Don’t Follow Me I’m Lost: A Memoir of Hampshire College in the twilight of the 80’s, by Richard Rushfield

Don't Follow Me I'm Lost

Gotham Books:

In the twilight of the 1980’s, there was an enchanted land in the woods of Western Massachusetts, where punks and hippies lived side by side in a time before goals, ambitions, exercise, relationships or responsibilities. This land was called Hampshire College.

In 1986, Richard Rushfield traveled from sunny California to enroll in this land. These are his stories.

Don’t Follow Me, I’m Lost takes us to a campus populated by deadheads, club kids, poets, and insomniac filmmakers, at a time when America saw the rise of punk and grunge alongside neo-conservatism, earnest calls for political correctness and Take Back the Night vigils. Shunned by all of the school’s reigning subcultures, Rushfield joins the most hated clique on campus, the Supreme Dicks, navigates a dating scene where to express interest in anything is social suicide, and mostly avoids class where hippie professors blather on about post-structuralism. Culminating in a mad clash of slackers and yuppies, Don’t Follow Me, I’m Lost captures a watershed moment for American youth in one hilarious, and unforgettable trip.



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From Publishers Weekly:

Young film industry up-and-comers tell their own damning story of behind-the-scenes narcissism in this caustic satire of millennial Hollywood. The professional fates of five Tinseltown characters are tied together by a spec script called Kennel Break. The script is originally conceived as a gritty tale of two smalltime hoods breaking a girlfriend’s Rottweiler out of the pound, but is eventually reworked as, alternately, a high-budget thriller of international jewel thieves, a women’s issues vehicle and a summer release for kids featuring a pet dinosaur. Predictably, it ends up as an uneasy mixture of all the above. Stu Bluminvitz, an aspiring screenwriter who lives with his parents, has big dreams for his project and future, but has a lot to learn about the role of writers in Hollywood–specifically, that they’re at the bottom of the food chain. Stu puts his fate in the hands of several flashy, ambitious wannabes, who are all as giddily drunk on the dream as he is. The players include aspiring producer Eric Whitfield, a talented party host who knows how to find the best cigars, drugs and lap-dancers; aspiring super-agent Todd Hirtley, a paranoid master of image control; aspiring studio executive Deana Cohen, who vows never to forget the little people; and aspiring actress Chelsea Starlot, a sexy Midwestern transplant who teeters between cocaine-induced mania and Scientological serenity. First-time novelist Rushfield fashions a candid, colloquial and at times dizzily paced narrative out of memos, notes on computers and Dictaphones and jotted down in journals, snippets from a magazine article and a police blotter, and other fragments. A writer for Vanity Fair and Details, Rushfield employs a scathing cynicism that spares no one, and while his swift and humorous trip behind the Hollywood facade may not be shocking, it’s certainly entertaining. (Mar.)


51ekunxp6l-_sx321_bo1204203200_AMERICAN IDOL: THE UNTOLD STORY

The currency is fame, and it’s bigger than money, more desired than power.

Each season American Idol delivers on a promise whose epic scope is unparalleled in the annals of competition: to take an unknown dreamer from the middle of America and turn him or her into a genuine star. It has become not only the biggest show on television, but the biggest force in all of entertainment; its alumni dominate the recording charts and Broadway, win Academy Awards, and sweep up Grammys. In fact, American Idol has reshaped the very idea of celebrity.

But it didn’t start out that way. When the little singing contest debuted as a summer replacement on the U.S. airwaves, it was packed between reruns and low-cost filler. The promise that it would find America’s next pop star produced a hearty round of guffaws from the country’s media critics. Now, some ten years and millions of records later, no one is laughing.

American Idol: The Untold Story chronicles the triumphs and travails, the harrowing backstage drama and the nail-biting onstage battles that built this revolutionary show. In this revealing book, veteran journalist Richard Rushfield goes deeper inside the circus than any reporter ever has. Candid interviews with Idol alumni, including Simon Fuller and Simon Cowell, shed new light on the show that changed the entertainment industry. And because Rushfield had full access to the people who created the show, starred in it, and kept it atop the pop culture pyramid, this book is the first to take Americans behind the curtain and tell what has really been happening on the world’s most watched and speculated-about stage.



Comments (5)

5 Responses to “BOOKS”

  1. Dltooley says:

    This is a weird coincidence, but on the eve of publication these fairly talented folks release this low budget production.

    ..gotta hire these folks for the film rights!

  2. Mitchell Kramer says:

    I just finished your book, Don’t Follow Me, I’m Lost and thoroughly enjoyed it. I entered Hampshire in 1987 and you really captured campus life during our time there. congratulations and great job.

  3. Person says:

    I just finished reading your book and it was beyond awesome :-). Please write some more.

  4. Steve Shavel says:

    Dear Richard,

    As a fellow published author I understand how slippery a thing fact can be, how sometimes it takes a team effort to nail one down. Preparatory to the publication of “How Small Brides Survive in Extreme Cold,” Verse Press placed its diligent cadre of fact-checkers at my disposal. Even so, some metaphors came short of their mark. I was taunted by the entire poetry-reading public over a certain simile likening a flounder to a diploma in podiatry. I still avoid the three of them on the street.

    So I knew a minor gaff was to be expected here or there in “Don’t Follow Me…” Danny did not actually own 400 Grateful Dead tapes. Several had been loaned to him on tour by someone whose name and circumstances went the way of all his recollections from those years. And maybe,as Jon insists to anyone he can buttonhole, the sugar quota for his coffee wasn’t the tonnage you suggest; or maybe you were downplaying it to spare his feelings, I don’t know.

    But imagine if you will the medley of emotions to come over me – shock, yes shock above all, but a fair measure of outrage, balanced with rue, regret, lament… but mostly shock – when upon returning to your book my eye fell on a sentence I must have missed first go-around:

    “According to Steve Shavel, every nine months the Supreme Dick extended family must assemble to listen to Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde album and drink Dickel whiskey, because ‘that was what Tennessee Williams drank himself to death on,’ he said, I later learned erroneously.”

    What? Really? Tennessee Williams? I have no knowledge, nor ever claimed to have knowledge of what Tennessee Williams drank himself to death on. For all I know he didn’t even drink himself to death, so little informed am I in re the demise of Tennessee Williams. You assert it to be erroneous that he drank himself to death on Dickel? Far be it from me to take issue.

    I DO, however, have specific opinions about WILLIAM FAULKNER’S poison of choice, and it was assuredly George Dickel Tennessee Sour Mash whiskey. And it was HIS drinking himself to death on Dickel that commended the beverage for our Blonde on Blonde soirees. Why it was important to honor anyone’s drinking themselves to death, or why that should commend their drinking preference, and what any of this has to do with a Bob Dylan album have, with the passage of years, eluded my remembrancing. But as to Faulkner’s brand loyalty, I am as certain now as I was then, which is to say, nonerroneously.

    Now that you have been apprised of the error I expect it remedied come next edition and/or screenplay. I have, for the moment, decided not to litigate, as it might put a crimp in the ties of fellowship, assuming ties of fellowship to be crimpable. But in consideration I am counting on you to use your influence to ensure I am able to play myself in any translation to stage or screen. The passing of John Gielgud and Orson Welles has left no other option acceptable.

    Etc., etc.,
    Steven Shavel

  5. Your web log are corking! You make me want to come to Shanghai. I am going to add you to my blogroll. Keep up the good work

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