“Performance art in print” is book of prose, poems, and unpublished lyrics by 1960’s international Pop icon Len Barry (1-2-3; lead singer for The Dovells). Born and raised in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in a mostly African-American neighborhood and with a voice to rival James Brown, people around the world were always surprised to find out Len Barry was white. Before Britain was invading the US, he was leading an opposing invasion of Britain with Doo-Wop.
Len Barry was featured in this 2014 PBS special: Rock, Pop and Doo Wop. Blue Room Books has a publish date in 2021.
Enhancing the deeper meaning of each selection, illustrations accompany short stories, poems, and song lyrics. As examples, see these two screenshots below. Len Barry was not a typical Pop icon. His current book is not typical either.
Growing up in West Philly, Len didn’t understand the negative obsession people had with skin color. He loved people. Color didn’t matter. Yet it seemed the world would not let him simply celebrate all shades. This new book runs the gamut from his first deep love of a Black girl and her family’s condemnation of that love when they were teens (“My First Love”) to what it meant to be a father (“I’ll Get Up For Love”) to politics (“Democra-crazy”) to lovers playing false (“Rainbow”), and more takes on topics — such as love, lust, confusion, and even history — every human throughout time knows deep in their DNA.
He is not concerned that his writings agree with the world-at-large or whatever momentary powers-that-be or Politically Correct culture is screaming for attention and power.