Dan Stuart - Final Album, New Novel

May 17, 2018 - 286 views

'The Unfortunate Demise of Marlowe Billings'

"At the end of the day, it's the end of the day", - Dan Stuart


Perhaps how one leaves a party is more important than one’s entrance. Green on Red’s Dan Stuart publishes his new novel, a companion piece to what will be his final full length record, both entitled 'The Unfortunate Demise Of Marlowe Billings', on 20 July 2018 through Cadiz Music.

The two will be released together, along with a CD with six extra tracks and a four CD audio version of the novel. Exclusive versions and other special one-offs will be available through Pledge Music.

The album was made with producer/guitarist Danny Amis: a founder of Los Straitjackets and former member of The Raybeats. They were both living in Mexico City and have individually worked previously with Twin Tones and Sonido Gallo Negro’s leader Gabriel López at T-Vox Recording.

Both works are a sort of noir travelogue through foreign landscapes real and imagined, sublime and horrific, and question whether love can survive in a world of violence and betrayal. The record features players from Mexico, Italy, New York & San Francisco, while the novel bounces between Oaxaca, NYC and CDMX. Stuart's alter ego Marlowe Billings is our musical and fictional tour guide, indeed one could listen while reading and double the pleasure.

The record is the last of the Marlowe trilogy, with the novel being the second; one can only hope Mr. Stuart will eventually deliver a third book to complete the series and leave the world if not better off, then at least slightly less banal.


Photo Credit: Dan Stuart & Danny Amis - @daviddbarajas


Dan Stuart, a Q&A
Chris Hewlett PR caught up with him at La Bota, his local cantina, and asked him a few questions about his latest works: a confluence of music and literature.

Why is this your final record? Seems a bit dramatic, no? 
Not really, this is my fourth solo record which is probably three too many. I wanted to finish the Marlowe trilogy sonically, then concentrate on the final novel. Records are made through the favor bank nowadays, which is absolutely unfair. At least with a novel I'm only abusing myself...

Speaking of which, how did you convince Danny Amis to produce? One doesn't automatically think you two would work together?  
Danny got roped into it because I dog-sit for him on a regular basis, that's the truth. He has to regulary go to LA for medical reasons and I take care of Seymour. We became friends when I moved to CDMX from Oaxaca, we both have worked with Twin Tones and are sort of the old gringos accepted by some younger musicians here like Gabriel López and Enrique Casasola. It's great being part of a music scene again, I really hadn't been in one since LA in the early 80's.

Yes but Danny Amis has mostly worked in the instrumental and surf genres, how did the record get its Berlinesque sound? 
We come from the same era, punk rock 77. Danny has an encyclopedic knowledge of rock n roll and really is a natural producer. He did live sound for all the country greats when he worked for the Nashville Network in the 80's. Now that he no longer tours, I'm predicting he'll be producing a lot more stuff. I've worked with some really good ones over the years but Danny's my favorite. It was nice to finish out my studio career that way, all my prior mistakes absolved in one way or another. Qué un milagro as we say down here...

What about the novel, why release the two together? 
The songs were mostly written as an escape from the novel, and vice-versa. At some point, a book starts writing you and that happens with records too. These two are joined at the hip.

So what does the future hold? 
The future? I live day by day, as do most of my Mexican neighbors. The future is a luxury for those that can afford it. The past is where most of us reside, one way or another. I'm happy I've made it this far, if I can write one more novel I'd die with a satisfied mind, just like Porter Wagoner advised.


Dan Stuart is a musician and author who was the leader of Green on Red, a band associated with both LA's Paisley Underground of the 1980's and the beginnng of the so-called Americana movement. His "false memoir", 'The Deliverance of Marlowe Billings', was released in 2014 to critical acclaim.