5 Star Review
by Michael Beas
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With "Liar, Alleged," David Vass takes us on a crazy trip across the decades in this tell-all that is equal parts outrageous exposé and lively humor, while remaining utterly genuine. With a tone as audacious and self-assured as the writer, Vass describes his remarkable existence, dispelling myths and negotiating the perilous entertainment world.
Vass declares, swaggering, "I scared the shit out of all the homos I met!" at the beginning, defying the expectations of the 1950s gay scene. This establishes the mood for a story that is unabashedly surprising, hilarious, and engaging. Vass reveals his surprising position as a mafia money runner and shares delicious, never-before-told anecdotes about great celebrities, pulling back the veil on the record labels.
Through the lens of the technical director, one can gain insight into the lives of more than 100 renowned figures, each with their own peculiarities and challenges. As the "celebrity-whisperer," Vass divulges the trade secrets entrusted to him, offering an intimate glimpse behind the scenes at the glittering and turbulent realm of Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe, and Oscar winners.
Vass's tale is a gripping page-turner that will make you laugh aloud as you follow him through a period of severe social limitations and his daring escape from the perilous world of 1960s strip clubs. In the 1970s, his technological prowess made him a highly sought-after commodity, drawing record labels to line up for his knowledge and mob connections.
Unexpected turns occur in the memoir, including a stint in prison that he calls the "best sex of my life," drug-fueled delights, and a bold event where he robs his mother while disguised as a drag queen—a moment that skillfully blends humor and intimacy. Vass's candid assessment of his scandalous adventures in a world pre-AIDS lends the narrative substance and emphasizes the perseverance required to get by during a time when the LGBTQ+ community faced unique challenges.
"Liar, Alleged" is more than just a memoir; it's a moving story filled with inspiration that should be read carefully. Vass's blend of sardonic humor and ruthless honesty results in a story that is still relevant, particularly considering the political landscape of today and the continuous fight for civil rights.
Vass's narration is brazen, his voice unapologetic, and his life's experiences a monument to the human spirit unbreakable. "Liar, Alleged" is a memoir that is both captivating and thought-provoking, drawing readers into an absurd and inspirational universe that stays with them long after the last page is turned.
About the Author
David Vass comes from a long line his mother once foolishly listened to. He is an accomplished Monologist, Performer, Diarist, Writer, and Activist, as well as the creator of the one-person play, What Could Go Wrong: Musings of an Eccentric Raconteur Who Happened to be at the Right Places at the Right Times. He has been partnered with his soulmate and husband Paul for forty-six years, the last sixteen of which have included a marriage license, finally. David’s hobby is explaining everything to everybody.
During his years behind-the-scenes in show business, he was a road manager, technical director and/or lighting and sound designer for 200+ clients, including over fifty Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe and Tony award-winning legends and celebrities.
A proud member of The Authors and The Dramatists Guilds, David believes there is no such thing as a politically incorrect or unusable word—a word is a word is a word. It is how a word is used that creates its true meaning and can make it glowingly positive and reinforcing, or hateful, demeaning, and mean-spirited. He feels our First Amendment rights are in jeopardy and wishes those in the “Woke Movement” who embrace censoring words without taking into consideration how and why they are used (or using one letter and some ***s) would rethink their position.