Pagans frontman Mike Hudson will read from his memoir Diary of a Punk at 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 19, at the Rock Hall (1100 Rock and Roll Blvd.). The reading will be followed by a Q&A session and a long-form interview by Rock Hall Education Department Manager Jason Hanley, covering the singer's transition from punk to professional.
Hudson has published three books since 2006. Niagra Falls Confidential collects short pieces from the weekly newspaper he owns and runs, Niagra Falls Reporter. The new Mob Boss: A Biography in Blood tells the story of New York crime figure Stefano Magaddino. Diary of a Punk was published earlier this year. Hudson says his punk past was valuable training for his current life.
"Most of the punk-rock guys were juvenile delinquents," recalls Hudson. "You were already used to doing business in the streets. It makes you better suited to it than if you went to college. And the stuff I write in the newspapers, it's very anti-authoritarian. We've put people in jail. I've had my nose broken. We go up against powerful interests in the same way."
Born in Cleveland in 1956, Hudson lived in the city until 1984. He maintains close ties. The Pagans formed in 1977. Representing the second wave of Cleveland proto-punk, different incarnations of the band played with the Ramones, the Police, Soul Asylum and others. The Pagans' 1986 album Buried Alive was mastered by Butch Vig, the future Nirvana producer. Representing Hudson's days of drinking and fighting, Diary is a scorched-earth memoir about the "pricks" and "cocksuckers" he met as a Pagan, from Pere Ubu to the Police. Trouser Press's Ira Robbins said the book is "riveting, rattling and detailed ... full of death-defying tales, angry Cleveland brio and self-inflected disasters."
¥ Jay-Z personally requested a copy of Viva La Hova, Mick Boogie and Terry Urban's new album-length mix of Hova vocals and Coldplay music. The MC called it "amazing." Coldplay stated on their website, "We're rather enjoying the new Viva La Hova bootleg album … Check out this impressive work of sonic alchemy." It also drew top notices from Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda, John Mayer, Entertainment Weekly and MTV. Download it for free from vivalahova.com. Boogie returns to Cleveland on Wednesday, November 26, with a DJ set at Bodega (1854 Coventry Rd.).
¥ Redwater Rojo singer-guitarist Jason Meyers is hosting a new open mic night at the Hi-Fi (11729 Detroit Ave., Lakewood) at 8 p.m. Tuesdays. Meyers says the scene so far has been "16 to 60 hard rockers to country bumpkins. Good music with acoustic guitars."
¥ Ryan Humbert returns home Friday, November 14, with a CD-release party at the Kent Stage (175 E. Main St., Kent). His nine-piece band will play selections from Old Souls, New Shoes, which was recorded in Nashville with veterans whose résumés include Counting Crows, Third Eye Blind and the Black Crowes. Grammy-winner Jamie Tate (Taylor Swift, Jack Ingram) mixed the disc. "We've shifted our sound quite a bit," says Humbert, "and stepped away from the Americana world to make more of a pop-rock record." The free show starts at 9 p.m. The band will also appear on Fox 8's morning show that day.