True Love Scars ($20.00) is a tragic love story set in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Although it takes place in the past, the themes running through the book -- trying to live an authentic life, struggling against the powers that be, navigating the terrain between love and lust, loyalty and betrayal (and there are more) -- are as relevant today as ever.
It’s 1972 and the Sixties are gone, baby, gone. Only Michael Stein, age 19, doesn’t have a clue. Soon enough he will. The love is gone and all that’s left are the drugs. How the dream died and what there is left after. How you cope.
To the relentless beat of the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, The Beatles and others, True Love Scars' narrator, known to his friends as Writerman, is searching for what he calls the “authentic real.” A way he felt, a way he lived, in the late Sixties, in the days when he was with Sweet Sarah, his high school girlfriend, his first love. Searching for who he was before he lost her, and his life crashed and burned.
Writerman’s story is one long deep breath. The exhale is obsessive, transgressive. How macho meets feminism. How second chakra rises up to third. Through all the women: Sweet Sarah, Beat-Chick Elise, Jaded, Simone, Harper, Eve. A puff, a party, a tragedy —from marijuana to angel dust, teenage heartbreak to addiction, from “All You Need is Love” to the junked-out punk of the New York Dolls.
“Michael Goldberg is comparable to Kerouac in a 21st century way, someone trying to use that language and energy and find a new way of doing it.” – Mark Mordue, author of Dastgah: Diary of a Head Trip
“Radioactive as Godzilla.” – Richard Meltzer, author of The Aesthetics of Rock
"Holden Caulfield meets Lord Buckley?” – Paul Krassner, founder of The Realist
“True Love Scars reads like a fever dream from the dying days of the Summer of Love. Keyed to a soundtrack of love and apocalypse, Writerman pitches headlong into a haze of drugs, sex and confusion in search of what no high can bring: his own redemption. Read it and be transformed.” – Alina Simone, occasional Op/Ed columnist for the New York Times, author of Note to Self and You Must Go and Win
Michael Goldberg grew up in Mill Valley and attended Tam High where he put on dance concerts (Michael Bloomfield headlined one), created a light show troop that projected psychedelic images behind the musicians and wrote about rock ‘n’ roll for the school paper. In late 1983 he joined the staff of Rolling Stone magazine where he worked as a senior writer and the magazine’s West Coast Editor for a decade. His journalism also appeared in Esquire, Wired, Details, British Mirabella, NME, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Creem, New West, New York Rocker and many other publications. He started Addicted To Noise, the highly influential music web site, in 1994. He was a senior vice-president and editor in chief at SonicNet from March 1997 through May 2000. Goldberg writes a monthly column, The Drama You’ve Been Craving, for the Australian version of Addicted To Noise.