Friday, January 21, 2005

Murder Can Be Fun #19

The digest-sized zine that spawned the oft-reprinted “Death at Disneyland” feature returns after a long nap with this all-aural edition subtitled Musical Mayhem. The cover story is a grueling account of Western Swing bandleader Spade Cooley's boozy decline, culminating in the murder of his wife in front of their teenage daughter. I already knew the barest facts of this case well enough to feel squeamish stepping over his star on the Walk of Fame, but Marr's pulled so many hideous details from period newspapers that from now on I think I'll cross the street! The issue also goes into David Cassidy's disastrous 1973 UK tour, Christian anti-rock propaganda, The Band's Richard Manuel's on-tour suicide and a chilling piece on wacky trombonist Frank Rosolino and his atypical final act. MCBF can be counted on for lucid, well-researched material calibrated to please the ghoulish and make true crime reading fun again. (Available for $2 in the US, $4 overseas via US cash or IMO, from John Marr, PO Box 640111, San Francisco, CA 94164-0111.) -Kim Cooper

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