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Hey, Mister Publisher

January 4, 2022

The following is a small excerpt from one of my latest novels, Hey, Mr. Publisher. I am presenting it here in the sincere hope that some of you may want to buy and read the book. Whether or not you are a musician, I think you will appreciate this tale from the 1970’s music business and a peek inside the real world of music. You can find the book here in either digital or paperback format:

Chapter 1
Death Of The 60s

“The 1960s were lying on their death bed and Albertino Sapetello was just fine with it. Big Al was the last of the Sapetello family and the prospect of not having any children to carry on his name was becoming more burdensome every day. The last glimmer of hope was eclipsed three years before when little Jimmy had died of influenza and bad luck. There were no more toys, no more coloring books; Jimmy’s room had been cleaned and erased of his memory. Even the photographs were missing from their frames. Everything left had been tucked away neatly in a dresser drawer. Then, there was Lucy. She probably would have hit the road anyway. She hadn’t been crazy in love with the idea of raising a child right from the start. Like a lot of young girls in the 1960s, her high school graduation brought the promise only a future of pregnancy could bring. She laughed it all off and drank it off when a pasted smile couldn’t finish the job. She had been pissed for all of the nearly four years of Jimmy’s short life. Some would say she simply didn’t care; Most would say she didn’t care. But after Jimmy’s death, she just faded away like a ghost’s shadow skirting across a barren moonscape. Al hadn’t heard from her since the funeral and found some small solace in that fact. Withdrawing into a world that seemed prefabricated for him, Al found that he could not look back nor could he look forward. His life was deadlocked. Days were just a calendar component whose pages yellowed woefully slowly. A legacy of any kind seemed inescapably absent in both the past and in the future. The spirit was simply absent. Life felt to have been snuffed out with Jimmy’s death but there was still a smoldering small spark. It sat glowing faintly in Al’s cold heart.

Albertino Sapetello liked to think of himself as a survivor. He was cut from the cloth of the 1950s. Tailored to fit the times, he had seen the years march by him until at last they looked like tiny dots in the future. The 1950s had been serene but too much in a hurry. Things were moving too quickly and without purpose. He felt that he was no longer in control and that scared him. Yet he saw himself as tough, resourceful and a get it done type of guy but perhaps with too large an amount of humanity. Just surviving a post-war childhood was probably a battle won of sorts. But Al felt no victory in his blood, just the aching of his heart. Victory? Absolutely not but if being 24 years old had taught him anything, it was that he would probably survive any onslaught. Above all, he was hopeful to the point of surety that the kinder world of the early 1960s would return soon. He had survived those years as well and in fact he had embraced them. Those were the years that Al remembered most and with a great fondness. They were the years in which he felt victory might be in his grasp at any moment. That kinder world simply had to return. “Man, would that be great!” he mused. He thought of long nights spent on the beach at Malibu and the prospects that a new day of surfing would always bring. It really wasn’t that long ago. Sometimes, a look back over a few years can seem like a perusing of a century. His breathing slowed a bit: the sand, the sun, the warmth were all on his bare shoulders now. He could feel the breeze at his back and taste the spray of the ocean. He remembered the first girl he’d had in high school on that beach. It now seemed like a lifetime ago. He was lulled further into a comforting past. The sport, the beer, and the girls: where had all those fine things gone? His breathing almost came to a complete stop. “That beautiful warm sun!” he thought aloud. Then he pensively reflected for a second or two about the moniker, Big Al. He never really got that one. The name had been bestowed on him years earlier on the sands of Malibu, as he was big indeed on a surf board back in the day. However, he wasn’t really big in a physical sense. He stood a mere 5 foot 9 inches, kind of average. Besides, he had been told by his father that his first name meant little Albert. He wasn’t little by a long shot either. He was average in stature but with a strong face chiseled to perfection. His deep set eyes were dark green and seemed to tell of big dreams. Maybe he just always thought big: beautiful and big like the ocean he loved so much. The air finally came back into his lungs like a rushing returning tide and he imagined he heard the engine start in his old 1956 Chevy from years ago. The engine’s rumble faded almost as soon as it had begun. Daydreams were for fools but he wanted so much to be foolish again.”

If you were piqued by this excerpt, please get a hold of your copy of Hey, Mister Publisher today! As James Cagney said in Yankee Doodle Dandy, “My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my sister thanks you, and I assure you, I thank you.”

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Read author Allen E. Rizzi’s latest books available at


  1. Gotta get this one. On my list.

    Liked by 1 person

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