Update: Yeay, we made it!!! Thank you all so much! We'll stay in touch—but if you want to keep up with the news on the Crate Digger book, here is its permanent online home.
Bob Suren spent more than 30 years immersed in punk rock. His obsession with punk music, culture, and especially record collecting began with a loaned mix tape in a small town in Florida when he was a teenager and slowly took over all aspects of his life.
He started a record label and distribution company, opened a record store, managed a thriving bootleg merchandise empire, published a magazine, promoted shows, and traveled the world with his own band. He mentored generations of younger punks and built a movement that put Florida on the map. He stayed a step ahead of all the ups and downs of the music industry, always pioneering.
Join Bob as he hangs out with punk luminaries like Jello Biafra, The Meatmen, Raw Power, Black Flag, The Dead Boys, Millions of Dead Cops, Rattus, and more. He relates his (mis)adventures breaking his curfew to see the Dead Boys' last show, almost getting arrested after seeing the Ramones, touring with his bands in Egypt, Ecuador, Brazil, and more.
As Jeff Nelson of Minor Threat said, "Really brings to life the early days of the American punk scene as it spread slowly across the country, through turntables, fanzines, and word of mouth. His vivid vinyl recollections illustrate how good record stores and adventurous college radio stations were so essential in bringing startling new music into the lives of many previously isolated kids. It follows the trajectory of a kid-turned-concert-promoter as his passion for music became all-consuming."
Then one day it all fell apart. He'd built up his life like a record collection, but it didn't satisfy him anymore. He sold everything, dropped out, moved far from home to start fresh... and wrote this book.
Crate Digger is written in short spurts tied to actual records. The result is real, heartfelt, and deeply informed by the music of the last thirty years. It's a basic piece of your punk history collection.
Don't rely on us, though -- check out this early review: "Record collecting, as it turns out, isn’t as important as the people you meet and the memories you make while scrounging for that next piece of rare vinyl. Be prepared to put aside at least a few hours of your busy life, because if you’re like me you’ll want to devour this book and read it in one sitting. And hopefully, like me, you’ll come away inspired and with a slightly different outlook on life."
About the rewards
New: All backers, all rewards: Backing this project at all earns you 2 free passes to one of Bob's book tour events, should he be coming through your town.
The sticker: We're designing one for this Kickstarter project! Sturdy vinyl, you can put it on your van or your bike or your toaster. [Update!!!! All the other Presidents saw that Reagan likes Crate Digger and the endorsements keep flowing in. We can't stop making new stickers. Check out the updates for more.]
More stickers: Once we started designing stickers with Presidential endorsements of Crate Digger we couldn't stop. See the project updates page for more...
The book itself: Crate Digger: An Obsession with Punk Records by Bob Suren is coming out from Microcosm Publishing (which started as a record label 19 years ago and now puts out books about a lot of stuff) in spring, 2015.
The mix: Bob's making a mix of music that goes along with the stories in the book. Digital mp3 download (you'll get a link at the end of the project). Nothing stolen!
The extra punk books we publish: We publish a ton of books and a lot of them are punk inspired! Here are the five we're offering as extras on some of the rewards. Choose wisely!
- Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever — Tom Neely and friends illustrate the greatest love story ever told, between two of punk's most manliest icons
- Punk USA: The Rise and Fall of Lookout Records — Kevin Prested traces the small beginnings, huge success, and epic implosion of the label that put Green Day on the map
- This Ain't No Picnic: Your Punk Rock Vegan Cookbook — Joshua Ploeg quit touring with bands and started touring with his unbelievably vegan flavor combinations. Here's how to cook and live like he does
- Beyond the Music: How Punks are Saving the World with DIY Ethics, Skills, and Values — Joe Biel interviews dozens of people who applied what they learned in punk culture to non-musical endeavors
- Scam: The First Four Issues — Iggy Scam lived the good life in Miami, thriving on the plush leavings of modernity. His hand-written zines are about scamming food, living in an abandoned hotel, hitching rides and hopping trains, powering punk shows with electricity stolen from streetlights, and living a real life for no money in one of the most image and cash focused cities in the US.
The BFF: The BFF is a six-month subscription to everything Microcosm publishes for the six months after Crate Digger, mailed to you as it comes out. You can read more about it here.
The Facebook insult: You know what you want here.
Q: Will you have more rewards... like records from Bob's bands and illustrated scenes from the book?
A: They're already rolling in! For a cool $25 you can now get a video shout-out from the train at the mall where Bob works, Bob will make a recording for your answering machine or voicemail greeting, and we're adding new rewards all the time. PLUS illustrations based on the book are getting made and we'll post those as soon as we have them. Awesome!
Why fund this project?
Trees answer: So we can print books and share Crate Digger with people all over the world. The people need their punk history! (NB: The books are printed on post-consumer recycled paper and printed in the USA. The trees are safe from us.)
Forest answer: Times are weird. It's not quite as bad as the music industry, but the publishing industry is going through a lot these days. Microcosm has stayed above water through trying times thanks to a combination of excited and loyal readers, an affinity for spreadsheets and dumpster diving, and pure stubborn refusal to go over the edge. Are we asking you for a handout? Hell no. We're asking you to back this project and tell the world about it so that you can get books and so that we can get books to more people and so that the world, generally, can continue to have reasonably priced and seriously awesome stuff to read in an age when Amazon wants to reduce writers and publishers to working for pennies. Don't let them win!
Seriously, why fund this project instead of pre-ordering the book on our website? Because Kickstarter funding is all-or-nothing, we need to make our entire goal of $4,000 by the deadline. If we don't make it, nobody gets charged and we don't get anything. If we make more than the goal, we can put it all into love and good rewards for this book!
Risks and challenges
Due to payment schedules, a more successful book is actually more difficult to get off the ground. We pay for the books after 45 days but don't get paid for 130 days so having to pay an extra $4,000 to the printer puts a strain on us! Thanks for the help!
We've been getting excited about books and publishing them for almost 20 years and we've got it down to a science. And there's *nothing* more punk than being reliably on time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)