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4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  232 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Paperback, 72 pages
Published March 10th 1999 by Slab-o-Concrete
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mark monday
Apr 07, 2011 mark monday rated it really liked it
i feel smugly happy in saying that i have many of the original zines. i wonder if they're worth anything? ah, cometbus...for a brief period of time, reading those wonderful scrabblings made my college self feel as if i had someone else i could actually talk to. hadn't felt that way since reading john waters' Shock Value in high school. but then i moved to san francisco and i was surrounded by people i could actually talk to. too many, in fact.

still, despite the many years that have passed, i'll
Apr 17, 2012 Jason rated it it was amazing
Aaron has been friends with Green Day for most of his life, so he's able to use them as a common thread tying together the different eras of his past. There's also great travel writing in here, and the kind of priceless anecdotes you'd expect from a trip like this. I actually still have about 10 pages left to read, but I'm ready to call it: 5 stars.

Merged review:

An "origins story" of sorts about Berkeley's Telegraph Avenue, and the many booksellers that helped shape it. This was a great read --
Nov 25, 2012 Joshua rated it it was amazing
Shelves: zines
Note on 2/14/13: Discovered Goodreads stupidly merged a bunch of issues of Cometbus into one entry. Dumped my reviews for respective issues into one, as well. I'll try to clean it up later, I guess.

Probably a strange first issue of Cometbus for one to read, but after being aware of the zine for a few years now, this is what I started with. And, really, it's great. Aaron delves into the tension between his own anti-corporate personal ethics and the old friendships he has with the Green Day dudes
John Isaacson
Nov 27, 2010 John Isaacson rated it it was amazing
I love it already. This feels like Aaron's most honest book yet. Not that he isn't honest; I don't even know him, but I've never seen so much self-examination and humility in his writing. He just gets better and better. After a career of writing travelogues, this is a travelogue like no other Cometbus. Aaron really comes clean about his famous friends, his not-so famous friends, and how relationships change in the wake of fame. I can't wait for someone to make a movie of Aaron's life.

Merged revi
Feb 23, 2011 Ginger rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
All biography is about the biographer's frame of mind as much as the subject. I'm glad Aaron Cometbus never pretends otherwise. This is his own version of a Green Day biography, told unashamedly through his own totally biased 20 year long experience as sometimes roadie, sometimes friend, sometimes critic. It's part exotic travel journal, but the larger part is an inspection of the widely different paths people from the same backgrounds can take. Oh and yes, he does go on tour with Green Day in C ...more
Mar 12, 2012 Hokomoko rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this finely phrased, nostalgic and moving novella. It has elements of a coming of age story yet it turns constantly on introspective reflection on counterculture and its dreadful cost on those who try to *live together* yet at the same time *outside society.*

I look forward to his upcoming publications and will work my way back through his work as I get the chance.
Apr 20, 2010 Adam rated it really liked it
Shelves: zines
It felt ridiculous to read the latest issue of Cometbus on a plane. While Aaron was re-counting bicycle and greyhound bus rides, I was hurtling through the air with simultaneous fatigue, boredom, stiffness, nervousness, and anticipation. Aaron wrote of satisfying walks and strong winds, while I endured recycled air, making my face feel both dry and greasy. Okay, I’m not really complaining about air travel to Houston (I would not have made it by land). But I felt a little ridiculous reading it no ...more
Apr 11, 2013 Rocktopus rated it it was amazing
edit: this review refers to the loneliness of the electric menorah, but somehow got attached to the wrong title.

I enjoyed this so much. It reminds me of music journalism – a cast of people reflecting on the arc of an amazing heydey. Except it's … retail journalism. That sounds like a mean description, but it's not intended to be - this is a really good book, especially if you've ever spent time on that part of telegraph. I'm not sure if readers would find it terribly interesting if they've never
Feb 28, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it
The title mostly says it all. An inspirational, epic nostalgia trip that takes the reader along through Thailand, South Korea, China, and Japan as Cometbus dissects the past 20 years of his involvement with Green Day. He makes a point to present the band as he knows them as people, as opposed to their famous caricatures. Given his extensive - albeit rocky - history with the personalities behind the music, it makes for an interesting read. The aspect of it that astonished me more than his descrip ...more
Jan 20, 2011 Melissa rated it liked it
Shelves: zines
I really like Cometbus and don't particularly like Green Day, but this was a good read. A nice travelogue of a huge rockband's Asian tour with some serious self-reflection and harsh examination of what happens when friends follow radically different paths. The price of fame vs. The pitfalls of being the one who sticks to your principles yet gets left behind.

It's comforting that at the end of the day, even if your friends are mega-stars, you can still sit down and play a rousing game of scrabble
Jan 27, 2012 Brad rated it liked it
(Disclaimer: While I am a longtime fan of bands the author has been associated with, I am not a regular reader of Cometbus.) This was pitched to me as being possibly the most superior treatment of the Green Day story. While it does indeed touch on very different periods of their career, it also dawdles along with Aaron Cometbus and his pseudo-insights that don't always seem to tie in to the larger story. Dwelling on the changes he may or may not have gone through during Green Day's rise to fame ...more
Apr 25, 2011 MariNaomi rated it it was amazing
I bought this zine while in the middle of a month-long book tour, so my interest in it was mainly to see how another person handled the exhilaration and tedium of constant travel in close quarters with other people. And I must admit that, although I have never had an interest in the band Green Day, I was curious as to how the author's perspective of his old friends had changed once they became celebrities. Well, this book did not disappoint, and I'm reading it again, but slower, to catch all the ...more
Jun 28, 2016 Beverly rated it liked it
This is probably a good place to start with reading Aaron Cometbus. His chapter comparing old people, Jews and punks is genuinely funny if you have at least a few of each in your life. His chapter mourning for a lost moment/girl/punk scene is the least cringe-worthy of the genre among those that I have read.
Best of all, it was short!
Mar 16, 2011 KayLee rated it really liked it
I got this because it was about Green Day, and it was GREAT to see them from a friend's point of view. But, I ended up just glad I had gotten it because I LOVE Aaron Cometbus's writing. It's so real and funny and nostalgic. Now I am trying to find more of his material, like Despite Everything, which I'm adding to my wish list.:D
Feb 20, 2008 alex rated it liked it
quick collection of short stories. pretty well written. somewhat too filled with a self-congratulatory disgust of the self... and others.
Nov 27, 2011 Adam rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011readingyear
A travelogue and how-the-sausage-is-made presentation for a big arena rock tour. I buy Cometbus whenever I find it but this is the first I've read cover-to-cover since the Back To The Land issue.
Hope Wabuke
May 17, 2008 Hope Wabuke rated it it was amazing
Shelves: shorty
chicago! good times. the library love story is classic. there is something about his voice that creates only the sweet part of nostalgia, though, which is interesting
Brian Moss
Brian Moss rated it really liked it
Jan 28, 2013
Pviddy rated it liked it
Jan 09, 2010
Bardamu99 rated it it was amazing
Sep 12, 2014
Kevin Wilder
Kevin Wilder rated it liked it
Sep 15, 2008
Laura P
Laura P rated it liked it
Jan 12, 2008
lee rated it it was amazing
Apr 30, 2008
zydeco rated it it was amazing
Nov 03, 2007
Matthew Snope
Matthew Snope rated it liked it
Aug 26, 2008
Megan rated it liked it
Jul 05, 2009
Meghan Finn
Meghan Finn rated it liked it
Jan 29, 2014
Zach rated it it was amazing
Sep 30, 2007
Colby Buzzell
Colby Buzzell rated it it was amazing
Jul 10, 2011
Jan 24, 2008 Scott rated it it was amazing
see review of his book mixed reviews.
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Aaron Elliott, better known as Aaron Cometbus, is a drummer, lyricist, self-described "punk anthropologist" and author of Cometbus, a seminal punk rock zine.

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“Some things are like that—they strike you as repugnant for instinctive reasons, probably having to do with your culture and the way you were raised. The French word “gauche” comes to mind, but I preferred the Hebrew word “treyf.” Literally, it means not kosher, but I also use it to describe things like cars, bars, strip clubs, guns, dogs, rock-n-roll, and football games. Things that are treyf, you avoid, not because you hate them per se, but because in avoiding them you keep yourself from becoming like the people you hate.” 4 likes
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