If, like me, you’re struggling to cheer up on this tax day, then pop down to your local bookstore and spend whatever meager amount of money you might have left on Jason Buhrmester’s debut novel, Black Dogs: The Possibly True Story of Classic Rock’s Greatest Robbery. It’s a tremendously fun read, full of seventies rock references and good-natured, bumbling crooks.
Buhrmester, editor of Inked magazine (full disclosure: I did some work for Inked a few years ago when the publication was under a different editorial and publisher regime) turned a rock and roll mystery into an engaging novel.
During Led Zeppelin’s landmark 1973 tour, roughly $200,000 was stolen from the band while they stayed at the Drake Hotel in New York City. The case has never been solved, and at least for a brief moment, the authorities even wondered if it was an inside job. Crew manager Richard Cole and band manager Peter Grant generally kept large amounts of cash on hand in case one of the members wanted to purchase a guitar, buy drugs, or ship furniture or other large purchases back to England. And on this particular day, the band had even more money in cash because the tour was nearing an end.
Burhmester embellishes around the sketchy facts to concoct a tale of Patrick Sullivan, a basically decent guy who doesn’t mind doing the odd B&E now and again. Now living in NYC, Patrick originally grew up in Baltimore and he reaches out to his old crime chums. Criminal masterminds these guy’s aint. In their bumbling, the group gets mixed up with R&B-performing fences of stolen goods and Bible-toting motorcycle gangs. It’s these oddball characters that makes Blackdogs so much fun.
So buy a copy of the book (hey, it’s a paperback original, so an economical choice for this tax day), don your bellbottom jeans, blast your favorite Zeppelin record, and enjoy the ride with Patrick and his gang in Blackdogs: The Possibly True Story of Classic Rock’s Greatest Robbery.
For more information on the book, be sure to check out Buhrmester’s official site.