St Martins Press, New York
1990
ISBN: 0-312-04588-3
Price: $19.95

Synopsis from the book cover

Bat Chain Puller is an irreverent look at popular culture in the tradition of Hunter S. Thompson’s “A Generation of Swine” and Greil Marcus’ “Lipstick Traces” […snip…] a trenchant, revealing and often hilarious collage of articles commentary and interviews with rock and rollers and other pop culture heroes […snip…] Loder also pays tribute to those who have kept the faith and maintained a rebellious stance despite the lure of safe celebrityhood.

Further detail

The majority of the articles in this book have been previously published in Rolling Stone, Loder being a writer for them, between 1980 and 1988.

The Beefheart content is included in the first section called Fame and is a seven page article plus photograph sandwiched between Bob Dylan and Frank Zappa (which also includes a story about Don), and in the fifth and final section, Classic Rock, with a two page review of Trout Mask Replica.

There are no startlingly new pieces of information here but it’s great to have the book named after one of Don’s songs.

Loder explains:

As for the title – I lifted Bat Chain Puller from a song by Captain Beefheart (who assures me he doesn’t mind). You can hear it on an album called Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller), and if you do, you may find that its somewhat disturbing subterranean rhythms put you in mind of the incessant heave and wheeze of celebrity interaction at virtually every level of American media over the past decade. Or maybe you won’t. In any case, one has to call a book something, and Bat Chain Puller, I think, has the advantage of being unforgettable. (Although I guess we’ll see about that.)

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