Sunday, November 21, 2010

An excerpt from NO ORDINARY GIRL: A NOVEL, available 11/25.

It’s after midnight and autumn is open for business: the skies are clear, the stars are twinkling, the Illinois air is cool, and the fingernail moon is as fingernaily as can be. We see Abbey Bynum staring at the top of the ancient oak tree in front of her bland suburban Chicago condo building, an oak tree that’s too big and dignified for her cookie-cutter, pre-fab neighborhood. The light from the twinkly stars, the fingernaily moon, and the seven too-bright streetlights that dot Abbey’s block bring the oak’s leaves to life: yellows and reds, browns and oranges. The tree looks crisp and pretty, and from Abbey’s angle, those leaves – which are further changing colors as we speak – look as if they were painted on by Monet. Or maybe Manet. No, Monet. Or maybe Manet. Even though she takes a pass through the Art Institute of Chicago at least once a month, Abbey always forgets which is which. All she knows – and cares about – is that it’s pretty.

The breeze blows a chunk of her barely tamed curly brown ringlets into her eyes. She tries to flick them offher forehead, but the wind in her face is too strong, so they just flop right on back. Abbey again kicks herself for not grabbing a hair tie or a scrunchy, and again wonders why she never properly prepares for her silly late-night jaunts. But she realizes that that’s a ridiculous thought, because the fact of the matter is, she knows exactly why she never properly prepares for these silly late-night jaunts: you see, for Abbey, these silly late-night jaunts aren’t a choice. They’re a compulsion. When she has to do it, she has to do it, and when Abbey Bynum has to do something, she goes and does it immediately. She can’t help it; it’s always been that way and she’s certain it always will be that way.

Planning isn’t in the equation, and unfortunately, without planning, there are consequences. In this case, the consequence is a small one, a mere case of hair-in- the-eyes. It’s not a complete buzzkill, like, say, a bird pooping on her shoulder, or a low-flying private airplane (both of which happened in the not-to-distant past), but it’s annoying, nonetheless. Way worse things could happen, though. Way worse things have happened. One night, for instance, the compulsion to leave her apart- ment was so intense that she forgot to put on her pants, and zipped through the neighborhood wearing only a strappy tank top with a teddy bear on the front and an ancient pair of light-blue panties.

Using her left hand, Abbey again pushes her hair out of her face and holds it flat against the top of her head. The problem with this tactic is that now Abbey relies solely on her right hand for balance. Using one hand to navigate isn’t an issue when she’s in motion, but when she’s trying to stay somewhat still, when she’s trying to hover in a single area, as is the case right now, two hands are way better than one. She’s wobbling, and even though she knows she’s in no danger of falling, it diminishes the experience, nonetheless.

She’s well aware that if she practiced her one-handed balancing on a regular basis – scratch that, if she practiced her one-handed balancing at all – this would cease to be an issue. Thing is, she hates practicing it. Thing is, she hates doing it at all. But when this com- pulsion rears its head – when she has to breathe the night air at its cleanest, when she has to see the trees from above, when she has to go where nobody can find her – her body goes up to the roof of her apartment building and jumps right on off, despite her brain’s and heart’s numerous protests.

She wants to stop it. Badly. But, goddamnit, she can’t. She just can’t.


If you saw Abbey Bynum on the Illinois Metra train – which, if you’re so inclined, is something you can do each weekday morning at precisely 8.14 a.m. – you’d check out her smart business outfit, and the oversized aviator sunglasses that she’s had since her freshman year at Northwestern University, and that shaggy mop of hair, and think, ‘Now that’s an attractive, well-put-together girl. Looks like she doesn’t have much money for the latest outfits or fancy jewelry, or whatnot, but she sure makes what she has work.’ When she takes off her huge shades and fumbles with her iPod, you might smile at how intently and intensely she scrolls through the menu, trying to figure out the perfect mix for her train ride to the office, trying to decide whether Miles Davis, or Arcade Fire, or A Tribe Called Quest will get her jazzed for the workday.

You’d also notice one thing that Abbey Bynum doesn’t: at least once a ride, Abbey Bynum gets checked out. Big time.

If she happened to catch the young gentleman leaning on the train door giving her a well-justified once- over – the young gentleman wearing the vintage blue Pulp T-shirt and the baggy khaki shorts, the young gentleman whom Abbey would unfairly dismiss as potential boyfriend material because she used to date a guy who looked almost exactly like that, and he was a massive jerk – she’d probably turn away, blush, and forget about it several seconds later. See, Abbey doesn’t like being checked out. Not because she’s self-conscious about her looks (she knows her place in the beauty pantheon; a couple dozen miles South of Angelina Jolie, and a few hundred miles North of Betty White), but because there’s the chance that somebody will see her for who she is, that they’ll notice the Weird Stuff.

This, of course, is a ridiculous thought – nobody could see Weird Stuff, unless she showed them the Weird Stuff – but it’s a thought she can’t help but think.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


PAUL McCARTNEY: We’d been discussing starting up a label for a while, but we got serious when we got back from India.  John wanted to call it Maggot Music, but that was summarily voted down.  By me.

JOHN LENNON: To us, the music industry didn’t work.  Sure, we were doing okay, but for A band would get a record deal, then, unless they immediately hit the charts, they’d become persona non grata.  There was no nurturing.  No vision.  No love.  And no monsters.

PAUL McCARTNEY: Outside of the Grateful Dead, we were the only successful rock band that had a single zombie member.  Actually, the Dead probably had more than one zombie, but nobody was sure, and they weren’t talking.
There were plenty of jazz monsters around—Miles Davis is a vampire, of course, and Thelonious Monk is an unclassifiable deity, kind of like our old friend Roy Orbison, I suppose—and the classical world was littered with swamp things, but rock ‘n’ roll, nothing.  So we decided that our new baby, Apple Records, would have a roster consisting entirely of otherworldly beings.  Thing is, it’s not easy to find monster musicians in Europe—England isn’t loaded with clubs that offer open mic nights for swamp things—so we had to put the word out all by ourselves.  And that meant hitting the streets.  And the sewers.

JOHN LENNON: Neil and I designed these leaflets alerting the monster world we were accepting demos from non-mortals of all shapes and sizes.  We hung the posters all over London, and only got one single tape, and they we didn’t consider signing that group, because, well, let’s just say that “Something Fishy’s Going On” by The Raspberry Blueberry Booger Boogie Beat Extraction featuring Willie the Hydra wasn’t exactly a toe-tapper.  We found out quickly that the chance of finding a solid, well-oiled all-monster band was unlikely, as your typical moleman doesn’t have the means to buy a decent guitar, or rent a decent rehearsal studio.
            So we ripped down the old notices and replaced them with new posters announcing a one-day-only audition.  Be you monster, human, man, woman, or child, if you were good, you’d get signed.  But if you were bad, you’d get killed.

PAUL McCARTNEY: John talked a good game, but didn’t follow through.  We didn’t murder anybody at the audition.  But we almost got murdered ourselves.

When I found out the Prince of Darkness and his psychedelic rock quartet, Mister Master Lucifer and the Lemon Leviathan Meat Machine Aftermath, tried out for a spot on the Apple Records roster, I had to chat with The Man himself.  Correctly surmising that the Devil wasn’t going to be vacationing in Chicago during my lifetime, I made a few calls and pulled a few strings, and, in April of 2007, I found myself sitting in Mephistopheles’s tasteful, well air-conditioned office down in the Sixth Ring, chatting amiably about his frustrating afternoon running through his repertoire for Lennon and McCartney.

LUCIFER: Mister Master Lucifer and the Lemon Leviathan Meat Machine Aftermath was tight, brother, really frickin’ tight.  And I knew it would be, ’cause I had a shit-ton of badass motherfuckers to choose from.  I had this Italian guitar dude with me who could shred some mad axe, Gaetano Vinaccia was his name.  My drummer, this German cat called Theo Ludwig, was sick, totally frickin’ sick.  And my bassist was another dago killer named Dom Dragonetti, and that kid was ree-donk-u-lous.  As for me, well, I could sing a little somethin’ somethin’.
            I didn’t tell John and Paul I was who I was.  If they didn’t recognize me, they didn’t deserve to recognize me, you know what I mean?  Besides, it wasn’t about me—it was about the tunes, the vibes, and the musicianship.  My status as the Dark Lord shouldn’t have had a damn thing to do with whether or not they offered me a deal.  If Mister Master Lucifer and the Lemon Leviathan Meat Machine Aftermath sucked, we didn’t deserve a shot.
But Mister Master Lucifer and the Lemon Leviathan Meat Machine Aftermath didn’t suck.
            We did a real, honest-to-badness, ahead-of-our-time show at Apple Corps, baby.  We were using lasers before there were lasers, and strobes before there were strobes, and dancing hoochie mamas before there were dancing hoochie mamas.  I felt bad that McCartney’s office went up in flames—Gaetano couldn’t aim a fireball to save his life—but shit happens.  It’s rock ‘n’ roll.  You rock with it, and you roll with it.
            Those dickwads hated us.  Whoda thunk that zombies could be so uptight?  So what if our songs went a few thousand decibels higher than “In My Life”?  So what if Dom played a twenty-minute acoustic bass solo with his cock?  So what if we sacrificed three virgins and eight swine during our encore…not that they asked for an encore, but we were gonna play our full set whether they wanted to hear it or not.
Listen, man, where did they get off telling us that our jams were quote-too-heavy-unquote?  Or that quote-our-guitar-solos-went-on-too-long-unquote.  Or that quote-it-wasn’t-good-for-The-Beatles-image-to-have-one-of-the-bands-on-our-new-label-burn-down-an-entire-city-block-unquote.  What a pair of hypocrite asswipes.
Obviously they didn’t offer me a contract, and from my perspective, those cats had no ears.  I mean, they signed Mary Hopkins and James Taylor.  Can you believe that shit?  Mary fucking Hopkins and James fucking Taylor.  Wait’ll I get that pansy Taylor gets down here.  He’ll see fire, alright, but not a single drop of fucking rain.

JOHN LENNON: After that fookin’ Lucifer bloke took the entire Apple Records staff back with him to the underworld, we abandoned the monster idea and gave the label a rest. 

Friday, July 9, 2010


Here's a whole bunch of Alan videos. Some are badass professional, and some are kinda shaky, but still cool. Enjoy!

Guerrilla readings in NYC
Interview @ Pen American Center
Chicago release party #1
Chicago release party #2
Chicago release party #3
Chicago release party #4

Saturday, July 3, 2010

"PAUL IS UNDEAD" deleted scene # 1 - Macca & Big Ben

On September 17, 1969, the following article was published in the Drake University Times-Delphic:

By Anonymous

Drake University has three zombies in its student body.  If Paul McCartney enrolled here, there would still be three zombies in the student body, as the “Cute Beatle” is quite alive, and has been since November 9, 1964, when Rolling Stones frontman and internationally renowned zombie hunter Mick Jagger reanimated McCartney.  Jagger apparently attempted to murder him immediately afterwards, but was thwarted by John Lennon.  For reasons unknown, Lennon never rezombified McCartney, leaving Paul with healthy red blood, a strongly beating heart, and a fully developed conscience.
How, you may ask, did a reporter from a tiny college in Iowa discover that a man who millions have seen commit acts associated with Liverpool zombies (for example, mass murder, callous dismemberment, group hypnosis, and self-flagellation, to name a few) is in fact not a zombie?  Why, The Beatles themselves told us.  But not on purpose.
The fact is that anybody with a canny eye and a modicum of detective skills could have figured it out, because The Beatles left us clue, after clue, after clue.  For instance, if you look closely at the covers of both Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Rubber Soul, McCartney’s skin-tone is noticeably healthier-looking than Lennon, Starr, and Harrison’s; one could even argue that it appears as if McCartney is wearing pancake makeup to make himself look deader.  And if you compare the covers of A Hard Day’s Night and Rubber Soul, you will notice that the scar on McCartney’s cheek seen on the older album is gone on the latter.  Anybody who knows anything about zombies knows that their scars are eternal.
There are dozens of sly references to Paul’s state of being in their recent song lyrics, all of which will be discussed in the forthcoming editions of the Times-Delphic.  If you, the reader, find any other clues, please drop a letter at the Times-Delphic office.

The “Paul is alive” story was picked up by rock radio stations, as well as other college newspapers across the United States, and within two weeks, it was a national phenomenon.  Each mention in the press was accompanied by another “clue” or two, some of which were almost convincing, (e.g., a writer for the Eastern Echo, Eastern Michigan University’s student rag, said if you watch the movie Help! and point a flashlight at McCartney, it appears as if his face is covered with vibrant red blood), and some of which were patently ridiculous (e.g., a semi-intrepid deejay in Detroit claimed that during the Shea Stadium riots, McCartney was seen ripping off a teenage girl’s head with his right hand, an oddity as Paul did everything with his left.  It should be noted that the New York City Police Department, and Shea riot expert Jessica Brandice, and anybody associated with The Beatles who was willing to discuss the riots on the record vehemently deny that McCartney committed a single act of violence during the fracas.)
            Entire magazines devoted to the topic were published, and the American electronic media was all over it.  The story soon made it across the pond, and the uproar was such that McCartney felt the need to address the issue head on.

PAUL McCARTNEY: I couldn’t discuss this with the other lads—by then I couldn’t discuss anything with the other lads—so I was on my own.  I wished Eppy was still around, because he would’ve known how to handle it.  But Brian was quite dead, and if I wanted to convince the world that I was quite undead, I’d have to figure out how to spin it myself.
            My initial thought was to call a press conference and turn a volunteer into a zombie in front of the cameras, but I guessed that would cause more trouble than it was worth.  It was one thing to claim a victim in the middle of the night, in a dark alley, away from the glare of the spotlight.  But to do it in the middle of the day, with dozens of journos watching would be horrible P.R., professional suicide.  As frustrated as I was with being a Beatle, I didn’t want to destroy my career.
Fortunately, my second idea was much better: instead of killing somebody else, I’d kill myself.  Or at least I’d give it my best shot.

NEIL ASPINALL: Paul rang me up and said, “Here’s how we’re gonna nip this ‘Paul is alive’ rubbish in the bud.  You’re gonna call whichever bloke is the Head of Programming at the BBC, and you’re gonna tell him that I’m gonna singlehandedly make amends for Magical Mystery Tour by presenting the greatest feat ever attempted by a Beatle.  Oh, better yet, tell them not only will it be the greatest feat ever attempted by a Beatle, but it’ll be the greatest feat attempted by a zombie!  Ever!”
            I thought, Paulie’s gone completely off the rails, but I’d better humor him, because even though he loves me, the bloke’s been on hair-trigger for the last six months, and who knows what he’s capable of.  So I asked him, “What’s that, Paulie?  What’s the greatest feat ever attempted by a Beatle or a zombie?”
            He said, “I’m gonna jump off the top of Big Ben.  You have forty-eight hours.  Make it happen.”

PAUL McCARTNEY: I’d made it through three or four consecutive falls off of the Abbey Road roof with nary a mark, so taking a swan dive off of Big Ben would be cake.

NEIL ASPINALL: The Beeb didn’t take much convincing, but that wasn’t a surprise.  I mean, if I was a television programmer, and a Beatles intimate called and said, “Two days from now, Paul McCartney is going to throw himself off of London’s most defining structure, and he wants your cameras there to capture the event for the world to see,” you’d probably scramble to make it happen.
            So the big day rolls around, and as we’re climbing up Big Ben’s three-hundred-plus stairs, and listening to the crowd chanting, “Jump, Macca, jumpJump, Macca, jump!,”  Paul started having second thoughts

PAUL McCARTNEY: I’d walked by the old clock hundreds of times, but I’d never really looked at it, and let me tell you something: that bloody thing is tall.

NEIL ASPINALL: He asked me, “What d’you think, Neil?  D’you think I’ll survive the fall?  D’you think that’ll make people believe I’m a zombie?  D’you think if I do die, our record sales will jump?  Do you?  Do you?  Do you?”
            When we got to the top of the stairs, I told him, “Listen, if you don’t want to do it, don’t do it.  You know you’re undead, and that’s all that matters.  You don’t need to prove anything to anybody.  You wait here, and I’ll run down and tell the Beeb to shove off, then after everybody splits, we’ll go down to the prison and grab you a convict’s brain for lunch.  How does that sound?”
            Paul gave me a strange grin, put his hand on my shoulder, then said, “Neil, sometimes a beginning can be an end, and an end can be a beginning.  I have to do this.”
            It wasn’t worth fighting him about it, so I said, “Okay, Paulie, you do what you have to do.  It’s your funereal.”
            He said, “No, Neil.  It’s not.  It’s not my funereal.”
            And then, without preamble, he sprinted through the door and hurled himself out of the window.

PAUL McCARTNEY: No big deal.  I jumped, I landed, I survived.  And the whole way down, I roared, “PAUL IS UNDEAAAAAAAAAAAAD!”  Apparently the low frequency of my moan broke a few windows, and set a few dogs off a’barking, and killed every bit of aquatic life in the Thames.
            After I retrieved and reattached my nose, and straightened up my hair, I grabbed a taxi and went home.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


The fine folks at named Paul is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion one of its Top Summer Reads, calling it, "...bloody brilliant."  Woo-hoo!

Friday, June 18, 2010


Here're a couple of little promo videos, courtesy of Simon & Schuster.

Vid #1
Vid #2

Monday, June 14, 2010


Check out this big ol' excerpt of my forthcoming Beatles/horror/comedy remix novel "Paul is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion," courtesy of Simon & Schuster.

Friday, May 14, 2010


On May 14, I chatted with BBC Radio World Update about Paul Is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion. Check it out here...

Monday, May 10, 2010


Are readers ready for a world in which the Beatles just wanna eat your brains? Goldsher (Hard Bop Academy) thinks so, and he may be right. In this humor-filled splatterfest, the rise and fall of the zombie Beatles unfolds through eyewitness accounts, newspaper clippings, and interviews. Violence and music go hand-in-hand as the zombiefied Lennon, Harrison, and McCartney fight, eat, and rock their way to fame and popularity while ninja lord Ringo Starr tries to keep them out of trouble. Nothing can stop them--not even a vampiric Pete Best, zombie-killing Mick Jagger, rival ninja Yoko Ono, or bad reviews. In fact, their only enemies may be one another, as personal conflicts threaten to break them up for good. Roughly paralleling the real-world career of the Beatles, this alternate history reimagines successes, failures, and rivalries with over-the-top bizarro charm.


(P.S. - The "yay" wasn't part of the review. That was some editorial commentary on my part.)

Thursday, May 6, 2010


The reviews for my forthcoming Beatles/zombie/comedy mash-up PAUL IS UNDEAD: THE BRITISH ZOMBIE INVASION have started trickling in, and so far, so good:

KIRKUS REVIEWS: "We’ve endured a flood of vampire books for the past few years, so it may be time to give zombies a chance to work their literary magic. Prolific ghostwriter and music journalist Goldsher makes a reasonable case in this entertaining novel. Goldsher turns in a classic rags-to-riches tale of aspiration and success that would do Horatio Alger proud, punctuated by no end of gore."

BOOKLIST: "The horror mash-up publishing craze is still spreading like a plague, and while some of the most popular products seem like easy ways to digest the classics, this clever take on the subgenre will bring music nerds into its fandom."

Hopefully, that's just a start. PAUL IS UNDEAD will be in stores on June 22. Spread the word. And the blood.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


FOR SOME, the most indelible memory of their television-viewing lives was the moment Jack Ruby assassinated Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963. For others, it was Neil Armstrong’s 1969 moon landing. For today’s generation, it might have be fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, or the coverage of the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001.
            I realized television was more than sitcoms and sporting events on December 8, 1980, the night Mark David Chapman tried to lop off John Lennon’s head with a silver scythe.
I was fourteen, parked by the tube in the basement of my suburban Chicago home, watching what I watched every Monday night during the winter months: Monday Night Football. The New England Patriots were down in Miami taking on the Dolphins, and I can’t recall a damn thing about the game; all I remember is Howard Cosell’s announcement that came right before halftime—and, like most music fanatics, I know it word for word:
“An unspeakable tragedy confirmed to us by ABC News in New York City: John Lennon, outside of his apartment building on the West Side of New York City, the most famous, perhaps, of all of The Beatles, was chopped twice on the top of his spine, then rushed to an undisclosed location, where his skull was reattached and he was reanimated for the 263rd time. The damage was such that his head will now permanently tilt at a forty-five degree angle. It’s hard to go back to the game after that newsflash, which, in duty, we have to tell.”
The television went off. I went to bed. And I wept myself to sleep.
Ironically enough, I fell in love with Paul McCartney’s solo stuff first—hey, I was five years old, and they played “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,” on the radio all day, every day, so what can I tell you?—then I worked my way through The Beatles catalog in reverse chronological order, starting with the their swansong, Abbey Road, all the way back to their debut, Please Please Me. Since I loved most every note of it, I didn’t factor their state of being into my feelings about them as a music-making unit. I mean, who cared if they were undead? My eighth grade orchestra teacher was a zombie, and he was cool. Yeah, a couple of the shufflers at school—we called them shufflers, and for that, I still feel guilty—were a bit off, but I had no personal issues with the undead. The Beatles were just a rock group whose music I loved, and if they didn’t have blood pumping through their veins, so be it.
When Chapman tried to take down Lennon, it dawned on me that I actually knew very little about the Liverpudlians, so I went to the Wilmette Public Library, and borrowed the only four Beatles books on their shelves: Ian McGinty’s Scream! The Beatles Eat Their Generation; Maureen Miller’s A Hard Night’s Death: McCartney, Movies, and Mayhem; Hypnosis, Liverpool Style by Eliot Barton; and the Ringo Starr uneven, clumsily-ghostwritten memoir Starr’s Stars: A Ninja’s Life. There were dozens more titles in print, but the library refused to bring them in, assuming that nobody on the lily-white North Shore of Chicago cared about John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. I suppose I can understand their reasoning: My orchestra teacher notwithstanding, the adult zombie population of Wilmette, Illinois, circa 1980, was all but nonexistent, and none of them worked at the library. I’m not calling my hometown racist. I’m just reporting the facts.
Over the next few years, I scooped up any Beatles-oriented tome I could find, but aside from the purely journalistic bestseller The Shea Stadium Riot: How The Beatles Almost Destroyed New York City by New York Times crime reporter Jessica Brandice, all of these so-called biographies focused mostly on the music rather than the men. That’s understandable, as writers were hesitant to sit down with the band after Lennon and McCartney famously dismembered, castrated, and ultimately murdered New Music Express staffer William “Guitar” Tyler back in 1967—and this after previously announcing that, in terms of proactive attacking, the media was off-limits. In the post-Tyler world, publishers and media executives decreed that their staff were required to conduct any and all interviews behind a six-inch thick partition. (Half a foot of glass wouldn’t stop a hungry Liverpudlian zombie, but it would slow them down long enough that the interviewer could make a getaway.)  That sort of impersonal set-up didn’t lend itself to an intimate, revealing talk.
Come 1995, the year I became a “real” writer (as opposed to the previous decade, when I was a “fake” scribe who, when he wasn’t trying to get work as a bassist, churned out a bunch of pretentious and clumsy crapola), The Beatles as individuals were all but forgotten. John and his wife Yoko Ono, as had been the case since that horrible Monday night fifteen years before, were holed up in their uptown New York fortress. Lennon rarely left the apartment, and when he did, he was accompanied by half-a-dozen highly trained U.S.Z.G.’s (United States Zombie Guards), all six of whom were festooned with tommy guns and force fields. Paul was living on a farm in Scotland, surfacing every few years with a solo album that inevitably didn’t do the kind of numbers that he’d hoped for. (Paul was, is, and always will be a bottom-line guy, be it record sales or body count.) George was the most visible Beatle, giving lectures to religious types and horror aficionados at various conventions throughout the world, and having fun with his telekinetic powers; most notably when he oversaw a music video featuring dancing tchotchkes that was a real hit with the first wave of MTV fans. As for Ringo, nobody had a clue; there were sightings from the North Pole to the South Pole, and everywhere in between. Pop culture junkies stopped caring about Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr’s respective whereabouts or activities, and the number of fans who showed up at your local neighborhood Beatlefests dwindled each year. The music was still relevant, but the men, not so much.
But I cared. And I wanted the story. And I was a writer. And a tenacious one at that. So after a bunch of soul-searching, I amped up my health insurance plan and dived on in.
I didn’t have a book deal in place when I began work on this oral history in February of 1996—an oral history in which I intended to focus solely on the men, rather than their songs—thus I had to finance it myself. In order to keep my bank account liquid while researching the Beatles all these years, I’ve ghostwritten 31 memoirs and 12 novels, none of which I can legally discuss. (Suffice it to say you’ve probably read at least three of them.)
In between these writing projects, I was doing loads of research; I traveled to New York City, Liverpool, London, Edinburgh, Tibet, Los Angeles, Port-au-Prince, Nippon, Antarctica, Ibiza, and two locations I’m not at liberty to divulge. I spent a cold, wet night under a bamboo umbrella in the middle of a field deep in the bowels of Paraguay with Alexis “Magic Alex” Mardas; and a memorable, harrowing afternoon sitting next to Dr. Timothy Leary while he was on his deathbed. There were clandestine meetings in frightening locations, blindfolds, death threats, hallucinogenics, and, in one memorable instance, I had to scale the side of a mountain in Osaka to speak with a Sixty-sixth Level Ninja Lord, with nary a copy of Lonely Planet’s Japan Travel Guide to be seen.
Fifteen years later, I have the story . . . or at least I hope I do. I guess that’s for all of you—the Beatlemaniacs, the musicologists, the reviewers, the undead, and the hundreds of thousands of attack survivors—to decide.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Alan Goldsher’s Beatles Mash-Up Finds Home with Pulp Fiction Producers

The movie rights to Alan Goldsher’s forthcoming Beatles/horror/comedy mash-up Paul is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion have been scooped up by Double Feature Films, the production company headed by Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher.

Goldsher’s zombified reimagining of the Fab Four’s story, which will be published on June 22, 2010 by Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster, was cited as “Hilarious” by comedian/author Michael Ian Black, and “A post-modern goth classic” by bestselling music journalist Mick Wall.

Shamberg and Sher are best known for producing such Oscar nominees as Pulp Fiction and Erin Brockovich.  They are currently at work on Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, which stars Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, and Jude Law.
For more information, please write

Saturday, January 23, 2010


...Please click here, and read your tushie off.


None of y'all have read Paul is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion because, well, it's not out yet. But thanks to this really nice article in Entertainment Weekly...

...some Hollywood-types have come a'calling, which is crazy exciting.  A couple have asked how I envision the movie looking.  One word: "META."  That'll make total sense when you read the book, which you can pre-order here.

Oh, P.S. - I've gotten some emails to the effect of, "Dude, when can I read this damn thing?"  Once I get the okay from the powers-that-be at Simon & Schuster, I'll be posting some excerpts from the book.  Patience, my pretties, patience...

Sunday, January 17, 2010


"If you've ever wondered (as I have) how the story of the Beatles would have turned out if, instead of a quartet of working class Liverpool lads, they had been a bunch of zombies, this hilarious book finally answers the question."
-Comedian Michael Ian Black, author of My Custom Van 

"Paul is Undead brings the Beatles back to life...and now they want braaains.  Brilliant and hilarious.  Two decaying thumbs up."
-Jonathan Maberry, multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Patient Zero and Rot and Ruin

"A wonderfully inventive blend of comedy, alternative history - and flesh-eating. A post-modern gothic classic."
-Mick Wall, author of When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography of Led Zeppelin

"Investigative music journalist Alan Goldsher has ripped the moptops off the Fab Four, revealing the wormy underbelly of godless, noggin-gobbling Rock and Roll.  Read it, or die."
 -Larry Doyle, author of I Love You, Beth Cooper and Go, Mutants!

Friday, January 15, 2010


It’s October 9, 1940, and an undead man haunts the underground sewers of Liverpool, England. Starving and covered with filth, the lone zombie slithers out of a loo located on the ground floor of Liverpool Maternity Hospital. Shuffling from room to room, the hungry being tracks down his prey: a wailing infant whose ripe, fresh brain will fill the raging emptiness in his belly and soul.

That infant’s name? John Lennon.

Fast forward fifteen years, when zombie Lennon, now a burgeoning musician, meets, kills, and reanimates fellow Liverpudlian wannabe-rocker Paul McCartney, creating an unstoppable partnership, and moving one step closer to realizing his dream of global domination. After welcoming newly zombie’d guitarist George Harrison and drummer/Seventh Level Ninja Lord Ringo Starr into the fold, Lennon and McCartney’s band cuts a swath of bloody good music and bloody violent mayhem across Europe, stealing the hearts, minds, ears, and brains of their adoring audiences.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to really meet the Beatles. In
Paul is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion, Alan Goldsher’s horror/comedy/rock ‘n’ roll mash-up, we find out the whens, whats, and whys of how the zombified Fab Four took over the world.

After conquering the charts, the Liverpudlian quartet conquers America, all while managing to escape eternal death at the hands of zombie hunter Mick Jagger, an assassination attempt by the most potent Ninja hate group in the United States, and the violent affections of New York City’s most smitten undead girls. The band returns to Europe, where, after some unsuccessful drug experimentation—who knew that LSD caused zombie leprosy?—and the speedy dismemberment of spiritual guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Eighth Level Ninja Lord Yoko Ono enters the fray, and the band spins out of control.

Yes, the Beatles still want to take over the world, but can the lovable, horrifying moptops sublimate their own zombie nature, remain atop the charts, and stay together for all eternity? Nah: they go through a brutal break up, almost destroying Abbey Road Studios in the process. But is this breakup permanent? After all, three of the Fab Four are zombies, and zombies live forever…

Cited as “hilarious” by comedian Michael Ian Black, and “a post-modern gothic classic” by bestselling rock writer Mick Wall, Alan Goldsher’s Paul is Undead answers the question that has plagued Beatles fans and zombie aficionados for decades: How the heck could George Harrison have pulled off that solo on the bridge of “Nowhere Man” when his fingers kept falling off?

Friday, July 31, 2009

"PAUL IS UNDEAD" is taking the U.K. by storm. Sort of...

England's The Guardian banged out a little piece about Paul is Undead. They pre-pub buzz is getting, um, loud-ish.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


The fine folks at the New York Observer saw fit to write a nice little feature on "Paul is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion." Spread the word, and get out your barf bags...