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Kid Lightning and the Wave of Peace

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Kid Lightning and the Wave of Peace by Winston Mitch
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My life has been driven by a need for intense stimulation and risk, fuelled by a sense of grandeur. Kid Lightning and the Wave of Peace is a 90,000 word memoir about my first 30 years, conveyed in a unique format: I compiled my writings and notes from those times and presented them unedited and verbatim, often scanned in directly, alongside polished narrations that bring the story together. It started in my youth with lots of fistfights, falling in love almost daily, and attaining the captaincy of the soccer team and the student government presidency of every school I ever attended. After serving one year with a prototypical post-Wharton management consulting outfit, seeking stimulation (in very different places) led me to rabbinical school in Jerusalem, and later to Orthodox Yeshiva in New Jersey. However the latter's proximity to New York City presented me with too much temptation in the form of women and money, and I took a 180 degree turn and became the right-hand man for hall-of-fame boxing promoter, Cedric Kushner. When I started smoking marijuana every day, my delusions grew and the stakes climbed. I went behind Cedric's back and became the manager of a 6' 7" heavyweight boxer with the body of a Greek God ("The next Muhamad Ali"-I thought) and a melancholy singer-songwriter whose songs made me cry ("The next Neil Young."-I thought). Both ventures were colossal failures, caused by my impulsiveness, and further disaster occurred a month later when I gambled everything (and lost everything) on a boxing match. I borrowed $50,000 from Cedric and moved to Costa Rica to form an internet sportsbook. There I met an elderly guitar player named Ray Tico and a young girl named Ana, who each inspired me to pursue my own music. This led to my revelation, on Yom Kippur, that brought me back to New York City. A year before 9/11, while walking the streets of Manhattan after a Bruce Springsteen concert, I met a young black man named Khani Jones who was preaching with the militant black separatist Israelites in Times Square. I noticed and pointed out that we were both wearing gold Stars of David, and his reply made me the first white person to whom he had ever spoken. We formed a friendship, bonded by our "crossing of so-called enemy lines." I raised money from a world-famous investor to manage his fledgling career as a reggae singer. This led to the formation of my own record label (Kid Lightning Records) and peace foundation (The Wave of Peace Foundation). I took out full page ads in the Village Voice, built bands, recorded music, and conducted open meetings and events to explore ways of promoting peace between Arabs and Jews. I was soon given the opportunity to record my own original music with some of the world's greatest musicians, including Vernon Reid and Tony Levin. Still my addiction to intensity was insatiable, and led me to harder drugs, riskier moves, infidelity and a newly formed habit of all-night clubbing, where my 16-hour "nights" could never end without seeing a prostitute. This lifestyle did not help my daytime decision making or my judgment of character: I met a music producer whose aunt was Jack Kerouac's widow. While searching in his aunt's attic, this producer had unearthed the only screenplay that Jack Kerouac had ever written, lost since the 1960's, and he offered me the rights to release it, along with an original soundtrack by Medeski Martin & Wood and readings by Robert Hunter (Grateful Dead) and Kate Pierson (B-52's). This seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime. I withdrew everything I had in the bank, borrowed an additional $100,000 from my credit cards, and brought the Jack Kerouac screenplay to the market. But I was soon to learn that these things were lost for a reason-and should have stayed that way! I was about to experience total annihilation, an all-out disaster that would affect every aspect of my life and almost send me to jail.
Release date Australia
January 1st, 2015
Illustrations, black and white
Mitch Winston
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