Funk it! Slope author goes back to his roots

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Ben Greenman, an editor at the New Yorker, set out to write a biography of Sly Stone and ended up with a serious novel about an entirely made up funk rock legend.

Believe him; we’re better off.

“Turns out, I’m not a biographer; I didn’t want to do the research,” said Greenman, who has lived in Park Slope for 15 years. “I preferred to make stuff up.”

The result is “Please Step Back” (Melville House), which centers on Rock Foxx, a fictional “screwed-up rock star” whose career parallels the racial turbulence and upheavals of the 1960s, said Greenman.

Though the book is fictional, the book party will bring back some all-too-real memories, thanks to costumes and a hazardous level of funk.

“It’s going to be huge,” said Dennis Johnson, Greenman’s DUMBO-based publisher. “There’ll be a live DJ, and the first 72 people wearing clothing from the early ’70s get a free cocktail and a copy of the book.”

A party like that could bring out a diverse crowd. “Busta Rhymes might be there,” he said. “And Walter Mosley.”

“Please Step Back” launch party at Galapagos Art Space [16 Main St. between Plymouth and Water streets in DUMBO, (718) 222-8500], May 12, 7 pm. Free.

Updated 5:12 pm, July 9, 2018
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