As the cliches go, critics want to be artists, actors want to be directors, and writers want to be rock stars. Very few of the latter actually go for it—which is why I am so in love with The Rock Bottom Remainders, a band made up of authors like Dave Barry (guitars), Amy Tan (left, vocals), Mitch Albom (keyboards) and James McBride (saxophone). Many others—like Stephen King and Matt Groening—have played with the band during its 18-year existence. As the band’s tagline goes, “We’ve sold more books than The Doors, The Beatles and Rolling Stones together.” They just finished their April 2010 Wordstock tour, which raised money for Haiti, and actually managed to pick up some mediocre reviews along the way. Of the band’s New York show, the NY Post wrote, “During the 100-minute performance, Barry wasn’t Slash, but he was slick in his guitar work. The rest of the ragtag lit rockers in the lineup also fell into the not-so-rarefied air between pretty good and not so bad.” But rave reviews aren’t what this band’s about—they’re more into having fun and raising money for good causes. In all, the band has raised more than $2 million for charity. All I can say is, keep on rockin’ in the literary world, guys.
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