DATE: MARCH 18, 2021
FROM: MITCH SCHNEIDER/SRO PR
‘TOP RANKIN’: A PUNK/SKA NOIR NOVEL
BY HOWARD PAAR
OUT MAY 11 VIA RARE BIRD BOOKS
THE BOOK’S PAAR-CURATED SOUNDTRACK
IS NOW AT SPOTIFY
The worlds of punk, ska, crime, drugs and corruption in Los Angeles come together in unexpected ways in Top Rankin,’ a punk/ska novel by Howard Paar due out May 11 via Rare Bird Books. Capturing the anything-goes spirit of L.A. in 1980, with the presidential election of Ronald Reagan just around the corner, Top Rankin’ is populated with real-life characters from the music world in Los Angeles, New York, and London. The novel is available now for pre-order at booksellers everywhere.
It’s the second novel from Paar following Once Upon A Time In LA in 2015. He is a London native who relocated to L.A. in the late 70s and initially created the ON Klub–the first ska club in the U.S. at the rough and ready pre-gentrified Silver Lake end of Sunset Blvd.–before going on to become a record label executive and multiple award-winning music supervisor for film and television. Paar has curated the Top Rankin’ soundtrack, now posted at Spotify.
Paar began the ON Klub in May 1980, inspired by the racially integrated punky ska revival in England. He booked the bands and spun the vinyl at the ska, soul, and reggae venue. In this hole in the hillside dump of a joint, the dance floor was shared by young Jamaicans, sharp-dressed Asian American girls, South Central kids, London escapees, mods on scooters from Orange County, Latino kids from the neighborhood―all united by the inspiring vinyl they couldn’t hear on the radio or anywhere else in the US. The club’s success also resulted in unwelcome visits from the police and fire department.
“In numerous respects it was the literary and cinematic noir history of Los Angeles that drew and kept me here, says PAAR, “so the city and its now vanished places are a significant aspect of both novels.” He adds: “I wrote this ‘memNoir’ to give readers an authentic, fun experience of 1980, lived in the moment, feeling the power of music in fast changing and dangerous times for many.”
H.P. Photo by Christiana D’amore
AVAILABLE IN HARDCOVER AND E-BOOK
9781644281932 | US $20.00 | 5.5 x 8.5 in. | 224 pp.
RARE BIRD BOOKS
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