The paperback should be out in a couple of weeks. They’re still cutting down trees.
Longtime readers of this blog know I’ve been working feverishly on this for the past three years. I’ve posted rough draft excerpts from time to time. Well, finally it’s ready! This is my memoir of my attempt to come-of-age in Southern California in the '60s. Obviously, it’s the most personal thing I’ve ever written… and hopefully one of the best.
There are elements in here that everyone can relate to, regardless of age. For baby boomers it’s a nostalgic (or acid) trip in the Way Back Machine, and younger readers will find my trials and tribulations to be universal. Same angst, same insanity; only phone service has changed.
If this sounds like a sales pitch it’s because IT IS. I really am proud of this book and want you to buy it.
So to that end – I’m posting a portion of the introduction along with some shameless blurbs that should send you scrambling to Amazon to get yours today!
Thanks so much to all of you who do get a copy. There are some laughs, I promise you.
They say if you can remember the’60s you didn’t live through them. But that’s not true. 99.9999% of the largest generation the world has ever known grew up in the ’60s and were not so drugged out that the decade became a mere purple haze. 99.999999% of them didn’t attend Woodstock, move to Haight-Ashbury, protest the war by burning their bras or banks, or form a band that played Woodstock. Most of us went to school, had summer jobs, wrestled with adolescence, and enjoyed being catered to by the media and Madison Avenue because of our sheer size.
And the world changed dramatically while all of this was going on. But in the background.
Meanwhile, I set out on a journey to find myself and my place in the world set against the most confusing decade of the century. At the time, however, I didn’t know it was a journey. I just thought it was life.
Books on the ’60s generally read like history timelines. (SPOILER ALERT) “Camelot,” then JFK is killed, then the Beatles, then the war, then hippies, then college protests, then more assassinations, then Woodstock, then we land on the moon. The final exam is Tuesday. Please review Chapters 5-12.
Films on the ’60s all have the same tired storyline. Clean-cut All-American kid smokes one joint, moves to San Francisco and becomes either a hippie or college revolutionary. Throw in long hair, goofy costumes, and a Jefferson Airplane soundtrack and you’ve distilled the entire decade into ninety minutes.
The Me Generation… By Me looks back but also forward. What happened to those ideals? That youth? That attention? The times, they have a’changed.
Personally, I loved growing up in the ’60s. Hopefully after reading my account of it, you will too.
Ken Levine is the guy you most wanted to be riding in the back seat of the car on a Saturday night as you and your buddies cruised the streets of your hometown-- the smartest, funniest, most observant guy you knew, the guy who never missed a thing, and knew just how to tell the rest of you about it in a way you'd be repeating for days to come. For those of us who didn't know him back then, this book is the next best thing-- hop in. You won't want the ride to end.
-- Bob Greene, author of Be True To Your School and CNN commentator
Ken Levine is not an ordinary person, so it figures that his formative years were not exactly normal either. When you grow up in the Valley and your adolescence is all about testosterone, sports and sixties rock 'n' roll, you're doomed to become one of television's brightest talents and one of radio's most sarcastic broadcasters. Trust me, your youth was never this much fun. Vicarious little victories await you, lucky reader.
-- Howard Kaylan, the Turtles
Ken Levine's career path is close to unique. I don't know anyone else who has written for Cheers, and also called grand slams and no-hitters set against the cheers of a packed ballpark.
-- Bob Costas, NBC
Again, here’s where you go to order. Some glowing reviews from people who know me should be up soon.