In 1989, River Phoenix walked into a bar in Gainesville, Fla. and ordered a beer. He was 19 years old, but famous enough to skirt the state’s drinking age of 21.

Talk to anyone who spent time in that Florida college town in the late ’80s and they have a River Phoenix story, mostly involving an intense guy who played in a local college jam band called Aleka’s Attic, lived on a 17-acre compound with his family in nearby Micanopy. Music was his first love, but his second job, being a Hollywood celebrity, had him often commuting to movie sets.

Juggalo Journalism 101

Written by Nick Manes | Wednesday, 07 September 2016 15:47 |

We now return Revue readers to their semi-regularly scheduled Juggalo coverage. This time, it’s through the lens of Steve Miller, an investigative journalist, true crime writer and author.

Trouble Boys: The True Story of The Replacements is as much a dissection of the music industry as it is the compelling narrative of an era’s media darlings.

Memphis-based author Bob Mehr is a no-frills communicator, crafting a moving chronicle that kept the interest of a reader who doesn’t even dig the alt-Americana that put the book’s subjects on the pop culture map. 

The Zest of Life: Local Author Micheala Lynn Releases 'Joie de Vivre'

Written by John Wiegand | Tuesday, 31 May 2016 19:49 |

West Michigan author Micheala Lynn seems to be on a mission to prove that opposites do, in fact, attract.

In her latest novel, Joie de Vivre, Lynn focuses on the budding love story between a workaholic forensic anthropologist, who spends the majority of her days peering at the dead, and a former basketball star turned kindergarten teacher whose partner of a decade recently died, leaving her 100 things to do in an “anti-bucket list.”

Kalamazoo Poetry Festival Returns

Written by Eric Mitts | Tuesday, 05 April 2016 11:03 |

The Kalamazoo Poetry Festival returns this month with more than just a showcase for West Michigan’s budding Ginsbergs and Plaths. 

The second-year festival, coinciding with National Poetry Month, celebrates the creation, presentation and appreciation of written art in all its forms — whether they wish to listen, to learn, or to share their experience of poetry with others.

You would think that Michael Griesbach would have been privy to an advance screening of the Netflix series Making a Murderer, the 10-part true crime documentary that is sweeping the nation. 

After all, Griesbach was part of a team of assistant prosecutors in Manitowoc County, Wis., that sprung Steve Avery, the criminal in question at the center of the series, from prison in 2003 after it was discovered the wrong guy was convicted for a 1985 sexual assault.

“They told me I would get an advance copy to watch at home, but it never came and so I watched it, like everyone else, through Netflix,” said Griesbach, 55 years old and the married father of four, in an interview from his home in Manitowoc, Wis.

Thirty-eight years after first seeing the Grateful Dead perform in his home state of New Jersey, Jay Blakesberg was hired to capture the band’s 50th anniversary and farewell shows in California and Chicago this past summer.

‘Lost Restaurants of Grand Rapids’ Stirs the Past

Written by Nick Macksood | Saturday, 30 January 2016 22:09 |

How many do you suppose know the first ever recorded flight in Kent County took place from the roof of Nick Fink’s bar in Comstock Park? Or that Grandville Avenue was created by a wayward cow that took the long route back to the barn? I’m not making any of this up. These stories, among others, have been recently brought to light thanks to the efforts of Norma Lewis and her latest book Lost Restaurants of Grand Rapids, released late 2015.

As kids, we were always taught to keep it down in the library or risk being hushed by the stern librarian keeping watch in the corner.

Fear not fellow bookworms/music nerds: The Grand Rapids Public Library is breaking the “shh!” stereotype with its Music in the Stacks, a free and all-ages concert series.

Booked Solid: October at the Grand Rapids Public Library

Written by Elma Talundzic | Wednesday, 30 September 2015 13:52 |

The Grand Rapids Public Library is hosting a month packed with good reads and free, educational events. Travel the Lakes, cook up some good food with the family, celebrate the Day of the Dead — and plenty of others. For complete details, visit

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