Josh Alan Friedman
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About Josh Alan Friedman
For those prone to disbelief, Josh Alan Friedman’s landmark book, TALES OF TIMES SQUARE, serves as last will and testament of what once was. Still in print since its 1986 hardcover release by Delacorte Press, TALES became its own podcast in 2017. The demimonde of old Broadway say a mouthful from the burlesque theaters, boxing rings and gutters of a fading 42nd Street. All 20 episodes—along with Josh’s latest podcast season—appear at BlackCracker.fm and on iTunes. An animated TV series is in the works.
Previous to that, the civil rights movement was turned upside down in Josh’s “autobiographical novel,” BLACK CRACKER. A new hardcover was published in 2017, along with Josh’s collection of music journalism, TELL THE TRUTH UNTIL THEY BLEED (both from Wyatt Doyle Books). Before that: WHEN SEX WAS DIRTY (Feral House); I, GOLDSTEIN: MY SCREWED LIFE (with Al Goldstein, Thunder's Mouth Press); and NOW DIG THIS: THE UNSPEAKABLE WRITINGS OF TERRY SOUTHERN (co-editor, Grove Press).
Before the age of graphic novels, Josh set off satirical fires and lawsuits as writer-half of the Friedman Bros cartooning duo. Two anthologies remain in print from Fantagraphics, featuring the art of Josh's brother, Drew: WARTS AND ALL and ANY SIMILARITY TO PERSONS LIVING OR DEAD IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL. Seeing is believing.
On the music front, as "Josh Alan," he barnstormed the state of Texas for 20 years, rocking whole arenas with his Guild D-40. Copping three Dallas Observer Music Awards for Best
Acoustic Act, he released five albums: FAMOUS & POOR, THE WORST!, BLACKS 'N' JEWS, JOSH ALAN BAND, and the current tour-de force, SIXTY, GODDAMMIT.
Josh is the son of Bruce Jay Friedman, also considered the father of Black Humor. He shares new work and selections from his archives on his podcast site at BlackCracker.fm
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Books By Josh Alan Friedman
“Friedman has drawn a vivid picture of the Times Square area and its denizens. He writes about the porn palaces with live sex shows, and the men and women who perform in them, prostitutes and their pimps, the runaways who will likely be the next decade's prostitutes, the clergymen who fight the smut merchants and the cops who feel impotent in the face of the judiciary.”—Publishers Weekly
This classic account of the ultra-sleazy, pre-Disneyfied era of Times Square is now the subject of a documentary film of the same name to be theatrically released this year. With this edition, Tales of Times Square returns to print with seven new chapters.
The acclaimed author of TELL THE TRUTH UNTIL THEY BLEED and TALES OF TIMES SQUARE returns with a one-of-a-kind autobiographical novel - "a memoir you can't accuse of lies." Center stage in the unflinching and frequently hilarious funhouse tour of Friedman's Long Island boyhood is a rogues' gallery that includes Bobo, precocious third-grade dropout and boy prince of the ghetto; his bumbling (and alarmingly potent) ne'er-do-well Uncle Limpy; Mumsy, the smelliest shoeshine boy in Penn Station; Mrs. O'Leary, the menacing Irish nanny; her son, Drake, an etiquette-obsessed, switchblade-totin' clammer overwhelmed by the tides of racial progress; and the impoverished Wilshires, the bone-white, nigger-hatin'-est crackers in town.
At once heartbreaking and hysterically funny, BLACK CRACKER delivers a fearless account of adventures in the now-forgotten poor Black shantytowns of Long Island, exploring the singular ugliness of racism, the intrigue of janitorial whodunits, the tragic limits of friendship, and the inexplicable seductive powers of croco-print footwear.