With the posters, hooka smoke, rum, hair grease, bottles of wine and funny business that has engulfed the tattoo, as if a thick glob of O2 sucking petrolium jelly its nice to think back to a time when disease, lawless toughs, drunk, toothless jaggers doing their best to get a bottle of cheap wine to fend off the shakes.
Sam Steward was a professor of literature, deeply alcoholic, and had realesed two books,as well as meeting many luminaries in the world of the word. However Stewart wanted out of teaching, badly, and lept from an ivy covered wall right down to the gutter of Chicago's State Street. Having kicked the booze with AA, he bought a tattoo trunk from an old circus tattooer name of Micky Kellett, and began a trade that brought him into contact with a world alive with vice.
Taking, slowly, the chair of Randy Webb, in the filthy archade in the most dangerous section of the street, he fought off the cops, drunks, perverts, navy boots, and encountered all manner of loony toon activity. His college teaching years had not trained him for this, but under Nom De Machine as Phil Sparrow, put his name on the map, and trained Ed Hardy and mentored Cliff Raven.
Since I can't hold a pen to Phil's writing, and I'm too lazy to get my computer out so's I'm doing this on my phone, I'll give you some highlights!
Phil's list of prices for bothering him.
Webb's rewiring the transformer and his five legged tigers.
Tatts Thomas as the Preacher.
Criminals, johns, tricks, lesbians, sailors, human skulls and MORE!
Sparrow quit in the early '70s and morphed again, becoming Phil Andros, writer of gay S&M and rough trade paperbacks. Alfred Kinsey, the famed sex researcher, had Sparrow as a close contact. Kinsey in mentioned in this book, along with one of Sparrow's "lists". The full details of Steward/Sparrow/Andros' sexual research is born out in a book about him, Secret Historian.
So if you like grit. If you like danger. Violence, humor, you'll find this book a fine read, right up with Stoney Knows How. Want the realnsights, smells, the sinking feeling that there is no way out of this alley, this is close as you're gonna get.
Unless you buy crack.
You don't do you?
Of course not.