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Juggalo: The Trip So Far

The book Juggalo: Insane Clown Posse and the World They Made popped July 12. I wrote it because I wanted to read it and no one else seemed to be prepared to take the hit. That is, you write about Juggalos with anything other than elitist distaste and you become a target. I have no problem with that, but even people one would considered open minded and tolerant draw the line at Juggalos, and I see it all the time as I tell colleagues, friends and acquaintances about the latest book.61YYF475pSL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Anyone who does a book, record, or any form of art for the money has some challenged priorities. I’m currently writing some TV developments and the avenues are clear. You want authentic and real, there may be less money but you can feel good about what you did. On the other hand, there’s Alaskan Bush People, a fraud of a show posing as reality that some people think is real. Imagine the writers of that charade.

The little press coverage Juggalo has gotten has been mostly positive, a case of “if you can’t say something good about something…” The only bad review has been from the Chicago Reader, which seems to want something different. One wise reviewer on Amazon, who obviously didn’t read the book, notes that “it’s ironic because juggalos can’t read.”

The New York Post did a very fair assessment of the book and came off as measured and curious. I’ve done a few radio shows and podcasts. I did a podcast with Brian Denny, who creates episodes that are sneaky good and smart, which makes sense as he’s a smart guy. I could talk all day with Joel Fragomeni aka Upchuck the Clown and did his podcast for the second time just as the book hit. To tape the episode, you sit in his freezing cold bedroom that is full of cool audio gear, books, and assorted knick-knacks. The window air conditioner must be one of those high-end models because it cranks to Arctic and Joel doesn’t flinch. The guy must be a polar bear in disguise.

The Detroit Cast, done by a couple of pros who no longer found corporate radio to be home, were supportive of both the book and Juggalos when I appeared on their show in July.

Both Flood magazine and Phawker did excellent interviews, with solid questions and well-done homework before we talked. VICE killed it as usual, primarily because it sent a journalistic dynamic duo of writer Mitchell Sunderland and shooter Amy Lombard. He shows up wearing a bunny ranch tee and a Taylor Swift hat. Amy is one of the better photographers working right now, turning everything into art. We did the interview inside that Gathering at a table near Mike Busey’s outdoor strip club. I nixed her first idea for a shot – stand in front of an American flag that was unfurled across a nearby trailer. I mean, what could go wrong with that?

Mancow booked me on his show. I got the call at 8 a.m. from his producer, waited, hearing a live feed of the show as he talked about Ozzy Osbourne – really, get this man a calendar – and the producer came on a couple minutes later.

“Mancow doesn’t think we’re gonna have time for this today, maybe we can reschedule,” the producer said.

I got an email from the flack at Da Capo, who books some of the media for the book, that read: “The only word from Mancow’s producer is that the cancellation had to do with Mancow’s personal beef with the band and not wanting to give them the coverage.”

What a pro.

For me, most of that takes a back seat to this week’s Twitter rant by Violent J, who unequivocally supported the book in his messages:

  • Steve Miller author of the new, incredible book entitled “Juggalo” did a fuckin stunning job. I’m reading about shit that…
  • Ihad absolutely no idea about. If your a Juggalo and you want to know EVERYTHING there is to know about how we…
  • Ended up on the FBI’s fuckin stupid 2011 gang list, this book details everything. And so so much more. Look I am
  • learning facts and shit I’ve never known about in my life as I read every damn page. Ninjas this book is a must…VJ
  • I bought mine at a book store. I think it’s available at book stores everywhere and athttp://Hatchetgear.com .
  • It is not a PSY or ICP product. It’s an honest, incredibly researched, unbiased book by a very respected author.
  • And I find this mother fucker incredible. He clearly states the fact that the FBI has never ever in history…
  • Classified a group of fans that together support a click of bands that all share a similar sound as a gang…
  • This has never happened to any band in history and unfortunately it’s all a damn joke to everyone because it’s happening
  • To ICP and the Juggalos who have always been a fuckin punchline to the world anyway. So the FBI is actually getting
  • Away with flat out discrimination. They have basically made it illegal to publicly wave our flag. I’m in shock…
  • No one in the music industry has even cried foul. No one has our backs. It’s all a joke, only cuz it’s happening to us
  • For the world to let the FBI get away with such an awful move proves we truly are The Most Hated. The we call the family
  • Sorry 4 the rant but did u know that in most states if u have a Hatchet Man tat and u commit a felony it’s automatically
  • Upgraded to a 2nd degree felony cuz your filed a fuckin gang member? How can they get away with this?
  • Where’s Rolling Stone mag? Why is the public allowing such blatant discrimination? How can this madness be OK?
  • Everyone is OK with this? Cuz they think we suck? So it’s OK for them to do this to tens of thousands of people who like us? WTF?

 

Many of these are points that I felt during the time I wrote the book. I could not fathom the dislike for Juggalos among law enforcement. I didn’t understand why no one in the music establishment said a word about the attack by local and federal law enforcement on a fan base. To me, that says that if the cops started a wholesale intelligence move to undo the fans of Blink 182 or Twenty One Pilots, the bands would simply cash their checks and ignore it.

Juggalo has performed well on Amazon, although I rarely pay attention to sales figures until the advance is recouped. Whatever happens, this is a book that needed to be written, and I’m proud to have done it.

And I still don’t get how people can miss the skills and tenacity of ICP, a couple of guys who came from busted homes and parlayed themselves into something.




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