Escape from Bellevue: A Dive Bar Odyssey

Christopher John Campion, Author . Gotham $26 (372p) ISBN 978-1-592-40426-1

Expanding on the material in his eponymous autobiographical off-Broadway musical, Campion, lead singer in the band Knockout Drops, cops to inventing characters and misremembering some facts and time lines. Readers, and perhaps he, cannot therefore know whether he has embellished the all-night booze-and-blow-fueled partying with the rodeo clowns and the bearded lady, or the witty repartée recollected verbatim from drunken stupors of decades past, or the anecdote about riding crowded elevators dressed only in a girlfriend's pink thong. Oh well, it's all surely accurate in the way that rock 'n' roll ballads are faithful records of failed love affairs. At any rate, Campion's portrait of his knockabout sojourn in New York's indie rock demimonde in the 1990s, when his band perched agonizingly on the cusp between loserdom and breakout success, has the ring of truth. So does his account of the alcoholic slide that transformed him from a hearty mainstay of the Greenwich Village bar scene into a desolate bum incarcerated in the titular psych ward. Campion tells this tale of a very long trek on the wild side with hangdog humor and bleary charm. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 12/08/2008
Release date: 04/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 978-1-101-02305-1
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-1-101-02342-6
Paperback - 372 pages - 978-1-59240-530-5
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-101-02453-9
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