Punk rock therapy
Snake Pit Therapy by Sonny Vincent (Far West Press)
Don’t let its diminutive size lull you into thinking this book is in any way insubstantial. It’s pocket-sized so you can carry it on your person - like a concealed weapon.
Punk survivor Sonny Vincent’s first formal foray into being A Published Author packs a hefty punch in its 91 pages. Is it a memoir, a collection of prose or a bunch of musings from a hyperactive, creative mind? All of the above.
It’s not just punk rock and roll. “Snake Pit Therapy” bounces from childhood rejections of authority to tripped-out excursions around a dry-cleaning shop (‘You get $100 a day and all the cocaine you can snort,” read the note on the laundromat’s bulletin board’.)
There’s a bizarre vignette (“My Evil Little Krishna”) arguing with itself in the finest post-modern style, an ode to formica and an impenetrable prayer. There’s a story of a doomed smalltown newspaper run scam.
You also get to hear about pulling one over ex-Velvets member Sterling Morrison on a road-trip around Europe and going to therapy with onetime-Replacements guitarist Bob Stinson. You find out why Scott Asheton was not just a Stooge but also one of nature’s gentlemen.
Ever wonder what it was like to crawl through the decaying underbelly of downtown New York City’s punk scene with Max’s Kansas City and CBGB as your musical playgrounds? Sonny Vincent opens the window on that and gives us all a whiff – so inhale hard. Nobody will see those days again.
Sonny’s writing is a mirror image of his music: Urgent, aggressive and propelled by a passion for music, and pent-up energy.
You can smell Burroughs in the way chapters of “Snake Pit Therapy” become an evolving stream of consciousness with bubbles of sharp humour bobbing about on top. And just when you think you have the man’s format nailed, an odd passage of abstract prose will jump out at you like a mugger on an Alphabet City alley.
Tags: cbgb, max's kansas city, testors, new york city, sterling morrison, sonny vincent, snake pit therapy, bob stinson
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