Sunday, December 05, 2004

Before there was Joe Lansdale . . .

. . . there was "No Class Chick" by J. J. Solari. When I first met Joe, back around 1979, one of the stories he told me about was in an anthology called Best Biker Fiction from EASYRIDERS. So of course I bought the book and read the story. Last night I read it again. It's still as profane, and as horribly funny, as it was 25 years ago.

I once accused Joe of having written "No Class Chick" because I'm sure he wrote for Easyriders when he was starting out. He's never admitted it, but it's certainly like a story Joe would have written. It's about a guy whose initiation into a bikers' club is to take a woman on a cross-country run, and she has to remain in his company the entire time. Before he even starts, she dies. But that doesn't change the rules. The story starts off gross and gets progressively grosser. The old phrase "not for the squeamish" was never more appropriate. (I'll spare you most of the details, but there's even a rape scene.) If that's not a Lansdale plot, what is? It even has Lansdale like similes: "The panic-frozen bunch of wanderers couldn't have helped a cockroach out of a plate of mashed potatoes. . . ."

I'm posting this in case some future doctoral candidate about to write a dissertation on the collected works of Lansdale is looking for influences. Sure, there are the obvious ones, like Harper Lee and Flannery O'Connor, but "No Class Chick" must not be overlooked.

8 comments:

  1. I have EASYRIDERS BEST BIKER FICTION 3, which has two J.J. Solari stories in it, so I read them this afternoon. "A Mama in a Million" is about a biker who advertises in the paper for a biker mama, and the hell he puts the girl who answers the ad through. I didn't think it was very good. "The Recruiter", on the other hand, is about a biker, a little girl, and a puppy. It's well written and deeply disturbing. Neither of them really strikes me as a Lansdale story, though. Maybe Solari was a house name.

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  2. I guess Solari was a real person, but I still think Joe could have written "No Class Chick," even if he didn't.

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  3. Anonymous11:32 PM

    Howdy,

    I am a big fan of J.J. Solari from way back, especially "No Class Chick", and I am a former true cutie, biker babe all the way! Trish the Dish from KC, MO. I am now a 43 yr. old grandma, and proud of it, outliving all those who thought I would never get it together, and do good. I still have my Easyriders Magazine collection, going back to issue # 42 - from 1976. I even went so far as to pack up everything, send my daughter to my Mom's house in 1984, and move to Cloverdale, CA., in response to an ad in Easyriders. I loved Easyriders, for it's blunt outlook, no B.S. comments, etc., and hey, ya have to give it up for Miraculous Mutha!!! Now I am and pretty mellow suburban chick, still secretly searching for my piece of freedom... but thinking back on the musings of J.J. Solari brings a smile to my face - I go back....

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  4. Anonymous1:27 PM

    I just read the three comments about me regarding the story I wrote, "No Class Chick." Tell these three people I'm gonna be publishing a book of previoously unpublished stories pretty soon. Sure, "No Class Chick" was funny. But I hadda sidestep a lotta shit. Now I don't. Oh and also I'm a lot funnier now

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  5. jj solarivbevo1:28 PM

    I just read the three comments about me regarding the story I wrote, "No Class Chick." Tell these three people I'm gonna be publishing a book of previously unpublished stories pretty soon. Sure, "No Class Chick" was funny. But I hadda sidestep a lotta shit. Now I don't. Oh and also I'm a lot funnier now

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  6. J.J.'s better half6:15 PM

    I too am a big fan of J.J. Solari from way back and I know for sure that he is a real person--I am married to him. He has had many stories and columns published in Easyriders, Biker and In the Wind and I know he writes them himself--I see him do it.

    You'll be in for a treat when his book comes out. These will be stories you've never seen before, and like a fine, smelly cheese, J.J. only improves with age!

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  7. jj solari4:41 AM

    Gee, thanks, Cecily. I might be like a smelly cheese, but at least my knickname ain't "Cess."

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  8. jj solari8:28 PM

    I finished When Bikers Meet Humans and got it printed. 410 pages of all new crap. I can hear the cheering from here. Hey, thanks, you guys are swell

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