before the Horror of Katrina) up River to St. Louis by life’s circumstance. An award-winning songwriter/composer, guitarist, beloved teacher and producer and now, a fledgling author; influenced by Dickens, Twain, John Irving, Vonnegut, Kozinski and Koontz. He’s an easily-crazed Cardinal fan, a passionate cook, gardener and critter lover, and much to his surprise–for the last thirty years a serious meditator, preternaturally drawn to an ancient Tibetan lineage. An Elegy for the Lost City is based on three characters from Goldstein “original” songs, and is his first attempt at prose. The fiction series would not exist, had his performing career not been ended by a 2006 car accident; a surprising “welcome” to an uncertain future–rear-ended, by an inattentive sixteen year-old punkalunk on a cell phone. And, so it goes! (right, Mr. Vonnegut?)
Like an outrageously high percentage before him, the author spent four valuable collegiate years learning in New Orleans, at Tulane without graduating; but unique to him, eventually received a double Bachelor of Arts…in architecture and music from Antioch College’s Baltimore-Washington Campus, a wild experiment by the nation’s most progressive institution of higher learning. His Euclid McPherson, the country-rock band created as “work-study” became regionally successful, beginning a priceless journey through gig-playing rock groups of no fame and little significance, other than providing the outlet for his original songs and arrangements, and gathering expertise in studio recording, production and engineering, all the while teaching thousands of guitar lessons, supplementing this predictably unpredictable income. After hanging up his rock and roll shoes at 35, and hardened with a cynicism forged through failure in his chosen “art,” he took these nifty skills to the corporate world of PR and advertising, becoming what the savvy ex called “Your typically basic music biz whore” — Indeed, witness J.G.’s motto: “Will write music for $$$$, no jingle or cause too ridiculous, no product too useless.” Many hours of original compositions were created for these projects, some widely visible well-paying and high-profile to others done on spec, criminally non-compensated or “anonymously top secret,” building a variegated musical library, sporadically now repurposed here as score, orchestrating the “World’s 1st AudioBook in RadioForm.” This new-fangled multi-media extravaganza truly is a life’s work, as its earliest recordings date back to 1971.
“FROM SAZERACS TO SHAMBHALA”
By the year 2017 calamitous events fulfill ancient prophecies held by the world’s major faiths and native traditions, anticipated for these decades…natural, ecologic and economic disasters, plus atrocities caused by terrorists and industrial “accident”, have embattled our planet. More Global and U.S. cities; Hong Kong, Shanghai, Lisbon, NYC/Jersey Shore, St. Louis, L.A., Kathmandu and the Big island of Hawaii have suffered tragic disasters on the order of 9/11, Japan’s 2011 and 2005 Indian Ocean/Indonesian Tsunamis, Hurricane Katrina, the Quake in Haiti, SuperStorm Sandy and British Petroleum’s pitiable Gulf oil disaster.
This mystical love story, hilarious, ironic, poignant, and profoundly tragic, follows five families beginning in 1707 along the Mississippi River, living within the New Orleans music and restaurant worlds, so bursting with rich vibrant culture; beautifully exotic “mixed” women men, mocha queens, half-shiksa goddesses, and fiercely talented performers mingled with flamboyant chefs and lusty musicians: A diverse world of Jesus, Jews and Buddhism — jazz, jambalaya and funk to folk rock Acadiana rhythm & blues — it’s hushpuppies, crawfish and kreplach, to spirits in mystic visions, complete with special effector shape-shifting “imaginary” friends.
Within these families we have a potent story as rich with delightful secrets as a Granny’s long simmering Gumbo. We follow characters enduring 300 year-old voodoo curses originating in slave abuse amongst the French settlers, romance arising of past-life connection–foretold in adolescent wet-dreams and prophetic songs; we meet a colorful couple linked beyond death, flamboyant dead-by-duel twins, and a mysterious yet taboo birth defect afflicting three main characters. For half of the story, this phantom (transsexualism) is closeted, and we observe their perilous journeys as they triumphantly survive and flourish. One is the first born of our protagonist Billy, widowed at 26. This is an extremely psychic, emotionally disturbed child, suspected of being a reincarnated Tibetan lama. Add to this the mysterious disappearance of Kid Waveland, most beloved global popstar, taken in the Flood while rescuing a dog; then horribly in 2011, a plague named Katrina Syndrome erupts, and its brave victims will die within a single month of 2013.
Three of our folks are linked by a unique 1961 baseball game, with spiritual overtones. At the 2017 World Series in St. Louis, this miraculous event is repeated. The announcer Tim McCarver, who, as a 19 year-old rookie was on the field during the 1961 game, is then assigned a “spiritual calling” — to transmit during the live and global telecast, a dramatic message for mankind. Within hours of this event, as is predicted in this seemingly Divine communication, simultaneous Global events of a world changing nature occur, thus providing an optimistic view…the triumph of Spirit…of Good over Evil, and the future of mankind, even now…at the end of times.
Crafted as a ficto-reality, “Elegy” blends real people and events with those of our characters centered in New Orleans, the first city to be forever changed by “end of times” holocaust. The battered Big Easy is an allegory for today’s world, as our characters endure the lingering tragic aftermath of the disasters, pitiable neglect, and criminal ineptitude inflicted by our own government. A 21st Century survival guide, offering a glimpse, a very possible vision…
“Welcome to our future, here on Planet Earth.”
ANGELIC TRUMPETS OF ZION ARE BLOWIN’ LE’JAZZ HOT IN THE SQUARE