Despite Restrictions, “Enough to Be Dangerous” Launch Party a Success

When Mort Meisner scheduled his Enough to Be Dangerous book launch party for the end of October, he had no idea what to expect.

After a long spring in lock-down, then a summer with some lifted restrictions, it was tough to know what to expect for October.

Nevertheless, the launch party at Andiamo’s in downtown Detroit last week was a success! And Mort was moved to see the many faces that showed up despite the virus and while observing social distancing.

No Social Distancing in Rock and Roll

When Mort was a young rock promoter, he never could have imagined we’d be in the midst of a pandemic in 2020 that would cancel concerts and shows indefinitely. (Then again, who could have?)

His life back then was one wild night after another. Mort recalls the first show on the first night at The Eastown in Detroit in his memoir:

The backstage scene of the first show on that first night was like an old-school carnival freak show featuring fat ladies, geeks, and midgets. What made it so strange is that this was rock ’n’ roll. While anything goes, this was beyond the pale. Cocker, Leon Russell, Rita Coolidge, and Claudia Lennear (who had a long-time thing with Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger) were performing with a cascade of world-class musicians while these “weirdos” danced, drank, and got high.

Last week at the launch party, he thought about how very different his life is now almost fifty years later. And while there weren’t any big-named rockstars at the event, plenty of media folks were there to celebrate the other huge aspect of his career.

Memories of the Wild Newsrooms

Having worked in newsrooms in Detroit, St. Louis, and Chicago in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, Mort often witnessed more action in the newsrooms than what they were covering out on the streets.

He recalls in his memoir:

It’s no big secret now that back then, Chicago newsrooms were incestuous and drug-infested. People were carrying on in a sexually and drug-charged atmosphere both within newsrooms and between newsrooms at other stations. Sometimes, people were having sex in one office while others were doing drugs in other offices. It was pervasive. I was there. I saw it first hand, at least on the drug side.

During those years of Mort’s life, cocaine was taking its toll and there were times when he wondered if he’d get back to the other side. It would have been inconceivable that he’d some day be at a launch party for a memoir that he wrote.

Yet, as he safely mingled with many from the news industry last week, he was reminded of his many successes and what an adventure it has truly been.

Success All Around

The journey from thinking about writing a memoir to the final hard copy in his hand was a long one. And it wasn’t always easy.

But as Mort felt the tremendous support from the community and the big turnout last week (despite the coronavirus) he was overcome with gratitude for all of those who showed up to enjoy themselves, share some stories, and buy the book.

It was certainly an uplifting night in the midst of these darker times.

If you’d like to order a copy of Enough to Be Dangerous, it’s available  through Amazon, or online through several independent booksellers including The Book Beat in Oak Park, MI.

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