Berlin is a Book

the book. how? why? it crept up on me. a sneak attack when staring out my window at nothing. ok, i’ve been writing on n off for a long time. since dear diary in the 60’s. no ambition for any of it. a word exercise, a quick gun draw for later lyrics. shoved slabs of it up on fbk and on no-one-ever-goes-there websites. began to hear from people i didn’t even know. they liked my word rainfall. years later, my friend, Mindy Fried, a real author, sat me down at #Ula’sCafe and told me i needed to publish a book. seriously? but i thought about it and like an ear mite her advice wriggled into my brain. i made a call to Jeff Remondi (Grenier Printers). he said he could print em up. i called Nick Kent (graphic artist, painter, lover of books, designed of 3 of my cd’s, long time friend). he was all in. we hit up Amazon Create Space as publisher thereby avoiding useless inventory stacked beside never bought cd’s in closets. Nick worked up a design for the cover and, as they say in the biz, the ‘interior’. Amazon sent a test. seeing my words in solid book form knocked me out. made it ‘real’. Nick suggested ways to market it, but promo homo is something i totally suck at. then i remembered #Papercuts,JP. tiny tiny local indie book store. they’d included one of my paragraphs in their 1st anthology. Kate Layte (owner, mgr of PJP) had spoken ahead of Shamus Moynihan and myself at #TedXJP last fall. her topic: ‘Reading Is Dangerous’. a fierce concept and a tough act to follow. anyhow, these were smart people to talk to about the book even as a vanity project. on a kitty trip to the #GreenStreetAnimalClinic i stopped in at PJP. Katie was behind the desk. told me a) that in the anthology, my wee contribution, Sardines, was favorably singled out. i told her about the Amazon thing. could she rec anyone in the biz who could market the book. she said she’d like to take a crack at it herself. no shit. here she was, right in my hood, local always being my first pref. i left her with the ‘test’ run. meanwhile i’d made up my own, phony publishing co: Badville Press after the tat and the faux club of refugees. Nick stuck it on the spine. looked cool, the tat on a book. Katie got back. said that she and Kate wanted to publish it as their first book, and put it out on Badville Press. my never-intended-to-amount-to-anything ‘paragraphs’ were growing chrysalis wings. Nick slaved on edits and cover designs. chose my long gone to NYC dear friend Jeila Farzaneh’s painting, the one that freaks people out in our living room, as cover. book gathered training wheel momentum as i made my first mistake, however innocent and well-intentioned: the name: Badville Press. as a vanity project, the Badville friends and creators were ok with me adopting name and image. on a potentially larger scale - a no go. ya can’t take something as personal, as local, as heart felt as cool as an unpretentious icon and lard up it into a bigger sky. Katie and Kate changed horses and renamed their company: #CUTLASSPRESS, which is way more two nasty women and less something as personal to me as Badville. so that’s how this went down. Berlin as Book. who knows? maybe just another art fart in a shit-storm. regardless, i have the highest respect and regard for these two phenomenal women, the fire they feel for my writing and the kick ass courage they have to print the fucking book and put it out there on my behalf. 

If you've read the thing it would be awesome if you’d write it a shout out:

on Amazon

or on Goodreads

Click to view the full cover.



The new publishing venture from Papercuts, JP!

CUTLASS PRESS finds and publishes cutting-edge books as weapons of choice.

We are thrilled to announce the first Cutlass Press publication, THE PARAGRAPHS by Rick Berlin . Created from fragments used to write songs, this memoir recalls a life of music told in bursts of wild inspiration. Rick Berlin, the queer Boston music legend, formerly the front-man of Orchestra Luna, Berlin Airlift, Rick Berlin: The Movie, The Shelly Winters Project, and currently of The Nickel and Dime band, is known for his zany lyrics and unflinching wit. 

Preorder the raw and hilarious THE PARAGRAPHS at and attend the release party, with a reading and signing from Rick Berlin, at Papercuts J.P. on Saturday, November 26 at 2:00 pm.

Created from fragments used to write songs, this memoir recalls a life of music, a relationship with the animal world, and a two-day meth-fueled road trip. Berlin, a queer Boston music legend formerly the front-man of Orchestra Luna, Berlin Airlift, Rick Berlin: The Movie, The Shelly Winters Project and The Nickel & Dime Band, is known for his zany lyrics and unflinching wit. Exploring boyhood, family relationships, and the dynamic social workings of Boston through the decades, Rick Berlin’s work is “uncategorizable...part punk, part musical theater, part sentimental sap, part wordplay master. Gold” (Amanda Palmer).