Stu Levitan welcomes Madison native Michael Massey, the award-winning composer, songwriter, pianist and performer whose musical resume include co-founding the bands Chaser and Boys in White, writing the score to the Madison Ballet production Dracula: A Rock Ballet, being a featured performer in the Mad Cabaret, Furious Bongos and Piano Fondue, releasing several solo albums including Be Careful How you Say Pianist, the Present and Attack of the Delicious, and perhaps his greatest musical accomplishment, one in which I actually played a small part, as a ringer for the legendary garage band Johnny and the Nakomans. He lives with his wife Robin in a house they just built on the driftless prairie outside Barneveld WI, on land that’s been in his family for eleven decades.
Mike got drunk for the first time in August 1973 on a trip to Houston with the choir from Trinity Lutheran Church. He would get drunk a lot over the next 20 years before he took his last drink on October 13, 1993. He writes about those twenty years of alcoholism, and the 29 years of sobriety in a moving and powerful memoir entitled More: A Memoir, just out from the good people at Little Creek Press. Along with a number of Michael’s lyrics, there are some great archival photos – including two with Andy Warhol, the subject of one of Chaser’s songs. With its narrative of recovery and redemption, it is a very appropriate book to feature as we start a new year, and it is a pleasure to welcome to Madison BookBeat Michael Massey.