(2002, TNI Books; 2015, Verse Chorus Press)
By the year 2000, a number of my self-published pamphlets and whatnot were scattered hither and yon. These included a series of tracts that documented my postering projects. I approached Adam Voith of TNI Books with the idea of collecting into a single volume all the remnants and reviews that just then were becoming difficult to find.
Adam was an excellent publisher and this remains my favorite Camden Joy work. It looks beautiful and contains a range of things that had been published, with the help of Mark Lerner at Rag & Bone Shop and Steve Connell at Verse Chorus Press, throughout the mid-1990s. Titles such as:
The Greatest Record Album Ever Told (about Frank Black’s Teenager of the Year); The Greatest Record Album Singer That Ever Was (about Al Green); The Lost Manifestoes of Camden Joy (various music screeds glued around NYC in late 1995); This Poster Will Change Your Life (painted posters “protesting” the Macintosh NYC Music Festival of 1996); Dear CMJ… Posters of Protest from the CMJoy Gang (hand-written collaborative open letters posted in public spaces in 1996); and Make Me Laugh, Make Me Cry: Fifty Posters About Souled American (ornate posters plastered around Manhattan in mid-1997).
Despite everyone’s best efforts, the book drew little interest. It quickly fell out of print and remained so until resurrected by Verse Chorus Press for the 2015 reissue series.
Trinie Dalton, Numero Cinq, May 2014.
“Post-swagger in New Journalism is where Tom Adelman, aka Camden Joy, finds his lineage, namely with the Manifestos and personal essays collected in Lost Joy…”
Benjamin Bush, Los Angeles Review of Books, January 12, 2014.
“Joy referred to his early writing not as posters and chapbooks, but as broadsides and tracts – terms that not only explicitly predate rock as a phenomenon, but that also places the writing in an expressly political or religious context…”
Michael Mejia, November 27, 2002, copyright Knowledge DeZigns, Inc.
“Lost Joy opens with a quote from former Oakland Raiders running back Marcus Allen, articulating the instinctual immediacy of the rush…”
Neil David Burkey, Lost at Sea Magazine, October 8, 2002.
“Maybe this book was so unsettling and so moving to me because it was so unexpected. From what very little I knew about Camden Joy I was ready for a lousy compilation of music reviews, or the feeble attempt of a music reviewer at writing a novel, and what I received instead was an impassioned call for a better understanding of life and loss.”
Matthew Flaming, Word Riot
“Despite the occasional failings of Lost Joy, this collection still contains some of the finest rock writing, and some of the finest short stories, to be published in recent memory.”
Tosh Berman, Puck and CLF Newsletter, Issue One.
“The best things in life are mysterious and soulful. Camden Joy meets these two categories perfectly.”
Laura Cassidy, Seattle Weekly, October 2, 2002
“Camden Joy is one of those authors that you ought not trust to tell you the truth.”
Sean Glennon, Springfield Advocate, August 15-21, 1996.
“Camden Joy is as much poet as rock critic, social commentator and pamphleteer.”
Jon Garelick, The Boston Phoenix, July 28, 1996.
“Camden Joy is probably the freshest voice to write about rock and roll since the last gasps of Lester Bangs’s carburetor dung rantings.”
David Ulin, LA Weekly, July 26-August 1, 1996.
“Joy is part passion, part put-on, working in an elevated, ecstatic style that hints at his engagement even as it allows for a certain ironic distance.”
David Futrelle, Chicago Reader, July 4, 1996.
“If any of this is true, it’s almost surely by chance.”
Sia Michel, San Francisco Bay Guardian, June 5, 1996.
“Simultaneously an elitist and a self-styled man of the people, Joy is determined to clear the cobwebs out of rock writing.”
Dave Gingold, Eugene Weekly, May 16, 1996.
“…his lack of restraint is teamed with a depth of understanding and a reckless style and sense of humor that makes these writings well worth seeking out.”
Will Hermes, Minneapolis City Pages, May 1, 1996.
“Desperate, failed, and beautiful comes the work of Camden Joy.”
Richard Gehr, Spin, May 1996.
“With Camden Joy, it’s difficult to ascertain where fantasy begins and where reality enjoys happy hour.”