From The Desk Of Mike Viola: “Waiting For The Sun,” A Rock ‘N’ Roll History Of Los Angeles By Barney Hoskyns

With a major-label distribution deal right out of the chute, Candy Butchers seemed destined to follow in the footsteps of other smart, song-focused, melody-driven, ’90s outfits like Ben Folds Five and Fountains Of Wayne before the proverbial window of opportunity slammed shut circa 1997. Since then, seemingly unflappable leader Mike Viola has kept plugging away, fending off adversity in his personal life (his first wife died of cancer) and overall public indifference to get his music out there, whether as himself, under the Candy Butchers moniker, on film soundtracks or elsewhere. Viola’s new solo release, Electro De Perfecto (Good Morning Monkey/Hornblow), is a slickly produced celebration of a versatile songwriter in his prime, one who deserves a little more love. Viola will be guest editing all week. Read our brand new Q&A with him.

Viola: Waiting For The Sun is more of a pocket history of Hollywood Babylon than it is a history of rock ‘n’ roll. I’m pretty sure it’s out of print for some reason but you can find it for six bucks or less used on Amazon. It’s a great vacation book, road book; it moves fast through super rich detailed periods of time. You’re entertained and cover a lot of ground quickly (L.A.’s a huge city). So much ground so quickly, in fact, that you might not remember too much when you finish. Kind of like when you see the doctor. So much information you kinda wanna take notes, but it’s not that kind of book, really. For instance, it spends less time on the Beach Boys being fun-loving beach boys and more time on Brian Wilson being abused as a child and on his brother Dennis hanging out with, fucking and harboring the Manson family. All true that. From all that early jazz on Central Avenue to the Rodney King trial, if the devil had anything to do with it, it’s here.