Postponed - VIP experience with Mikel Jollett at The Basement East

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Airborne Toxic Event will be rescheduling their tour and all concerts have been postponed at this time. Currently, we are uncertain when the band will announce new tour dates. That uncertainty, combined with the devastation that The Basement East experienced in the Nashville tornado, has led us to the decision to refund all tickets.

If you would still like to purchase a copy of HOLLYWOOD PARK from Parnassus Books, you can do so via this link. The book publishes on May 26th.

Event Details:

  • Your ticket will serve as proof of purchase of Hollywood Park from Parnassus Books. A book purchase from another vendor will not grant access to the VIP area.
  • You will need both your concert ticket and your Parnassus Books ticket in order to enter the VIP area.
  • Your book purchase from Parnassus Books allows access to the VIP area only — concert tickets must be purchased separately. Concert tickets can be purchased via The Basement East.
  • The VIP experience will include a book signing, a discussion of Hollywood Park, and a Q&A with the author.

About the author:
Mikel Jollett
 was born in an experimental commune in Southern California called Synanon. Started as a drug rehabilitation program, it later morphed into one of the most notorious cults America has ever seen. When the community became violent, his mother fled the group with Jollett and his older brother. Raised in abject poverty and fighting the lure of drugs and delinquency, Jollett escaped with the help of his estranged father. He went on to attend Stanford University, before becoming an on-air columnist for NPR's All Things Considered, an Editor-at-Large for Men's Health and editor of Filter Magazine. After McSweeney's published his short sotry "The Crack," he was accepted to Yaddo artists' community but ultimately decided to pursue music instead. He named his band Airborne Toxic Event after a section of Don DeLillo's White Noise and quickly built a loyal fan base.

About the book:
HOLLYWOOD PARK is a remarkable memoir of a tumultuous life. Mikel Jollett was born into one of the country’s most infamous cults, and subjected to a childhood filled with poverty, addiction, and emotional abuse. Yet, ultimately, his is a story of fierce love and family loyalty told in a raw, poetic voice that signals the emergence of a uniquely gifted writer.

We were never young. We were just too afraid of ourselves. No one told us who we were or what we were or where all our parents went. They would arrive like ghosts, visiting us for a morning, an afternoon. They would sit with us or walk around the grounds, to laugh or cry or toss us in the air while we screamed. Then they’d disappear again, for weeks, for months, for years, leaving us alone with our memories and dreams, our questions and confusion …

So begins Hollywood Park, Mikel Jollett’s remarkable memoir. His story opens in an experimental commune in California, which later morphed into the Church of Synanon, one of the country’s most infamous and dangerous cults. Per the leader’s mandate, all children, including Jollett and his older brother, were separated from their parents when they were six months old, and handed over to the cult’s “School.” After spending years in what was essentially an orphanage, Mikel escaped the cult one morning with his mother and older brother. But in many ways, life outside Synanon was even harder and more erratic.

In his raw, poetic and powerful voice, Jollett portrays a childhood filled with abject poverty, trauma, emotional abuse, delinquency and the lure of drugs and alcohol. Raised by a clinically depressed, narcissistic mother, tormented by his angry older brother, subjected to the unpredictability of troubled step-fathers and longing for contact with his father, a former heroin addict and ex-con, Jollett slowly, often painfully, builds a life that leads him to Stanford University and, eventually, to finding his voice as a writer and musician.

Hollywood Park is told at first through the limited perspective of a child, and then broadens as Jollett begins to understand the world around him. Although Mikel Jollett’s story is filled with heartbreak, it is ultimately an unforgettable portrayal of love at its fiercest and most loyal.

Event date: 
Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 5:00pm
Event address: 
The Basement East
917 Woodland Street
Nashville, TN 37206