Tim Mohr: Burning Down the Haus (with Jason Newman)
Friday September 6: 7:30PM – 8:30PM
Buy a copy of Burning Down the Haus or a $15 gift card in-store to attend. The event will take place in the Art Department on the 2nd Floor, accessible through our main entrance at 828 Broadway.
Doors open 30 minutes before the start of the event.
It began with a handful of East Berlin teens who heard the Sex Pistols on a British military radio broadcast to troops in West Berlin, and it ended with the collapse of the East German dictatorship. Punk rock was a life-changing discovery. The buzz-saw guitars, the messed-up clothing and hair, the rejection of society and the DIY approach to building a new one: in their gray surroundings, where everyone’s future was preordained by some communist apparatchik, punk represented a revolutionary philosophy—quite literally, as it turned out.
But as these young kids tried to form bands and became more visible, security forces—including the dreaded secret police, the Stasi—targeted them. They were spied on by friends and even members of their own families; they were expelled from schools and fired from jobs; they were beaten by police and imprisoned. Instead of conforming, the punks fought back, playing an indispensable role in the underground movements that helped bring down the Berlin Wall.
This secret history of East German punk rock is not just about the music; it is a story of extraordinary bravery in the face of one of the most oppressive regimes in history. Rollicking, cinematic, deeply researched, highly readable, and thrillingly topical, Burning Down the Haus brings to life the young men and women who successfully fought authoritarianism three chords at a time—and is a fiery testament to the irrepressible spirit of revolution.
Join us as Tim Mohr sits down with Jason Newman of Rolling Stone for a guided tour of punk behind the Wall!
Tim Mohr is an award-winning translator of authors such as Alina Bronsky, Wolfgang Herrndorf, and Charlotte Roche. He has also collaborated on memoirs by musicians Gil Scott-Heron, Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses, and Paul Stanley of KISS. His own writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, New York Magazine,and Inked, among other publications, and he spent several years as a staff editor at Playboy magazine, where he edited Hunter S. Thompson, John Dean, and Harvey Pekar, among others. Prior to starting his writing career he earned his living as a club DJ in Berlin.