Alphaville: 1988, Crime, Punishment, and the Battle for New York City’s Lower East SideÂ by Michael Codella and Bruce Bennett is a wild ride of cops, drug dealers, junkies, Â in lawless days of NYC. Brought me back to the days when Manhattan was fun, but dangerous.
Co-author Bruce Bennett was the co-host on The Hound show on New Jersey’s legendary WFMU FM. It was great radio show that was broadcast every Saturday afternoon from 3:00 to 6:00 PM from 1985 to ’97. Many a Saturday afternoon I would draw and listen to rare and bizarre rockabilly, soul, psychedelia,punk, r&b, and british invasion tunes. The banter between Bennett and The Hound, AKA Jim Marshall, was full of snide cracks, music trivia, horrible stories from the NY Daily News, oddities, you name it. It was like hanging out in the your favorite bar, with best jukebox and some of your most brutally amusing friends. Well, actually I had all that at the Court Tavern in New Brunswick, NJ, but with the Hound’s show, I could listen to all the great music and wise cracks, but actually get some work done.
During these Saturday afternoon drawing sessions I was free to draw whatever I wanted. Even though I had my own art department at Talking Tops, I rarely had time to experiment — it was all business. But at home, listening to The Hound, it was all fun. I’d sit and scribble, and giggle, draw some more, and listen to more great music.
A third regular on the show was Eric “Roscoe” Amble. Roscoe was a founding member of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and was now touring in various bands throughout the years of the Hound’s show. While on the road, Roscoe would call in with a “Vibe Report” about what was going on where he was playing that weekend. He always had an amusing story or an observation about some strange venue he had just played.
All the time I was listening to The Hound and Bruce Bennett talk about Roscoe, I was working on the early version of Rat Bastard. Somewhere Â around ’96 my character needed a name, and I knew that a “roscoe” was an old-time expression for a gun. Â And that’s how Rat Bastard’s Roscoe Rodent got his name.
So thanks to Eric “Roscoe” Amble, The Hound, and Bruce Bennett, for all the Saturdays of great tunes and laughs, and inspiration for one of my favorite creations.