The 2011 demise here in Niagara Falls of the Tuscarora Books / Power City Press imprint has sparked an Internet war that’s seen ferocious bidding on some of the former Niagara Falls publisher’s now rare and out of print titles.
Niagara Falls Reporter founding editor Mike Hudson’s 2008 rock memoir, “Diary of a Punk,” for example, has seen its price on Amazon fluctuate from between $954 and $1,186 over the past week for a single used copy, ever since the online retailer ran out of its own supply.
Hudson was bemused by the recent turn of events.
“I don’t get the money anyway, we were paid for those books years ago,” he said. “I think we got eight bucks apiece. But they were written and published in Niagara Falls, a place that was at the time more interested in whether or not Jake Palillo was going to make a political comeback.”
Nationally, critics offered high praise for “Diary of a Punk.”
In Trouser Press, Ira Robbins wrote; “Riveting and rattling, full of death-defying tales, angry Cleveland brio and self-inflected disasters…”
And George Sample of the Ocean City Sentinel wrote that Hudson “… carves out words like a butcher carves out a steak. Sometimes there’s blood on the chopping block.”
D.X. Ferris of the Cleveland Scene probably put it best.
“As a heavyweight journalist and unflinching memoirist, Hudson writes like the devil’s on his heels, redemption is on the line and tomorrow might not come.”
Indeed, the story of Tuscarora Books / Power City Press in Western New York was one of a perpetual guerilla war, where word of mouth and alternative outlets like the Tom Bauerle and Penny Wolfgang shows continually trumped traditional media outlets in spreading the word.
With the price of “Diary of a Punk” hovering at around $1,000 per copy on Amazon, and the demand for other titles produced in Niagara Falls at a peak, Hudson said he has a new novel about to be published. And a new record.
Hudson was the lead singer of The Pagans, a seminal Punk Rock group whose impact on music is still being widely discussed and assessed. A copy of the 1977 Pagan’s 45 RPM single “Six And Change” sold for $1,800 on Ebay.
Hudson said his new novel, “Fame Whore,” is set in Los Angeles, and is being brought out by Aurore Publishing in Cincinnati, Ohio, and his new LP will be released on Overground Records in the UK and Crypt Records in Germany and the United States.
Hudson’s biography of Mafioso, Stephano Magadino was a local best seller and his 2007 book Niagara Falls Confidential, stories of bizarre and ghastly crime in Niagara Falls also went through two editions and, despite the fact it is out of print, it is ranked #4 as one of the top selling books on Niagara Falls, by Amazon.com.