Rock star, blogger, philosopher, songwriter, Blogcritics: Dr. Frank is now a novelist:
- Dr. Frank, the songwriter behind one of punk’s most influential bands, has just announced that his novel, “King Dork” will be published by Delacorte, a young adult division of Random House. Dr. Frank’s band, The Mr .T Experience, founded in 1986, was one of the Bay Area/East Bay’s first pop punk bands. A founder of Gilman St. and sometime Maximum Rock and Roll contributor, Dr. Frank continued to evolve and write new music for the next 18 years and through 11 albums with his band, The Mr. T Experience, as well as releasing solo work.
Mr. T Experience’s music is known for its quadruple-entendre lyrics, written in a deceptively simple voice, but always containing layers of wit and meaning. MTX’s music is also famously catchy pop/rock, with a large, adoringly dedicated underground following.
Since 2001, Dr. Frank has also built a following for his (mostly) political blog, which has given him an outlet for his other primary interests beyond music; history and politics. A Berkeley history major, Dr. Frank has become a respected writer through his funny and sometimes searing blog.
Quite unusual for the publishing world. Dr. Frank was inspired to write his first novel, “King Dork,” after being approached and encouraged by a literary agent who was also a fan. He wrote and sold the book in rapid-fire time, within a few months.
“King Dork” follows the picked-upon and wry Thomas “Chi-Mo” Henderson and his only friend, Sam Hellerman, as they fight their way through the demoralizing, mysterious, ridiculous experience of high school. Tom and Sam have each other, and their band, with its ever changing name; Baby Batter, Tennis With Guitars, Liquid Malice, Green Sabbath, Balls Deep, (to name a few.) The book is funny, and sad, and filled with observations about starting a band and being young, with thriller/mystery elements as well as larger observations about the nature of life. Dr. Frank said, “What I’m going for is an amalgam of
Judy Blume, P.G. Wodehouse, Philip Roth, Agatha Christie and Behind the Music.”
Here’s an excerpt:
“Let me break it down for you:
AP teachers: Catcher [in The Rye]-obsessed, trying really hard, not yet quite in melt-down mode.
Other teachers: bitter robots on creaky, malfunctioning autopilot, praying for it all to be over.
P.E. teachers: totalitarian thugs, corrupters of the young, red-faced, thirsty for “nerd blood.”
Principals and Administrators: the faceless functionaries of terror.
Students: (a) vultures, wild dogs, orcs, screaming monkeys, Daleks, Satan’s minions, stormtroopers, automatons, piranhas, vipers, and zombies; (b) delightful, breath-taking, well-groomed, haughty and cruel young ladies. ”
“King Dork” is named after the MTX song from “…And The Women Who Love Them.” The book was inevitable, coming from a punk songwriter who has a song called “Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret.” The novel will be published in 2006, exact date to be announced.
Excellent Frank, and congrats!