How many detective-fiction books contain cameos by Lydia Lunch and James Chance?
How many detective-fiction books contain cameos by Lydia Lunch and James Chance? RARE BIRD BOOKS

Rex Weiner is famous for putting a novel twist on the hardboiled detective fiction genre by setting his stories in the raunchy and edgy milieu of New York and LA's new wave and no wave scenes. Like some wise-cracking combo of Mickey Spillane and Lester Bangs, Weiner depicted the sardonic gumshoe Ford Fairlane's perilous sleuthing in serial form within the pages of New York Rocker and LA Weekly—an unusual forum for fiction in the late '70s and early '80s. Those tales eventually found their way into the 1990 motion picture The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, which starred comedian Andrew Dice Clay. But don't hold that against Weiner. Director Reny Harlin and his team of screenwriters took liberties with Weiner's original ideas and Hollywoodized them into something less interesting and nuanced—a common occurrence, no doubt.

Thankfully, Rare Bird Books' imprint A Vireo Book has collected those stories in The (Original) Adventures of Ford Fairlane: The Long-Lost Rock 'n' Roll Stories. Along with those hilarious, fast-paced yarns that vividly capture the ruthlessness and licentiousness of those underground-rock scenes, the book features new interviews by former Seattle nonfiction author/musician Pat Thomas (Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power, 1965–1975 and Did It! From Yippie to Yuppie: Jerry Rubin, an American Revolutionary) with Andy Schwartz and Jay Levin, the publishers who first ran Weiner's stories in New York Rocker and LA Weekly, respectively. Thomas also conducted a Q&A with movie producer Floyd Mutrux, revealing the fascinating backstory of how Weiner's fictions made it into print and then, in mutated form, onto the silver screen. Now living in LA, Thomas will return to Seattle to interview Weiner at University Book Store on Friday, October 12.