Cold Pizza for Breakfast

A Mem-wha??

Christine Lavin

As one of the top folk musicians in the country, Christine Lavin has seen it all and she still loves the music and the life she feels privileged to lead. Published in honor of her twenty-fifth anniversary as a full-time, independent touring musician, Cold Pizza for Breakfast: A Mem-wha? is a memoir of road stories and adventures across the United States, Canada, and Australia. I've changed a few names to spare hurt feelings, Christine notes, but all these stories are true. Hey, I have eight brothers and sisters you think they'd let me make things up?

Cold Pizza is rich with details from two-plus decades of songwriting and performing. The memoir begins with the hysterical tale of Christine's being booed in West Palm Beach when she opened for Joan Riverswith a coda that demonstrates Christine's nimble mind and sense of the absurdand recounts her circuitous route to becoming one of folk musics most respected and beloved songwriters and performers. Christine explains: Instead of a business plan, I've followed hunches, my intuition, and my heart, and I have had the good fortune of meeting astounding people along the way who helped point me in the right direction. OK, a few pointed me in the wrong direction, too. But I always somehow managed to recover.

Christine is an engaging and generous writer, often putting an informative and warm spotlight on other musicians. Learn delicious details about Dave Van Ronks unique method of writing music, the stanza of a famous song that Bob Dylan had never heard, and how Ervin Drake came to write "It Was a Very Good Year." Read about the unlikely beginnings of the folk super-group "The Four Bitchin Babes," still going strong today, and how Christine's music has found a home with some of todays brightest Broadway stars.

Photographs and memorabilia from Christine's fantastic voyage, song lyrics, an extensive appendix including an index and Christine's list of her 1,000 favorite songs that she has played while guest-DJing in New York Cityall this combines with Christines incomparable sense of humor to make Cold Pizza for Breakfast: A Mem-wha? an irresistible read and an invaluable resource for anyone who is interested in how songs get made, how musicians learn, and the business of music.

Over the past twenty-five years, between concert tours in the US, Canada, and Australia, Christine Lavin has recorded twenty solo albums and produced nine compilation CDs showcasing the work of songwriters whose work she loves. Although she can't read music (she started learning guitar at the age of twelve by watching lessons broadcast on PBS), her songs have been performed by Broadway stars Betty Buckley and Sutton Foster, cabaret diva Andrea Marcovicci, the a cappella darlings the Accidentals, and many others. The lyrics to ''Planet X'' are included in The Pluto Files, a novel written by Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium . . . despite the fact that Christine earned a ''D'' in Astronomy in college.