Queens, New York based Mike Henneberger is excited to share the first look of his debut memoir, Rock Bottom At The Renaissance: An Emo Kid’s Journey Through Falling In And Out Of Love In And With New York City, premiering now with New Noise Magazine. The book is due for an official release on June 9th and is now available for pre-order at rockbottombook.com. The first excerpt is available to check out now at https://newnoisemagazine.com/book-premiere-rock-bottom-at-the-renaissance-an-emo-kids-journey-through-falling-in-and-out-of-love-in-and-with-new-york-city/
On this first look Henneberger shares, “I feel a little guilty looking back at this memory, because I feel like I’m continuing the cycle of tricking kids into romanticizing New York City. And while it doesn’t end as romantically as most New York movies, it’s definitely super romanticized in my recollection of it. Possibly because it was the first time I felt like the fantasy could be real. And even though it didn’t turn out to be that time, I think you can tell in the rest of the stories that, as time moves on, the pictures are painted with less optimism. Which is something I am just realizing now. I’d like to say things get brutal enough in this book to dissuade any of my fellow romantics from chasing this fantasy, but I think we all know that they (we) aren’t going to listen. As painful as it is, we have to find out for ourselves. But, I suppose the silver lining (here I am, years later and still an optimistic romantic) is that, sure, you get the pain, but you also get the excitement and the adventure of a memory like this. I think that’s a good thing? But I’m honestly trying to decide whether I know it is, and I can’t.”
Rock Bottom at the Renaissance is the debut memoir from Mike Henneberger, an Emmy-winning producer and music journalist with credits from Comedy Central, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Spin, and Vice. Though the bulk of the book is set in a hotel room during a weekend of self-imposed isolation and self-destructive introspection, and navigates the dark tunnels of Henneberger’s booze and drug-addled mind, it’s much larger in scope – taking in much of his past. Henneberger tells us of his Texas childhood defined by divorce, sibling rivalry, and an instability that forced him to navigate the most important years of a young man’s life without any sort of compass. He takes us through his minor successes – touring in bands, launching a magazine, and performing stand-up comedy – as he wonders if the sense of confidence instilled by those accomplishments is actually delusion. We get a glimpse into his time in the U.S. Army, which rather than increase his sense of purpose, only increased his chemical dependencies and triggered mental illness. And at the heart of the book, are Henneberger’s quests to find love, and, perhaps most importantly, his relationship with music and its power to get us through life’s toughest moments.
But some of the highest praise for Rock Bottom at the Renaissance has come from one of its earliest and biggest fans, AJ Perdomo of The Dangerous Summer. Perdomo shared, “I think it’s a very emotional journey where you’re therapeutically realizing it’s all about you, everything at the end of the day, in this book is like, you’re looking at these outside people, you’re trying to draw on stuff from them, but really all of the emotions are inside you, and you’re kinda creating your own fireworks show insider yourself, meanwhile, using everyone else as props for your little beautiful fireworks show that you’re creating.”
The Dangerous Summer is just one of many bands – including Jimmy Eat World, Bayside, The Smoking Popes, Alkaline Trio, The Wonder Years and more – whose songs soundtrack Rock Bottom At The Renaissance as their lyrics appear throughout the chapters, either because it was what Henneberger was listening to that weekend, or because they fit thematically with what he was going through.
Rock Bottom at the Renaissance is available for pre-order at rockbottombook.com and will be officially released on June 9th wherever books and eBooks are sold.