I Have Fun Everywhere I Go
Savage Tales of Pot, Porn, Punk Rock, Pro Wrestling, Talking Apes, Evil Bosses, Dirty Blues, American Heroes, and the Most Notorious Magazines in the World
by Mike Edison
(Faber & Faber)
Reviewed By Andrew Foster Altschul
Memoirs can be split into two rough camps: those that place their narrator front and center, and those focused on external events. The former narcissistically inflates its protagonist, even when describing misbehavior or abjection – it says my experience is exemplary, my challenges or tragedies can illuminate your life. It’s an arrogant form, badly abused and overmarketed of late.
The latter approach is more dignified, asserting only that the storyteller was in a unique position to recount and interpret events others might find interesting, shocking, perhaps edifying. Mike Edison’s I Have Fun Everywhere I Go falls comfortably into this camp, a rogue’s journey that mesmerizes and charms readers with its exuberant rampage through the worlds of punk rock, pro wrestling, and hardcore pornography.
Edison is a film-school dropout, drummer for the punk outfit Sharky’s Machine, itinerant editor, and self-proclaimed “media whore.” His two-decade quest for “Top Secret Action” takes him around the world, from dingy, violent punk clubs to the offices of Cheri and Screw, and finally, improbably, to the publisher’s chair at High Times, this last a period of excruciating frustration and the book’s most dramatically compelling sequence. Along the way, readers gape at this “hedonistic lifestyle of wanton rock ‘n’ roll, stupidity, sex, and drugs,” and the inane behavior of everyone Edison encounters, all chronicled with good-natured ebullience tinged with occasional criticism – though never lingering on this long enough to kill anyone’s buzz.